Teaching the basic principles of archaeology through an “excavation” and analysis of New Orleans Mardi Gras parades and the beads thrown there? A student’s dream book! Award-winning historical archaeologist Laurie Wilkie takes her two loves and merges them into a brief, lively introductory textbook that is sure to actively engage students. She shows how her analysis of trinkets tossed from parade floats can illustrate major themes taught in introductory archaeology classes—from methods to economy, social identity to political power—introduced in a concrete, entertaining way. The strength of Wilkie’s book is in showing how different theoretical models used by archaeologists lead to different research questions and different answers. The textbook covers all the major themes expected of brief introductory texts but is one that students will want to read.