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A History of Archaeological Thought [Paperback]

Bruce G. Trigger
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

11 Sep 2006 0521600499 978-0521600491 2
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.

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A History of Archaeological Thought + Archaeological Theory: An Introduction (Wiley Desktop Editions) + Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice
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Product details

  • Paperback: 730 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (11 Sep 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521600499
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521600491
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 157,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

From the previous edition: 'This is a work which all thinking archaeologists will wish to have on their shelves.' Colin Renfrew, Nature

' … a substantial update …' Journal of Medieval Archaeology

'… remains the very best macro-history available.' Cambridge Archaeological Journal

Book Description

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Bruce Trigger's book deals with the genesis of archaeology up to the beginnings of post-processualism. Particularly strong on functionalism and the New Archaeology, it also very useful in describing the development of archaeology in its early stages. There are some omissions, such as the increasingly popular archaeological study of gender, but in general a wide approach covering archaeology in Britain, America and Europe. This book is vital for undergrad students and anyone wishing to learm more about what it is we study.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for references 3 May 2001
Format:Paperback
I'm doing a project on V.G.Childe and found this book a great source of reference. Its easy to understand and is full of information.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Volume 3 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For any Archaeology student, academic or lay interest reader this is the essential volume required to cut through the matrix of Theory. Trigger excelled at summarising difficult concepts in short paragraphs before exploring their major themes. Wonderful.
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4 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bland and Boring. 10 Mar 2005
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this for my degree along with Matthew Johnson's "Archaeological Theory: An Introduction."
I read Johnson's book and loved it; I read this and loathed it. It is, as the title of this review suggests, boring and bland and, quite frankly, is not a needed buy. Everything you need to know about 'archaeological thought' or theory is in Johnson's book.
Don't buy this if you want an interesting and informative read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential historigraphy of archaeological theory. 1 Nov 1999
By Michael Elliott - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Trigger's comprehensive synthesis traces the origins and developement of archaeological theory from antiquity to post-processualism. With a global perspective, Trigger explorers the philosophical and scientific milestones that altered or redirected archaeological thought throughout its history. An excellent and readable reference.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Critical To Understanding Archaeological Theory 23 Oct 2007
By Willet A. Boyer III - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Trigger's work, first published in 1989, is one of the best syntheses available on the history of archaeology as a discipline and on the theoretical perspectives which have accompanied each stage of the development of the discipline.

Trigger carefully links each of the theoretical perspectives - such as unilineal evolution, cultural materialism, Marxism, postprocessual and historical theory - with the historic and cultural developments in archaeology and in Western and world society that each perspective is based on. Besides the value of this work to archaeologists, members of the general public who want to gain an understanding of why archaeologists "do" archaeology and anthropology should read Trigger's work as well.

Very well done, and highly recommended.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and Informative 19 Dec 2011
By Luhar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I had to acquire this lengthy tome for a class entitled Theory & Method in Archaeology. I was extremely apprehensive due to its size and the topic, even as an archaeology student.

Once I opened the book, I was pleasantly surprised at the pace and tone of the writing. The book moves quickly, is very informative, and even has some nice graphics!

I have since become an archaeologist myself, in cultural resources management, and I still enjoy this book. It is a comprehensive compendium of archaeological theory through the years. Unlike the many theory articles I have read, it isn't pulling for one theory over another. A History of Archaeological Thought sticks mostly to the facts, leaving the read with an impression of how archaeology has evolved through time.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most detailed history of archaeology available to date 28 Feb 2009
By History Fan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is by far the most thorough and complete history of the development of archaeological theory. At times, the material is rather dense (certainly not for the lay armchair archaeologist), but it is informative none the less. All students of archaeology should read this text.
9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent synthesis of archaeological theory 20 Nov 2006
By Ferris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Trigger's book, "A History of Archaeological Thought", is an excellent addition to any archaeological method and theory (M&T) class at the graduate or undergraduate level. I purchased this book, as recommended by a professor of mine, to read in addition to all the readings assigned in my graduate M&T class. Trigger articulates in few words what many archaeological theorists take pages to explain (eg. Binford). It was extremely helpful, and made wading through different theoretical paradigms much more enjoyable.
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