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Archaeology: The Science of the Human Past, 4th Edition

By Mark Q. Sutton

Published by Taylor and Francis

Published Date: Oct 16, 2012


Illuminating the world of archaeology.


Archaeology conveys the excitement of archaeological discovery and explains how archaeologists think as they scientifically find, analyze, and interpret evidence. The main objective of this text is to provide an introduction to the broad and fascinating world of archaeology from the scientific perspective. Discussions on the theoretical aspects of archaeology, as well as the practical applications of what is learned about the past, have been updated and expanded upon in this fourth edition.


Learning Goals

Upon completing this book, readers will be able to:

  • Discuss the theoretical aspects of archaeology.
  • Apply what has been learned about the past.
  • Identify the various perspectives archaeologists have.

Table of Contents

In this Section:
1. Brief Table of Contents

2. Full Table of Contents




Part 1:  What is Archaeology?


Chapter 1:    The Science of Archaeology

Chapter 2:    Backgrounds of Archaeology

Chapter 3:    The Development of Contemporary Archaeology


Part 2:  Obtaining Information About the Past


Chapter 4:    The Archaeological Record

Chapter 5:    Conducting Fieldwork

Chapter 6:    Classification and Analysis of Artifacts

Chapter 7:    Determining Time

Chapter 8:    Bioarchaeology: Human Remains


Part 3:  Interpreting the Past


Chapter 9:      Environment and Adaptation

Chapter 10:    Understanding Past Settlement and Subsistence

Chapter 11:    Interpreting Past Cultural Systems

Chapter 12:    Understanding Culture Change


Part 4:  Public Achaeology


Chapter 13:    Cultural Resource Management

Chapter 14:    Archaeology in the Real World




Part 1:  What is Archaeology?


Chapter 1:     The Science of Archaeology

What Is Archaeology?  

The Branches of Archaeology  

Key Concepts in Archaeology 

Archaeology as Science 

The Importance of Archaeology 


Chapter 2:     Backgrounds of Archaeology

Ancient Archaeology  


The Discovery of Prehistory  

The Emergence of Professional Archaeology  

Developing the Outline of World Prehistory  

Political Influences in the History of Archaeology  


Chapter 3:     The Development of Contemporary Archaeology

Archaeology after World War II  

The Rise of Scientific Archaeology  

Expanding Theoretical Horizons  

Archaeological Frontiers  

Careers in Archaeology  


Part 2:  Obtaining Information About the Past


Chapter 4:     The Archaeological Record

Archaeological Sites 

Archaeological Evidence 

Site Formation and Transformation 


Recognizing and Recovering Evidence 

Ongoing Impacts on the Archaeological Record  


Chapter 5:     Conducting Fieldwork

Finding Sites  

Conducting Archaeological Surveys  

Excavating Sites  

Practical Aspects of Fieldwork  

Ethics in Archaeological Fieldwork  


Chapter 6:     Classification and Analysis of Artifacts

Classification and Typology  

Classifying Types of Artifacts  

Analyzing Artifacts  


Chapter 7:    Determining Time

What Is So Important about Time?  

Older or Younger? Relative Dating in Archaeology  

Real Time: Chronometric Dating  

Chapter 8:     Bioarchaeology: Human Remains

The Study of Human Remains: Getting to Know Past Peoples

Preserved Bodies  

Skeletal Remains  

Analytical Approaches in Bioarchaeology  


Part 3:  Interpreting the Past


Chapter 9:     Environment and Adaptation

The Environment  

Environmental Archaeology 

Human Biological Adaptation  

Human Cultural Adaptation 

Domestication and the Agricultural Revolution


Chapter 10:  Understanding Past Settlement and Subsistence   

How Did People Make a Living? Subsistence 

Where Did People Live? Past Settlement Systems  

The Interplay between Subsistence and Settlement  


Chapter 11:   Interpreting Past Cultural Systems

How Can Archaeology Answer Anthropological Questions?  

Interpreting Past Social Structures  

Interpreting Past Political Organization  

Interpreting Past Belief Systems  

Remembering the Individual  


Chapter 12:   Understanding Culture Change

The Archaeology of Change  

Interpreting Evidence of Change  

Cultural Contact and Conflict  


Part 4:  Public Achaeology


Chapter 13:   Cultural Resource Management

The Impact of Population Growth and Development on Archaeology 

The Field of Cultural Resource Management  

The Role of Public Education in Archaeological Preservation

Cultural Resource Management among Traditional Peoples 


Chapter 14:   Archaeology in the Real World

Archaeology Today  

Archaeology and Politics  

Who Owns the Past?  

Learning from the Past: Applying Archaeology to Contemporary Problems

Archaeology and Computer Technology  

Archaeology, Mass Media, and Public Perception  

So What? The Significance of Archaeology

Purchase Info

ISBN-10: 0-205-88179-3

ISBN-13: 978-0-205-88179-6

Format: Book

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