BAR 27:05, Sep/Oct 2001
Books in Brief
The History of Archaeology
(New York: Checkmark Books, 2001) 216 pp., $35 (hardback)
This attractively illustrated volume surveys the influence of archaeology on our understanding of ages and civilizations past. Romer, the author of numerous popular books and television series, has organized the book according to the objects that have motivated the archaeological quest: treasure, knowledge of the origins of humankind and civilization, scientific proof of scripture and other ancient writings and finally (and ominously), the establishment of a pedigree of modern nations and cultures.
Starting with the 18th-century excavation of the remains of Herculaneum, which along with Pompeii was devastated some 1,900 years ago by the catastrophic eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, Romer traces the development of the art and craft and science of archaeology, primarily in the Near East but also in the jungles of South and Central America. He does not dwell on the technical, choosing instead to focus on the spectacular finds that reshaped modern conceptions of the ancient world.
The Atlas of World Archaeology
Edited by Paul G. Bahn
(New York: Checkmark Books, 2000) 208 pp., $39.95 (hardback)