Choice Reviews, February 2000, 37-3128

Companion encyclopedia of archaeology. ed. by Graeme Barker Routledge, 1999. 2vol.

A compilation of 29 papers written primarily by British- and US-trained scholars who were asked to produce authoritative discussions rather than summaries, this work is meant to be read, not consulted as one might expect given its title. The volumes are divided into three parts. The first covers the origins, aims, and methods of archaeology, including the nature of evidence, establishing chronologies, reconstructing landscape, and studying people, structures, and artifacts. The papers in the second illustrate the interdisciplinary nature of the field in areas such as food and farming, culture and identity, the organization of society, and prehistoric production and exchange. The third focuses on writing archaeological history and spans the time period from human evolution to industrialization. The style is scholarly but readable with ample references following each chapter. The volumes include a number of black-and-white photos, fine drawings, and other illustrations. A 22-page index concludes the set. Recommended for academic libraries serving upper-division and graduate students, faculty and researchers, especially in the fields of archaeology, anthropology, classics, and the history of scholarship. -- M. R. Dittemore, Smithsonian Institution Libraries.