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Uncovering the Past (Kumarian Press Library of Management) Hardcover – February 1, 1993

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Stiebing's concise, wonderfully vivid, engrossing history conveys a sense of archeology as a great collective adventure by which humanity retrieves its past. Heinrich Schliemann's excavation of the Troy of Homer's Iliad, Arthur Evans's reconstruction of Minoan Crete, John Stephens's discovery of Mayan pyramids in Mexico and Austen Layard's remarkably swift location of Assyrian palaces are a few of the many phenomenal exploits recounted in a narrative that emphasizes advances in archeological techniques and methods. Stiebing, a professor of archeology at the University of New Orleans, reviews the mystery of immense prehistoric mounds in the Ohio Valley. His chronicle also encompasses India's carved cave temples at Ellora, advanced medieval cities of sub-Saharan Africa, finds in China, Indonesia and Cambodia, and underwater archeology. Stiebing dispassionately reviews the controversy surrounding the "new archeology," which uses computers and statistics in its quest to discover the laws of cultural dynamics. Illustrated.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Profusely illustrated and with the usual chronology and reading suggestions appended, this volume is useful chiefly as an overview for students of the comparatively new discipline of archaeology. Steibing (history, Univ. of New Orleans) organizes his work into four evolutionary phases that extend through the "heroic age" of archaeology (1450-1925), discussed from a geographical/cultural perspective, to the close of World War I up to the present, which ushers in the beginnings of systemization and scientific method as a review of the various new methodologies. While many volumes exist on the finds of specific sites or on a specific excavation technique, this study focuses on the development of archaeology as a discipline, tracing the milestones in the evolution of systematic excavation. Do not expect here the wealth of titillating, arcane cultural details common to archaeological works. As such, it is more of a Cook's Tour and not very meaty, but it will serve.
- Jo-Ann D. Suleiman. SANAD Support Technologies, Rockville, Md.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: Kumarian Press Library of Management
  • Hardcover: 315 pages
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books (February 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879757647
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879757649
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,206,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Finally! A readable, fun archaeology book!
As a university student of anthropology and archaeology with of course certain peculiar specializations and interests all my own, I often found myself lacking in a truly readable account of archaeology and its history in the general sense, though various lectures had tried to assemble such a survey (without success). 'Uncovering the Past' provides this account admirably, covers achaeological development over the entire globe, including western Europe, the ancient Near East, Egyptology, Aegean archaeology, the Far East, Africa and the Americas and Mesoamerica.
If you're interested in archaeology at all, whether at the academic level or purely for your own personal entertainment, I think this book provides an excellent starting point without all of the tedium that arises when one attempts to see the 'big picture' or acquire some sense of the general historical foundations of the field by treading through endless detailed site publications from various time periods or even summary accounts of any geographical region.
To put it another way: sit down and spend an afternoon reading it cover to cover, you'll enjoy it!
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By HH on April 12, 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very conventional treatment of archaeology -- conventional both in methodology and in subject matter. Stiebing's book certainly breaks no new methodological ground; indeed, he is hardly concerned to reflect on the historiography of his discipline, or the quite significant discussions about the role of such historiography in building the archaeology of the 1990s. Stiebing seems completely unconcerned about these and other matters (particularly those connected to the further development of archaeological theory) that touch on issues that must now be part of any historical analysis of archaeology. Archaeology for Stiebing must be uncomplicated -- to go out and "uncover" the past, a task at which we are getting steadily better by the application of scientific methods and approaches. This kind of "soft-core positivism" gives the book an anachronistic feel, which is reinforced by the fact that this history of archaeology is (in the main) a history of Euro-American archaeology, with a bit of material from Asia and Africa thrown in to make up the weight. No history of archaeology in Australia or the Pacific is included, nor discussion of whole fields such as historical archaeology, and there is certainly little sense of connection between archaeological practice and the societies that have provided the context for all that activity.

The defense for this type of lopsided treatment stems from the assumption that students of classical antiquity, and American students of classical antiquity in particular, will find such a treatment more "relevant" to their interests. No one should dismiss this defense lightly, but it does tend to reinforce conventional intellectual frameworks rather than to provide the groundwork for change.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was understandable since it lacked scientific jargon. It was still in depth and expository without containing too many confusing statements that so many other archeological books heavily rely upon. The text was arranged in an organized way and covered a very wide topic area. This book was interesting from beginning to end and the various pictures added the pugnancy of the book's texts tremendously. My ONLY criticism of this book is the mention of biblical topics somewhat frequently and the over use of the word 'antiquites'! Yet, it gave a flavor of different ancient worlds and explained archeology quite nicely. Overall it was a very good read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is a lot of good information. I am enjoying the book a lot. I do enjoy this book much.
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By Malha Iki on September 5, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A jewel.
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