This engaging work uses key discoveries, events, people, techniques, and controversies to give the general reader a rich history of archaeology from its beginnings in the 16th century to the present. Treasures, temples, and tombs; pyramids, pots, and projectile points - the stuff of archaeology has captured people's imagination since the first digs in the 16th century. Although humans have always been fascinated with the past, the formal discipline of archaeology has existed for only 500 years. This book details the surprisingly controversial course of those five centuries. The history of archaeology leads from the musty collections of dilettante antiquarians to high-tech science. The book identifies three major developmental periods - Birth of Archaeology (16th-18th centuries), Archaeology of Origins and Empires (19th century), and World Archaeology (20th century). An introductory essay acquaints the reader with the essence of the science for each period. The short entries comprising the balance of the book are organized around the themes introduced in the essays. Organized around personalities, techniques, controversies, and conflicts, the encyclopedia brings to life the history of archaeology. It broadens the general reader's knowledge by detailing the professional significance of widely known discoveries while introducing to wider knowledge obscure but important moments in archaeology. Archaeology is replete with the visionaries and swashbucklers of popular myth; it is also filled with careful and dedicated scientists.
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