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Environmental Archaeology: Principles and Practice [Paperback]

Dena F. Dincauze

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Book Description

17 Aug 2000
Archaeologists today need a wide range of scientific approaches in order to delineate and interpret the ecology of their sites. Dena Dincauze has written an authoritative and essential guide to a variety of archaeological methods, ranging from techniques for measuring time with isotopes and magnetism to the sciences of climate reconstruction, geomorphology, sedimentology, soil science, paleobotany and faunal paleoecology. Professor Dincauze insists that borrowing concepts from other disciplines demands a critical understanding of their theoretical roots. Moreover, the methods that are chosen must be appropriate to particular sets of data. The applications of the methods needed for an holistic human-ecology approach in archaeology are illustrated by examples ranging from the Paleolithic, through classical civilizations, to recent urban archaeology.

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Environmental Archaeology: Principles and Practice + Environmental Archaeology. Approaches, Techniques & Applications. + Environmental Archaeology: Principles and Methods
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'The text is comprehensive ... as an overview of many aspects of environmental archaeology and related subjects it is hard to beat.' Hannah O'Regan, The Palaeontological Association Newsletter

'In short, any archaeologist who seeks to place their cultural studies into an environmental context should read this book, regardless of whether they are practising environmentalists or not.' Adam Gardner, The Holocene

Book Description

Archaeologists today need a wide range of scientific approaches to delineate and interpret the ecology of their sites. This book is an authoritative and essential guide to archaeological methods and their applications, illustrated by examples ranging from the Palaeolithic, through classical civilizations, to urban archaeology.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Archaeology is necessarily about change, and all change is perceived by looking back from the perspective of one's own peculiar place in space and history. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Subject - Impossible Book 20 Feb 2006
By Science Student - Published on
This book was assigned as the text for an Environmental Archaeology class. Most of the class, undergraduate and graduate students, found the book exceptionally hard to comprehend. Sentences more appropriate to philosophical treatises or congressional documents written in "govermentese" made the sections difficult to follow. Chapter titling and section headings were very useful for tracking the thread of the author's argument but the clarity and concise wording expected in a scientific textbook was totally missing from the body of the text. The author was undoubtedly very intelligent and knowledgeable but was unable to convey her information in an interesting or succinct manner.
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Classic 16 Mar 2001
By A Customer - Published on
Dincauze's magnum opus (so far) is an outstanding overview and in-depth analysis of its topic. She sets the standard for the application of archaeological theory to practical archaeology and prehistory in a book which will be a benchmark for the forseeable future. Grounded in both dirt archaeology and theory, the book integrates for a new generation the best of past, current and I think future approaches to archaeology. The publisher is to be commended for good taste in books but poor taste in pricing--the hardcover edition at over $100 is simply out of the range of most people who need to read the book; the paperback price of $39 is also prohibitive but less so. Every pro and most serious amateurs should READ the book, even if they can't afford to buy it.
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of book 4 May 2008
By Kristi A. Haines - Published on
I think this is an amazing book for anyone interested in archeology and geology. It is very detailed and very readable. It's a great book.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Synergistic Archaeology 21 Dec 2008
By Steven W. Brannon - Published on
This book is of worth, not just for its content, but for the quality of thinking from which it has arisen. This work will be of great use to all those archaeologists who make recourse to the related branches of scientific inquiry on which the progress of archeology depends. To this end Professor Dincauze encourages us to look behind this or that data-set and familiarize ourselves with the methods and epistemological background of the discipline from which said data arises. In short, Professor Dincauze has built a wonderfully sturdy cross disciplinary bridge - the foundations of which are set deep within a bedrock of research and contemplation worthy of admiration.

And to the reviewer who gave this book two stars: Yes, this is a difficult text. But is not the script of Nature itself far more elusive if one is to read it on such a grand scale as suggested by Professor Dincauze? Let us not be quick to judge the author for her unwillingness to compromise on the linguistic subtly and exactitude with which she has chosen to make her contribution. For in truth, her contribution is great indeed and deserves each and every star possible. Perhaps it is those unwilling to raise themselves to the challenge set forth by authors of merit who deserve a two-star ranking.
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