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An outgrowth of decades of travel and research by Hunt (classics, Stanford Univ.; Alpine Archaeology) and a popular class he teaches, this book allots one chapter to each of ten key discoveries: the Rosetta stone, Troy, the Assyrian Library at Nineveh, Tutankhamen's Tomb, Machu Picchu, Pompeii, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Akrotiri on Thera, the Olduvai Gorge, and the Tomb of 10,000 Warriors. These discoveries are examined "in the context of the evolving discipline of archaeology since the eighteenth century." Hunt writes colorfully and enthusiastically about each discovery and the importance of material finds, not texts alone, in reconstructing history. He gives full credit to archaeologists-great names such as Ninevah's Layard, King Tut's Carter, the Leakeys of Olduvai Gorge, and even Troy's much-maligned Heinrich Schliemann-for their unique accomplishments. The bibliography includes sources for each chapter, but footnotes would have benefited readers amid the broad sweep of time and space covered. Scholars will undoubtedly disagree over the relative importance of these discoveries and whether some should have been selected at all, but for lay readers and beginning students in archaeology and ancient history, this book will serve as an enjoyable, wide-ranging introduction to the importance of archaeology in writing-or rewriting-history. For public and undergraduate libraries.
—Joan W. Gartland