SAUO – UOAS

Société d'archéologie de l'uOttawa – uOttawa Archaeology Society

Books

BOOKS TO READ

Here you will find a list of great Archaeology books to read. Some are serious and some are silly.Motel of Mysteries
by David Macaulay
It is the year 4022; all of the ancient country of Usa has been buried under many feet of detritus from a catastrophe that occurred back in 1985. Imagine, then, the excitement that Howard Carson, an amateur archeologist at best, experienced when in crossing the perimeter of an abandoned excavation site he felt the ground give way beneath him and found himself at the bottom of a shaft, which, judging from the DO NOT DISTURB sign hanging from an archaic doorknob, was clearly the entrance to a still-sealed burial chamber. Carson’s incredible discoveries, including the remains of two bodies, one of them on a ceremonial bed facing an altar that appeared to be a means of communicating with the Gods and the other lying in a porcelain sarcophagus in the Inner Chamber, permitted him to piece together the whole fabric of that extraordinary civilization.

Apocalypse: Earthquakes, Archaeology, and the Wrath of God
by Amos Nur and Dawn Burgess
Considering anew the archeological evidence of catastrophic destruction in Mexico and the eastern Mediterranean, geophysicists Nur and Burgess explore the overlooked role of earthquakes in the downfall of many well-known prehistoric civilizations-Tenochtitlan, the Hittite empire, Troy, Mycenae, Jericho and others-which archeologists tend to blame on invading armies or social factors. Nur and Burgess compare evidence from modern earthquakes with the structures, debris, human remains and (where possible) written records from ancient catastrophes, finding impressive and alarming support for their archeoseismic theory. Among other conclusions, the authors find evidence that severe earthquakes may occur in quick succession (what they call earthquake storms) separated by long periods of seismic quiet. They also look at the cultural legacy of earthquakes, like the tumultuous impact of the 1755 Lisbon earthquake on European politics and the long-term effects of the 1923 Tokyo earthquake. The authors’ most important point is that archaeologists, failing to understand these regions’ vulnerability, have failed to warn modern inhabitants of the danger they live in. With a dire prognosis sure to touch off controversy, this book will rivet fans of archaeology, geology and history.

The World Encyclopedia of Archaeology: The World’s Most Significant Sites and Cultural Treasures 
by Dr. Aedeen Cremin
The World Encyclopedia of Archaeology is a sweeping exploration of archaeology that spans the globe from the beginning of recorded history and earlier. Here is a comprehensive view of the past as seen through the remnants of civilizations as they emerge and expand. The book begins by defining modern and ancient archaeology and gives the history of archaeology through the centuries. The different types of archaeology are explored, along with the techniques used for each and the problems, concerns and issues archaeologists face today.
The main section of the book details each region of the world, with the authoritative text revealing the fascinating history of important archaeological sites. This global perspective includes more than 700 illustrations. The atlas section with detailed maps provides placements throughout history.

Archaeology: the Key Concepts
by Colin Renfrew
From two of the best-known archaeological writers in the trade, this outstanding resource provides a thorough survey of the key ideas in archaeology, and how they impact on archaeological thinking and method.
Clearly written, and easy to follow, Archaeology: The Key Concepts collates entries written specifically by field specialists, and each entry offers a definition of the term, its origins and development, and all the major figures involved in the area.
The entries include: thinking about landscape, archaeology of cult and religion, cultural evolution, concepts of time, urban societies, the antiquity of humankind, archaeology of gender, feminist archaeology, experimental archaeology, and multiregional evolution.
With guides to further reading, extensive cross-referencing, and accessibly written for even beginner students, this book is a superb guide for anyone studying, teaching, or with any interest in this fascinating subject.

A History of Archaeological Thought
by Bruce G. Trigger
In its original edition, Bruce Trigger’s book was the first ever to examine the history of archaeological thought from medieval times to the present in world-wide perspective. Now, in this new edition, he both updates the original work and introduces new archaeological perspectives and concerns. At once stimulating and even-handed, it places the development of archaeological thought and theory throughout within a broad social and intellectual framework. The successive but interacting trends apparent in archaeological thought are defined and the author seeks to determine the extent to which these trends were a reflection of the personal and collective interests of archaeologists as these relate – in the West at least – to the fluctuating fortunes of the middle classes. While subjective influences have been powerful, Professor Trigger argues that the gradual accumulation of archaeological data has exercised a growing constraint on interpretation. In turn, this has increased the objectivity of archaeological research and enhanced its value for understanding the entire span of human history and the human condition in general.

A Brief History of Archaeology: Classical Times to the Twenty-First Century 
by Brian M. Fagan
This brief but comprehensive book tells the story of how archaeology changed from a romantic adventure into a science. Its vivid narrative combines tales of archaeological discovery with the changing social conditions and theoretical perspectives that helped turn archaeology into a sophisticated discipline. Containing a simple, jargon-free style—and a lifetime of teaching experience—this writer shares with readers his unrivaled experience as an archeologist and an author. Unique coverage includes both major discoveries, and significant, theoretical and methodological developments of the history of archaeology—from a global perspective. For anyone interested in an interpretation of our archeological past that will yield an understanding of today—its beginnings, and the ideas that nurtured it.

Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries: Science and Pseudoscience in Archaeology 
by Kenneth Feder
Committed to the scientific investigation of human antiquity, this indispensable supplementary text uses interesting archaeological hoaxes, myths, and mysteries to show how we can truly know things about the past through science. Examples of fantastic findings support the carefully, logically, and entertainingly described flaws in the purported evidence. By placing wildly inaccurate claims within the context of the scientific method, Frauds, Myths, and Mysteries demonstrates how science approaches fascinating questions about human antiquity and, in so doing, shows where pseudoscience falls short.

Archaeology Theories Methods & Practice (CLA2110 textbook!)
by Colin Renfrew and Paul Bahn
Here is the fifth edition of the bestselling introduction to archaeology, which has been adopted at hundreds of colleges and universities worldwide. It includes newly expanded summaries, coverage of all the most recent major developments in archaeological method, science, technology and theory, including gender archaeology, agency, materiality and engagement theory, and the latest GIS and survey techniques. Also discussed are such topics as genetics and linguistics and advances in dating methods. This book remains the most thorough introduction to archaeology on the market, and includes examples from every part of the world

Archaeological Theory: An Introduction
by Matthew Johnson
Archaeological Theory, 2nd Edition is the most current and comprehensive introduction to the field available. Thoroughly revised and updated, this engaging text offers students an ideal entry point to the major concepts and ongoing debates in archaeological research.
New edition of a popular introductory text that explores the increasing diversity of approaches to archaeological theory. Features more extended coverage of ‘traditional’ or culture-historical archaeology. Examines theory across the English-speaking world and beyond. Offers greatly expanded coverage of evolutionary theory, divided into sociocultural and Darwinist approaches. Includes an expanded glossary, bibliography, and useful suggestions for further readings.

Archaeological Theory Today 
by Ian Hodder
This volume provides an authoritative account of the current status of archaeological theory, as presented by some of its major exponents and innovators over the last decade. It summarizes recent developments and looks to the future, exploring some of the cutting-edge ideas at the forefront of the discipline.
While few practitioners in theoretical archaeology would still argue for a unified disciplinary approach, few volumes have explored the full range of emerging perspectives. This volume, however, captures the diversity of contemporary archaeological theory. Some authors argue for an approach close to the natural sciences, others for an engagement with cultural debate about representation of the past. Some minimize the relevance of culture to societal change, while others see it as central; some focus on the contingent and the local, others on long-term evolution.
The volume also reflects archaeology’s new openness to external influences, as well as the desire to contribute to wider debates. The contributors examine ways in which archaeological evidence contributes to theories of evolutionary psychology, as well as to the social sciences in general, where theories of social relationships, agency, landscape and identity are informed by the long-term perspective of archaeology.
Archaeological Theory Today will be essential reading for students and scholars in archaeology and in the social sciences more generally.

Geographical Information Systems in Archaeology
by James Conolly and Mark Lake
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) is a rapidly developing archaeological method which is moving from the domain of the computer specialist into that of the broader archaeological community. This comprehensive manual on the use of GIS in archaeology explores the concept of GIS and illustrates how it can be adapted for practical use. Examining issues such as spatial databases, data acquisition, spatial analysis, and techniques of visualization, the book is an essential tool for both students and professional archaeologists.

Classical Archaeology 
Susan E. Alcock and Robin Osborne
Classical archaeology has undergone profound change in recent years; new theoretical positions and the development of cutting-edge methodologies have prompted classical archaeologists to pose more challenging questions of the extraordinarily rich data we possess from the ancient Mediterranean world. Classical Archaeology is designed to encourage further critical thinking about the role of ancient material culture in modern times and the role of modern preoccupations in shaping the study of ancient material. Authored by leading archaeologists and historians of the classical world, Classical Archaeology contains ten thematic pairs of essays (each pair comprised of one essay from the Greek world and one from the Roman) that explore ideas such as the ancient environment, rural landscape, urban spaces, cults and rituals, identity and its material expression, and Mediterranean links with a wider world. Maps, chronologies, diagrams, photographs, and short editorial introductions to each chapter connect the paired essays and provide the reader with vital background and context. These features, as well as the editors’ comprehensive introduction and their final reflective chapter, make Classical Archaeology indispensable to all students of classical Greece and Rome.

The Elements of Style (because EVERYONE, no matter what they study, should have this!)
by William Strunk and E. B. White
Composition teachers throughout the English-speaking world have been pushing this book on their students since it was first published in 1957. Co-author White later revised it, and it remains the most compact and lucid handbook we have for matters of basic principles of composition, grammar, word usage and misusage, and writing style. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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