Saturday, August 28, 2010


Invitation to Archaeology is a 1967 book by James Deetz, who was an anthropologist and university professor. Here, Deetz briefly discusses the principles and methods of archaeology, and covers excavation, dating, and analysis.

Deetz’s information is solid, but Invitation to Archaeology is incredibly dry. It reads like a textbook, and Deetz inundates the reader with terminology and jargon. The book feels more like a survey than an introduction, and any reader without at least a basic working knowledge of archaeology may be quickly lost or bored or both. It doesn’t help that there aren’t usually enough illustrations to enable the reader to envision the elaborate scenes and diagrams Deetz describes.

If you’re already into archaeology, you’ll probably want to go with something more in-depth than this 150-page book. If you’re looking for something to spark your interest in the subject, Invitation to Archaeology probably isn’t going to do it.