Skip to content
Hardcover The Cambridge Illustrated History of Archaeology Book

ISBN: 0521454980

ISBN13: 9780521454988

The Cambridge Illustrated History of Archaeology

Select Format

Select Condition ThriftBooks Help Icon


Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

Save $49.01!
List Price $55.00
Almost Gone, Only 1 Left!

Book Overview

This is the fullest and most authoritative single-volume account of archaeology from the earliest discoveries to the great excavations of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Lavishly illustrated throughout and global in scope, it tells the story of those explorations which have helped shape our knowledge of the past. From early digging in Greece and the Near East, through the part played by archaeology in the 'discovery' of the Americas, to the...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

A fine overview of how archaeology came to be what it is

This is a terrific overview of the how the science of archaeology developed from medieval times. In those times people began to systematically look at ancient artifacts and began to try and explain them with something more than a myth. Sure, there were many ideas that seem ridiculous to us. However, we can rest assured that 500 years from now many ideas we accept as well known fact will seem equally preposterous.I think the book is most helpful for a person, whether student or general reader, who wants to get some background on what archaeology is about, what some of the big achievements have been, some of the fiascos, and where the field stood about 1990-95. The last chapter speculating on current issues and the future is the weakest. It just raises some political correctness subjects such as women's issues and sore points such as the Elgin Marbles in the British Museum. I wish they had raised more technically important issues and laid out a better sense of the real frontier rather than listing subjects that seem like they are trying to make the subject relevant. But these are only a few pages in an otherwise fine text.The volume is wonderfully illustrated with drawings and photographs that enhance the story told in the text. There is a chronology from 1500, a page of texts for further reading, a page of acknowledgements, and an index.

Basic material...

THE CAMBRIDGE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF ARCHEOLOGY is an overview of the discipline of archeology from it's inception til modern times. The book covers various aspects of archeology (physical, classic, historical, etc.) around the world - including sites in Asia and North America - although the focus is mostly on the `classic' sites in the Middle East which contain the remains of some of the oldest settlements on earth.The history of the study of antiquities covers 500 years, from the Renaissance when "Antiquarians" and others mostly destroyed sites in an effort to recover "treasures" through the 20th Century when scientific archeology really began. I personally would have preferred a focus entirely on the 20th Century since much of what passed for the study of archeology before sites were systematically controlled and excavated is virtually useless except as an illustration of what not to do. The last 20 years in Archeology have been very exciting, but this book provides only a very slender overview of recent work. The text is probably best suited for as an introduction to the topic for high school or even junior high school students in some cases. I bought the book for my 12-year old granddaughter who is entering 7th grade. This history includes many biographical sketches of the male explorers who have studied mankind's artifactual evolution -- Sir Flinders Petrie who excavated in the Near East, Howard Carter who found Tutankhamen, Scliemann who found Troy, and V. Gordon Chile who went looking for the Aryans and coined the terms "Neolithic Revolution" and "Urban Revolution". The book suggests the latter's ethnocentric positions were not politically correct, but that he "repositioned" himself in later years. I searched the photographs of Sir Max Mallowan and his workers and site visitors for Dame Agatha Christie, but she was no where to be found although Leonard and Katherine Wooley and Eric Barrows are pictured. Many famous people have taken an interest in "archeology" including Goethe, Darwin, and Lawrence of Arabia.

Beautiful and Informative

This is truly a beautiful book and an excellent overview. The reader who thinks it doesn't go into chinese archeaology in depth is correct - but it doesn't go into any area in any great depth - it's an overview for general-interest readers. My one complaint is addressed to the publisher, Cambridge University Press: on my copy, pages 259-274 are printed upside down! This is pretty sloppy for a book that costs this much. But otherwise, I recommend this highly.

A book to enjoy over and over

This is a wonderful book. If you are interested in archaeology, you want this book. The interesting, informative text is richly illustrated. The printing is excellent.However, I am going to be churlish and gripe. What about China? The terracotta army? (three quarters of page 322). Come on, everybody's granduncle knows about the terracotta army. Staggering finds are popping up all over China, and all Cambridge gives us is the terracotta army.What kind of finds? Okay, a peculiarity of Chinese archaeology is that there are very few early religious sites, so let me tell you about three of them: from the neolithic Hungshan culture of nothern China, a temple with statues of nude goddesses; from the neolithic Liangzhu culture of central China, altars with thousands of incredible pieces of jade, engraved with images that must be gods; from Sichuan in the southwest, the mysterious Sanxingtui sacrificial pits, with the astonishing seven foot tall bronze statue of (?) a shaman, and astounding bronze masks=-=- and don't forget that I just said religious sites are not common. With all this activity in Chinese archaeology, they show us the terracotta army AGAIN!but other than that, it's a great book. You'll enjoy it!
Copyright © 2023 Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell/Share My Personal Information | Cookie Policy | Cookie Preferences | Accessibility Statement
ThriftBooks® and the ThriftBooks® logo are registered trademarks of Thrift Books Global, LLC
GoDaddy Verified and Secured