The Great Archaeologists

The Great Archaeologists

  1. Edited by Brian Fagan
  • ISBN 9780500051818
  • 24.60 x 18.60 cm
  • Hardback
  • 304pp
  • 201 Illustrations, 188 in colour
  • First published 2014

The excavators and decipherers who revealed buried cities, lost civilizations and forgotten scripts to the modern world

‘A compelling range of brilliance, imagination and eccentricity, conveying not just a sense of what being an archaeologist involves, but of how much archaeology has achieved as a contribution to human understanding. As well as in the design and image selection that make this book a pleasure to hold, it strength lies in its writers’ – British Archaeology
‘Whether you are interested in the desert romance of Ur of the Chaldees or the recreation of Viking ships in Roskilde, this gloriously illustrated book is one to savour’– Minerva



Brian Fagan has assembled a team of some of the world’s greatest living archaeologists to write knowledgeably and entertainingly about their distinguished predecessors, the result is full of fascinating anecdotes, personal accounts and unexpected insights.

This comprehensively illustrated book encompasses more than two centuries of research and excavation round the globe, Europe, Africa and Asia to the Americas and the Pacific.

See the full Contents Page

Controversial figures such as Heinrich Schliemann of Troy fame and the Aurel Stein, plunderer of ancient manuscripts from Central Asia, are reassessed. Little-known pioneers such as Max Uhle in Peru and Li Chi in China are set beside the giants in the field – from Lepsius, Mariette and Carter in Egypt, and Koldewey, Dörpfeld and Woolley in the Near East, to Stephens and Catherwood, discoverers of the Maya of Mexico, and Louis and Mary Leakey, who transformed knowledge of our African ancestry. Other indomitable women here include Gertrude Bell, explorer of Arabia and Iraq, Kathleen Kenyon, the excavator of Jericho, and the script-decipherer Tatiana Proskouriakoff.

Imaginatively chosen illustrations range from photographs of the archaeologists and their sites, original drawings and field notebooks, to images of the famous objects that were unearthed.

Brian Fagan, one of the world’s leading writers about archaeology, is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His many books include Cro-Magnon and Beyond the Blue Horizon, and he has written or edited for Thames & Hudson such volumes as The First North Americans, Discovery!, The Complete Ice Age and The Seventy Great Mysteries of the Ancient World.


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