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Rubbish!: The Archaeology of Garbage Paperback – March 1, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
- Carolyn E. Gecan, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
One of the most valuable contributions of the book is that it provides historical data to put garbage in perspective. Contrary to many people's beliefs, the authors argue that garbage and where to put it is not a new problem at all. They point out that one of the characteristics that make us human is that we create garbage, and we always have, back to the very first time a humanoid discovered how to create tools by chipping flint. To those who worry about our non-biodegradable trash, the authors remind us that the pottery shards of ancient archeological sites are nothing more than the indestructible refuse of yesteryear. And yet others worry about burying our trash in landfills which doesn't allow normal biodegradation to occur, but the authors point out that this also isn't new, describing an archeological dig of a putrid 2,000-year-old buried dump in Italy. Of course, the main message that the authors express is not that garbage is benign, but that the problem isn't new, and that garbage issues have been a concern since the dawn of civilization.Read more ›
Despite being a book about garbage, the contents of the book are quite diverse. The book is divided into 4 parts. The first section, An Introduction to the Garbage Project, gives the background of "The Garbage Project", why it started, what they do, and what they hope to accomplish. This section also discusses how anthropologists use garbage to learn about ancient civilizations. The second section, The Landfill Excavations, discuss the basic theories of landfills, how the team takes samples from landfills, and discusses why biodegradation does not work in landfills. The third section, Interlude: Diapers and Demographics, I found to be highly entertaining. This section has a fascinating chapter on estimating the population of a neighborhood (as well as sex and age) based on the garbage collected from this neighborhood (a study done to initially help the Census Bureau). This section is also filled with useless information such as "There is a link between owning a cat and reading "The National Enquirer"". There is also a detailed discussion about disposable diapers in landfills. The final section, Garbage and the Future, was the most educational by far. This part discusses the serious shortcomings of citywide recycling programs and side effects people never hear about. There are also discussions on alternate garbage disposal methods, such as high tech incinerators used to generate electricity, as well as several other attempts at using technology to turn garbage into a useful product.Read more ›
The men and women involved in this research project open the bag on the realities of this human behavior to shed light on how we act as consumers and as members of society in general. Our political tendencies are also exposed in investigating how groups endeavor to address the issue of solid waste disposal, often to unbelievable results, totally contrary to the desired end goal.
I wholeheartedly agree with some other reviewers in that this should be required reading for anyone interested in environmental issues, from the simplest aluminum can collector to the most active environmentalists.
This is billed as an archaeology book, but I would call it more accurately an environmental/psycological/science read, never very technical, often entertaining and always eye-opening.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
We are what we throw out. A book to teach us about ourselves and where we are headed.Published 5 months ago by Aida Risk
Very good classic book on the subject.
Even thought it was written many years ago, I believe it's still the best book on the rather unpleasant but important subject.
You can learn quite a bit about people via trash. Some astonishing insights.Published 12 months ago by Alex Goodsell
Really great take on something most of us never think about - trash! Looks at what trash can tell us about the people who created it.Published 24 months ago by M. Swain
Some interesting facts in this book. Had to read it for an archaeology class, it was pretty curious things to keep in mind, though it took a while to get through it for me. Read morePublished on January 11, 2014 by R. Tanner
very nice and eazy reading book.
the book is a very important tool to my objectives of getting in touch with the garbage matters
This book was required for a class at Eastern Oregon University and I ordered it for use in the class.Published on December 29, 2012 by Elainelynnley