In the Beginning describes the basic methods and theoretical approaches of archaeology. This is a book about fundamental principles written in a clear, flowing style, with minimal use of technical jargon, which approaches archaeology from a global perspective.
Starting with a broad-based introduction to the field, this book surveys the highlights of archaeology’s colorful history, then covers the basics of preservation, dating the past, and the context of archaeological finds. Descriptions of field survey, including the latest remote sensing methods, excavation, and artifact analysis lead into the study of ancient environments, landscapes and settlement patterns, and the people of the past. Two chapters cover cultural resource management, public archaeology, and the important role of archaeology in contemporary society. There is also an essay on archaeology as a potential career. In the Beginning takes the reader on an evenly balanced journey though today’s archaeology. This well-illustrated account, with its numerous boxes and sidebars, is laced with interesting, and sometimes entertaining examples of archaeological research from all parts of the world.
This classic textbook of archaeological method and theory has been in print for nearly fifty years and is used in many countries around the world. It is aimed at introductory students in archaeology and anthropology taking survey courses on archaeology, as well as more advanced readers.
"In the Beginning offers an expansive yet accessible explanation of what archaeologists do. The experience of finding and excavating sites is revealed, and we learn the strategies and skills archaeologists employ to recover and interpret evidence. The book places archaeological thinking and practices in contemporary social contexts, and provides compelling guidance to readers intrigued by the subject." – Peter Hiscock, The University of Sydney, Australia
PART I BACKGROUND TO ARCHAEOLOGY
1 Introducing Archaeology
2 The Beginnings of Scientific Archaeology: Sixth Century B.C. to the 1950s
3 The Many-Voiced Past: Archaeological Thought from the 1950s to Now
PART II THE BASICS
4 Matrix and Preservation
5 Doing Archaeological Research
6 Culture, Data, and Context
7 Dating the Past
PART III RECOVERING THE DATA
8 They Sought It Here, They Sought It There: Finding the Past
9 How to Excavate
PART IV A NALYZING THE PAST: ARTIFACTS AND TECHNOLOGY
10 Classifying Artifacts
11 Technologies of the Ancients
PART V STUDYING ENVIRONMENTS AND PEOPLE
12 Ancient Environments
13 Studying Subsistence
14 The Living Past
15 Landscape and Settlement
16 Interactions: People of the Past
17 Archaeology and the Intangible
PART VI MANAGING THE PAST
18 Cultural Resource Management (CRM) and Public Archaeology
19 Archaeology and Contemporary Society
PART VII CAREERS AND RESOURCES
20 So You Want to Become an Archaeologist?