Time Detectives: How Archaeologist Use Technology to Recapture the Past

Fagan, Brian

Published by Simon & Schuster, 1996
ISBN 10: 0684818280 / ISBN 13: 9780684818283
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Synopsis: University of California Professor of Anthropology Brian Fagan offers a fascinating look at how the key archaeological discoveries of the past 50 years were made-and how new techniques and devices have led to new insights into ancient civilizations. of photos.

From Booklist: Recounting the story of a dozen-plus sites around the world, Fagan avers that expert specialties have superseded the romance and mysterious wonder that used to animate the archaeologist's work--and inspired the classic book in this field, C. W. Ceram's Gods, Graves, and Scholars (Knopf, rev. ed. 1967). After acknowledging his debt to Ceram, Fagan ventures to places as varied as Hadrian's Wall, a bison kill site called Head-Smashed-In (Alberta), habitations along the Nile and Euphrates Rivers, and, thence, to Annapolis, Maryland. The commonality with digs in these diverse environments is the involvement of teams of experts using sophisticated dating and interpretive techniques--a far cry from the days of the soil sifter and pick ax swung by the solitary adventurer. The revolution began with carbon 14 dating of organic materials, which has continued with carbon-isotopic analysis that indicates from their bones what people ate. (At one dig site exploring the Anasazi culture of the Southwest, it was each other.) In each case, Fagan ably works the theme of the revelatory capability of high-tech methods, and how they (and logic) can assemble the picture of a society from its rubbish or building foundations. An engaging book sure to impell library patrons far into the particular sites Fagan describes--if not on out to the dig sites themselves. Gilbert Taylor

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Title: Time Detectives: How Archaeologist Use ...
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 1996
Binding: Paperback
Book Condition: Used: Good

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