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Geoarchaeology: The Earth-Science Approach to Archaeological Interpretation Hardcover – February 17, 1998

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Probably the most comprehensive treatise on geoarchaeology yet written."—Vance Haynes, University of Arizona

(Vance Haynes)

"Rapp and Hill provide the single most comprehensive guide to basic principles in the field of Geoarchaeology. The text is an essential resource for teaching earth science applications to undergraduate archaeologists."—Andrea Freeman, University of Calgary    


(Andrea Freeman) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

George (Rip) Rapp is Regents Professor Emeritus of Geoarchaeology and was formerly director of the Archaeometry Laboratory at the University of Minnesota. Christopher L. Hill is an assistant professor in the department of anthropology at Boise State University, Boise, Idaho. 

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (February 17, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300070756
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300070750
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 7.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,994,113 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have previously reviewed the book "Practical and Theoretical Geoarchaeology" by Goldberg and Macphail and I've given it 5 stars. This one is anoother five-stars book on geoarchaeology, especially since this second edition has been considerably expanded by about 80 pages.

The two books are both excelent, but they possess diferent strenghts: Goldberg&Macphail's book relies heavily on landscapes, sediments, soils, stratigraphy, soil chemistry and especially soil micromorphology; it also is excelent due to coverage of field and laboratory methods.

Although this focus is excelent (the book covers these topics extensively) it lets out a lot of other topics; for example, environmental studies in a archaeological context are left out (the authors consider it a separate field of study done by a separate team), and so are Archaeometric studies which the authors also consider to be out of the field of Geoarchaeology (they dedicate a chapter to some archaeometric studies, but the coverage is not only incomplete but the information is also very sparse).

On the other hand, Rapp's book, although beying relatively brief in coverage of the multiple topics does cover everything that the geosciences can contribute to Archaeology, from the same topics covered by Goldberg&Macphail's book, to environmental studies and Archaeometry (like, for example, provenance studies involving trace-element patterns and stable isotopes, etc). Rapp's book is by far the most complete in terms of coverage (especially this second edition) but it is also the most brief and succint; Goldberg&Macphail's book does not cover all the ground Rapp's book covers and leaves a lot out, but on the other side it its coverage of the featured topics is much more comprehensive.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a superb volume. It`s interesting to read, well organized, gives a broad overview of the field, and presents illustrations of how geologists are able to contribute meaningfully to our understanding of the human past.

The authors cover a broad range of subjects, including the development of the consiliance (Wilson would be proud) between archaeology and geology, that is between what might be seen as basically a "social science" and a so-called "hard science." They discuss some of the background of both disciplines, which really arose as official fields of endeavor in the 19th century, although both have significant roots in the 17th and 18th centuries. (Thomas Jefferson in the 18th century comes to mind as do Steno and Hutton).

The subject of petrology---igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic---and how it contributes to an understanding of the stratigraphy of a site is very informative. The particular character of the paleoenvironment that encouraged humans to occupy a site in the first place is also very illuminating. The authors also point out the contributions of paleoclimatology, palynology, zooarchaology, fluvial systems, and other types of earth history studies that help give the reader a clearer understanding of the pre-historic and ancient historic worlds.

What I found particularly interesting was their discussions of the effects of upstream erosive processes on various segments of rivers, since these are still actions in force today. The human effects on terrain become very obvious here. While the data were drawn mostly from the rivers in the United Kingdom, some material on German and French rivers and on the US Mississippi are also included.
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Format: Paperback
Excellent guide to geoarchaeological interpretation and processes. A must have for beginners and practisioners of archaeology.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Not too simple not too jargon filled-more technical which is okay. This along with Principles of Geoarchaeology can begin anyone's study of the subject.
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