Snapshots of the Past / Edition 1

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Archaeology has been a subject of endless fascination to scholars, students and the general public. For the past three decades, Prof. Brian Fagan has been the key narrator of the story of the past for many, through his textbooks, trade books and numerous magazine and journal articles. In recent years, Fagan has reported on the latest news, theories, and controversies in archaeology through his regular Timelines column in Archaeology Magazine. In Snapshots of the Past, Fagan collects many of these vignettes into a single work, leading the reader on a tour through time and space that ranges from the ascent of the human species to the public controversies that concern today's archaeologist. In these 30 brief chapters, the author offers readers a series of "snapshots" of the issues of greatest contemporary interest: the Eve hypothesis, the peopling of the New World, site looting, the translation of Mayan hieroglyphs, the domestication of animals, the impact of feminism on archaeology, the archaeology of slavery, and evidence of human cannibalism, among many others. Included among the articles are several pieces written specifically for this volume, including a description of the recent, spectacular cave art finds at Chauvet Grotto in France. For instructors of archaeology, the book is a handy compilation of brief, interesting cases to engage your students. For serious archaeologists, the book represents a collection of works of one of the important synthesizers of the field. For the avocational archaeologist, the book provides a fascinating, readable update on issues of current concern.

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Editorial Reviews

Florida Anthropologist
Fagan has the gift of being able to sketch out in broad terms the questions that still need to be answered about topics as varied as the peopling of the Americas, the domestication of animals and the cult of the Mother Goddess….His book is perfect, therefore, for someone who wants an overview of some of the interesting work being done today. Fagan is a great tour guide.
Bulletin Of The History Of Archaeology
A Reader's Digest of archaeology. Since the general public is often fascinated by the work archaeologists do and the problems that archaeologists face in the course of their work, this book should be popular to a general audience.
Current Archaeology
A stimulating collection of [Fagan's] think-piece articles originally published in the magazine Archaeology.
New Scientist
Based on his columns in Archaeology, the couple of pages on each topic, whether it's the impact of feminism on prehistory or the threatened site of the Elizabethan Rose Theatre, are a good read.
Bulletin of the History of Archaeology
A Reader's Digest of archaeology. Since the general public is often fascinated by the work archaeologists do and the problems that archaeologists face in the course of their work, this book should be popular to a general audience.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761991090
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/25/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 6.02 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Fagan is professor of anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a well-known writer and lecturer on archaeology. He has written several widely used textbooks, and a number of popular books.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 I: EARLY LIFEWAYS Chapter 3 Aping the Apes Chapter 4 Elusive Homo erectus Chapter 5 Prehistoric Artists Chapter 6 Reflections on the Kafue Flats Chapter 7 Precocious Fisherfolk Chapter 8 Taming the Auroch Chapter 9 Neolithic Newgrange Chapter 10 New Finds at Flag Fen Part 11 II: COMMONERS, CAMELS, AND GREAT LORDS Chapter 12 The Humbler Egyptians Chapter 13 Saddle up the Camels Chapter 14 Readers in Maya Chapter 15 Eclipses and Chinese Civilization Chapter 16 The Magnificent Moche Chapter 17 Brazil's Little Angola Chapter 18 Balsa Rafts to Ironclads Part 19 III: ISSUES IN CONTEMPORARY ARCHAEOLOGY Chapter 20 All About Eve Chapter 21 Tracking the First Americans Chapter 22 A Sexist View of Prehistory Chapter 23 A Case for Cannibalism Chapter 24 Sergei and the Travois Chapter 25 The Arrogant Archaeologist Chapter 26 Archaeology's Dirty Secret Part 27 IV: ARCHAEOLOGY AND SOCIETY Chapter 28 Black Day at Slack Farm Chapter 29 The Rose Affair Chapter 30 Flooding the Maya Heartland Chapter 31 Enlightened Stewardship Chapter 32 Detective Stories Chapter 33 A Wanderer's Lament Chapter 34 Digging De Mille Chapter 35 Guide to Further Reading

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