Whether it's Tomb Raider or Roman coins, the conventional view of archaeology as a discipline solely preoccupied with long dead cultures is misleading. In fact, archaeology is better described as a mode of thought - one by which we can better understand our past, present and future. Indeed, by studying artefacts of past human activity, we can even learn to better tackle great contemporary challenges like high population density and climate change.
Spanning the globe and centuries - from Mesolithic burials in Sweden to modern landfill sites in Arizona - Joe Flatman shows how to view the world with an archaeologist's insight. What does a discarded food packet reveal about contemporary consumption patterns? How can infrared satellite imagery tell archaeologists where to undertake expensive excavation projects? What can archaeology reveal about the beginnings of the human race? Replete with textboxes highlighting key case studies from the history of the subject, and containing invaluable diagrams and photos illustrating the reality of being an archaeologist, this is the essential primer to reading landscapes, objects, and places.
'Readers with a longer-standing involvement may gain some refreshing perspective from this attempt to present an overview in an age of specialisation'.
"[This book] stands apart for the clarity and simplicity of its approach, its focus on archaeological interpretation throughout and for being packed full of rich case studies… an introduction of global reach with a distinctive voice.”
"An exceptionally clear and engaging insight into how archaeologists understand the world."