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4.8 out of 5 stars26
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 26 June 2012
This a first class book on all aspects of archaeology including the history of archaeology, surveying sites, dating methods, the organisation of societies (sociology, environment, diet, tools, contact, thought processes), migration and change, and careers in archaeology. The book got an excellent review by Peter Clayton in Minerva magazine.

This is heavy book; its 656 pages on quality paper and filled with colour illustrations. It is also a heavy read and not for those who want to skip through an easy introduction to the subject. If you want a serious introduction to archaeology, this is the book for you.
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on 18 July 2013
I approached this textbook having read the somewhat shorter text by Kevin Greene and Tom Moore entitled Archaeology: An Introduction, which I found an excellent introduction to an area of study in which I am very much a newcomer.

I put off reading this book because it looked so daunting: coming on for 600 pages plus a detailed bibliography and comprehensive index. In the event, however, there was absolutely no problem. The text, especially in this sixth edition, is vividly illustrated. The main narrative and analysis are punctuated by "articles" on specific topics. Some of these were quite fascinating in the sudden, brief insight into archaeological investigations that were previously completely unknown to me. One example is the section on quantifying animal bones, which makes reference to a Bronze Age village in Spain.

It is quite difficult to make the comparison between the two books. To an extent, of course, they cover the same ground and matters such as the latest techniques for updating are inevitably quite complex and make for challenging reading whoever is writing about them. I suppose a greater sense of the richness of the subject comes from Renfrew and Bahn but I would happily go back to either if I wanted to check out aspects of the theory or practice of archaeology. For sheer enjoyment, I'd probably stick with Renfrew and Bahn again - mainly, to be honest, because of the illustrations. However, I think we are fortunate to have two such excellent introductions readily available.
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on 26 February 2015
This book is aimed at the undergraduate student and it fits its purpose well. Assuming no prior knowledge of archaeology (as yet I've not heard of an Archaeology A-level) it leads the student through all the aspects they will encounter on the first and second years of an archaeology degree. It starts with the history of the subject and progressing through import archaeologists, methods and explanations.

It is clearly written and offers fantastic illustrations and colour pictures to supplement this. Each subject area is covered diligently introducing the student to it but not bewildering them with too much information.

I believe at the time of my writing this review this book is a core text on most Archaeology degrees.

This book would also be invaluable to the amateur archaeologist as well as it offers an introduction to the subject.
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on 26 July 2013
I'm starting a "History with Archaeology" joint honours degree this September and this text book is on the required reading list.

Firstly, the book is hefty! Yes academic books are expensive, but trust me, you're getting a good deal here.
Secondly, the book is really well laid out. Sorted by chapter, it's very easy to find what you're looking for using either the contents page or the index.

If you've got a passing interest in archaeology maybe look elsewhere, but if you want to get deep, buy this book. It's completely packed with information, a multitude of photographs and illustrations, all of which are beautifully rendered in colour (for the first time according to the introduction).

I would wholeheartedly recommend this book, but I'd suggest you also buy a bag with wide straps to carry it in.
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on 7 December 2013
This book was one of the texts on my university reading list, it is concise and well-structured with all the relevant information that would be needed. All of which is easy to find and in great depth. An excellent purchase.
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on 17 August 2014
Excellent book. I bought this a couple of years ago, after observing a 'dig' near where we live. I wanted an overview of all aspects of archaeology and this exceeded my hopes, in it's breadth and quality. It's a large book but divided into easily managed topics, with great illustrations, photographs and clear text - I read it from cover to cover over a week or two. It would be a useful book for anyone starting a degree course in the subject - or, like me, an older person who enjoys learning new things, especially when presented in an enjoyable format. Considering everything, the price is very reasonable.
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on 24 September 2014
Delivery was quick and the package came well protected. I was delighted to find this textbook at a very reasonable price and think this is not only worth the price, but the service is definitely one to rely upon in future as well. Really glad I got this as it is a great introduction book to the study and in being an Archaeology student myself, this will undoubtedly prove invaluable as a resource as well as a book that can also suit those with a serious interest in the practice too.

Overall, a great buy from an efficient and very reliable seller.
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on 14 April 2012
This is no light weight quick guide at 650 pages and 1.5 kgs. It should be enough to get an unadventurous student through first year and beyond. The authors' academic focus is obvious. The `how to' section of the book is less than a quarter of the whole. Even this deals extensively with the history of archaeology and how the work was done in the past. There were some scoundrels: even Schliemann, discoverer of Troy, manipulated his evidence. Modern techniques are dealt with but only enough to whet the appetite. You will search in vain for instructions on how to set out a field for field walking. However, numerous panels and a fine selection of photographs and diagrams make for absorbing reading.

The dominant section deals with such questions as `how were societies organized?' `What were the members' diets, tools, trades, arts and beliefs?' `Why did things change?' Just think next time you are walking a freezing field that the purpose is to give yourself a better understanding of developments in ancient societies and hence our own. These are the questions we would all like to answer. Unfortunately the authors also have their eyes on the American market and a few dollars there. Consequently many of the examples discussed are about native American, Inca and other American societies which we find much more difficult to relate to than Europe and the Middle East.

The last section poses interesting questions of ethics and the misuse of the past for political purposes. It then moves on to discuss our responsibility for preservation - and the opposite, the destruction of monuments by tourism, war and religious or ethnic jealousies. Afghanistan, Iraq and the former Yugoslavia vie for a place here. Finally, to inspire the student, there are five profiles of career archaeologists.

The very last words of the text come from a British Museum curator and sum the subject up perfectly: `archaeology is meaningless unless it can be communicated in a way that anyone and everyone can understand.'
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on 3 August 2013
I wanted to buy a book like that for a long time.I was fortunate to be able to afford it.I bought it and I am very satisfied.It is what I was looking for.You can really learn the methods.I was really impressed.It even has the anatomy of an animal so as to know what part of the animal is the one found.It is explanatory with pictures and details.If someone wants to learn archaeology it is the book to buy.
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on 10 April 2014
Really straighforward to understand, well set out with lots of case studies highlighted separately. Ideal for a college course I'm currently studying and will also come in useful as it is on the recommended reading list for my university degree I'll be studying later in the year.
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