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A Little History of Archaeology

written by Brian Fagan

Yale University Press | ISBN 9780300224641



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Have you ever fantasied about being an archaeologist? Maybe after watching Raiders of the Lost Ark? Or is that just me? This book looks at famous finds throughout history and does not hold back on the reality of the job- sorry no whips required. Also included are how technology has advanced in the field and how most of the work is now science based. Now if you don’t mind I am going to immerse myself in the valley of the kings.


The thrilling history of archaeological adventure, with tales of danger, debate, audacious explorers, and astonishing discoveries around the globe

What is archaeology? The word may bring to mind images of golden pharaohs and lost civilizations, or Neanderthal skulls and Ice Age cave art. Archaeology is all of these, but also far more: the only science to encompass the entire span of human history—more than three million years!

This Little History tells the riveting stories of some of the great archaeologists and their amazing discoveries around the globe: ancient Egyptian tombs, Mayan ruins, the first colonial settlements at Jamestown, mysterious Stonehenge, the incredibly preserved Pompeii, and many, many more. In forty brief, exciting chapters, the book recounts archaeology’s development from its eighteenth-century origins to its twenty-first-century technological advances, including remote sensing capabilities and satellite imagery techniques that have revolutionized the field. Shining light on the most intriguing events in the history of the field, this absolutely up-to-date book illuminates archaeology’s controversies, discoveries, heroes and scoundrels, global sites, and newest methods for curious readers of every age.


Brian Fagan is emeritus professor of anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara, an internationally recognized authority on global prehistory, and the author of dozens of books on archaeological topics, including Fishing: How the Sea Fed Civilization.

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