Milestones in Archaeology
A Chronological Encyclopedia
by Tim Murray
April 2007, 639pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-57607-186-1
$108, £84, 94€, A148
eBook Available: 978-1-85109-645-9
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Treasures, temples, and tombs; pyramids, pots, and projectile points—the stuff of archaeology has captured people’s imagination since the first digs in the 16th century. Although humans have always been fascinated with the past, the formal discipline of archaeology has existed for only 500 years. This book details the surprisingly controversial course of those five centuries.

This engaging work uses key discoveries, events, people, techniques, and controversies to give the general reader a rich history of archaeology from its beginnings in the 16th century to the present.

The history of archaeology leads from the musty collections of dilettante antiquarians to high-tech science. The book identifies three major developmental periods—Birth of Archaeology (16th–18th centuries), Archaeology of Origins and Empires (19th century), and World Archaeology (20th century). An introductory essay acquaints the reader with the essence of the science for each period. The short entries comprising the balance of the book expand on the themes introduced in the essays.

Organized around personalities, techniques, controversies, and conflicts, the encyclopedia brings to life the history of archaeology. It broadens the general reader’s knowledge by detailing the professional significance of widely known discoveries while introducing to wider knowledge obscure but important moments in archaeology. Archaeology is replete with the visionaries and swashbucklers of popular myth; it is also filled with careful and dedicated scientists.


  • 200 entries present chronological milestones in the history of archaeology
  • Includes 70 photographs and drawings of people, sites, and artifacts
  • Three maps locate sites mentioned throughout the text
  • Includes an extensive bibliography for introductory essays and each entry
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.


"Recommended for university libraries supporting archaeology programs."—Library Journal, August 1, 2007

"Recommended for the circulating collection in an academic or large public library."—Booklist, October 1, 2007

"Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates through graduate students, professionals, and general readers."—Choice, December 1, 2007

"this volume is recommended for large public libraries and academic collections thatt support archaeological research."—Reference & User Services Quarterly, December 1, 2007

"The volume makes excellent reading and deserves to be well represented in public and college libraries."—Reference Reviews, September 1, 2008
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