The Oxford Handbook of Archaeology

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Barry W. Cunliffe, Chris Gosden, Rosemary A. Joyce
Oxford University Press, 2009 - Architecture - 1161 pages
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Archaeology--the study of human society everywhere in the world, from distant human origins to the present day--is a vast subject as well as one of great popular interest. As an academic discipline, it has its own history of development, and has a distinct ethical code. The Oxford Handbook of Archaeology brings together over forty expert authors to explain what archaeology is really about. This comprehensive volume will give the reader a sense of the history of archaeology and its main theoretical debates. It also explains the means by which archaeologists find, excavate, and date archaeological material, the use of new computer-based technologies for mapping and analyzing find, and the techniques used to make sense of these artefacts. Further chapters explore specific periods and places, and in conclusion there is a discussion of some broader ethical and political issues. The Handbook is designed to open up the world of archaeology to non-specialists and to provide an essential starting point for those who want to pursue particular topics in more depth. Above all, it will convey a sense of the excitement generated by archaeological work, stemming from the fact that in order to live a full life in the present it is necessary to have a rich and full understanding of the past.

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About the author (2009)


Barry Cunliffe is Emeritus Professor of European Archaeology at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of the British Academy. He has excavated widely in Britain, the Channel Islands, France, and Spain, and written a number of books on archaeology, including Facing the Ocean (OUP, 2001) and The Celts (OUP, 2003). He has presented many radio and television programmes and is currently Trustee of the British Museum and Commissioner of English Heritage.

Chris Gosden is Professor of European Archaeology at the University of Oxford. He has excavated in Britain, Europe, Central Asia, and Papua New Guinea, and has written a number of books on archaeology and museum studies, including Prehistory: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2003).

Rosemary A. Joyce is Professor in the Department of Archaeology at the University of California at Berkeley.

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