When we think of archaeology, most of us think first of its many spectacular finds: the legendary city of Troy, Tutankhamun's golden tomb, the three-million-year-old footprints at Laetoli, the mile-high city at Machu Picchu, the cave paintings at Lascaux. But as marvelous as these discoveries are, the ultimate goal of archaeology, and of archaeologists, is something far more ambitious. Indeed, it is one of humanity's great quests: to recapture and understand our human past, across vast stretches of time, as it was lived in every corner of the globe. Now, in The Oxford Companion to Archaeology, readers have a comprehensive and authoritative overview of this fascinating discipline, in a book that is itself a rare find, a treasure of up-to-date information on virtually every aspect of the field. The range of subjects covered here is breathtaking--everything from the domestication of the camel, to Egyptian hieroglyphics, to luminescence dating, to the Mayan calendar, to Koobi Fora and Olduvai Gorge. Readers will find extensive essays that illuminate the full history of archaeology--from the discovery of Herculaneum in 1783, to the recent finding of the "Ice Man" and the ancient city of Uruk--and engaging biographies of the great figures in the field, from Gertrude Bell, Paul Emile Botta, and Louis and Mary Leakey, to V. Gordon Childe, Li Chi, Heinrich Schliemann, and Max Uhle. The Companion offers extensive coverage of the methods used in archaeological research, revealing how archaeologists find sites (remote sensing, aerial photography, ground survey), how they map excavations and report findings, and how they analyze artifacts (radiocarbon dating, dendrochronology, stratigraphy, mortuary analysis). Of course, archaeology's great subject is humanity and human culture, and there are broad essays that examine human evolution--ranging from our early primate ancestors, to Australopithecus and Cro-Magnon, to Homo Erectus and Neanderthals--and explore the many general facets of culture, from art and architecture, to arms and armor, to beer and brewing, to astronomy and religion. And perhaps most important, the contributors provide insightful coverage of human culture as it has been expressed in every region of the world. Here entries range from broad overviews, to treatments of particular themes, to discussions of peoples, societies, and particular sites. Thus, anyone interested in North America would find articles that cover the continent from the Arctic to the Eastern woodlands to the Northwest Coast, that discuss the Iroquois and Algonquian cultures, the hunters of the North American plains, and the Norse in North America, and that describe sites such as Mesa Verde, Meadowcraft Rockshelter, Serpent Mound, and Poverty Point. Likewise, the coverage of Europe runs from the Paleolithic period, to the Bronze and Iron Age, to the Post-Roman era, looks at peoples such as the Celts, the Germans, the Vikings, and the Slavs, and describes sites at Altamira, Pompeii, Stonehenge, Terra Amata, and dozens of other locales. The Companion offers equally thorough coverage of Africa, Europe, North America, Mesoamerica, South America, Asia, the Mediterranean, the Near East, Australia and the Pacific. And finally, the editors have included extensive cross-referencing and thorough indexing, enabling the reader to pursue topics of interest with ease; charts and maps providing additional information; and bibliographies after most entries directing readers to the best sources for further study. Every Oxford Companion aspires to be the definitive overview of a field of study at a particular moment of time. This superb volume is no exception. Featuring 700 articles written by hundreds of respected scholars from all over the world, The Oxford Companion to Archaeology provides authoritative, stimulating entries on everything from bog bodies, to underwater archaeology, to the Pyramids of Giza and the Valley of the Kings.
The Routledge Handbook of Global Historical Archaeology is a multi-authored compendium of articles on specific topics of interest to today’s historical archaeologists, offering perspectives on the current state of research and collectively outlining future directions for the field. The broad range of topics covered in this volume allows for specificity within individual chapters, while building to a cumulative overview of the field of historical archaeology as it stands, and where it could go next. Archaeological research is discussed in the context of current sociological concerns, different approaches and techniques are assessed, and potential advances are posited. This is a comprehensive treatment of the sub-discipline, engaging key contemporary debates, and providing a series of specially-commissioned geographical overviews to complement the more theoretical explorations. This book is designed to offer a starting point for students who may wish to pursue particular topics in more depth, as well as for non-archaeologists who have an interest in historical archaeology. Archaeologists, historians, preservationists, and all scholars interested in the role historical archaeology plays in illuminating daily life during the past five centuries will find this volume engaging and enlightening.
It has been clear for many years that the ways in which archaeology is practised have been a direct product of a particular set of social, cultural, and historical circumstances - archaeology is always carried out in the present. More recently, however, many have begun to consider how archaeological techniques might be used to reflect more directly on the contemporary world itself: how we might undertake archaeologies of, as well as in the present. This Handbook is the first comprehensive survey of an exciting and rapidly expanding sub-field and provides an authoritative overview of the newly emerging focus on the archaeology of the present and recent past. In addition to detailed archaeological case studies, it includes essays by scholars working on the relationships of different disciplines to the archaeology of the contemporary world, including anthropology, psychology, philosophy, historical geography, science and technology studies, communications and media, ethnoarchaeology, forensic archaeology, sociology, film, performance, and contemporary art. This volume seeks to explore the boundaries of an emerging sub-discipline, to develop a tool-kit of concepts and methods which are applicable to this new field, and to suggest important future trajectories for research. It makes a significant intervention by drawing together scholars working on a broad range of themes, approaches, methods, and case studies from diverse contexts in different parts of the world, which have not previously been considered collectively.
Kevin Greene shows how archaeology can help provide a more balanced view of the Roman economy by informing the classical historian about geographical areas and classes of society that received little attention from the largely aristocratic classical writers whose work survives.
Environments, landscapes, and ecological systems are often seen as fundamental by archaeologists, but how they relate to society is understood in very different ways. The chapters in this book take environment, culture, and technology together. All have been the focus of much attention; often one or other has been seen as the starting point for analysis, but this volume argues that it is the study of the inter-relationships between these three factors that offers a way forward. The contributions to this book pick up different strands within the tangled web of intersections between environment, technology, and society, providing a series of case studies which explore facets of this common theme in different settings and circumstances and from different perspectives. As well as addressing themes of theoretical and methodological interest, these case studies draw on primary research dealing with time periods from the late Pleistocene glacial maximum to the very recent past, and involve societies of very different types. Running through all the contributions, however, is a concern with the archaeological record and the ways in which scales of observation and availability of evidence affect the development of questions and explanations. The diversity of the chapters in this volume demonstrates the inherent weakness in any attempt to prioritise environment, technology, or society. These three factors are all embedded in any human activity, as change in one will result in change in the others: social and technical changes alter relations with the environment–and indeed the environment itself—and as environmental change drives changes in society and technology. As this book shows, it is possible to consider the relationship between the three factors from different perspectives, but any attempt to consider one or even two in isolation will mean that valuable insights will be missed.
The Archaeology of Britain is the only concise and up-to-date introduction to the archaeological record of Britain from the reoccupation of the landmass by Homo sapiens during the later stages of the most recent Ice Age until last century. This fully revised second edition extends its coverage, including greater detail on the first millennium AD beyond the Anglo-Saxon domain, and into recent times to look at the archaeological record produced by Britain’s central role in two World Wars and the Cold War. The chapters are written by experts in their respective fields. Each is geared to provide an authoritative but accessible introduction, supported by numerous illustrations of key sites and finds and a selective reference list to aid study in greater depth. It provides a one-stop textbook for the entire archaeology of Britain and reflects the most recent developments in archaeology both as a field subject and as an academic discipline. No other book provides such comprehensive coverage, with such a wide chronological range, of the archaeology of Britain. This collection is essential reading for undergraduates in archaeology, and all those interested in British archaeology, history and geography.
In studying the past, archaeologists have focused on the material remains of our ancestors. Prehistorians generally have only artifacts to study and rely on the diverse material record for their understanding of past societies and their behavior. Those involved in studying historically documented cultures not only have extensive material remains but also contemporary texts, images, and a range of investigative technologies to enable them to build a broader and more reflexive picture of how past societies, communities, and individuals operated and behaved. Increasingly, historical archaeology refers not to a particular period, place, or a method, but rather an approach that interrogates the tensions between artifacts and texts irrespective of context. In short, historical archaeology provides direct evidence for how humans have shaped the world we live in today. Historical archaeology is a branch of global archaeology that has grown in the last 40 years from its North American base into an increasingly global community of archaeologists each studying their area of the world in a historical context. Where historical archaeology started as part of the study of the post-Columbian societies of the United States and Canada, it has now expanded to interface with the post-medieval archaeologies of Europe and the diverse post-imperial experiences of Africa, Latin America, and Australasia. The 36 essays in the International Handbook of Historical Archaeology have been specially commissioned from the leading researchers in their fields, creating a wide-ranging digest of the increasingly global field of historical archaeology. The volume is divided into two sections, the first reviewing the key themes, issues, and approaches of historical archaeology today, and the second containing a series of case studies charting the development and current state of historical archaeological practice around the world. This key reference work captures the energy and diversity of this global discipline today.
The annual collections in the History of Technology series look at the history of technological discovery and change, exploring the relationship of technology to other aspects of life and showing how technological development is affected by the society in which it occurred.
Since its publication in 1996, The Oxford Companion to Archaeology has firmly established itself as the standard reference work in the field of archaeology, selling nearly 15,000 copies to date and remaining a favorite among students, scholars, and anyone interested in archaeology. In 700 entries, the second edition provides thorough coverage to historical archaeology, the development of archaeology as a field of study, and the ways the discipline works to explain the past. In addition to these theoretical entries, other entries describe the major excavations, discoveries, and innovations, from the discovery of the cave paintings at Lascaux to the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphics and the use of luminescence dating. Much has changed in the field since 1996. Recent developments in methods and analytical techniques (e.g., laser-based mapping and survey systems, new applications of the scanning electron microscope) have revolutionized the ways excavations are performed. Cultural tourism, cultural resource management, heritage, and conservation have been redefined as areas within archaeology, and have had new emphasis given them by scholars and administrators. Major new sites have expanded our understanding of prehistory and human developments through time. The second edition explores each of these advances in the field, adding approximately 200 entries and exanding the total work to three volumes. Neil Asher Silberman, a renowned practicing archaeologist, author, and scholar, and a board member for the first edition, is the editor in chief. In addition to significant expansion, first-edition entries have been thoroughly revised and updated to reflect the progress that has been made in the last decade and a half
This edited volume gathers contributions focused on understanding the environment through the lens of Historical Archaeology. Pressing issues such as climate change, global warming, the Anthropocene and loss of biodiversity have pushed scholars from different areas to examine issues related to the causes, processes, and consequences of these phenomena. While traditional barriers between natural and social sciences have been torn down, these issues have gradually occupied a central place in the field of anthropology. As archaeology involves the transdisciplinary study of cultural and natural evidence related to the past, it is in a privileged position to discuss the historical depth of some of the processes related to environment that are deeply affecting the world today. This volume brings together substantial and comprehensive contributions to the understanding of the environment in a historical perspective along three lines of inquiry: Theoretical and methodological approaches to the environment in Historical Archaeology Studies on environmental Historical Archaeology Historical Archaeology and the Anthropocene Historical Archaeology and Environment will be of interest to researchers in both social and environmental sciences, working in different disciplines and research areas, such as archaeology, history, geography, anthropology, climate change studies, environmental analysis and sustainable development studies.
This Encyclopedia brings together the most recent scientific information on a collection of subjects that are too often - and inconveniently - treated in separate publications. It provides a survey of archaeological method and theory, as well as the application of physical and biological sciences in archaeological research. Every aspect of archaeological work is represented, from the discovery process to the ultimate disposition of materials. Thus the reader will find entries on subject matter covering: * disciplinary theory * legislation affecting the work of archaeologists * pre-excavation surveying * excavation methodology * on-site conservation techniques * post-excavation analysis The rapid evolution of analytical technology is often superficially treated or not covered at all in textbooks or other commonly available sources. Here, the latest refinements in techniques such as radiometric dating, stable isotopic analysis, and the PCR technique of DNA analysis are presented clearly and authoritatively. The discussion of these techniques is amplified by including results of the work of professionals conducting interdisciplinary research and by covering the methodologi enhancements provided by the physical and natural sciences. Cultural property legislation, regardless of its country of origin, has affected how archaeologists conduct their work. This encyclopedia covers all major U.S. legislation developed for the protection of cultural property, including the recent Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and offers a substantial article on worldwide legislation concerning the reburial of human remains and its effects on the present and future practice of archaeology. Without some sort of conservation program at the point of excavation, valuable materials may be inadvertently contaminated or destroyed. Many simple and low-cost techniques to promote both sample integrity and long-term preservation for major classes of materials are described in this volume. Traditional treatments of method and theory usually focus on prehistoric periods and are limited in their geographic range. This volume includes discussions based on various historical periods on different continents, as reflected in entries such as Historical Archaeology, Industrial Archaeology, Medieval Archaeology, and Classical Archaeology.