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The Oxford Companion to Archaeology [Anglais] [Relié]

Brian M. Fagan
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Présentation de l'éditeur

When we think of archaeology, most of us think first of its many spectacular finds: the legendary city of Troy, Tutankhamun's golden tomb, the three-million-year-old footprints at Laetoli, the mile-high city at Machu Picchu, the cave paintings at Lascaux. But as marvelous as these discoveries are, the ultimate goal of archaeology, and of archaeologists, is something far more ambitious. Indeed, it is one of humanity's great quests: to recapture and understand our human past, across vast stretches of time, as it was lived in every corner of the globe. Now, in The Oxford Companion to Archaeology, readers have a comprehensive and authoritative overview of this fascinating discipline, in a book that is itself a rare find, a treasure of up-to-date information on virtually every aspect of the field. The range of subjects covered here is breathtaking - everything from the domestication of the camel, to Egyptian hieroglyphics, to luminescence dating, to the Mayan calendar, to Koobi Fora and Olduvai Gorge. Readers will find extensive essays that illuminate the full history of archaeology - from the discovery of Herculaneum in 1783, to the recent finding of the `Ice Man' and the ancient city of Uruk - and engaging biographies of the great figures in the field, from Gertrude Bell, Paul Emile Botta, and Louis and Mary Leakey, to V. Gordon Childe, Li Chi, Heinrich Schliemann, and Max Uhle. The Companion offers extensive coverage of the methods used in archaeological research, revealing how archaeologists find sites (remote sensing, aerial photography, ground survey), how they map excavations and report findings, and how they analyse artifacts (radiocarbon dating, dendrochronology, stratigraphy, mortuary analysis). Of course, archaeology's great subject is humanity and human culture, and there are broad essays that examine human evolution - ranging from our early primate ancestors, to Australopithecus and Cro-Magnon, to Homo Erectus and Neanderthals - and explore the many general facets of culture, from art and architecture, to arms and armour, to beer and brewing, to astronomy and religion. And perhaps most important, the contributors provide insightful coverage of human culture as it has been expressed in every region of the world. Here entries range from broad overviews, to treatments of particular themes, to discussions of peoples, societies, and particular sites. Thus, anyone interested in North America would find articles that cover the continent from the Arctic to the Eastern woodlands to the Northwest Coast, that discuss the Iroquois and Algonquian cultures, the hunters of the North American plains, and the Norse in North America, and that describe sites such as Mesa Verde, Meadowcraft Rockshelter, Serpent Mound, and Poverty Point. Likewise, the coverage of Europe runs from the Paleolithic period, to the Bronze and Iron Age, to the Post-Roman era, looks at peoples such as the Celts, the Germans, the Vikings, and the Slavs, and describes sites at Altamira, Pompeii, Stonehenge, Terra Amata, and dozens of other locales. The Companion offers equally thorough coverage of Africa, Europe, North America, Mesoamerica, South America, Asia, the Mediterranean, the Near East, Australia and the Pacific. And finally, the editors have included extensive cross-referencing and thorough indexing, enabling the reader to pursue topics of interest with ease; charts and maps providing additional information; and bibliographies after most entries directing readers to the best sources for further study. Every Oxford Companion aspires to be the definitive overview of a field of study at a particular moment of time. This superb volume is no exception.

Détails sur le produit

  • Relié: 864 pages
  • Editeur : OUP USA (13 mars 1997)
  • Collection : Oxford Companions
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0195076184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195076189
  • Dimensions du produit: 25,3 x 20,1 x 5,1 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 354.332 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Past is prologue... 14 février 2006
Par FrKurt Messick TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS
Format:Relié
Brian Fagan's 'Oxford Companion to Archaeology' is a wonderful encyclopedic dictionary of archaeology worldwide. In the past century and a half, archaeology has graduated from being the hobby of pith-helmeted explorers in search of the unknown cities and treasure to the scientific and research-oriented study of ancient civilisations. Archaeology takes as its province the entire world, and the history goes back in some parts of the world as far as 15,000 to 20,000 years of human civilisation, and back several million years to the earliest human ancestors.
Fagan marshalled a huge team of contributors -- literally hundreds of contributors and dozens of editors worked together to make this a text majestic in scope. Useful for specialists and non-specialists alike, it draws on background resources from the natural and physical sciences, social sciences and humanities. Fagan and co. have include among the entries here articles on archaeological method, general interpretation, history and discovery. This includes coverage of the history and development of archaeology itself, how archaeology attempts to interpret and explain the past, and how this comes together into a coherent discipline.
This being said, this is not a text book or an introduction (or even more advanced) narrative, but rather is a collection of pieces alphabetically arranged. In addition to the main text, there is an extensive index that includes topics, persons, places, key discoveries, and more, with blind references and cross-references. These cross-references are also listed at the end of entries throughout the text. Many major entries also include suggestions for further readings. At the conclusion of the text, there are dozens of pages of maps and timelines.
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Amazon.com: 4.3 étoiles sur 5  7 commentaires
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Past is prologue... 12 août 2004
Par FrKurt Messick - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Brian Fagan's 'Oxford Companion to Archaeology' is a wonderful encyclopedic dictionary of archaeology worldwide. In the past century and a half, archaeology has graduated from being the hobby of pith-helmeted explorers in search of the unknown cities and treasure to the scientific and research-oriented study of ancient civilisations. Archaeology takes as its province the entire world, and the history goes back in some parts of the world as far as 15,000 to 20,000 years of human civilisation, and back several million years to the earliest human ancestors.

Fagan marshalled a huge team of contributors -- literally hundreds of contributors and dozens of editors worked together to make this a text majestic in scope. Useful for specialists and non-specialists alike, it draws on background resources from the natural and physical sciences, social sciences and humanities. Fagan and co. have include among the entries here articles on archaeological method, general interpretation, history and discovery. This includes coverage of the history and development of archaeology itself, how archaeology attempts to interpret and explain the past, and how this comes together into a coherent discipline.

This being said, this is not a text book or an introduction (or even more advanced) narrative, but rather is a collection of pieces alphabetically arranged. In addition to the main text, there is an extensive index that includes topics, persons, places, key discoveries, and more, with blind references and cross-references. These cross-references are also listed at the end of entries throughout the text. Many major entries also include suggestions for further readings. At the conclusion of the text, there are dozens of pages of maps and timelines. The maps are not as detailed as one might hope, giving only general features and major sites. The timelines are very good at placing the various developments and cultures side-by-side; for example, the developments of culture in the Indus Valley, the Fertile Crescent, the Nile and the Mayan Yucatan arose independently of each other, but not at the same times (there were thousands of years separating the initial rise of Egyptian cultures and Mayan cultures, for example).

While there are many fascinating entries in the book, perhaps the most unique article (and perhaps unexpected) is 'Popular Culture, the Portrayal of Archaeology in...' -- this discusses archaeology in film (for many, the only exposure to archaeology comes in Indiana Jones films), in fiction, and in science fiction. The article, written by editor Brian Fagan and contributors John Pohl, Shelly Lowenkopf, and Edward James, talks about these developments in interesting methodological and interpretative ways -- Pohl, for example, demonstrates that Indiana Jones' adventures in fact represent 'dismal project planning'. The popular image of archaeology as simply digging something up causes some concern and consternation among professional archaeologists.

Despite the small print (the text is 850 pages long as it is, and a larger font, while desirable, would have likely required the book to be a two-volume edition), the writing is generally lively and interesting, concentrating on accessibility over jargon. Those with strong interest in archaeology will find this very useful; for those with interest in history, cultural studies, religious studies, art history and more will also find this a very helpful guide for background and peripheral development of their subjects. Every continent and every time period is covered -- from the statues at Easter Island to the statue-menhirs of the French Mediterranean; from the Pyramids of Egypt to the pyramids of the Central Americas, from burial mounds in North America to burial finds in China and India, this book covers it all.

A great text!
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A tremendous discovery for the arm-chair archeologist 6 septembre 2000
Par Jim Allen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Truly a remarkable work and an excellent source for students and arm-chair archaeologists alike. Short on the hoped-for graphics and illustrations but long on information, the Oxford Companion proves its worth when one is looking for an appropriate overview of various archaeological topics. Just enough cross-referencing to excite one's imagination and more than enough to whet one's appetite to dig even deeper into archaeology and all that is has to teach us.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great stories about things dusty, rotting and just plain old 1 septembre 2000
Par Author Bill Peschel - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
"The Oxford Companion to Archaeology" is a fitting friend to the recently published "Eyewitness to Discovery," an anthology of first-person archaeological writings, also edited by Brian Fagan.
Given the space and range of the subject matter, it seems that any kind of judgmental review would be superfluous. No topic is missed, and everything is written with a depth and clarity that one expects from a book in the Oxford Companion series. There are only two regrets. I would have liked to see illustrations, photos and maps of certain sites, but that is more wishful thinking than constructive criticism.
The other problem is that the 29 maps in the back of the book are inadequate. Some sites are listed, some are not. They lack a note indicating what time period they apply to What date does "Early China" map refer to? Or the "Late China?" The sole map of the Roman Empire shows it at its largest, but omits the date of when that was. One might as well review a dictionary.
These are just a few of the idle facts and notions gleaned from these pages:
* A long-term study of what people throw away has been going on out in Tucson, Arizona, since 1973. It has found that the average U.S. household throws away 10 to 15 percent of its edible solid food, that curbside recycling has conserved about 20 percent of landfill space since it began in 1982, and that paper takes up 40 to 50 percent of landfill space.
* Although the wheel was in use in Mesopotamia from about 4,000 B.C., it was not in the Americas, nor in Africa south of the Sahara.
* Diseases brought by European explorers may have reduced North American population, estimated at 18 million, (roughly the current population of South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina combined) by up to 80 percent.
* Silk was such a lucrative export from China that from the second century on, persons caught attempting to export the technology of silk production could be executed.
*That the Great Wall of China is not a continuous wall, but a series of walls, built and rebuilt at different times. The section outside Beijing was reconstructed recently as a tourist attraction. (This account also perpetuates the popular error that the wall is the only human product visible from the moon. Astronaut Alan Bean has written that "the only thing you can see from the moon is a beautiful sphere, mostly white (clouds), some blue (ocean), patches of yellow (deserts), and every once in a while some green vegetation.")
* Last but not least, after reading accounts of civilizations that have lasted thousands of years, only to collapse into a heap of dusty ruins and sometimes indecipherable records, it's hard to feel smug about a country with a mere 200 years of history.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 excellent resource for archaeology student 24 mars 2000
Par C. McCollum - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
The multidisciplinary study of archaeology requires a broad database of knowledge, and the Oxford Companion offers itself as an excellent resource. Alphabetical entries are provided in subject areas, and especially helpful is a variety of timelines and graphical data as well as a comprehensive index. Fagan's compilation of entries from renowned social scientists in the Oxford Companion is an essential in my personal library, and is referred to consistently.
2.0 étoiles sur 5 great reference piece 3 juin 2014
Par Jan Wegenast - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
what, no pictures! this book is good for obtaining details of all archeology topics, but I am more of a visual learner.
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