When the Land Was Young: Reflections on American Archaeology


Sharman Apt Russell skillfully weaves together the stories of our land- from the ancient burial site of a gentle people who lived in eastern Florida seven to eight thousand years ago, to the Hopewell Indians in Ohio- with the personalities and techniques of present-day archaeology. As Russell explains, American archaeology has reached a crossroads. In a discipline that is caught between science and humanities, ancient sites can be seen as sources of data- or as nonrenewable resources that must be conserved. Moreover, many Native Americans consider excavation to be a form of desecration. Who owns the past?American archaeology is full of such intense questions, controversies, and emotional debates- from when humans first entered North America to the angst inherent in the field- can we ever really know the past? A lyrical tale of flesh and blood as well as dust and bones, When the Land Was Young brings to life as never before the study of the past.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Reading, MA
Publication year:
  • 1996