Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice Paperback – 5 Mar 2012
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This bestseller is a student essential. --Current Archaeology
About the Author
Paul Bahn is one of the world's leading scholars and popularizers of archaeology. He is the author or co-author of more than thirty books, including The Cambridge Illustrated History of Prehistoric Art and, most recently, Prehistoric Rock Art: Polemics and Progress. His articles have appeared in many newspapers and magazines, including Nature, and he is an editorial consultant to Archaeology Magazine, DIG, and the Rapa Nui Journal.
Colin Renfrew (Professor Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn) is Emeritus Disney Professor and Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research at Cambridge University. He is the author and editor of a large number of publications, including Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice, with Paul Bahn, which is one of the standard textbooks on the subject. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good school book, includes tips and useful things for archaeologistPublished 10 months ago by Jenna Savolainen
Brilliant university Archaeology book, very detailed and informative.Published 15 months ago by Jessica W.