History Podcasts

Archaeology Books

Archaeology Books

For over 25 years The Handbook of British Archaeology has been the foremost guide to archaeological methods, artefacts and monuments, providing clear explanations of all specialist terms used by archaeologists. This completely revised and updated edition is packed with the latest information and now includes the most recent developments in archaeological science. Meticulously researched, every section has been extensively updated by a team of experts. There are chapters devoted to each of the archaeological periods found in Britain, as well as two chapters on techniques and the nature of archaeological remains. All the common artefacts, types of sites and current theories and methods are covered. The growing interest in post-medieval and industrial archaeology is fully explored in a brand new section dealing with these crucial periods. Hundreds of new illustrations enable instant comparison and identification of objects and monuments from Palaeolithic handaxes to post-medieval gravestones. Several maps pinpoint the key sites, and other features include an extensive bibliography and a detailed index. The Handbook of British Archaeology is the most comprehensive resource book available and is essential for anyone with an interest in the subject from field archaeologists and academics to students, heritage professionals, Time Team followers and amateur enthusiasts.

Pompeii is the best known and probably the most important archaeological site in the world. The drama of its destruction has been handed down to us by Roman writers, its paintings and mosaics have astonished visitors since their discovery in the 18th century, and its houses and public buildings to this day present a vivid picture of life, disaster and death in a Roman town. Yet, until now, there has been no up-to-date, authoritatative and comprehensive account for the general reader of its rise, fall and splendour. "The Complete Pompeii" fills that gap. With its lavish illustrations, numerous box features and reams of information, this book is the ultimate resource and inspirational guide to this magnificent ancient site, visited by millions each year.

An unprecedented look inside archaeology today, "Discovery!" reveals the exciting, significant and astonishing finds from around the world in the last fifteen years that have changed the way we see our past. Spanning a timescale of two million years of history, this book covers everything from the latest fossil discoveries to wrecks of early submarines and ironclads from the American Civil War. Truly international in scope and totally authoritative, "Discovery!" is illustrated throughout with amazing photographs, sometimes taken at the very moment of discovery.


The History of Archaeology : An Introduction

The History of Archaeology: An Introduction provides global coverage with chapters devoted to particular regions of the world. The regional approach allows readers to understand the similarities and differences in the history of and approach to archaeology in various parts of the world. Each chapter is written by a specialist scholar with experience of the region concerned. Thus the book focuses on the earliest beginnings of archaeology in different parts of the world, and how it developed from being a pastime for antiquarians and collectors to a serious attempt to obtain information about past societies.

Woven into the text are various boxes that explore key archaeologists, sites and important discoveries in the history of archaeology enriching the story of the discipline’s development. With such far ranging coverage, including an exploration of the little covered development of Russian and Chinese archaeology, The History of Archaeology is the perfect introduction to the history of archaeology for the interested reader and student alike.


Book Description

A Brief History of Archaeology details early digs as well as covering the development of archaeology as a multidisciplinary science, the modernization of meticulous excavation methods during the twentieth century, and the important discoveries that led to new ideas about the evolution of human societies.

Spanning more than two thousand years of history, this short account of the discipline of archaeology tells of spectacular discoveries and the colorful lives of the archaeologists who made them, as well as of changing theories and current debates in the field. Early research at Stonehenge in Britain, burial mound excavations, and the exploration of Herculaneum and Pompeii culminate in the nineteenth-century debates over human antiquity and the theory of evolution. The book then moves on to the discovery of the world’s pre-industrial civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Central America, the excavations at Troy and Mycenae, the Royal Burials at Ur, Iraq, and the dramatic finding of the pharaoh Tutankhamun in 1922. The book concludes by considering recent sensational discoveries, and exploring the debates over processual and post processual theory which have intrigued archaeologists in the early twenty-first century. The third edition updates this respected introduction to one of the sciences’ most fascinating disciplines.

A Brief History of Archaeology is a vivid narrative that will engage readers who are new to the discipline, drawing on the authors’ extensive experience in the field and classroom.


A Little History of Archaeology

View Inside Format: Hardcover
Price: $25.00

A "learned and lively" (Wall Street Journal) history of archaeological adventure—with tales of danger, debate, audacious explorers, and astonishing discoveries around the globe—for readers of all ages

What is archaeology? The word may bring to mind images of golden pharaohs and lost civilizations, or Neanderthal skulls and Ice Age cave art. Archaeology is all of these, but also far more: the only science to encompass the entire span of human history—more than three million years!

This Little History tells the riveting stories of some of the great archaeologists and their amazing discoveries around the globe: ancient Egyptian tombs, Mayan ruins, the first colonial settlements at Jamestown, mysterious Stonehenge, the incredibly preserved Pompeii, and many, many more. In forty brief, exciting chapters, the book recounts archaeology’s development from its eighteenth-century origins to its twenty-first-century technological advances. Shining light on the most intriguing events in the history of the field, this absolutely up-to-date book illuminates archaeology’s controversies, discoveries, heroes and scoundrels, global sites, and newest methods for curious readers of every age.


Best Archaeology, Ancient History and Prehistory Books

Interested in the rise and fall of civilisations? The nitty gritty detail of excavation? How we’ve responded to new technology, or dealt with climate change in the past? Or even what it’s like to confront death on a daily basis?

We asked our community which books they were reading and would recommend to others who share a deep fascination with archaeology and prehistory. Lots of the choices focus on Britain and the UK, but each one is guaranteed to have you gripped and heading straight back to the bookshop for more.

So, in no particular order, here’s a handful of the most gripping – as recommended by our community – for you to enjoy this summer (or winter, or spring, or just to add to your wishlist for whenever you finally do get a moment to put your feet up and delve deep into the past!):

The Tale of The Axe: How the Neolithic Revolution Changed Britain, David Miles

Focusing on the British Neolithic, David explores a period of huge societal change through the most iconic artifact of its time: the polished stone axe. These formidable creations were not only crucial tools that enabled the first farmers to clear the forests, but also objects of great symbolic importance, signifying status and power, wrapped up in expressions of religion and politics. He uses a precious example, given to him by a local quarry worker, as a guide to the revolution that changed the world. Mixing anecdote, ethnography and archaeological analysis, the author vividly demonstrates how the archaeology on the ground reveals to us the evolving worldview of a species increasingly altering their own landscape settling down together, investing in agricultural plots, and collectively erecting massive ceremonial monuments to cement new communal identities.

Built on Bones: 15,000 Years of Urban Life and Death, Brenna Hassett

Imagine you are a hunter-gatherer some 15,000 years ago. You’ve got a choice – carry on foraging, or plant a few seeds and move to one of those new-fangled settlements down the valley. But urban life is short and riddled with dozens of new diseases. Why would anyone choose this? Brenna uses research on skeletal remains from around the world to explore the history of humanity’s experiment with the metropolis, why our ancestors chose city life, and why they have largely stuck to it. She explains the diseases, the deaths and the many other misadventures that we have unwittingly unleashed upon ourselves throughout the metropolitan past, and what we can look forward to in the future as the world becomes increasingly urbanised.

Time’s Anvil: England, Archaeology and the Imagination, Richard Morris

This is a dazzlingly wide-ranging exploration of three quarters of a million years of history in the place we now think of as England. Drawing upon genres that are usually pursued in isolation – like biography, poetry, or physics – Richard finds potent links between things we might imagine to be unrelated. This is part history of archaeology, and part personal account of the author’s own history in archaeology. But mainly it is about how the past is read, and about what we bring to the reading as well as what we find. The result is a book that defies categorisation, but one which will by turns surprise, enthrall and provoke anyone who cares for England, who we are and where we have come from.

Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States, James C Scott

Most people believe that plant and animal domestication allowed humans, finally, to settle down and form agricultural villages, towns, and states, which made possible civilization, law, public order, and a presumably secure way of living. James C Scott explores the archaeological and historical evidence that challenges this narrative. He looks at why some societies rejected sedentism and plow agriculture, the unforeseeable disease epidemics arising from crowding plants, animals, and grain, and the real reasons tangled up with why early states seem to be based on millets and cereal grains: unfree labour.

The Map of Knowledge: A Thousand-Year History of How Classical Ideas Were Lost and Found, Violet Moller

This is the story of how core ideas about medicine, astronomy and mathematics have shaped human civilization for millennia, charting their rise from the classical world of antiquity, through the middle ages and finally to the renaissance via several cities throughout the Mediterranean. Violet’s warmth and and expertise allows her to unveil a history of ideas, people and cities in one accessible, informative and provocative piece of work, which provides a good antidote to a narrow, Euro-centric view of history. Highly readable and very entertaining.

My European Family: The First 54,000 Years, Karin Bojs

Karin is a science journalist searching for her roots and in My European Family she tells the story of Europe and its people through its genetic legacy. From the first wave of immigration to the present day, she weaves in the latest archaeological findings and, by having her DNA sequenced, she traces the path of her ancestors, travelling to dozens of countries to follow the story. She learns about early farmers in the Middle East and flute-playing cavemen in Germany and France, and meets dozens of geneticists, historians and archaeologists in the course of her research. The genes of this seemingly ordinary modern European woman have a truly fascinating story to tell, and in many ways it is the true story of Europe. She carefully untangles the uses and abuses of ancient DNA studies and, at a time when politics is pushing nations apart, discovers that ultimately, our genes will always bind us together.

Sacred Britannia: The Gods And Rituals Of Roman Britain, Miranda Aldhouse-Green

Miranda Aldhouse-Green is a specialist in Romano-British studies and Iron Age archaeology, so you know you’re in good hands when you pick this one up! As we well know, Romans brought to Britain a pantheon of new Classical deities, and a clutch of exotic eastern cults including Christianity. But what cults and cosmologies did they encounter when they got here, and how did they in turn react to them? In this fresh and innovative new account, Miranda balances literary, archaeological and iconographic evidence (and scrutinizes their shortcomings and how we interpret them) to illuminate the complexity of religion and belief in Roman Britain, and the interplay between imported and indigenous cults. On the threshold between history and prehistory, many of the forces, tensions, ideologies and issues of identity at work are still relevant today, as Sacred Britannia skilfully draws out.

Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the seductive lure of human rubble, Marilyn Johnson

Lives in Ruins is an absorbing and entertaining look at the lives of contemporary archaeologists as they sweat under the sun for clues to the puzzle of our past. Marilyn digs and drinks alongside archaeologists, chases them through the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and even Machu Picchu, and excavates their lives. Her subjects share stories we rarely read in history books, about slaves and Ice Age hunters, ordinary soldiers of the American Revolution, children of the first century, Chinese woman warriors, sunken fleets, mummies. She delves into what drives archaeologists, their passion for the stories that would otherwise be buried and lost, and reveals the people behind some of the most fascinating discoveries – from kind of work they actually do, and why it matters.

All That Remains: A Life in Death, Sue Black

Sue Black is not an archaeologist, but she does confront death every day. As Professor of Anatomy and Forensic Anthropology, she focuses on mortal remains in her lab, at burial sites, at scenes of violence, murder and criminal dismemberment, and when investigating mass fatalities due to war, accident or natural disaster. Crucially, she also honed her skills on Bronze Age cremations! In All that Remains she reveals the many faces of death she has come to know, using key cases to explore how forensic science has developed, and what her work has taught her. Relevant, fascinating, and so very down to earth.

Building Anglo-Saxon England, John Blair

This beautifully illustrated book draws on the latest archaeological discoveries to present a radical reappraisal of the Anglo-Saxon built environment and its inhabitants. John, who is one of the world’s leading experts on this transformative era in England’s early history, explains the origins of towns, manor houses, and castles in a completely new way, and sheds new light on the important functions of buildings and settlements in shaping people’s lives during the age of the Venerable Bede and King Alfred. Building Anglo-Saxon England demonstrates how hundreds of recent excavations enable us to grasp for the first time how regionally diverse the built environment of the Anglo-Saxons truly was.

Excavations at Milla Skerra, Sandwick, Unst: rhythms of life in Iron Age Shetland, Olivia Lelong (Ed)

The lives of the Iron Age inhabitants of a coastal settlement in the most northerly of the Shetland Isles are captured in this fascinating excavation report. Over 12 centuries and the rhythms of the seasonal cycle, successive generations farmed the land, herded livestock, gathered and preserved food, made the tools and objects they needed, and maintained their settlement: seabirds, fish, and shellfish contributed to eat, whale bone to make tools, seaweed, heather, turf, and peat were for fuel, pumice from Iceland, and driftwood that washed onto the shore did not go to waste. This is no ordinary archaeological report, it is one that brings the past intimately to life.

Prehistoric Maori Fortifications, Aileen Fox

A short but readable book that describes the earthwork fortifications constructed by Maoris in the north island of New Zealand between 1100-1800. The chapters are based on a series of lectures that Aileen gave in 1974 covering the archaeological evidence and specific features of the forts, including defences, houses, cooking facilities and what they reveal about community structure. She adds an unusual dimension to her discussion by drawing on her considerable knowledge of the Iron Age hill forts of England, where she has also worked extensively as an archaeologist. Eye-opening!

Interpreting the English Village, Mick Aston and Chris Gerrard

This has got to be the most recommended book by our community, and is it any wonder? It’s enthusing for anyone who is interested in ‘seeing’ what archaeologists can see. Mick and Chris show their readers how archaeology can tell a story, using a battery of techniques (field walking, test-pitting, archaeological excavation, aerial reconnaissance, documentary research and cartographic analysis, building analysis, dendrochronological dating and soil analysis) to examine how the community of Shapwick (a village in the middle of Somerset, next to the important monastic centre of Glastonbury) lived and prospered over a period of 10,000 years.

Medieval Mississippians, Timothy R. Pauketat and Susan M Alt (Eds)

In its prime, Cahokia was a city with roughly the same population as London at the time, yet by 1350 it had been deserted. This collection of 17 essays by 28 archaeologists and Native Americans explores the world of the Mississippians, Native Americans united by a common culture that dominated the Southeastern United States and beyond from about AD 1000 until the coming of the first Europeans in the 1540s. Thousands of their descendants continue to live in the region, and this fascinating book tells gives us a fascinating overview of their ancestors, and the principle city of Cahokia near present-day St. Louis.

Home: A Time Traveller’s Tales from Britain’s Prehistory Francis Pryor

Francis is best known off the telly as one of Time Team’s bearded archaeologists, but also as the person who discovered Flag Fen. In this book, he explores the first 9,000 years of life in Britain, from the retreat of the glaciers to the Romans’ departure. Tracing the settlement of domestic communities, he shows how archaeology enables us to reconstruct the evolution of habits, traditions and customs. But it’s also the story of his own, personal passion for unearthing the past, from Yorkshire to the west country, Lincolnshire to Wales, digging in freezing winters, arid summers, mud and hurricanes, through frustrated journeys and euphoric discoveries. It has been described as ‘evocative’ and ‘intimate’ – Francis certainly has an enthusiastic and engaging style!

Facing the Ocean: The Atlantic and its Peoples, Barry Cunliffe

Europe’s Atlantic facade stretches from the Straits of Gibraltar to the Isles of Shetland. In this book, Barry argues that the people who lived in these remote places saw the sea as their means of communication, and those occupying similar locations as their neighbours. He shows us how original and inventive their communities were, and how they maintained their own distinctive identities often over long spans of time. Come for a story spanning thousands of years, stay for Barry’s evocative (and provocative!) writing style… and if you love it, keep going – he’s recently published a new volume On The Ocean: The Mediterranean and the Atlantic from Prehistory to AD 1500 about the connections between these two vast, watery worlds.

(Fiction) The Writing in the Stone, Irving Finkel

Irving Finkel is the curator in charge of cuneiform tablets from Ancient Mesopotamia at the British Museum. In this fictional thriller, he uses his familiarity with ancient writings preserved in the world’s museums to recreate a vanished world in which those who step from the shadows in ruthless violence to pursue ultimate control show themselves at the same time to be disconcertingly human. In the capital, Nineveh, resides a deep and complex man, the power behind the King of the World. Faced with unforeseen disaster that threatens his authority, he emerges as a psychopathic killer… The tight prose and graphic illustrations make this a gripping and unusual tale not of this world, but at the same time weirdly familiar.

(Fiction) Circe, Madeline Miller

About to be adapted by HBO Max into a new TV series, Madeleine Miller has breathed electrifying new life into the Greek myths to give us a thoroughly modern re-telling of one of its most misunderstood, and most underplayed, deities. Born the daughter of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, Circe doesn’t quite fit in with the rest. With her, something new is born: witchcraft. This is a story of old power vs. new power, feminism and patriarchy, but most importantly of self-understanding as Circe grows from a character who doesn’t understand the world, to one who controls it. It’s exquisitely written and totally un-put-downable – you’ll stay up all night and by morning you’ll see Circe in a whole new light.

(Children’s) A Million Years In A Day, Greg Jenner

Every day, from the moment our alarm clock wakes us in the morning until our head hits our pillow at night, we all take part in rituals that are millennia old. In this gloriously entertaining romp through human history, BBC Horrible Histories consultant Greg Jenner explores the hidden stories behind these daily routines. This is not a story of politics, wars or great events, instead Greg has scoured Roman rubbish bins, Egyptian tombs and Victorian sewers to bring us the most intriguing, surprising and sometimes downright silly nuggets from our past. It is a history of all those things you always wondered – and many you have never considered. It is the story of our lives, one million years in the making.

And many, many, many more…

Our community clearly LOVES reading, and delving deep into the past – for fun, and to keep on learning. Here’s a few more that got recommended:

The Faded Map: The Lost Kingdoms of Scotland, Alistair Moffat / Mick’s Archaeology, Mick Aston / Monasteries in the Landscape, by Mick Aston / Homo Britannicus: The Incredible Story of Human Life in Britain, Chris Stringer / Towers of the North: Northumberlands Hidden History, Stan Beckensell / In the Valley of the Sacred Mountain, Paul Frodsham/ Prehistoric Rock Art of Northumberland, Stan Beckensell / 1177 BC: The Year Civilisation Collapsed, Eric H Cline / Beneath the Bull Ring, The Archaeology of Life and Death in Early Birmingham / Simon Buteux/ Excavations at Jarlshof, JRC Hamilton / The Prehistory of Sex, Timothy Taylor / The Archaeology of Australia’s Deserts, Mike Smith…

If you’ve got more to recommend, particularly from different regions, tell us in the comments so we can add them to the list.

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Written by Maiya Pina-Dacier

Head of Community at DigVentures, Maiya digs with a trowel in one hand, and a Twitter feed in the other. She reports on all our discoveries live from the trenches, and keeps our Site Hut full of the latest archaeology news. Got a story? Just drop her a line.

Comments (5)

Stephen Bullas

There are some great Titles here by some even greater authors, but no obvious way of buying them off the page at any price, let alone one that would suit the coffers of people whose “lives are in ruins”.
Placing a “buy me now and save on the published price” facility on the Webpage would help both students and the funds of DigVentures alike.
A win-win opportunity missed, IMHO – otherwise, a great selection!

Maiya Pina-Dacier

Thanks Stephen, and a good thought – though not sure if offering book discounts through our page is a bit beyond our scope as humble archaeologists, but we’ll certainly remember to consider the possibility in future… glad you enjoyed the selection though!

Christine

FYI, Canada’s History Magazine has a tie-in with the Canadian bookseller, Chapters-Indigo Books. The magazine posts a book review and has a button on the page that anyone wishing to buy it can press. It takes you to the Chapters-Indigo website. You complete the transaction and Canada’s History Magazine gets a portion of the sale. The money goes toward it’s educational programs. Maybe this is a model you can adopt. Check it out: https://www.canadashistory.ca/explore/books/intrepid-adventurer
https://www.canadashistory.ca/ I love your selection of books, I just hope that they are available in Canada.

Emily Elms

‘A Thousand Miles Up the Nile’ by Amelia Ann Blandford Edwards. It is a narrative of her expedition along the Nile in the 1870s, from Cairo to Luxor to Thebes, visiting pyramids, tombs and temples. Amelia was an Egyptologist and was also the founder of the Egypt Exploration Society.


Archaeology

The Archaeology of Sulawesi
by Sue O'Connor, David Bulbeck, Juliet Meyer - ANU Press , 2018
The central Indonesian island of Sulawesi has recently been hitting headlines with respect to its archaeology. It contains some of the oldest directly dated rock art in the world, and some of the oldest evidence for a hominin presence .
(2014 views) Open Source Archaeology
by Andrew T. Wilson, Ben Edwards - De Gruyter Open , 2015
This volume discusses important issues around open access to data and software in academic and commercial archaeology, and summarises both the current state of theoretical engagement, and technological development in the field of open-archaeology.
(6886 views) Archaeological Science Under a Microscope
by Michael Haslam - ANU Press , 2009
These highly varied studies, ranging from early humans to modern kings, demonstrate how starches, raphides, hair, blood, feathers, resin and DNA have become essential elements in archaeology's modern arsenal for for understanding human evolution.
(2674 views)

Landscape Archaeology between Art and Science
by Sjoerd J. Kluiving, Erika Guttmann-Bond (eds) - Amsterdam University Press , 2012
This volume is focusing on the definition of landscape as used by processual archaeologists, earth scientists, and most historical geographers. It provides a rich foundation for discussion, and the papers in this collection cover a variety of topics.
(3755 views) Prehistoric Men
by Robert J. Braidwood - Chicago Natural History Museum , 1959
The men who lived in prehistoric times left us no history books, but they did unintentionally leave a record of their presence and their way of life. This record is studied and interpreted by different kinds of scientists .
(3953 views) Computational Approaches to the Study of Movement in Archaeology
by Silvia Polla, Philip Verhagen - De Gruyter Open Ltd , 2014
The archaeological study of movement and of its related patterns and features has been transformed by the use of GIS. Path analysis has become a very popular approach to the study of settlement and land-use dynamics in landscape archaeology.
(3277 views) The Archaeology of Death in Post-medieval Europe
by Sarah Tarlow (ed.) - Walter de Gruyter & Co. , 2015
There is now a real appetite on the part of those researching the burial practices of the last 500 years for an opportunity to present our work. This volume represents an early contribution to a discussion of what is still a new area of research.
(3441 views) The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology
by Alice Stevenson - UCL Press , 2015
The Museum holds more than 80,000 objects and is one of the largest and finest collections of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology in the world. The book moves back and forth between recent history and the ancient past, between objects and people.
(4310 views) Aztec Ruins National Monument
by John M. Corbett - National Park Service , 1962
Aztec Ruins National Monument consists of an enclosed area containing six major archeological complexes of rooms and structures, and at least seven smaller mounds which may contain structures or may be refuse mounds from the larger occupation zones.
(3815 views) Mesopotamian Archaeology
by Percy S. P. Handcock - Macmillan & Co. , 1912
In addition to the chapters which deal expressly with the cultural evolution of the dwellers in Mesopotamia, two chapters are devoted to the Cuneiform writing -- its pictorial origin, the history of its decipherment, and the literature.
(6601 views) Stonehenge: Today and Yesterday
by Frank Stevens - Sampson Low, Marston & Co. , 1916
Amongst the many stone circles scattered over Great Britain, Stonehenge is unique, in the fact of having its stones carefully though roughly worked and also in the introduction of the horseshoe within the circles, in the design of the building.
(5007 views) Archaeology: New Approaches in Theory and Techniques
by Imma Ollich-Castanyer - InTech , 2012
Topics: New Approaches About Archaeological Theory Use of Geophysics on Archaeological Fieldwork New Applied Techniques - Improving Material Culture and Experimentation and Sharing Knowledge - Some Proposals Concerning Education.
(8472 views) A Thousand Miles up the Nile
by Amelia B. Edwards - A. L. Burt Company , 1888
Sailing the Nile and armed with sketch-book and measuring tape, Amelia Edwards carefully recorded all she saw of the temples and monuments, and provided in A Thousand Miles Up The Nile the first general archaeological survey of Egypt's ruins.
(7171 views) Archaeology 2.0: New Approaches to Communication and Collaboration
by E. C. Kansa, S. W. Kansa, E. Watrall - eScholarship.org , 2011
How is the Web transforming the professional practice of archaeology? How can we best understand the possibilities of the Web in meeting the specialized needs of professionals? These are among the many questions posed and addressed in this book.
(6283 views) Light from Ancient Campfires
by Trevor R. Peck - AU Press , 2011
The book gathers together a comprehensive prehistoric archaeological record of the Northern Plains First Nations. Author Trevor R. Peck reviews the many changes of interpretation that have occurred in relevant literature during the last two decades.
(8490 views) Fresh Light from the Ancient Monuments
by A. H. Sayce - Religious Tract Society , 1884
A sketch of the most striking confirmations of the Bible, from the discoveries in Egypt, Palestine, Assyria, Babylonia, and Asia Minor. The book offers readers a unique, vivid perspective on the people, history and environment of ancient societies.
(10204 views) An Archaeology of Greece
by Anthony M. Snodgrass - University of California Press , 1992
In this book, Anthony Snodgrass argues that classical archaeology has a rare potential in the whole field of the study of the past to make innovative discoveries and apply modern approaches by widening the aims of the discipline.
(8890 views) New Directions in Archaeological Science
by A. Fairbairn, S. O’Connor, B. Marwick - ANU E Press , 2009
This volume covers the thematic fields of geoarchaeology, archaeobotany, materials analysis and chronometry. The advances of Australasian archaeology set out in these papers will find a receptive audience among many archaeologists elsewhere.
(8843 views) How to Observe in Archaeology
by F. G. Kenyon - British Museum , 1920
The handbook for the use of travelers in the Near and Middle East who are interested in antiquities without being trained archaeologists. Here is some elementary information and advice useful for travelers with archaeological tastes.
(8716 views) Manual of Egyptian Archaeology
by G. Maspero - Putnam , 1914
This work still remains the handbook of egyptian archaeology. For beginners this book will open a fresh and fascinating field of study, while for skilled archaeologist these pages contain new facts, new views and new interpretations.
(12397 views)


May Pieces Of My Mind #2

  • Movie: Ida (2013). A girl who has grown up in a church orphanage learns from her aunt about their family history in a road movie about post-war Polish guilt and accommodation. Grade: great!
  • On the Left, many despise Israel’s nationalist government but are not hostile to Jews in general. On the Brownshirt Right, it’s the other way around.
  • There’s no longer a phone connected to the landline we get for free with our broadband subscription.
  • I’ve signed an agreement with the Royal Academy of Letters today: they are publishing my annotated translation into modern English of Nils Mattsson Kiöping’s African and South Asian travelogue from 1667! To my knowledge it’s the first translation of this colourful and fascinating work into a foreign language, and I hope it will make a splash among 17th century historians worldwide. This will be my second book with the Academy. In 2011 they published my study of Östergötland’s Late Iron Age in the antiquarian series of their Proceedings, and Nils Mattsson will appear in the history series.
  • Wonder if plant geneticists have identified the secret ingredients in Coca-Cola by means of trace DNA.
  • Surprised to find that for the first time in my life, I have a longing to take part in a pub quiz. I guess that’s what 14 months of social distancing will do to you.
  • The battery in the wireless headphones is not running out. It’s the microwave oven that’s interfering with the bluetooth.
  • You know the distance from the earth to the sun? Almost exactly 1 astronomical unit. Makes you think.
  • Today’s porn cam operator on Messenger: Burnzee Cokidonk.
  • Reading the current issue of Fornvännen, I learned among other things that bakelite is still made and used. When preparing a sample for sectioning and metallographic study, scientists will encase it in bakelite. It was the first synthetic plastic, discovered in 1907.
  • My new album project is a collection of Julio Iglesias covers that will be marketed primarily towards the Baltic States. Working title: Latvian Lover.
  • For some particularly beautifully written interactive fiction / text adventures, check out Chandler Groover!
  • There’s an urban legend among archaeologists about a tourist in Sweden who asks if the Vikings are all living on reservations these days.
  • Another archaeological urban legend. An awestruck tourist picks a stone out of the spoil heap and asks the archaeologist: “Is this stone Medieval?” “You know what”, replies the archaeologist portentously. “It’s even older than that!”
  • “Broken crockery brings happiness, but only to archaeologists.” /Agatha Christie
  • Two fifths of adult Swedes have had the first shot.
  • Hope Hodgson’s Carnacki stories are silly. But the Electric Pentacle device is fun. (Thank you Birger!)
  • Movie: First Wives Club (1996). Three women get dumped by their husbands for young girls, then band together for revenge. Rich in snappy one-liners and completely unrealistic in style. Grade: OK.
  • Revered fantasy author Erik Granström has a degree in veterinary medicine. He once told me about watching Carpenter’s The Thing and being quite entertained when the autopsied man in the film proved to have calf kidneys.

IAD 2020 was a celebration unlike any other in the ten-year history of the program. The AIA’s largest outreach initiative usually features hundreds of in-person archaeological activities, but celebrating IAD in the middle of a pandemic necessitated a complete rethinking of the program. This year we turned our focus from in-person events to mostly virtual ones. We would like to thank all our collaborators who displayed incredible creativity and resourcefulness in providing IAD programs and activities.


Books

Jamestown Rediscovery is proud to announce the arrival of their new book Church & State, a summary of the excavations in the 1907 Memorial Church and 17th-century church tower. During the three years of excavations in search of the 1617 Church, where Virginia’s first General Assembly was held in 1619 and where democracy in America was born, archaeologists not only discovered features of the church as hoped, but also a number of burials, including a particularly mysterious one of a high-status individual. Through historical evidence, ground-breaking scientific techniques, and in-depth archaeology, Church & State provides the reader with an inside perspective on the team’s discoveries as they seek to understand the hidden stories of our nation’s past.

“In the summer of 1619, two events occurred within a few weeks of one another that profoundly shaped the course of American history… This book commemorates the fortitude, endurance, and achievements of the first founders—an inclusive history that embraces Virginia Indians, English colonists, and Africans who came together, albeit on very unequal terms, to create a new kind of society in America.” Written by Jamestown Rediscovery researchers in observation of the 400th anniversary of this momentous year.

Along the banks of the James River, Virginia, during an oppressively hot spell in the middle of summer 1619, two events occurred within a few weeks of each other that would profoundly shape the course of history. In the newly built church at Jamestown, the General Assembly—the first gathering of a representative governing body in America—came together. A few weeks later, a battered privateer entered the Chesapeake Bay carrying the first African slaves to land on mainland English America. Written by Jamestown Rediscovery’s own President and Chief Officer, Dr. James Horn.

Jamestown: The Truth Revealed, William Kelso’s update to Jamestown: The Buried Truth, describes the recent excavations of numerous additional buildings, including the settlement’s first church, which served as the burial place of four Jamestown leaders, the governor’s row house during the term of Samuel Argall, and substantial dump sites, which are troves for archaeologists. He also recounts how researchers confirmed the practice of survival cannibalism in the colony following the recovery from an abandoned cellar bakery of the remains of a young English girl. Refuting the now decades-old stereotype that attributed the high mortality rate of the Jamestown settlers to their laziness and ineptitude, Jamestown: The Truth Revealed produces a vivid picture of the settlement that is far more complex, incorporating the most recent archaeology and using 21st-century technology to give Jamestown its rightful place in history and thus contributing to a broader understanding of the transatlantic world.

In 2013, Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologists excavated the graves of four prominent men buried in the chancel of the 1608 church. But who where they? Follow the trail as archaeological evidence, forensic analysis, historical research, and cutting-edge technologies help to unravel the mystery.

In 2012 the archaeologists excavating Jamestown’s 1607 James Fort came across a startling discovery. Buried in a 400-year-old cellar were the partial skeletal remains of a young English woman. Careful forensic analysis of her bones revealed she had been cannibalized. While we may never know her true identity, we know a lot about the young woman we named “Jane.” Follow the archaeologists and the forensic scientists as they unravel her story, available for purchase as a book, a DVD, or on Blu-ray.

Although it was the first permanent English settlement in North America, Jamestown is too often overlooked in the writing of American history. Founded thirteen years before the Mayflower sailed, Jamestown’s courageous settlers have been overshadowed ever since by the pilgrims of Plymouth. But as historian James Horn demonstrates in this vivid and meticulously researched account, Jamestown—not Plymouth—was the true crucible of American history. Jamestown introduced slavery into English-speaking North America it became the first of England’s colonies to adopt a representative government and it was the site of the first white-Indian clashes over territorial expansion. This definitive and exciting account of the colony that gave rise to America was written by Dr. James Horn, who was born in Kent, England, and moved with his family to the US in 1997. Dr. Horn is currently the president and chief officer of operations with the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation at Historic Jamestowne.

Jamestown: The Buried Truth [2005] by William Kelso

What was life really like for the band of adventurers who first set foot on the banks of the James River in 1607? The written records pertaining to the early settlers are scarce, ambiguous, and often conflicting, and those curious about the birthplace of the United States are left to turn to dramatic and highly fictionalized reports. Jamestown, the Buried Truth takes us literally to the soil where the Jamestown colony began to reveal fascinating evidence of the lives and deaths of the first settlers, of their endeavors and struggles, and of their relationships with the Virginia Indians. Dr. William Kelso, the Jamestown Rediscovery Project’s originator and Emeritus Director of Archaeology, provides a lively but fact-based account, framed around a narrative of the archaeological team’s exciting discoveries.

This is the definitive guidebook to our archaeology museum. It was written by Beverly A. Straube, former Senior Archaeological Curator of the Jamestown Rediscovery Project and a leading expert of 17th-century artifacts and life. High-quality photographs of the artifacts accompany Straube’s text as she uses the objects themselves to present the story of Jamestown from its beginnings in May 1607 until the capital’s move to Williamsburg in 1699. Documentary evidence and contemporary paintings throughout the guide give the artifacts historical context. A map of James Fort and an accompanying artifact legend allow the reader to see where each of the artifacts was excavated just yards away from where the Archaearium now stands.


Temples and Sanctuaries from the Early Iron Age Levant: Recovery After Collapse (History, Archaeology, and Culture of the Levant) (Book)

Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including Oxford University and University of Missouri. Our publication has been reviewed for educational use by Common Sense Education, Internet Scout, Merlot II, OER Commons and School Library Journal. Please note that some of these recommendations are listed under our old name, Ancient History Encyclopedia.

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