This is a subject that is new to me, and I discovered the book while browsing. What persuaded me to buy it was obvious intelligence, good sense, and high scholarship of the author--comfirming from the first pages that he is a worthy guide. Yes, Hutton is a thinker and no, he is not a believer; but does this disqualify him from studying and passing judgement on monuments and describing ancient ways of life? I would say certainly not. Where he disagrees with other scholars or believers, he disagrees respectfully but firmly, as is appropriate. His writing is lucid, well organized, and a pleasure to read. It's a joy to encounter a true scholar that can confront or explore the past--and the present.