The Oxford Companion to Archaeology

Hardcover | April 30, 1999

EditorBrian M. Fagan

not yet rated|write a review
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 discoveriesare, 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 toArchaeology, 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--fromthe 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. TheCompanion 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 manygeneral 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 broadoverviews, 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 Algonquiancultures, 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-Romanera, 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, theMediterranean, 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 entriesdirecting 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 providesauthoritative, stimulating entries on everything from bog bodies, to underwater archaeology, to the Pyramids of Giza and the Valley of the Kings.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$81.75 online
$90.00 list price (save 9%)
Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From Our Editors

The definitive overview of the field of archaeology, this reference features 700 alphabetically arranged articles written by over 300 internationally recognized experts. It offers a goldmine of information on the history of archaeology, on eminent archaeologist, on the methods used at excavations, on human evolution, and on human cultu...

From the Publisher

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 discoveriesare, the ultimate goal of archaeology, and o...

From the Jacket

The range of subjects covered here is breath-taking - 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, ...

Brian M. Fagan is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is internationally known for his books and articles on archaeology for general readers, among them The Rape of the Nile, The Adventure of Archaeology, and Time Detectives. Charlotte Beck is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Hamilton Co...

other books by Brian M. Fagan

Elixir: A History Of Water And Humankind
Elixir: A History Of Water And Humankind

Paperback|Jun 12 2012

$18.99 online$19.00list price
People Of The Earth: An Introduction To World Prehistory
People Of The Earth: An Introduction To World Prehistor...

Paperback|Aug 12 2013

$221.63 online$246.92list price(save 10%)
see all books by Brian M. Fagan
Format:HardcoverDimensions:864 pages, 7.87 × 9.69 × 2.09 inPublished:April 30, 1999Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195076184

ISBN - 13:9780195076189

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of The Oxford Companion to Archaeology

Reviews

Extra Content

From Our Editors

The definitive overview of the field of archaeology, this reference features 700 alphabetically arranged articles written by over 300 internationally recognized experts. It offers a goldmine of information on the history of archaeology, on eminent archaeologist, on the methods used at excavations, on human evolution, and on human culture in every corner of the globe. Two eight-page photo inserts. 35 maps

Editorial Reviews

"Authoritative, well written, and the only recent work of its kind. This companion fills a gap in the reference literature for archaeology and should be purchased for all reference collections."--Library Journal