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This introductory text surveys the techniques, methods and theoretical frameworks of contemporary archaeology. Coverage of method and theory resides in the context of an ideal research plan to explain what archaeologists do, how they conduct research, and how they use the results to construct our past. Integration of traditional and recent innovative approaches to archaeology provides a balanced scientific and humanistic perspective.
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Robert J. Sharer is Shoemaker Professor in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and Curator of the American Section at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. He has published over 100 scholarly articles, and several monographs reporting the results of his archaeological research, including a three-volume Chalchuapa report (1978), and a one-volume Verapaz report (1987). He is general editor of the Quirigua Reports, with four volumes published (1979, 1983, 1993, and 2007), and general editor of the forthcoming Early Classic Copan Acropolis Reports. He has co-edited five books, including Regional Perspectives on the Olmec (1989) and Understanding Early Classic Copán (2004), and is the author of Quirigua: A Classic Maya Center and Its Sculpture (1990), Everyday Life in Maya Civilization (1996), and three editions of The Ancient Maya, the most recent a completely revised work in collaboration with Loa P. Traxler.
Wendy Ashmore is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Riverside. Her research centers on settlement patterns, household archaeology, gender, and ancient space and place in southeastern Mesoamerica. Publications include Settlement Archaeology at Quiriguá, Guatemala (University of Pennsylvania Museum, 2007), and edited volumes on Lowland Maya Settlement Patterns (New Mexico, 1981), Household and Community in the Mesoamerican Past (with R. R. Wilk, New Mexico, 1988), Archaeologies of Landscape: Contemporary Approaches (with A. B. Knapp, Blackwell, 1999), and Integrating the Diversity of 21st-Century Anthropology: The Life and Intellectual Legacies of Susan Kent (with M.-A. Dobres, S. M. Nelson, and A. Rosen, American Anthropological Association, 2006), together with numerous articles and book chapters on these and related topics.
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