BN.com Gift Guide

A History of Archaeology: Classical Times to the Twenty-First Century / Edition 1

Other Format (Print)
Rent
Rent from BN.com
$20.40
(Save 72%)
Est. Return Date: 02/20/2015
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $59.05
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 18%)
Other sellers (Other Format)
  • All (7) from $59.05   
  • New (3) from $75.50   
  • Used (4) from $59.05   

Overview

This brief but comprehensive book tells the story of how archaeology changed from a romantic adventure into a science. Its vivid narrative combines tales of archaeological discovery with the changing social conditions and theoretical perspectives that helped turn archaeology into a sophisticated discipline. Containing a simple, jargon-free style—and a lifetime of teaching experience—this writer shares with readers his unrivaled experience as an archeologist and an author. Unique coverage includes both major discoveries, and significant, theoretical and methodological developments of the history of archaeology—from a global perspective. For anyone interested in an interpretation of our archeological past that will yield an understanding of today—its beginnings, and the ideas that nurtured it.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131776982
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 3/4/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,259,442
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.89 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Lost civilizations, richly adorned royal burials, overgrown cities emerging miraculously from clinging rain forest: Archaeology has a long and romantic history of spectacular discovery. But there is much more to archaeology's history than the finding of palaces and ancient states. I would go so far as to say that you cannot understand today's archaeology without a thorough knowledge of its beginnings, and of the ideas that nurtured it.

Archaeology's achievements have been remarkable. Over the past century and a half, archaeologists have pushed back the story of human origins to a time more than 2.5 million years ago. They have traced the origins of modern humans—ourselves—to tropical Africa more than 150,000 years ago; chronicled the beginnings of agriculture; and reconstructed the minutest details of ancient life. The same 150 years have seen archaeology turn from an amateur pursuit into a sophisticated, multidisciplinary science in the hands of thousands of professional specialists. This history has unfolded against a background of changing intellectual and social environments: from the philosophical speculations of classical writers, and versions of human origins based on the Old Testament, to elaborate theories of multilinear evolution, cultural ecology, and the so-called "postprocessual archaeology" of the 1990s. This book is a brief introduction to the diverse strands of the history of archaeology, both intellectual and nonintellectual. It's a history that melds stories of compelling personalities and eminent archaeologists with accounts of spectacular and not-so-spectacular discoveries, and with ideas about the interpretation of our past.

A Brief History of Archaeology is a journey through the intriguing highways and byways of a discipline that has been a science for less than a century. Books like this are hard to write, because they combine people, discoveries, and ideas in ways that can easily become a confusing melange of information. For this reason, I have chosen to write this book as a simple narrative, passing from archaeologists and their discoveries to changing ideas about the past in as seamless a way as possible.

Chapter 1 traces the beginnings of archaeology to the curiosity of Babylonian monarchs and the philosophical musings of classical writers. We show how theological beliefs limited archaeological inquiry until the nineteenth century, and describe early antiquarian researches, including the first excavations at the Roman cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii. Chapter 2 discusses the establishment of human antiquity in the mid-nineteenth century, tracing the roots of the ideas that led to the development of archaeology as we know it today. In Chapters 3 to 6, we describe the beginnings of archaeology in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Central America. We also discuss the Three Age System for dividing prehistory and the simplistic ideas of linear human progress that dominated nineteenth-century thinking about the prehistoric past. We visit Heinrich Schliemann s excavations at Homeric Troy and describe the beginnings of biblical archaeology. Chapter 6 ends with the work of Flinders Petrie along the Nile and that of Arthur Evans on the Palace of Knossos on Crete after 1900. Their researches ushered in a new era, which saw a new emphasis on artifacts, dating, and science.

Chapter 7 traces the roots of such efforts in Europe and the Americas, combining a new emphasis on stratigraphic observation and dating with new discoveries in the Andes and Mesoamerica. Chapters 8 to 10 describe archaeology's coming of age. This was an era of spectacular discoveries like the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun and Ur's royal cemetery, but also of much more sophisticated excavation methods and new ideas for explaining and understanding the remote past. Chapter 10 carries the story into the 1940s and 1950s, with the development of a sophisticated culture history in the Americas and the first efforts at ecological and settlement archaeology, as well as Julian Steward's development of cultural ecology. The story continues in Chapter 11, with the development of radiocarbon dating and increasingly pointed critiques of culture history. We also trace the beginnings of multidisciplinary research, and of salvage archaeology, and the development of world prehistory as a viable intellectual concept in the late 1950s.

Chapters 12 and 13 carry the story from the 1960s through the new millennium, beginning with the intellectual ferment of the 1960s, which saw the birth of the so-called "new archaeology," today called processual archaeology. We assess its significance and its legacy. Chapter 13 surveys the many new theoretical approaches that developed, and are still developing, as a reaction to processualism, as well as other developments such as cultural resource management and the study of an engendered past. Finally, Chapter 14 takes a look at the developing archaeology of the future.

Guides to Further Reading at the end of each chapter provide sources for additional research. A Glossary of Archaeological Sites and Cultural Terms at the end of the book gives additional information on the more important sites mentioned in the text.

This book is not a history of archaeological theory, nor is it a history of archaeology by personality or discovery. It's an attempt to provide a balanced, and, I hope, entertaining account of the history of a relative newcomer to the world of science. As these pages will testify, the discovery of the prehistory of humankind ranks among the greatest scientific achievements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The perspective is international, for I believe that archaeology is a global enterprise, not just a narrowly focused view of the past based on, say, North America, Europe, or the eastern Mediterranean. A Brief History is written in as jargon-free a style as possible and is aimed, in general terms, at readers with no experience of archaeology whatsoever. However, beginners might be advised to acquire a short introduction to archaeological method and theory if they are hazy on the basic principles of the subject.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1. “The Backward Looking Curiosity.”

2. The Antiquity of Humankind.

3. Pharaohs and Assyrians.

4. Human Progress and the Three Ages.

5. Early American Archaeology.

6. Scriptures and Civilizations.

7. The Birth of Culture History.

8. Egypt, Iraq, and Beyond.

9. Archaeology Coming of Age, 1920-1940.

10. Culture History and Beyond.

11. Radiocarbon Dating and World Prehistory.

12. The “New Archaeology”?

13. After Processualism.

14. The Future.

Glossary of Archaeological Sites and Cultural Terms.

Index.

Read More Show Less

Preface

Lost civilizations, richly adorned royal burials, overgrown cities emerging miraculously from clinging rain forest: Archaeology has a long and romantic history of spectacular discovery. But there is much more to archaeology's history than the finding of palaces and ancient states. I would go so far as to say that you cannot understand today's archaeology without a thorough knowledge of its beginnings, and of the ideas that nurtured it.

Archaeology's achievements have been remarkable. Over the past century and a half, archaeologists have pushed back the story of human origins to a time more than 2.5 million years ago. They have traced the origins of modern humans—ourselves—to tropical Africa more than 150,000 years ago; chronicled the beginnings of agriculture; and reconstructed the minutest details of ancient life. The same 150 years have seen archaeology turn from an amateur pursuit into a sophisticated, multidisciplinary science in the hands of thousands of professional specialists. This history has unfolded against a background of changing intellectual and social environments: from the philosophical speculations of classical writers, and versions of human origins based on the Old Testament, to elaborate theories of multilinear evolution, cultural ecology, and the so-called "postprocessual archaeology" of the 1990s. This book is a brief introduction to the diverse strands of the history of archaeology, both intellectual and nonintellectual. It's a history that melds stories of compelling personalities and eminent archaeologists with accounts of spectacular and not-so-spectacular discoveries, and with ideas about the interpretation of our past.

A Brief History of Archaeology is a journey through the intriguing highways and byways of a discipline that has been a science for less than a century. Books like this are hard to write, because they combine people, discoveries, and ideas in ways that can easily become a confusing melange of information. For this reason, I have chosen to write this book as a simple narrative, passing from archaeologists and their discoveries to changing ideas about the past in as seamless a way as possible.

Chapter 1 traces the beginnings of archaeology to the curiosity of Babylonian monarchs and the philosophical musings of classical writers. We show how theological beliefs limited archaeological inquiry until the nineteenth century, and describe early antiquarian researches, including the first excavations at the Roman cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii. Chapter 2 discusses the establishment of human antiquity in the mid-nineteenth century, tracing the roots of the ideas that led to the development of archaeology as we know it today. In Chapters 3 to 6, we describe the beginnings of archaeology in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Central America. We also discuss the Three Age System for dividing prehistory and the simplistic ideas of linear human progress that dominated nineteenth-century thinking about the prehistoric past. We visit Heinrich Schliemann s excavations at Homeric Troy and describe the beginnings of biblical archaeology. Chapter 6 ends with the work of Flinders Petrie along the Nile and that of Arthur Evans on the Palace of Knossos on Crete after 1900. Their researches ushered in a new era, which saw a new emphasis on artifacts, dating, and science.

Chapter 7 traces the roots of such efforts in Europe and the Americas, combining a new emphasis on stratigraphic observation and dating with new discoveries in the Andes and Mesoamerica. Chapters 8 to 10 describe archaeology's coming of age. This was an era of spectacular discoveries like the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun and Ur's royal cemetery, but also of much more sophisticated excavation methods and new ideas for explaining and understanding the remote past. Chapter 10 carries the story into the 1940s and 1950s, with the development of a sophisticated culture history in the Americas and the first efforts at ecological and settlement archaeology, as well as Julian Steward's development of cultural ecology. The story continues in Chapter 11, with the development of radiocarbon dating and increasingly pointed critiques of culture history. We also trace the beginnings of multidisciplinary research, and of salvage archaeology, and the development of world prehistory as a viable intellectual concept in the late 1950s.

Chapters 12 and 13 carry the story from the 1960s through the new millennium, beginning with the intellectual ferment of the 1960s, which saw the birth of the so-called "new archaeology," today called processual archaeology. We assess its significance and its legacy. Chapter 13 surveys the many new theoretical approaches that developed, and are still developing, as a reaction to processualism, as well as other developments such as cultural resource management and the study of an engendered past. Finally, Chapter 14 takes a look at the developing archaeology of the future.

Guides to Further Reading at the end of each chapter provide sources for additional research. A Glossary of Archaeological Sites and Cultural Terms at the end of the book gives additional information on the more important sites mentioned in the text.

This book is not a history of archaeological theory, nor is it a history of archaeology by personality or discovery. It's an attempt to provide a balanced, and, I hope, entertaining account of the history of a relative newcomer to the world of science. As these pages will testify, the discovery of the prehistory of humankind ranks among the greatest scientific achievements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The perspective is international, for I believe that archaeology is a global enterprise, not just a narrowly focused view of the past based on, say, North America, Europe, or the eastern Mediterranean. A Brief History is written in as jargon-free a style as possible and is aimed, in general terms, at readers with no experience of archaeology whatsoever. However, beginners might be advised to acquire a short introduction to archaeological method and theory if they are hazy on the basic principles of the subject.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)