Linking to the Past: A Brief Introduction to Archaeology

Linking to the Past: A Brief Introduction to Archaeology

Linking to the Past: A Brief Introduction to Archaeology

Linking to the Past: A Brief Introduction to Archaeology


Linking to the Past: A Brief Introduction to Archaeology offers a new and exciting way for students to learn about the methods that archaeologists use to reveal the human past. Featuring an innovative "hyperlink" format of interconnected ideas, anecdotes, and lessons, the text and itsaccompanying CD provide an engaging introduction to archaeology. Employing an accessible and conversational writing style, Kenneth L. Feder describes the archaeological excavation and analysis of a three-thousand-year-old village site located in Connecticut. Woven into this narrative is an overviewof the methods archaeologists use to find, recover, study, and interpret the material culture left behind by past people. The narrative serves as a framework that leads students into general questions about how archaeologists work, such as: How do archaeologists find sites? How do they know how olda site is? and How can they trace the sources of raw materials? These questions are addressed throughout the book. Linking to the Past explains how recovered objects such as bones, seeds, stone flakes, and ceramic fragments can lend insight into the occupations, dwellings, diets, social relationships, religious practices, and physical characteristics of people who lived in the past. It also addresses manypractical aspects of archaeological research, including methods for identification and excavation of sites, absolute and relative dating of objects, and recording and reporting of archaeological findings. Features:
• Innovative hyperlink format: The unique hyperlink organization gives the printed text the feel of a website, as the material is presented in a manner that mirrors the way students might explore archaeology on their own. Students can interact with the text, easily moving back and forthbetween related topics.
• Engaging first-person narrative: Feder describes one of his own archaeological investigations in order to walk students through the ideas and processes involved in archaeological fieldwork. He also addresses general questions about archaeological methodology that are inspired by the narrative.
• CD packaged with every text: The in-text CD-ROM includes the entire printed text with the exception of the study questions, which are found only in the book. The CD also provides hyperlinks from the questions to their detailed answers and contains glossary terms with pronunciations and an imagebank of color photos.
• Extensive glossary: The glossary includes more than two hundred terms and concepts central to understanding archaeology.
• Instructor's Manual and Test Bank CD-ROM: Includes a list of glossary terms, short essay questions, and multiple choice questions. Also features a transition guide which makes it easier to understand how the units in the book correspond to how an instructor currently structures his/hercourse.


Considering the abundance of introductory archaeology texts already available, a number of questions likely occur to you about contemplating yet another, beginning with the most obvious: Why bother? What could this author add that might provide a significantly different and attractive option for introducing archaeology?

The Web Model

I admit it—I love the Internet and am thoroughly addicted to it. Certainly, the Net offers a vast, virtually inclusive information database. I can't remember the last time I searched on the Net for some arcane bit of trivia that I couldn't find. At least as much as I enjoy the universe of data available on-line, I also appreciate the ways in which that information is linked together. Nearly every Web site you visit on a particular topic provides links to other sites that provide complementary information. I have long found it amazing and even exhilarating to go on-line seeking a particular piece of information and, then, by following links to other sites, discovering additional interesting stuff I wasn't even aware of when I began the initial, narrowly focused inquiry. Therein lay my “Eureka” and the beginning of my quest to provide a meaningfully different option for introducing archaeology.

The Format: Book and cd

By their nature, books tend to convey information in a linear way. Readers move in a more or less straight line from topic to topic and from chapter to chapter. a Web site, however, links together the discussions of connected or related ideas, concepts, and issues and allows individuals to explore a topic along a variety of pathways.

Students are nearly universally Web-literate. Almost all of the students I know spend an enormous amount of time on-line and are very familiar with the nonlinear and flexible style of information gathering that the Internet affords. This book exploits that familiarity and comfort level by using what is essentially a web-based format for introducing archaeology. Linking to the Past presents the core content found in an introductory course in archaeology . . .

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