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Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) [Paperback]

By Paul Bahn (Author)
Our Price $ 10.16  
Retail Value $ 11.95  
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Item Number 160413  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   128
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 7.09" Width: 4.77" Height: 0.33"
Weight:   0.26 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 15, 2000
Publisher   Oxford University Press
ISBN  0192853791  
EAN  9780192853790  

Availability  0 units.

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Item Description...
Why is archaeology so popular? What do archaeologists do? How does archaeology do its detective work, and what purpose does it serve? From deserts to jungles, from deep caves to mountain-tops, from pebble tools to satellite photographs, from excavation to abstract theory, archaeology interacts with nearly every other discipline in its attempts to reconstruct the past. Archaeology: A Very Short Introduction gives entertaining insight into the main concerns of archaeology today, outlining the origins and development of archaeology from an individual treasure hunt to today's massive multidisciplinary projects. An acclaimed authority and popularizer of the subject, Paul Bahn surveys the immense technological developments, and looks at the way in which archaeology can be used, for example, to help Third World countries develop traditional agricultural methods. The growing interest in archaeology is explained by the fascinating questions which the book addresses: "How did people live?", "How did people think?", and "Why did things change?". Later chapters consider current concerns, such as the responsibilities involved in presenting the past to the public, the possibility of "loving archaeology to death," and the belief that many sites would be safest left deep beneath the earth. This very short introduction reflects the enduring popularity of archaeology, a subject which appeals as a pastime, a career and academic discipline, encompasses the whole globe, and surveys 2.5 million years.

Publishers Description
Oxford's Very Short Introductions series offers concise and original introductions to a wide range of subjects -- from Islam to Sociology, Literary Theory to History, and Archaeology to the Bible. Not simply a textbook of definitions, each volume provides trenchant and provocative -- yet always balanced and complete -- discussions of the central issues in a given discipline or field. Every Very Short Introduction gives a readable evolution of the subject in question, demonstrating how the subject developed and how it influenced society. Eventually, the series will encompass every major academic discipline, offering all readers an accessible and abundant reference library. Whatever area of study one deems important or appealing, whatever topic fascinates the general reader, the Very Short Introductions series has a handy and affordable guide that will likely prove indispensable.

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More About Paul Bahn

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Paul Bahn is a world-renowned archaeological writer and an authority on rock art and the archaeology of Easter Island. He has published widely, both in the scholarly literature and in more popular books and articles on archaeology.

Paul Bahn has an academic affiliation as follows - Freelance writer, translator, and broadcaster in archaeology Freelance.

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
You'll dig this book  Oct 10, 2007
This is a great book for anyone interested in archaeology. It is well written and concise, and it is highly readable for the layperson. I would even go so far as to call it entertaining! The author brings a lot of information to the table, cuts it down into bite-size bits, and serves it up with a distinct tongue-in-cheek flavor.
Dig this  May 7, 2007
In the Preface to this excellent little book, the author says his intention is to give the reader a taste of the subject and to help students decide if they want to study archeology at University. It performs those tasks admirably. It quite rightly provides a very broad overview rather than going deeply into specific topics, but manages to cram in loads of interesting facts along the way. The tone is jocular, and sometimes the humor is rather forced ("Relative dating does not mean going out with your cousin") but for the most part it works, and Bill Tidy's cartoons are well up to standard.

Bahn is pretty harsh with some modern archeological notions, and objectivity toward his peers is clearly not a priority with him, but I don't think this seriously distorts what he has to say.

The very title betrays the fact that this is a British publication with British usage and spellings, but I did not spot anything that would cause a problem for an American reader.

I do not know of a better short introduction to the subject than this book. Following this, you might want to read Egyptology, another excellent entry in the same series.
A very short book....  Mar 31, 2007
...maybe a tad too short. The book does a good job of explaining what archaeology is and how is works. From microwear to monuments, from dating methods to grave robbing, from gender issues to mass tourism, the book tries to touch on almost everything that is linked to archaeology or related to it. In some ways it tries to cover too much for such a small book and I finished the book wishing for more details on the history of archaeology and how it works.
Short on Specifics  Jan 23, 2003
This would have been a better book if the author had given more examples of the aspects of archeology of which he spoke. For instance, Bahn wrote about theoretical archeology, but he never described an instance in which a researcher used theoretical archeology to arrive at a particular conclusion.

The book was easy to read, but I did not learn that much from it. Mostly what I got out of it was that carbon dating does not assume that the levels of radioactive carbon have been constant throughout history. Varves are a way of dating that involves counting the layers of annual sedimentation deposits in certain frosty locales.

The book needed to be short, but I thought he should cut back on the breadth and provide more specific info about what he does discuss. Some of the discussions are pointless. He goes on at length about archeology's obligation to teach us about the past, but we all knew that anyway.

The humor was mildly amusing, but the writer is not a gifted comic.

A very good intro, but with a lot of rambling  Oct 4, 1999
It is a very good book if you want to learn about Archaeology, but not if you want information about the subject. It is a VERY quick overview. Nothing radical or extreme, and very objective.

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