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Time Detectives: How Archaeologist Use Technology to Recapture the Past (Anglais) Broché – 15 mars 1996

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Description du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

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.

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Amazon.com: 4.0 étoiles sur 5 7 commentaires
0 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 For school 27 décembre 2013
Par Carrie - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This was for college so I did not really enjoy it that much. It was for a tough class that I did not really enjoy so I cannot blame the book! If you enjoy subjects like this you would enjoy it. It had some great stories in it that I did like reading.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A good update with interesting illustrations drawn from the field 6 juillet 2010
Par Atheen - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
When I was a child I had a book called Gods, Graves & Scholars: The Story of Archaeology by C. W. Ceram. It was an introduction to what archaeologists did and about some of their findings throughout the world. I found it fascinating. Professor Fagan has written a splendid volume of much the same character in his "Time Detectives." Here the author has brought archaeology up to date for the 21st Century student of archaeology. While I enjoyed this work, it lacked some of the colorful illustrations of Archaeology Essentials: Theories, Methods and Practice (Abridged Edition) by Renfrew.

The author begins by presenting the reader with some of the unique figures in archeology's historical past, mentioning individuals like Pit-Rivers (though surprisingly not Thomas Jefferson who also did archaeological work on his own estate), Layard, Wheeler, Clark and Childe. Thereafter, he introduces unique sites where work has been done to illuminate the development of human culture and its relationship with the environment while also providing the reader with the more recently introduced technology or research procedures that have permitted scientists of the past to obtain a clearer and more updated impression of what life was like for our ancestors.

Though the author does not specifically state as much, during the 1980s archaeology underwent a significant paradigm shift. While the archaeologist of the previous decades had been focused more on major archaeological digs to locate impressive civil architecture and the luxury goods of the elite, those after 1980 had shifted to a more focused "question and answer" approach.

The heavy demand for labor on expeditions that systematically cleared and catalogued a site had been defrayed in the past by the fact that local workers' wages were generally extremely low and institutions that were interested in a particular theme--such as biblical archeology and proving the Bible's accuracy--or in obtaining exhibit materials--such as Mayan or Egyptian antiquities--often financed by wealthy patrons, were willing to pay for these research costs to attain their own aims. After World War II, however, local wages increased and the demands of local governments for a lion's share of the excavated material--even sometimes for the repatriatization of previously taken art objects already in foreign museums--made the great cost of such major endeavors prohibitive.

Archeology's response was to rephrase the questions answered by the pursuit and to introduce scientific processes and technology to glean as much information from the field as possible with only that amount of time and manpower necessary to complete the immediate project. Furthermore, as Professor Fagan points out, archaeologists began to recognize and admit, even to emphasize the fact that excavation destroys what is excavated. Unless every mote of evidence is collected, interpreted, and more importantly published, the information of a site is irrevocably lost. This fact in turn led to partial excavations that answered immediate questions with as little disturbance of a site as was absolutely necessary for the solution, leaving the rest of the material undisturbed for later generations with better questions and more powerful technological innovations at hand to answer them.

It is this type of technology and procedure that the author introduces to the reading audience. Techniques such as floatation, palenology studies, ice core interpretations, water-logged wood preservation, undersea archaeology, and so on are among those discussed, as are dating technologies like thermoluminescence and Carbon-14 dating. The introduction of ground probing radar, satellite imagery and other equipment are also described in the context of specific sites. The focus of the 21st century archaeologist has become the life of the human population in the past rather than an emphasis on the lives of specific elite individuals. Its emphasis is on recreating for modern students of the past the actual conditions under which people of the past lived.

Although many of the projects that Dr. Fagan presents have appeared in other formats, their collection here as a study in how archeology is done and what information it can provide is very useful. It also brings together in one reference many of the more significant discoveries of the past 30 years. Among my favorites of the author's list of research projects was that at Tiwanaku in Bolivia. I had read Kolata's book on the topic, The Tiwanaku: Portrait of an Andean Civilization (Peoples of America), already and was familiar with the novel use to which archaeology had been put here. It makes it far more apparent that archaology can provide knowledge that is immediately applicable to modern people. Also familiar was the story of the Roman period letters from Hadrian's Wall excavated and preserved by the Birley family of archaeologists Vindolanda: Everyday Life on Rome's Northern Frontier.

As Ceram's book was for me, Fagan's book for todays young readers would be a marvelous introduction to the discoveries of modern archaeology and the types of careers that the field might offer them. A good update with interesting illustrations drawn from the field
4.0 étoiles sur 5 13 essays on modern archaeology 29 octobre 2013
Par Christopher Obert - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This book is a collection of 13 essays on modern archaeology and how technology is changing that field of study. It is also about how the use of many different scientific disciplines (scientists in different fields of study working at dig sites and in the lab) can bring out much more information than an archaeologist working alone with ancient artifacts. The book is divided into three sections: Hunters and Gathers, Farmers, and Civilizations, and covers discoveries from all across the world. The history of the world's civilizations is the history of each one of us and I found each article interesting and very much worth reading. Another important aspect of this book is that we can learn so much more by working together than by working alone. An important message for the world we live in today!
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Digging in the depths of time 25 octobre 2004
Par Stephen A. Haines - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
In the quest for learning about our ancient ancestors, placing artefacts in their original context is essential. It's not enough to locate fossil bones or stone chips as once we did. Now, where those people lived, what they ate, what environmental conditions they enjoyed, plus a multitude of other factors must be integrated to build a realistic picture of their life. Not many years ago we could only guess many of these elements. Fagan explains how today's technologies have taken us far beyond the capabilities of the shovel and brush in revealing details of our ancestors' lives.

In this series of accounts, we accompany Fagan on his visits to various archaeological sites. There, he explains what led to the original find, how it was excavated and what processes were involved in explaining the artefacts. There are many tools available to the field researcher today. Most of them are of recent origin and refinements in the future will improve accuracy. Among the most important of the new technologies is, of course, dating techniques. Fossils seem almost capricious in their location. They may be resting where they fell, or earth's many forces may have carried them about. Streams, tides, scavengers, simple burial practices may place remains in a misleading site. Radiometric dating methods, the decay of an element into another, has proven the most reliable of determining the age of a find. The method applies equally to recent skeletal artefacts or evidence from surrounding environment. Seeds, charcoal from firewood, even the long-dead husks of insects may offer clues to age and local conditions.

The various technologies have widened the spectrum of expertise drawn to archaeological sites. More than simply placing human fossils in a local context, larger patterns are derived from the evidence. Pollen samples demonstrate whether the ancient inhabitants lived in open plain, scattered woodland or congested forest. Dung beetles suggest domestic cattle, while other species may suggest thatched houses or stored grain. Each type of investigation requires a specialist, and one versed in recognising changing conditions as well as static, long-term patterns. Human uses of wood are many and varied, and the counting of tree rings becomes an important element in both dating and environmental clues.

Fagan's personal touch gives what might be a dreary account a vibrant life. We slog through damp, muddy bogs in Britain with Francis Pryor, sort through Euphrates valley plant seeds with Gordon Hillman, and reflect on Egyptian wine vintages from Pharonic times. It's not all dry, dusty or boggy antiquity Fagan relates. In Peru, there proves to be modern application for ancient wisdom. In the Andean hills, he shows how archaeology can become an applied science. Techniques for saving water, keeping root crops frost-resistant and utilising soil resources to the fullest that were used by the ancient Incas are now being applied by local farmers. The Altiplano region, long thought to be too desolate or subject to capricious weather, is now estimated to support up to 1.5 million people using these methods. The region's populace understands how conditions vary, and have established mutually supportive communities to extend the practices and provide support in stressful times. Centralised rule from the capital proved flawed, and the regional communities developed their own system. It's a fine object lesson for others. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 This is a brief overview of Time Detectives 6 août 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Time Detectives is a book about archeology and modern technology. This book describes archeological surveys in North and South America, Africa, and Europe. The most interesting aspect of this book is the methods of archeological research. It is very technical in describing various methods from piecing bone fragments together to radio-carbon dating processes.
In reading this book, one learns that modern archeology is primarily conducted in a lab. The artifacts being transported from the field into various labs in the Americas and Europe. For example, David Cohen excavated a site where a group of hunters and foragers camped in a sandy clearing near Meer in Northern Belgium. He found an area near the site where there were small flint fragments. The pieces were fitted together, and the discovery that there were two persons chipping away on a bit of cobble emerged. The more amazing discovery was that one was right handed, and the other was left handed emerged as th! e chips fit back together.
Another interesting aspect covered in this book is underwater archeology. The various techniques in preserving artifacts are discussed in technical detail. The hardships the divers endure are also discussed. The care of getting preserved artifacts from the ocean floor to the surface without damage is tremendous.
Overall, this book is very challenging reading. The reader discovers that archeology as a science is useful when considering such things as air pollution, simple mechanical discoveries, and survival of the human race. The technical aspects of this book are probably over the heads of my age group (16-18), but it is still interesting reading.
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