Encyclopedia of Archaeology
The Great Archaeologists [2 volumes]
by Tim Murray, Editor
October 1999, 950pp, 7x10
2 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-57607-199-1
$173, £134, 151€, A237
eBook Available: 978-1-57607-459-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In the last 300 years, archaeology has become a potent tool for both creating and destroying histories, identities, and even nations. Archaeologists have demonstrated their remarkable power to support and oppose prevailing ideologies, government policies, and popular movements. Who were the greatest of these scientists? What discoveries made them great?

Written by some of the world's best-known archaeologists, this two volume set presents a collection of informative, readable, and often witty essays on the lives and work of their famous forebears, colleagues, and teachers.

Encyclopedia of Archaeology: The Great Archaeologists features 58 remarkable biographies written by some of the world’s best-known archaeologists. These essays are arranged chronologically and thus constitute a history of archaeology from its beginnings in the Renaissance to the present day. Especially exciting is the coverage of figures little known to readers in the West: Russian, Chinese, and Mexican archaeologists receive their due.

Each biography begins with a brief summary of the subject’s importance, then goes on to discuss the life and contributions of the biographee, with a focus on his or her role in the development of archaeology as a discipline. Controversy (take, for example, the notorious Schliemann, excavator of Troy) is not swept under the rug. Each essay concludes with a bibliography of primary sources (for people who want to read about the archaeologists’ discoveries in their own words) and secondary sources (to see what critics and admirers had to say).


  • Biographies of 58 of the greatest archaeologists written by their world-renown predecessors
  • 46 contributors, all eminent practicing archaeologists
  • Illustrated with rare photographs, drawings, and charts
  • Glossary
Tim Murray is professor of archaeology at La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. He has published over 12 books and is editor of the Bulletin of the History of Archaeology.


Editors' Choice Award 1999—Reference—Booklist, January 1, 2000

Best Reference Source 1999—Library Journal, January 1, 2000


"This superb two volume set significantly augments the pool of scientific biography extant within anthropology. Useful for social science reference collections in public and undergraduate libraries of all sizes."—American Reference Books Annual, January 1, 2000

"These detailed yet readable profiles greatly enhance our knowledge of archaeologists and their lives. For all libraries."—Library Journal, April 15, 2000

"A useful contribution to the history of archaeology, recommended for institutions with programs or course work in the subject."—Choice, May 1, 2000

"Will make an invaluable addition to collections with an interest in archaeology or anthropology and is a recommended purchase."—Reference & User Services Quarterly, June 1, 2000

"These volumes make a significant contribution to archaeological biography and the history of archaeology. The depth of treatment and the global range make them good value at the price."—The Library Association Record, October 1, 2000

"These two volumes give a grand overview of the history of history. . . . Recommended."—The Book Report, May 1, 2000
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