Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction

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OUP Oxford, Aug 30, 2012 - History - 118 pages
In this revised and updated edition of Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction, Paul Bahn presents an engaging introduction and a superb overview of a field that embraces everything from the cave art of Lascaux to the great stone heads of Easter Island. This entertaining introduction reflects the enduring popularity of archaeology--a subject which appeals as a pastime, career, and academic discipline, encompasses the whole globe, and spans some 2.5 million years. From deserts to jungles, from deep caves to mountain tops, from pebble tools to satellite photographs, from excavation to abstract theory, archaeology interacts with nearly every other discipline in its attempts to reconstruct the past. In this new edition, Bahn brings his text completely up to date, including information about recent discoveries and interpretations in the field, and highlighting the impact of developments such as the potential use of DNA and stable isotopes in teeth, as well the effect technology and science are having on archaeological exploration, from nuclear imaging to GPS. Bahn also shows how archaeologists have contributed to some of the most prominent debates of our age, such as the role of climate change, the effects of rises in sea-level, and the possibility of global warming. This edition also includes updated suggestions for further reading.

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User Review  - aront - LibraryThing

This book exemplifies what a “very short introduction“ should be: take a complex and extensive topic & provide a comprehensive, jargon-free and illuminating overview. The author shares his passion for ... Read full review

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User Review  - jcbrunner - LibraryThing

A very good short introduction to archaeology by Paul Bahn who seems to have been extremely industrious at writing introductions and introductory textbooks to archaeology. In a hundred pages and ten ... Read full review


1 The origins and development of archaeology
2 Making a date
3 Technology
4 How did people live?
5 How did people think?
6 Settlement and society
7 How and why did things change?
8 Minorities and sororities
9 Presenting the past to the public
10 The future of the past
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About the author (2012)

Paul Bahn is a freelance writer, translator, and broadcaster in archaeology. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, a corresponding member of the Archaeological Institute of America, a contributing editor of Archaeology magazine (New York), and vice-president (UK) of the Easter IslandFoundation. He instigated and led the project which discovered Britain's only known Ice Age cave art in 2003.

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