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Great Excavations: Tales of Early Southwestern Archaeology, 1888-1939, School of American Research Press, 1995

Author:

Stephen E. Nash

Department of Anthropology The University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, D.S.A. 85721, US
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Abstract

Great Excavations: Tales of Early Southwestern Archaeology, 1 888-1939, is an "intentionally selective" account of eight major archaeological expeditions to the Southwest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It succeeds in achieving the goals set forth in the prologue. The reader is taken on an "armchair tour"  of early Southwestern excavations in the hope that the resulting "basic understanding of what the early archae­ologists did" will stimulate a desire to "learn more about the intriguing prehistory of the Southwest" (pp. xiii).

As a student of the history of North American archaeology, I would be amiss to speak for Elion's "layperson" audience, but my suspicion is that her presentation will indeed stimulate those readers. As an archaeologist, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and it may well be that Elliott's journalistic approach makes this book more enjoyable because she is able to remain above the level of detail that often burden archaeolo­gists' accounts of these expeditions. I must temper this statement by noting that Elliott's journalistic hyper­ bole and tendency to oversimplify complex research and analysis are at times discomforting.

How to Cite: Nash, S.E., (1997). Great Excavations: Tales of Early Southwestern Archaeology, 1888-1939, School of American Research Press, 1995. Bulletin of the History of Archaeology. 7(1), pp.23–25. DOI: http://doi.org/10.5334/bha.07109
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Published on 20 May 1997.

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