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The Italian son of a barber. A failed hydraulic engineer. A giant who performed feats of strength and agility in the circus. Giovanni Belzoni (1778-1824) was all of these before going on to become one of the most controversial figures in the history of Egyptian archaeology. A man of exceptional size with an ego of comparable proportions, he procured for the British Museum some of its largest and still awe-inspiring treasures. Today, however, the typical museum visitor knows nothing of Belzoni, and many modern archaeologists dismiss him as an ignorant vandal. In this captivating new biography, Ivor Noel Hume re-creates an early nineteenth century in which there was no established archaeological profession, only enormous opportunity. Belzoni landed in Egypt, where he was unsuccessful in selling a hydraulic machine of his own invention, and came under the patronage of diplomat Henry Salt, who convinced him to travel to Thebes in search of artifacts. Among the many treasures Belzoni would bring back was the seven-ton stone head of Ramesses II, the "Young Memnon". The book includes gripping accounts of Belzoni's wildly productive, and physically brutal, expeditions, as well as an unforgettable portrait of his wife, Sarah, who suffered the hardships of the Egyptian deserts and later bore the brunt of the disillusionment that came with the declining popular perception of her husband. Including numerous illustrations, many in colour, this volume brings one of archaeology's most fascinating figures vividly to life.
Drawing on new archaeological evidence, an authoritative history of Rome's Great Fire-and how it inflicted lasting harm on the Roman Empire According to legend, the Roman emperor Nero set fire to his majestic imperial capital on the night of July 19, AD 64 and fiddled while the city burned. It's a story that has been told for more than two millennia-and it's likely that almost none of it is true. In Rome Is Burning, distinguished Roman historian Anthony Barrett sets the record straight, providing a comprehensive and authoritative account of the Great Fire of Rome, its immediate aftermath, and its damaging longterm consequences for the Roman world. Drawing on remarkable new archaeological discoveries and sifting through all the literary evidence, he tells what is known about what actually happened-and argues that the disaster was a turning point in Roman history, one that ultimately led to the fall of Nero and the end of the dynasty that began with Julius Caesar. Rome Is Burning tells how the fire destroyed much of the city and threw the population into panic. It describes how it also destroyed Nero's golden image and provoked a financial crisis and currency devaluation that made a permanent impact on the Roman economy. Most importantly, the book surveys, and includes many photographs of, recent archaeological evidence that shows visible traces of the fire's destruction. Finally, the book describes the fire's continuing afterlife in literature, opera, ballet, and film. A richly detailed and scrupulously factual narrative of an event that has always been shrouded in myth, Rome Is Burning promises to become the standard account of the Great Fire of Rome for our time.
The Chewa are the largest ethnic group in Malawi, representing a third of the population of approximately 19 million, and their language, Chichewa, is Malawi's national language. Yet the last book on the history of this group was published in 1944, and was based on oral history, or tradition. As with much African history, it started to be recorded only in the late 19th century. This is the first book to use not only oral history, but also documents written by early Portuguese explorers, traders and government officials, as well as archaeology, to piece together the early history of the Chewa. The author is an archaeologist, who discovered the first major Chewa settlement, Mankhamba, near the southern part of Lake Malawi. His excavations have enabled a more scientific chronology of the migrations of the Chewa into what is today Malawi and have provided physical proof of their early history as well as their material and spiritual culture and way of life. There are several historians and archaeologists working in the area of early Malawian history, but their work remains largely in the domain of academia and is inaccessible to the general public. Professor Yusuf Juwayeyi has written and documented a very readable history of the Chewa as revealed by archaeology, and demonstrates the value of combining oral tradition together with archaeology to arrive at a more accurate picture of the history of a pre-literate society. With many illustrations, this book will be appealing not only to historians, archaeologists and anthropologists, but also the general reader interested in African history and in Malawi's history in particular.
Taking an archaeological perspective on the past, Jeffrey S. Girard traces native human habitation in northwest Louisiana from the end of the last Ice Age, through the formation of the Caddo culture in the tenth century BCE, to the early nineteenth century. Employing the results of recent scientific investigations, The Caddos and Their Ancestors depicts a distinct and dynamic population spanning from precolonial times to the dawn of the modern era. Girard grounds his research in the material evidence that defined Caddo culture long before the appearance of Europeans in the late seventeenth century. Reliance solely on documented observations by explorers and missionaries- which often reflect a Native American population with a static past- propagates an incomplete account of history. By using specific archaeological techniques, Girard reveals how the Caddos altered their lives to cope with ever-changing physical and social environments across thousands of years. This illuminating approach contextualizes the remnants of houses, mounds, burials, tools, ornaments, and food found at Native American sites in northwest Louisiana. Through ample descriptions and illustrations of these archaeological finds, Girard deepens understanding of the social organization, technology, settlement, art, and worldviews of this resilient society. This long-overdue examination of an often-overlooked cultural force provides a thorough yet concise history of the 14,000 years the Caddo people and their predecessors survived and thrived in what is now Louisiana.
This is a scientific expoe that will shatter our knowledge of ancient human history. Scholars have told us that the first civilisation on Earth emerged in a land called Sumer some 6000 years ago. New archaeological and scientific discoveries made by Michael Tellinger, Johan Heine and a team of leading scientists, show that the Sumerians and even the Egyptians inherited all their knowledge from an earlier civilisation that lived at the southern tip of Africa more than 200,000 years ago...mining gold.
These were also the people who carved the first Horus bird, the first Sphinx, built the first pyramids and built an accurate stone calendar right in the heart of it all. "Adam's Calendar" is the flagship among millions of circular stone ruins, ancient roads, agricultural terraces and thousands of ancient mines, left behind by a vanished civilisation which we now call the First People. They carved detailed images into the hardest rock, worshipped the sun, and are the first to carve an image of the Egyptian Ankh - key of life and universal knowledge, 200,000 years before the Egyptians came to light.
This book graphically exposes these discoveries and will be the catalyst for rewriting our ancient human history. The book is a continuation of Tellinger's previous books Slave Species of God and Adam's Calendar which have become favourites with readers in over 20 countries.
Coinage played a central role in the history of the Athenian naval empire of the fifth century BC. It made possible the rise of the empire itself, which was financed through tribute in coinage collected annually from the empire's approximately 200 cities. The empire's downfall was brought about by the wealth in Persian coinage that financed its enemies. This book surveys and illustrates, with nearly 200 examples, the extraordinary variety of silver and gold coinages that were employed in the history of the period, minted by cities within the empire and by those cities and rulers that came into contact with it. It also examines how coins supplement the literary sources and even attest to developments in the monetary history of the period that would otherwise be unknown. This is an accessible introduction to both the history of the Athenian empire and to the use of coins as evidence.
If you drive through Mpumalanga with an eye on the landscape flashing by, you may see, near the sides of the road and further away on the hills above and in the valleys below, fragments of building in stone as well as sections of stone-walling breaking the grass cover. Endless stone circles, set in bewildering mazes and linked by long stone passages, cover the landscape stretching from Ohrigstad to Carolina, connecting over 10 000 square kilometres of the escarpment into a complex web of stone-walled homesteads, terraced fields and linking roads. Oral traditions recorded in the early twentieth century named the area Bokoni - the country of the Koni people. Few South Africans or visitors to the country know much about these settlements, and why today they are deserted and largely ignored. A long tradition of archaeological work which might provide some of the answers remains cloistered in universities and the knowledge vacuum has been filled by a variety of exotic explanations - invoking ancient settlers from India or even visitors from outer space - that share a common assumption that Africans were too primitive to have created such elaborate stone structures. Forgotten World defies the usual stereotypes about backward African farming methods and shows that these settlements were at their peak between 1500 and 1820, that they housed a substantial population, organised vast amounts of labour for infrastructural development, and displayed extraordinary levels of agricultural innovation and productivity. The Koni were part of a trading system linked to the coast of Mozambique and the wider world of Indian Ocean trade beyond. Forgotten World tells the story of Bokoni through rigorous historical and archaeological research, and lavishly illustrates it with stunning photographic images.
From the bestselling author of 1177 B.C., an accessible primer to the archaeologist's craft An archaeologist with more than thirty seasons of excavation experience, Eric H. Cline has conducted fieldwork around the world, from Greece and Crete to Egypt, Israel, and Jordan. In Digging Deeper, Cline answers the questions archaeologists are most frequently asked, such as: How do you know where to dig? How are excavations actually done? How do you know how old something is? Who gets to keep what is found? How do you know what people from the past ate, wore, and looked like? Adapted from Cline's acclaimed book Three Stones Make a Wall, this lively little volume is brimming with insights and practical advice about how archaeology really works. Whether you are an armchair archaeologist or embarking on your first excavation, Digging Deeper is an essential primer on the art of the dig.
Humanity is by many measures the biggest success story in the animal kingdom; but what are the costs of this triumph? Over its three million years of existence, the human species has continuously modified nature and drained its resources. In Cataclysms, Laurent Testot provides the full tally, offering a comprehensive environmental history of humanity's unmatched and perhaps irreversible influence on the world. Testot explores the interconnected histories of human evolution and planetary deterioration, arguing that our development from naked apes to Homo sapiens has entailed wide-scale environmental harm. Testot makes the case that humans have usually been catastrophic for the planet, "hyperpredators" responsible for mass extinctions, deforestation, global warming, ocean acidification, and unchecked pollution, as well as the slaughter of our own species. Organized chronologically around seven technological revolutions, Cataclysms unspools the intertwined saga of humanity and our environment, from our shy beginnings in Africa to today's domination of the planet, revealing how we have blown past any limits along the way--whether by exploding our own population numbers, domesticating countless other species, or harnessing energy from fossils. Testot's book, while sweeping, is light and approachable, telling the stories--sometimes rambunctious, sometimes appalling--of how a glorified monkey transformed its own environment beyond all recognition. In order to begin reversing our environmental disaster, we must have a better understanding of our own past and the incalculable environmental costs incurred at every stage of human innovation. Cataclysms offers that understanding and the hope that we can now begin to reform our relationship to the Earth.
The meanings of ritualized head treatments among ancient Mesoamerican and Andean peoples is the subject of this book, the first overarching coverage of an important subject. Heads are sources of power that protect, impersonate, emulate sacred forces, distinguish, or acquire identity within the native world. The essays in this book examine these themes in a wide array of indigenous head treatments, including facial cosmetics and hair arrangements, permanent cranial vault and facial modifications, dental decorations, posthumous head processing, and head hunting. They offer new insights into native understandings of beauty, power, age, gender, and ethnicity. The contributors are experts from such diverse fields as skeletal biology, archaeology, aesthetics, forensics, taphonomy, and art history.
From Maes Howe in Orkney to Stonehenge and souther England, an astonishing theme recurs in Britain's neolitihc landscapes. 'The Silbury Revelation' explains how Britain's most mysterious monument was dedicated to the same theme, and why Silbuty Hill is emlematic of an overthrown stone age religion.
Viking Britain author Thomas Williams returns with a brief history of the interaction between the Vikings and the British to tell the story of the occupation of London. The Vikings remoulded the world, changed the language, and upended the dynamics of power and trade. Monasteries and settlements burned, ancient dynasties were extinguished. And nowhere in these islands saw more aggression than London. Between 842 and 1016, the city was subjected repeatedly to serious assault. In this short history, bestselling historian Thomas Williams recounts the profound impact Viking raiders from the North had on London. Delving into London's darkest age, he charts how the city was transformed in this period by immigrants and natives, kings and commoners, into the fulcrum of national power and identity. London emerged as a hub of trade, production and international exchange, a financial centre, a political prize, a fiercely independent and often intractable cauldron of spirited and rowdy townsfolk: a place that, a thousand years ago, already embodied much of what London was to become and still remains. This remarkable book takes the reader into a city of spectres, to its ancient past, to timeworn street names hidden beneath concrete underpasses, to the crypts of old churches, to a stretch of the old river bank, or the depths of museum collections. Nothing is lost in the city. And memories of the Vikings hover like a miasma in these places, blowing across the mud and shingle on the Thames foreshore - ghosts of Viking London.
This book is a study of the ways places are created and how they attain meaning. Smith presents archaeological data from Khonkho Wankane in the southern Lake Titicaca basin of Bolivia to explore how landscapes were imagined and constructed during processes of political centralization in this region. In particular he examines landscapes of movement and the development of powerful political and religious centers during the Late Formative period (200 BC-AD 500), just before the emergence of the urban state centered at Tiwanaku (AD 500-1100). Late Formative politico-religious centers, Smith notes, were characterized by mobile populations of agropastoralists and caravan drovers. By exploring ritual practice at Late Formative settlements, Smith provides a new way of looking at political centralization, incipient urbanism, and state formation at Tiwanaku.
In the past, an excavated musket ball might simply have been catalogued as either a ""spherical lead bullet"" or an ""impacted bullet."" But each recovered ball, far from being a mere lump of lead, is a part of history and has a story to tell. With the help of new equipment and research techniques, and an increase in the number of discoveries, these narratives can finally contribute exacting detail to the historical record. Battlefield archaeologist Daniel M. Sivilich provides readers with the tools and techniques to unlock the stories of small shot in this book, the first definitive guide to identifying musket balls, from the oldest formed to those fired in the early nineteenth century. Musket Ball and Small Shot Identification: A Guide traces the history of musket balls and small shot, and explores their uses as lethal projectiles and in nonlethal alterations. Sivilich asks - and answers - a variety of questions to demonstrate how a musket ball found in a military context can help to interpret the site: Was it fired? What did it hit? What type of gun is it associated with? Has it been chewed, and if so, by whom or what? Was it hammered into gaming pieces? By equipping historians and archaeologists with the information necessary for answering these questions, Sivilich's accessible work opens new views into firing lines, casualty areas, and military camps. It dispels long-held misperceptions about lead shot having been bitten by humans, offers examples of shot altered to improve lethality, and discusses balls made of materials other than lead, such as pewter. Coupling detailed analysis with more than 300 color and black-and-white illustrations for comparison and identification, this guide will prove indispensable to historians, battlefield archeologists, and collectors. It is a critical resource for understanding the full story of firepower.
Chaco Canyon has one of the most significant concentrations of archaeological remains in North America. Pueblo Bonito, the largest and best known of Chaco's great houses, was largely excavated in the late 1890s and early 1920s, but then no extensive excavations were conducted at the site until a team of archaeologists from the University of New Mexico began work there in 2004. In exploring the possible evidence of water-control features, archaeologists recovered some 200,000 artifacts. Here they use the artifacts and fauna they found to examine the lives and activities of the inhabitants of Pueblo Bonito as well as to further interpret current models of Chaco archaeology. The contributors particularly focus on questions regarding crafts production, long-distance exchange relationships, and evidence for feasting and other ritual behavior. The results from the 2004-2008 excavations challenge many interpretations related to the daily activities of the Pueblo Bonito population while supporting others.
The Art and Archeology of Ancient Greece is an introductory-level textbook for students with little or no background in ancient art. Arranged chronologically in broad swathes of time, from the Bronze and Iron Ages through the Geometric, Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods, and concluding with the Roman conquest of the Greek world, the textbook focuses on Greek art but also incorporates Near Eastern, Etruscan, and Roman objects. Judith M. Barringer examines a variety of media, analyzing marble and bronze sculpture, public architecture, and vase painting, as well as coins, domestic architecture, mosaics, terracotta figurines and reliefs, jewelry, and wall painting. This book adopts an approach that considers objects and monuments within their cultural contexts. * More than 500 illustrations, with over 400 in color and 13 maps, including specially commissioned photographs, maps, plans, and reconstructions * Includes text boxes, chapter summaries and timelines, and detailed glossary * Looks at Greek art from perspectives of both art history and archaeology, giving students an understanding of the historical and everyday context of art objects
Almost as soon as the last shot was fired in the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the battlefield became an archaeological site. For many years afterward, as fascination with the famed 1876 fight intensified, visitors to the area scavenged the many relics left behind. It took decades, however, before researchers began to tease information from the battle's debris--and the new field of battlefield archaeology began to emerge. In "Uncovering History," renowned archaeologist Douglas D. Scott offers a comprehensive account of investigations at the Little Bighorn, from the earliest collecting efforts to early-twentieth-century findings.
Artifacts found on a field of battle and removed without context or care are just relics, curiosities that arouse romantic imagination. When investigators recover these artifacts in a systematic manner, though, these items become a valuable source of clues for reconstructing battle events. Here Scott describes how detailed analysis of specific detritus at the Little Bighorn--such as cartridge cases, fragments of camping equipment and clothing, and skeletal remains--have allowed researchers to reconstruct and reinterpret the history of the conflict. In the process, he demonstrates how major advances in technology, such as metal detection and GPS, have expanded the capabilities of battlefield archaeologists to uncover new evidence and analyze it with greater accuracy.
Through his broad survey of Little Bighorn archaeology across a span of 130 years, Scott expands our understanding of the battle, its protagonists, and the enduring legacy of the battlefield as a national memorial.
Britain's pagan past, with its mysterious monuments, atmospheric sites, enigmatic artifacts, bloodthirsty legends, and cryptic inscriptions, is both enthralling and perplexing to a resident of the twenty-first century. In this ambitious and thoroughly up-to-date book, Ronald Hutton reveals the long development, rapid suppression, and enduring cultural significance of paganism, from the Paleolithic Era to the coming of Christianity. He draws on an array of recently discovered evidence and shows how new findings have radically transformed understandings of belief and ritual in Britain before the arrival of organized religion. Setting forth a chronological narrative, Hutton along the way makes side visits to explore specific locations of ancient pagan activity. He includes the well-known sacred sites-Stonehenge, Avebury, Seahenge, Maiden Castle, Anglesey-as well as more obscure locations across the mainland and coastal islands. In tireless pursuit of the elusive "why" of pagan behavior, Hutton astonishes with the breadth of his understanding of Britain's deep past and inspires with the originality of his insights.
This unique book provides the student of Roman history with an accessible and detailed introduction to Roman and provincial coinage in the late Republic and early Empire in the context of current historical themes and debates. Almost two hundred different coins are illustrated at double life size, with each described in detail, and technical Latin and numismatic terms are explained. Chapters are arranged chronologically, allowing students to quickly identify material relevant to Julius Caesar, the second triumvirate, the relationship between Antony and Cleopatra, and the Principate of Augustus. Iconography, archaeological contexts, and the economy are clearly presented. A diverse array of material is brought together in a single volume to challenge and enhance our understanding of the transition from Republic to Empire.
Focusing on the British Isles, the author explores a period of huge societal change - the Neolithic, or 'New Stone Age' - through the most iconic artifact of its time: the polished stone axe, using an ancient stone axe-head brought to him by a local quarry worker as a guide to the revolution that changed the world. These formidable creations were not only crucial tools that enabled the first farmers to clear the forests, but also objects of great symbolic importance, signifying status and power, wrapped up in expressions of religion and politics. Mixing anecdote, ethnography and archaeological analysis, the author vividly demonstrates how the archaeology on the ground reveals to us the evolving worldview of a species increasingly altering their own landscape; settling down together, investing in agricultural plots, and collectively erecting massive ceremonial monuments to cement new communal identities. As a direct result of the invention, and intensification, of agriculture, the planet entered the Anthropocene, or the current 'age of humanity': an era in which we are changing the world around us in significant, accelerating and often unpredictable ways. As the author poignantly concludes, our ancestors set us on the path to the modern world we live in; now seven billion humans must face the challenges that presents.
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