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Publisher's Summary

The thrilling history of archaeological adventure, with tales of danger, debate, audacious explorers, and astonishing discoveries around the globe

What is archaeology? The word may bring to mind images of golden pharaohs and lost civilizations or Neanderthal skulls and Ice Age cave art. Archaeology is all of these, but also far more: the only science to encompass the entire span of human history - more than three million years!

This Little History tells the riveting stories of some of the great archaeologists and their amazing discoveries around the globe: ancient Egyptian tombs, Mayan ruins, the first colonial settlements at Jamestown, mysterious Stonehenge, the incredibly preserved Pompeii, and many, many more. In 40 brief, exciting chapters, the book recounts archaeology's development from its 18th-century origins to its 21st-century technological advances, including remote sensing capabilities and satellite imagery techniques that have revolutionized the field.

Shining light on the most intriguing events in the history of the field, this absolutely up-to-date book illuminates archaeology's controversies, discoveries, heroes and scoundrels, global sites, and newest methods for curious listeners of every age.

Cover illustrations by Joe McLaren

©2018 Brian Fagan (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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  • Elaine
  • Timpson, TX, United States
  • 04-30-18

Like Kent Brockman reading me the encyclopedia

I have a lot of respect for Brian Fagan, but this book of 40 short chapters reads more like an encyclopedia than a history--none of the people or archaological sites "come alive" in any way. I'm as annoyed by this book as I was by my Intro to Archaeology class in college: archaeology is one of the most interesting of all possible subjects, since it covers lost mysteries of humanity, treasures of art and culture (and some gold and jewels too!), real-life human adventurers, beautiful remote locations...and this book turns it into a series of dry facts. It seems like some specialists in this field forget that overviews of their subject can have both scholarly AND narrative value.

The narrator was a bad choice, too--it sounds like he's enclosing every fifth word in scare quotes.

Overall, I'd say this one isn't worth a credit.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • K. J. Noyes
  • 06-10-18

Key advances/artefacts in t'science of archaeology

It's very interesting for someone unaware of the development and timeline of archaeology. Forty names, dates and places that advanced the science, that gave clues about the past to the world and helped us learn more about our own story.

From the defining moment in The Valley of the Kings we go backwards to the start of the digs to present day technologies and with everything in between - female archaeologists, advances in techniques, stories from all around the world combine to the great narration of the discipline.

I found the short chapters kept my interest, though there were a lot of names to try and keep track of when listening to the audiobook. The narrator did a grand job of making it an absorbing choice, and I liked the roughly chronological nature of the writing, moving from early days to latest advances. There was nothing here that didn't work as an audiobook, though if there are illustrations at all, I have missed them and am none the wiser.

Very informative, lots of appetite-whetting and I'll be looking up some of the stories and names to learn more.

With thanks to Nudge Books for providing a sample Audible copy.