The History of Archaeology: An Introduction, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The History of Archaeology

An Introduction, 1st Edition

Edited by Paul Bahn


266 pages

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The History of Archaeology: An Introduction provides global coverage with chapters devoted to particular regions of the world. The regional approach allows readers to understand the similarities and differences in the history of and approach to archaeology in various parts of the world. Each chapter is written by a specialist scholar with experience of the region concerned. Thus the book focuses on the earliest beginnings of archaeology in different parts of the world, and how it developed from being a pastime for antiquarians and collectors to a serious attempt to obtain information about past societies.

Woven into the text are various boxes that explore key archaeologists, sites and important discoveries in the history of archaeology enriching the story of the discipline’s development. With such far ranging coverage, including an exploration of the little covered development of Russian and Chinese archaeology, The History of Archaeology is the perfect introduction to the history of archaeology for the interested reader and student alike.


"Edited by Fellow Paul Bahn, this book is a pleasure to read, even if you are already familiar with the broad outlines of the subject. Breaking away from the conventional idea that Britain invented everything, it dares to give proper due to the study of ancient things as it developed independently in other parts of the world, including Russia, China, Africa and Australia, as well as in different European and Asian countries." - Salon

"The volume is one of the few that deals with the disciplinary history from a…global perspective, rather than solely from the usual European or Euro-American perspective.Summing Up: Recommended."-D.L. Browman, Washington University, USA in CHOICE

*Nominated for the Current Archaeology Book of the Year Award*

Table of Contents

Preface 1. The Archaeology of Archaeology2. Ancient Europe 3. The Aegean World4. The Classical World5. Egypt 6. West and Southern Asia 7. Africa 8. The Far East 9: Russia 10. North America 11. Mesoamerica 12. South America 13. Australasia Conclusion by Colin Renfrew

About the Editor

Paul Bahn studied archaeology at the University of Cambridge and did his Ph.D. thesis (1979) on the prehistory of the French Pyrenees. Then he held post-doctoral fellowships, at Liverpool and London, plus a J. Paul Getty postdoctoral fellowship in the History of Art and the Humanities. He went freelance in the mid-80s, and since then has devoted himself to writing, editing and translating books on archaeology, plus occasional journalism and as much travel as possible. His main research interest is prehistoric art, especially rock art of the world, and most notably Palaeolithic art, as well as the archaeology of Easter Island. Among his many books are Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice, sixth edition (with Colin Renfrew, 2012), Archaeology: The Key Concepts (with Colin Renfrew; Routledge, 2004) and The Cambridge World Prehistory (edited with Colin Renfrew, 2013).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Archaeology