Dictionary of Artifacts / Edition 1

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While archaeologists, researchers, and students generally know the meanings and terms used for artifacts within their own areas of study, it is difficult to find authoritative definitions for those from periods or cultures outside of their expertise. Containing close to 3,000 words and definitions, the Dictionary of Artifacts is an indispensable reference for anyone working within the field of archaeology.

Written in accessible language, each entry details the specific artifact’s classification and typology; raw materials; methods and techniques used to create artifacts; principles and techniques of examination and identification; and instructions for the care and preservation of specimens. Along with a headword and definition, many of the entries are accompanied by drawings or photographs.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Author, lexicographer, and archaeologist Kipfer (The Archaeologist's Fieldwork Companion) has produced a reference resource with nearly 3000 A-to-Z entries for vocabulary describing all aspects of artifacts in a global context. The stated scope is very restricted, excluding all architectural terminology as well as specific historical artifacts, although the Palermo stone, the Rosetta stone, and the Ruthwell cross are present. Definitions are written with the general reader in mind and address discovery, typology, dating, conservation, and decoration. Some time periods are included, but as Kipfer notes in the preface, "only the ones that are fairly uncontroversial and those referred to in the definitions of other entries." There is no true cross-referencing: "Jamdat Nasr" is not found as a reference to "Jemdet Nasr," the term used, but is included at the end of that entry in brackets. Alternately, an ancient Egyptian funerary figurine has three entries, one under each spelling variation: "shabti," "shawabti," and "ustabti." Illustrations are kept to a minimum.
—Edward K. Werner

From the Publisher
"This is a well-planned, well-written and nicely produced volume. ... It will serve its target audience well." (Reference Reviews, April 2008)

"Definitions are written with the general reader in mind and address discovery, typology, dating, conservation, and decoration. ... This is a useful handbook for students and other lay readers interested in archaeology." (Library Journal)

"The nearly 3,000 entries are written in a style suitable for both specialists and general readers. They clarify terminology relating to many types of artifacts and representing a global range of the archaeological record--examples being cultural assemblages, time periods, and function. Beyond a basic level of identification by form and common characteristics, entries also address, as appropriate, questions of analysis, preservation and proper care, decoration, production methods and technology, well-known examples of each type of artifact, and types that are uniquely classified by their substance of manufacture. These types of data are often present in more general reference works on archaeology, but not usually treated as a separate dimension of the field." (CHOICE)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405118873
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

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