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61. The Sea Hunters II
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62. Pikillacta : The Wari Empire in
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64. Ancient Oaxaca
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65. Andean Archaeology II: Art, Landscape,
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66. Crusader Archaeology: The Material
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67. Aztecs and Maya: The Ancient Peoples
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68. The Living Goddesses
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69. The Incas and Their Ancestors:
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70. The Olmecs: America's First Civilization
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71. The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls:
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72. The Olmecs: America's First Civilization
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73. Stone Age Spear and Arrow Points
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74. Flowerdew Hundred: The Archaeology
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75. The Search for Nefertiti : The
76. The First Americans : In Pursuit
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77. Patterns in Prehistory: Humankind's
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78. Antiquities of the Southern Indians,
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79. Kingship and the Gods : A Study
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80. The Search of the Cradle of Civilization

61. The Sea Hunters II
by Clive Cussler, Craig Dirgo
list price: $27.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0399149252
Catlog: Book (2002-12-01)
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
Sales Rank: 23160
Average Customer Review: 3.38 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

For twenty-three years, Clive Cussler's NUMA&reg-the National Underwater & Marine Agency-has scoured the rivers and seas in search of lost ships of historic significance. His teams have been inundated by tidal waves, and beset by the vagaries of man and nature, but the results-and the stories behind them-have often been dramatic: The 2000 raising of the Confederate submarine Hunley made national headlines.

Here, then, are more true tales of sea- and land-going adventures, as Cussler and his crews set out to track down history. The famous ghost ship Mary Celeste, found floating off the Azores in 1872 with no one on board; the Carpathia, the ship that rescued the Titanic survivors and was itself lost to U-boats six years later; L'Oiseau Blanc, the airplane that almost beat The Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic before disappearing in the Maine woods-all these, plus steamboats, ironclads, a seventeenth-century flagship, a certain famous PT boat, and even a dirigible, prove tantalizing targets as Cussler demonstrates again that truth can be "at least as fun, and sometimes stranger, than fiction" (Men's Journal).
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Reviews (13)

3-0 out of 5 stars Lightweight mix of fact and fiction
I'm not a fan of fiction, so the format of "The Sea Hunters", which combines a novel woven within historic fact (or is it historic fact woven within a novel?) just didn't work for me.

Cussler's NUMA team has actively searched for historic shipwrecks over the years, and scored big time with the C.S.S. Hunley. In this book, he relates the adventures he has had looking for other important wrecks. While he does provide some interesting background to the ships, the historical value of his accounts is too lightweight to be of any real significance.

The real "meat" of his book is his quest for the wrecks themselves. However, Cussler focuses more on the search than on what he and his crew found, and most of his "discoveries" are limited to magnetometer sweeps. Cussler then includes fictional accounts of the ship to flesh out his tales.

While I was not expecting extensive archaeological investigations of the wrecks, I did want Cussler to provide some detail. For example, his team found the exposed wreck of the U.S.S. Patapsco, but Cussler mentions only that they found some guns and artifacts. He makes no mention of the ship's condition, no photos, and no wreck diagrams. This book remided me of a fishing trip - They went out, looked around, and had fun. Whether they actually caught something was of secondary importance.

The book is: 30% fiction, 40% NUMA guys looking around, 25% historical background, and 5% information about what they found. If you like lightweight history, armchair adventure stories, or fiction, you might enjoy this book. For anyone looking for a historical or archaeological resource, go elsewhere.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Masterful Blend of History, Adventure and Humor
Several years ago I picked up a copy of THE SEA HUNTERS by Clive Cussler. Although I had enjoyed nearly a dozen of his Dirk Pitt novels, a book about the true adventures of the real NUMA team sounded interesting. Interesting didn't begin to describe it. By the time I'd finished reading, the book was a bestseller and I was a lifelong fan. I began tapping into his NUMA website ( on a regular basis to see what new projects were afoot and what discoveries had been made. Last spring, I was lucky enough to interview Cussler on the release of his latest Dirk Pitt novel VALHALLA RISING and was rewarded with even more information about his research into maritime history. It's this history that forms the basis for both his fictional stories and real life expeditions and his dedication to contributing to that body of historical knowledge is admirable. In THE SEA HUNTERS II, Cussler's avid interest and unselfish pursuit is simply defined: if it's lost, he wants to find it.

THE SEA HUNTERS II, like its predecessor, contains not only accounts of the various expeditions undertaken by Cussler's National Underwater Marine Agency but also gives readers a historical recreation of the events that took place at each fateful site. Utilizing the archives of governmental agencies both here and abroad, as well as available eyewitness accounts and personal records, Cussler engages the reader with reenactments that set the stage for his narration of each NUMA discovery. The first five sections of the book concentrate on NUMA's exploration of Civil War wreckage, focusing on the copious naval battles that took place over control of the Mississippi River and the eventual siege of Charleston. Cussler's professed love of southern history and the ships that played a part in it is evident as the tales of heroism and tragedy unfold upon the waters of the mighty Mississippi. Other chapters of THE SEA HUNTERS II recount the international exploits of Cussler and his fellow researchers in the far corners of the world from the warm Caribbean waters surrounding Haiti to the treacherous shores of South Africa and the tumultuous seas of the northern Atlantic.

One of the most fascinating stories is the mystery surrounding the Mary Celeste, a "ghost" ship whose crew disappeared without a trace and spawned a legend that has tantalized maritime enthusiasts for decades. While much of the tale is speculation, NUMA was finally successful in pinpointing the resting place of this fabled ship. Another mystery that still remains unresolved is the disappearance of the plane and the pilots who attempted the first transatlantic crossing from Paris to New York. NUMA's research uncovered convincing evidence that The White Bird actually achieved the first nonstop crossing --- prior to Lindbergh and his Spirit of St. Louis --- they just didn't make it all the way down the coast to New York. Their crash site remains undiscovered in the boggy wilds of Maine, but the story of NUMA's attempts to locate it while sorting through the fuzzy first-hand recollections and baffling psychic revelations make for great reading.

Perhaps the most famous and heavily exploited maritime tragedy was the sinking of the ocean liner Titanic in 1912. The Carpathia, the ship that attempted to rescue Titanic survivors, is featured prominently in all accounts of that fateful night but, beyond that, she sailed out of the picture never to be heard from again. Cussler, of course, was not content to leave Carpathia as a footnote in Titanic's history, thus the further adventures of Carpathia and her final demise by a German U-boat become a chapter of NUMA's history as well.

With the release of THE SEA HUNTERS II just before the holidays, this reviewer hopes many of you will find a copy in your stocking Christmas morning. It's 400 plus pages are a masterful blend of history, adventure and humor --- enlightening and entertaining --- as Cussler intended. His lifelong mission has been to leave the world more enriched than he found it and perhaps to inspire us all to follow a similar path in our own way. "Each day is future history. So don't step lightly. The trick is to leave tracks that can be followed."

--- Reviewed by Ann Bruns

2-0 out of 5 stars This book is a sunken ship!
I absolutely love Clive Cusslers books but I don't love this book. In fact, I don't even like it. Usually, his books grip me from beginning to end. This one didn't. I couldn't even finish it. I tried to read it 3 times but had to put it down each time. It was completely unsatisfying...I was expecting a great Clive read but ended up with THIS???!!!

2-0 out of 5 stars What happened?
I agree with the other reviewers, the first Sea Hunters was much better, even though there were problems with that book. This one is jarring in places - you can clearly see where Clive Cussler left off and Craig Dirgo picked up. Dirgo is not a good writer. I found some inaccuracies, which I know Cussler didn't make, because his research is meticulous. It's too bad, this could have been a better book with the right writer.

The only reason I am keeping this book is because I'm in the last chapter (which I helped write, which means it was written well). It's fun to pull the book out and show people the photo and part I wrote. Then it goes right back on the shelf.

1-0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the first, but this one....
I really enjoyed the first volume, but as I read this one something began to bother me. I couldn't put my finger on it until about page 108 when Cussler, or should I say Dirgo, details a friend's sense of humour.

The friend refuses to stow his bag on the plane, because it really isn't against FAA regulations not to. The flight attendant has to deal with this fellow, who Cussler tells us is an FAA investigator, and a retired Col. in the Air Force, as he refuses to do as she asks. She has to get the pilot to come and speak to this friend, who when faced with a "suitable" authority figure, has already stowed the bag.

Ho-ho! What a great joke.

Then it hit me, the whole book is filled with "We're so much smarter than everyone" episodes from the flight attendant to a 7/11 clerk. If you agree that Cussler and his friends are the pinnacles of human evolution, then this is the book for you.

I would recommend reading the historical chapters and skipping the rest. ... Read more

62. Pikillacta : The Wari Empire in Cuzco
list price: $49.95
our price: $49.95
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Asin: 0877459312
Catlog: Book (2005-05-15)
Publisher: University Of Iowa Press
Sales Rank: 442848
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Book Description

The origin of the first Andean imperial state has been the subject of lively debate for decades. Archaeological sites dating to the Peruvian Middle Horizon time period, a.d. 540 to 900, appear to give evidence for the emergence of an expansive empire that set the stage for the development of the later Inca state. This archaeological investigation of Pikillacta, the largest provincial site of Peru's pre-Inca Wari empire, provides essential background for interpreting the empire's political and cultural organization. With engineering skills rivaling those of the builders of Cuzco itself, the Wari at Pikillacta erected more than seven hundred buildings covering nearly two square kilometers, with a fresh water supply and an elaborate underground sewage system but, enigmatically, only seven short streets and a near total lack of windows. In this long-awaited volume, Gordon McEwan and his colleagues report on the labor costs of construction (nearly 6 million man-days), the typology of Pikillacta's enigmatic architecture, and the site's spectacular hydraulic system as well as its ceramics and chronology, human remains, and metal artifacts.In the final section, building on his years of research and excavation, McEwan develops a hypothetical model of Wari provincial administration in the Cuzco region, arguing that the Wari were innovators of techniques of statecraft that explain the function of and the labor investment in the Pikillacta complex. His book not only substantively contributes to our understanding of when and exactly how and why Pikillacta was built and what it was used for, it also illuminates the political and cultural antecedents of the Inca state.
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by Clive Cussler, Craig Dirgo
list price: $24.00
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Asin: 0684830272
Catlog: Book (1996-10-07)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Sales Rank: 199975
Average Customer Review: 3.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In THE SEA HUNTERS. Cussler tells of his lifelong love for the sea and ships and his dedication to the discovery and preservation of historic shipwrecks. With the same wonderful storytelling that Cussler brings to his novels, he describes his searches for shipwrecks that he and his NUMA volunteers have found. Opening each story with a creative dramatization of the ship and the way she met her end, he then brings the story into the present as he describes the immense research and careful preparation so often necessary to find a long lost ship.

Dramatic. compelling, and personal. Clive Cussler's THE SEA HUNTERS is as exciting and satisfying as the best of his fiction. ... Read more

Reviews (36)

5-0 out of 5 stars This is the life story of all the Cussler Characters!
Before purchasing the above mentioned book I read some of the customer reviews. Most were dissapointed in that they thought this was another Dirk Pitt mystery. Some people never understood what they were reading. I am a Clive Cussler fan, and have been since day one. I have read all thirteen books at least twice, and have been facinated by his tales. My personal favorites are "Vixon-03, and Treasure." I am a writer, not an author, but a writer. I have learned the importance of cliff-hanging your readers. I seldom put a Cussler book down until I have finished it. However, getting back to "The Sea Hunters." If the reader would only look at what they are reading they will meet every standard character ever written in a Cussler/Pitt novel. They are there in real life, and the adventures of each book are present in what Cussler is accomplishing. It is evident they cannot see past the word on the page. My humble suggestion to them is to please look at the book as one of the best action novels of non-fiction Cussler has penned. If I am lucky enough to be published someday, I would like to keep the same thought taught to me by Cussler, and repeated by him in the book. "You can never do enough research." (C Cussler) Read the book and please with an open mind understand: 1 - you first do it because it's there, 2 - It always makes a good story afterward, 3 - you can never do enough research! Somday I hope these ideals will turn me from a writer into an author. Thank you for you time.

Back in 1997, I sent the following to Clive Cussler (to which he responded). It pretty well expresses my feelings about this marvelous book.

Having just read and enjoyed your book, The Sea Hunters, I just wanted to drop you a note. Your search and salvage exploits have been amazing!! The book presented numerous situations and scenarios that were unknown to me. Sections of your book should be used by teachers to make the study of history more interesting. Although some people may criticize your fictional accounts of the incidents presented in your book, the writing is certainly vivid and brings to life a somewhat tedious and dull subject. My only criticism of your book is that it did not include a bibliography, although you do mention a few references throughout the text. I guess I'll just have to go to my local library and start looking for appropriate books on subjects of interest.

I've read all of the Dirk PittĀ® exploits, but they certainly don't compare to some of your non-fictional adventures. Dirk's are becoming a bit "over the edge." But who cares. A well-crafted story is what the reading public wants. Dirk Pitt - What a great name for an adventure hero!! James Bond sounds like a sissy name compared to the one you've created.

3-0 out of 5 stars Light reading for history buffs
In his spare time Clive Cussler, the renowned author of adventure stories starring Dirk Pitt, hunts for historic ships that went down at sea or on rivers, by the hand of nature or man. In this first book he describes the explorations of the volunteers of NUMA to trace those ships. The ships are mainly 19th and 20th century warships. In about ten short stories he first very vividly describes what may have happened on board of the boats based on historical facts combined with fantasy and then the tedium and excitement of searching for and finding the ships (plus one train engine).

Clive Cussler has a very funny style of writing which makes this book light reading, even though content-wise it is mainly for the really historically interested.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Real Dirk Pitt
Great Book. I'm not one for non-fiction, but this is an exception. It has exciting historical-fiction stories about actual sunken ships and a non-fiction account of how the author, Clive Cusser (Dirk Pitt) and his band of actual NUMA sub-mariners were able to search for, and find these historical relics. A must read!

1-0 out of 5 stars No Credit??
Your e-mail address is longer secure. Why?? Zeff Loria is not mentioned in any of your credits. Why would that be?? Maybe you want to take all the credit? You have my e-mail on file if you wish to respond. ... Read more

64. Ancient Oaxaca
by Richard Blanton, G. Feinman, S. Kowalewski, L. Nicholas
list price: $21.99
our price: $21.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 052157787X
Catlog: Book (1999-05-01)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Sales Rank: 201267
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Book Description

Just after 500 B.C., one of the earliest states in the New World developed in the Valley of Oaxaca, in present-day Mexico. The newly created political institution brought in its wake a profound transformation of society and technology. This book investigates the rich archaeological record of the valley in an attempt to throw light on the causes and consequences of these changes. ... Read more

65. Andean Archaeology II: Art, Landscape, and Society
list price: $109.00
our price: $109.00
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Asin: 0306472503
Catlog: Book (2002-07-31)
Publisher: Plenum US
Sales Rank: 690364
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Book Description

The origins and development of civilization are vitalcomponents to the understanding of the cultural processes that createhuman societies. Comparing and contrasting the evolutionary sequencesfrom different civilizations is one approach to discovering theirunique development. One area for comparison is in the Central Andeswhere several societies remained in isolation without a writtenlanguage. As a direct result, the only resource to understand thesesocieties is their material artifacts.In this second volume, the focus is on the art and landscape remainsand what they uncover about societies of the Central Andes region. Theancient art and landscape, revealing the range and richness of thesocieties of the area significantly shaped the development of Andeanarchaeology. This work includes discussions on:pottery and textiles;iconography and symbols;ideology; geoglyphs and rock art. This volume will be of interest to Andean archaeologists, cultural andhistorical anthropologists, material archaeologists and Latin Americanhistorians. ... Read more

66. Crusader Archaeology: The Material Culture of the Latin East
by Adrian J. Boas
list price: $85.95
our price: $85.95
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Asin: 0415173612
Catlog: Book (1999-05)
Publisher: Routledge
Sales Rank: 347089
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Book Description

Crusader Archaeology draws together recently excavated material culture in Israel, Cyprus, Syria and Jordan to examine what life was like for the Crusaders in their territory and how they were influenced by their newfound neighbors. Chapters discuss urban and rural settlements, surveying agriculture, industry, military, church, public and private architecture, arts and crafts, leisure pursuits, death and burial, and building techniques. This lavishly illustrated volume creates a vivid portrait of the period. ... Read more

67. Aztecs and Maya: The Ancient Peoples of Middle America
by Nicholas James, N. James
list price: $35.00
our price: $35.00
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Asin: 0752414240
Catlog: Book (2001-12-01)
Publisher: Tempus Publishing, Limited
Sales Rank: 606604
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68. The Living Goddesses
by Marija Gimbutas, Miriam Robbins Dexter
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
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Asin: 0520229150
Catlog: Book (2001-01-12)
Publisher: University of California Press
Sales Rank: 221339
Average Customer Review: 4.75 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The Living Goddesses crowns a lifetime of innovative, influential work by one of the twentieth-century's most remarkable scholars. Marija Gimbutas wrote and taught with rare clarity in her original-and originally shocking-interpretation of prehistoric European civilization. Gimbutas flew in the face of contemporary archaeology when she reconstructed goddess-centered cultures that predated historic patriarchal cultures by many thousands of years.

This volume, which was close to completion at the time of her death, contains the distillation of her studies, combined with new discoveries, insights, and analysis. Editor Miriam Robbins Dexter has added introductory and concluding remarks, summaries, and annotations. The first part of the book is an accessible, beautifully illustrated summation of all Gimbutas's earlier work on "Old European" religion, together with her ideas on the roles of males and females in ancient matrilineal cultures. The second part of the book brings her knowledge to bear on what we know of the goddesses today-those who, in many places and in many forms, live on. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not really a paradise
First of all, Gimbutas was an eminent scholar, not a "fringe archaeologist". The fact that most archaeologists reject her theories does not prove that she was wrong. In fact, most, if not all, of her opponents has never seriously tried to explain why upper Palaeolithic and early neolithic symbolism is focused on women, while the latest neolithic and bronze symbolism clearly is cantered on men. No one of them ever had a good explanation for this fact - so why so harshly attacking Gimbutas who at least had a plausible theory?

In this book, published five years after Gimbutas death, the reader will get a good picture of Gimbutas theory of the goddess cult who, according to her, was the ideology of a matrifocal and matrilineal society. She is probably right in her main theory - at least none of her critics have a better alternative.

But... there is a contradiction between her tendency to idealize these societies and some known facts about some of them, facts that even Gimbutas acknowledge in this book. For example at page 106 the reader is informed that at the centre of the ritual circle Woodhenge, which Gimbutas sees a sacred place for the Goddess, "the archaeologists uncovered the crouched skeleton of a tree-year old child" . On the next page she argues that all the British "roundels" were sacred places for the Goddess and mentions "the sacrificial or ritual nature of their human remains". In fact , many of these human remains comes from small children, probably sacrificed when the circles where built.

Gimbutas was an eminent scholar, but when it comes to idealizing, it appears to have been a snake in the matrifocal paradise, at least in some regions, after all. If I have to choose, I prefer the Virgin of Guadalupe before the goddess of Woodhenge.

5-0 out of 5 stars Old European culture has survived in its living goddesses.
For those familiar with Gimbutas's earlier works, Part I is a refresher course on how the peoples of Neolithic Europe saw the Goddess. Especially interesting are the chapters on Stonehenge and other temples and ceremonial centers of wood stone and wood throughout Britain and the continent. The book's greatest value, however, lies in Part II, which comprises chapters on the Minoan, Greek, Etruscan, Basque, Celtic, Germanic, and Baltic religions. Gimbutas and Dexter explain with precision and clarity how the civilization of early historical Europe was an amalgam containing both Old and Indo-European elements. The Old Europeans were already there, of course, working the land, building cities, creating their elegant pottery, worshipping in temples sometimes miscalled palaces or fortified settlements. The Indo-European tribes came and saw and conquered. And then they settled in. Yes, they made terrible changes, but they also intermarried and adopted, and life went on. Much remained and was transformed. Although we are, for example, perhaps most familiar with the Greek gods and goddesses, we may not be familiar with their Old European ancestors. Hekate, Artemis, Athena, and Hera survived from Old Europe. So did some of the Greek gods, including Hermes, Pan, and (amazingly) Zeus. The information on the Balts is especially interesting, for they were the last pagans in Europe and their region "represents the greatest repository of Old European beliefs and traditions." This is the paganism Marija Gimbutas experienced as a child in Lithuania. Some who espouse the "culture wars" would have us believe that Gimbutas made it all up. This book is proof that she simply reported what she found. It is a testament to her extraordinary scholarship in archaeology, folklore, history, and matrilineal culture.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Kirkus reviewer obviously did not read the book!
The evidence laid out in this series of works is very compelling. The critics of these ideas seem only able to express themselves with "Preposterous!" or "Idiotic" but never with a calm rational comparison of data and artifacts.

The Kirkus reviewer says it is "bordering on the ridiculous" to assume that the bull could have been a female symbol, that this is Gimbutas' imagination. But then there is artwork remaining from this era with clear pictures of bull skulls with horns drawn over the pelvic areas of women, with the horns positioned where the fallopian tubes would be. This murals are reproduced in the book. Had the reviewer wanted to actually check what the book presented as evidence for this assertion, he or she would have been able to find this mural. Bull skulls painted over the pelvises of women, the symbolism is hard to dismiss.

The critics of Gimbutas either don't read her work or address people who have never read her work themselves.

Seeing the anger and spite towards this body of scholarly work leaves me wondering why is there so much hatred and antagonism towards the work of Gimbutas? Why are there so many irrational and inaccurate criticisms of her body of work?

The Kirkus reviewer was sloppy -- if he or she had bothered to read the book being reviewed, then he or she would have had access to the data that supports Gimbutas' assignment of the bucranium, the head and horns of ther bull, as a uterine symbol.

What kind of fly-by-night operation is Kirkus that they allow such sloppy reviews by someone who will make an attack on a position presented in the book without actually looking at the physical evidence for this position that is decribed and presented and footnoted properly in the book itself?

I am not impressed by the critic of Gimbutas. I haven't seen a criticism that was either accurate or unemotional.

5-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Overview of a Gifted Scholar's Life's Work
Although some reactionary reviewers would like the general public to believe that the late Marija Gimbutas, Ph.D. was a beyond-the-fringe scholar, one only has to look at the list of illustrious scholars who chose to write for the earlier Anthology celebrating her life's work to see that such a view is an insult to this extremely capable, gifted, and intelligent archaeologist and scholar. Marija Gimbutas was just ahead of her time and in conflict with the predominantly male powers that be within the Miriam Robbins Dexter, Ph.D.; Riane Eisler, J.D.; James Harrod, Ph.D.; Carol P. Christ; Martin Huld; and Michael Dames to name just a few contributed to the Anthology volume honouring Marija's work. Kees Bolle, Ph.D. and Joseph Campbell can be numbered among Marija's admirers as well. Some reactionaries would like you to think that Marija stood alone and foolish in her ideas. However, time will tell and it seems that time and science are on Marija's side.

For those of you who have not had the privilege of an academic career or who are just starting out at University, you might not know that there are fads and fashions in academia just as there are fads and fashions in the other aspects of our lives. When I was an undergraduate, the History Dept. at my University was pretty much run by Marxist Historians. They groomed their students with their favorite concepts and practices and a generation of Marxist Historians was popped out. A few rebelled (some became reactionary, some revolutionary, and some just tried to be objective) and thus, twenty years down the line you have a change in fad and fashion and new schools of thought and modes of methodology take over in the halls of upper learning.

The same thing happens in all realms of study -- remember, all of these examinations and explanations are THEORIES! Even Marija's are theories; however, it is up the individual READER to determine which theory is logical and probable and to make their own choices. Do not surrender to the view of some self appointed arbiter of academia to tell you what is or is not of value.

Now remember, there are fads and fashions in academia. Marija's mode of theory arose from her life experiences (and just to find out a bit about the adventures of this extraordinary woman's extraordinary life is one reason to purchase "Living Goddesses") and the time in which she taught. Marija began teaching in the time of freedom and exploration that arose after W.W.II and in the Sixties. She continued teaching through the Seventies, Eighties and early Nineties. Many of her critics, however, are the products of the reactionary Reagan Era. Marija was not an ill taught or unaccredited scholar. She published twenty books and more than two hundred articles in various languages and taught at the best schools on this planet. She worked on many of the important archaeological digs of this century in many countries. She brought a new and fresh vision to the interpretation of data (which up until her time was nearly always interpreted by male scholars -- we see the world though our upbringing and this DOES matter in how scholars interpret their data). Marija Gimbutas, although she would have blushed at the praise, was a visionary genius.

I say this, even though I do not agree with all of her findings. However, there is enough in her theories to be of great interest and to make you comprehend the History of Western Civilization in a new way. A lot of what Marija theorizes makes incredible sense.

So, I say to you -- take a gamble and decide for yourself. I find that this is an extraordinary volume of work. Miriam Robbins Dexter, Ph.D. has done a wonderful job of condensing and clarifying Marija's life work into this very accessible volume. I think that everyone can get a good grasp of what Marija's theories were, and they are a refreshing breath of crisp clean air, after the thick, mind numbing fog that we have sometimes had to deal with in the halls of academia. Scholarship is supposed to foster new ideas and ways of looking at the world. It is awful to say that I do not think that this is always the case in our society. We are a society that still overvalues conformity; however, would you have your PC at the ready or be surfing the Internet if the conformists had had their way? I think not.

"Living Goddesses" is the final, fittingly comprehensive and approachable volume of Marija's life work. Miriam Robbins Dexter, Ph.D. has done a fantastic job of editing and finalizing the volume which must have been a Herculean task since the author was deceased. It is a gift to the minds of the world who explore, and wish to evaluate learning for themselves. It is a gift to the creative and visionary among us. I thank Marija Gimbutas, wherever she is, for gifting us with her knowledge, insight, and creativity. I also thank Miriam Robbins Dexter, Ph.D., for a wonderful job of tying everything together in an entertaining and enlightening manner. I highly recommend that you purchase a copy of this book and decide its merits for yourself.

Wendilyn Emrys, B.A ... Read more

69. The Incas and Their Ancestors: The Archaeology of Peru (Revised Edition)
by Michael E. Moseley
list price: $29.95
our price: $19.77
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Asin: 0500282773
Catlog: Book (2001-06)
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Sales Rank: 114868
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

In 1532, when Pizarro conquered Peru, the Inca realm was one of the largest empires on earth, graced by gold masterpieces, towns with great palaces and temples, and an impressive network of roads. But this glittering culture only obscured the rich and diverse civilizations that had preceded it: Chavin, Moche, Nazca, Tiwanaku, Huari, and Chimú. Described as a "masterly study" and an "outstanding volume" on its first publication, The Incas and Their Ancestors quickly established itself as the best general introduction to the cultures and civilizations of ancient Peru. Now this classic text has been fully updated for the revised edition. New discoveries over the last decade are integrated throughout. The occupation of Peru's desert coast can now be traced back to 12,000 BC and ensuing maritime adaptations are examined in early littoral societies that mummified their dead and others that were mound builders. The spread of Andean agriculture is related to fresh data on climate, and protracted drought is identified as a recurrent contributor to the rise and fall of civilizations in the Cordillera. The results of recent excavations enliven understanding of coastal Moche and Nazca societies and the ancient highland states of Huari and Tiwanaku. Architectural models accompanying burials provide fresh interpretations of the palaces of imperial Chan Chan, while the origins of the Incas are given new clarity by a spate of modern research on America's largest native empire. 225 b/w illustrations. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great resource
I use this book a great deal as a resource for research on ancient Peru. Although this book is not "made pretty" with lots of color photographs and has a textbook feel, it does contain a wealth of information and scholarship. It is a must read for anyone wanting to learn about the ancient cultures of Peru in depth.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ancestors more advanced than the Incas
It is a shame that THE INCAS has to be stressed to sell a book that is so good on their ancestors. In North Peru, for example, the Moche left a wealth of advanced (& colorful) information & technology skills of which Peru does not take advantage, especially in terms of tourism. See for the cultures of North Peru. We await the revised edition. Michael White & Clara Bravo, Trujillo Peru Tour Guides.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Peru Incas reference book
The Incas and Their Ancestors has a textbook feel and is a good aid to research on the culture. The book is structured around the various periods of history and addresses art, survival, lifestyle and the design of structures and communities. The book is primarily enhanced with black and white photos of Inca art and drawings, although some color photos are included with the book. Drawings of the layouts of communities are helpful for research projects, but would have benefitted from being larger. Bought as a reference book for a school project, it will clearly meet the need, but it is not likely to be picked up for any casual reading! ... Read more

70. The Olmecs: America's First Civilization (Ancient Peoples and Places)
by Richard A. Diehl
list price: $39.95
our price: $25.17
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Asin: 0500021198
Catlog: Book (2004-11-30)
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Sales Rank: 25345
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Book Description

"The first truly complete and authoritative account of this 3,000-year-old culture."—Michael D. Coe, Yale University

The Olmecs of southern Mexico are America's oldest civilization and Mesoamerica's "Mother Culture." Long famous for their colossal heads carved from giant boulders, the Olmecs have fascinated the public and archaeologists alike since the 1940s when National Geographic magazine reported the initial explorations of their centers. Despite well-publicized discoveries of spectacular basalt sculptures, portable jade objects, and richly decorated pottery vessels, until recently almost nothing was known about Olmec history, foreign contacts, and daily life. Now archaeologists have recovered information that allows them to assemble a reasonably complete picture of Olmec culture and its impact on later Mexican civilizations.

The Olmecs established the first cities in the Americas on high ground overlooking the rivers that meander across southeastern Mexico's fertile coastal lowlands. Between the thirteenth and sixth centuries BC, rulers of San Lorenzo and La Venta oversaw the construction of palaces, pyramids, plazas, richly stocked tombs, and religious sanctuaries, and commissioned hundreds of sculptures carved from raw basalt. Thousands of Olmec farmers supported themselves and their leaders by growing maize and other domesticated plants. Rulers and priests interceded on behalf of the entire society with the gods and spirits, while merchants ventured into distant lands searching for rare stones, shells, animal pelts, feathers, and exotic foods such as cacao.

The Olmecs presents the first modern overview of information from recent archaeological field projects and studies of Olmec art. Profusely illustrated, it will become the standard work on this enigmatic culture. 155 illustrations, 20 in color. ... Read more

71. The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls: Unlocking the Secrets of the Past, Present, and Future
by Chris Morton, Ceri Louise Thomas
list price: $20.00
our price: $13.60
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Asin: 1879181800
Catlog: Book (2002-03-30)
Publisher: Bear & Company
Sales Rank: 53514
Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A real-life detective story of the ancient world with overwhelming implications for the modern one.
* Explores the Native American legend of the 13 crystal skulls said to hold the keys to future earth changes and humankind's destiny.
* By independent filmmakers Chris Morton and Ceri Louise Thomas, whose A&E documentary on the crystal skulls has won high acclaim in the United States and abroad.
* Over 100,000 sold worldwide.

Native American legend tells of 13 life-size crystal skulls said to contain crucial information about humankind's true purpose and destiny. The legend prophesied that at a time of great crisis for humanity, all of the crystal skulls would be rediscovered and brought together to reveal information vital to the very survival of the human race. The authors first heard of this legend while in the jungles of Central America and, after a real crystal skull was discovered in a Mayan city, set out on a quest to discover the truth behind this mystery.

The Mystery of the Crystal Skulls follows their journey from the ancient temples of the Maya to the British Museum, the Smithsonian, and to the crystal laboratories of Hewlett-Packard, where sophisticated scientific tests on the skull--made from the same quartz crystal used in today's computers--lead to the conclusion, "This skull shouldn't even exist." These scientific tests have raised many questions: Are the skulls really information storage devices that allow us to tap deep into the past and predict the future? Are they artifacts from the lost civilization of Atlantis or are they extraterrestrial in origin? Their journey also leads to Native shamans and elders who reveal the sacred knowledge and vital information that these skulls hold about coming earth changes and humanity's imminent destiny. ... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Top Shelf
I loved this book! It is filled with fascinating stories and information concerning something very concrete. The Native American angle is especially intriguing. In the end of course you end up wanting more to sink your teeth into, but that is the curse of a great read.

4-0 out of 5 stars A little long but ultimately fascinating
The concepts contained within this book have implications for all of humanity. Definitely worth a read! Not wanting to make this fascinating subject matter appear too new agey, the authors were very careful to include exhaustive historic details and to explore every possible angle. I admit that I skimmed a couple of the longer chapters, but I was absolutely absorbed by the book as a whole. The story of the crystal skulls is absorbing and enlightening---and certainly a must-read in this era of corporate gluttony and environmental disregard. Highly recommended!

5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely informative!
This is a gripping book full of information that reads like a novel. Covering subjects from ancient history to quantum physics there is more information in this one book than I have read in hundreds of others. Startling revelations and theories abound. Highly recommended read!

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting but too wordy
This is a very interesting book but the writer is much too wordy asking too many questions before trying to answer them. I like the concept of the book but don't like the way it's written. ... Read more

72. The Olmecs: America's First Civilization (Ancient Peoples and Places)
by Richard A. Diehl
list price: $39.95
our price: $25.17
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0500021198
Catlog: Book (2004-11-30)
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Sales Rank: 25345
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Book Description

"The first truly complete and authoritative account of this 3,000-year-old culture."—Michael D. Coe, Yale University

The Olmecs of southern Mexico are America's oldest civilization and Mesoamerica's "Mother Culture." Long famous for their colossal heads carved from giant boulders, the Olmecs have fascinated the public and archaeologists alike since the 1940s when National Geographic magazine reported the initial explorations of their centers. Despite well-publicized discoveries of spectacular basalt sculptures, portable jade objects, and richly decorated pottery vessels, until recently almost nothing was known about Olmec history, foreign contacts, and daily life. Now archaeologists have recovered information that allows them to assemble a reasonably complete picture of Olmec culture and its impact on later Mexican civilizations.

The Olmecs established the first cities in the Americas on high ground overlooking the rivers that meander across southeastern Mexico's fertile coastal lowlands. Between the thirteenth and sixth centuries BC, rulers of San Lorenzo and La Venta oversaw the construction of palaces, pyramids, plazas, richly stocked tombs, and religious sanctuaries, and commissioned hundreds of sculptures carved from raw basalt. Thousands of Olmec farmers supported themselves and their leaders by growing maize and other domesticated plants. Rulers and priests interceded on behalf of the entire society with the gods and spirits, while merchants ventured into distant lands searching for rare stones, shells, animal pelts, feathers, and exotic foods such as cacao.

The Olmecs presents the first modern overview of information from recent archaeological field projects and studies of Olmec art. Profusely illustrated, it will become the standard work on this enigmatic culture. 155 illustrations, 20 in color. ... Read more

73. Stone Age Spear and Arrow Points of the Midcontinental and Eastern United States: A Modern Survey and Reference
by Noel D. Justice
list price: $24.95
our price: $15.72
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Asin: 0253209854
Catlog: Book (1995-09-01)
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Sales Rank: 91436
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Necessity for the Midwestern Archeologist
Justice's "Stone Age Spear and Arrow Points" is a must have for anyone interested in Midwestern prehistoric lithic technology. A number of localized and somewhat regional typology books are available, but none attempts such a widespread regional synthesis. Two primary features make Justice the best point book available. The first is his use of the point cluster concept. Instead recognizing each individual point type name as a scientifically valid and culturally meaningful category (like Perino), Justice groups points by clusters of points exhibiting close morphological affinities. He then lists all those other named variants as "morphological correlates" so that they may still be referenced by looking them up in the index.
The second benefit of this book is the fact that it is profusely illustrated, with most point types being represented by multiple drawings and some by color photographs. This aids the archeologist and collector in that it illustrates the range of variation included in each point type category.

The only fault of this book is that it has been abused by some who consider it the final word in point type ranges. This is due to the fact that Justice provides maps of the known distribution of each of the point types in the Midwest. These maps, although helpful, are necessarily incomplete in that they only contain information available up the the date of the book's publication. Science is variable; distributions change. If one keeps this in mind, there will be no problems.

In all, therefore, this book is great for all and a necessity for the archeologist and serious collector.

5-0 out of 5 stars great book
This is the best point typology book I have come across.I disagree with the assertion that the scope of this book is limited to late archaic and woodland cultures,as it is clearly evident that paleo and other archaic forms are described.Especially good for chronometric associations and cultural affiliations,as well as developmental histories of point types.

4-0 out of 5 stars Gratifying Results
Justice's monumental work is a boone for anyone interested in the relationships of projectile points throughtout the East/Midwest Regions. Justice outlines each projectile point by its morphological and chronological characteristics. Justice relates each point within a regional framework to other typologically and temporally similar points. Bibliographic information is given for each type and cluster. This book is a must for anyone interested in the use of projectile points as chronolgical markers. The book's main fault is it is only applicable through the late archaic/woodland period. It is, however, extremely thorough in the periods it does cover. ... Read more

74. Flowerdew Hundred: The Archaeology of a Virginia Plantation, 1619-1864
by James Deetz
list price: $16.50
our price: $16.50
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Asin: 0813916399
Catlog: Book (1995-09-01)
Publisher: University Press of Virginia
Sales Rank: 415009
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fine introduction to historical archaeology
Writing about the archaeology of more than a dozen unrelated sites that existed over a period of 250 years is not a simple task. The late Jim Deetz, a fine writer, does his best to make sense of a lot of digging that took place over a period of more than twenty years. The account unavoidably drags in places. (Do we really care that much whether blacks or Indians made the inferior pottery known as Colono ware?) But Deetz's stylistic grace and sense of proportion keeps the inconsequential from getting out of hand. The introduction and final chapter contain excellent discussions of historical archaeology as a discipline.

4-0 out of 5 stars Flowerdew Hundred: A Review
This book discusses the History of a Virgina Platation seen through the eyes of those that came long after the people who lived and toiled had departed. This story is about people. Some we know of,and some we don't. This is the story of their lives, told through the broken dishes and pipes that remain. James Deetz weaves together the history of this plantation to create a wonderous tapastry for all to enjoy, even if you arent an archeologist. ... Read more

75. The Search for Nefertiti : The True Story of an Amazing Discovery
by Joann Fletcher
list price: $25.95
our price: $16.35
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Asin: 0060585560
Catlog: Book (2004-10-01)
Publisher: William Morrow
Sales Rank: 20541
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Book Description

Her power was rivaled only by her beauty. Her face has become one of the most recognizable images in the world. She was an independent woman and thinker centuries before her time. But who was Egypt's Queen Nefertiti?

After years of intense research, Dr. Joann Fletcher has answered the questions countless researchers before her could not. While studying Egyptian royal wigs, she read a brief mention of an unidentified and mummified body, discovered long ago and believed to belong to an Egyptian of little importance. This body happened to have a wig, which Dr. Fletcher knew was a clear sign of power. After examining the hairpiece and the woman to which it belonged, to the astonishment of her colleagues she identified this body as the missing remains of Queen Nefertiti.

The search for Nefertiti had ended. She had been found. But the questions were just beginning.

Nefertiti first rose to prominence in Egyptology in 1912, when a three-thousand-year-old bust of the queen was unearthed and quickly became a recognizable artifact around the world. But pieces of Nefertiti's life remained missing. The world had seen what she looked like, but few knew about her place in history.

Virtually nothing is recorded about Nefertiti's early years. What is known about her life starts with her rise to power, her breaking through the sex barrier to rule as a virtual co-Pharaoh alongside her husband, Akhenaten. Upon his death she took full control of his kingdom. The Egyptian people loved her and celebrated her beauty in art, but the priests did not feel the same way. They believed Nefertiti's power over her husband was so great that she would instill her monotheistic beliefs upon him, rendering their own power obsolete. Egyptologists concur that it was these priests who, upon Nefertiti's death, had her name erased from public record and any likeness of her defaced. This ultimately led to her being left out of history for three thousand years.

In The Search for Nefertiti Dr. Fletcher, an esteemed Egyptologist, traces not only her thirteen-year search for this woman, whose beauty was as great as her power, but also brings to the forefront the way Egypt's royal dead have been treated over time by people as varied as Agatha Christie and Adolf Hitler. She also explores how modern technology and forensics are quickly changing the field of archaeology and, in turn, what we know about history.

... Read more

76. The First Americans : In Pursuit of Archaeology's Greatest Mystery
list price: $26.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375505520
Catlog: Book (2002-08-20)
Publisher: Random House
Sales Rank: 273463
Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Archaeologist J. M. Adovasio has spent the last thirty years at the center of one of our most fiery scientific debates: Who were the first humans in the Americas, and how and when did they get there?

H. L. Mencken said that “for every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.” We all grew up thinking that the first Americans were a band of hunters who crossed the frozen Bering Strait during the Ice Age some twelve thousand years ago and whose descendants spread to the tip of South America infive hundred years. Now, in no small part because of J. M. Adovasio’s work, our notions of who first peopled the Western Hemisphere, how they arrived, and how they lived have been forever changed.

Adovasio begins The First Americans by putting his work into historical context, from the earliest European fantasies about where the Native Americans came from to the birth of modern archaeology and the origins of the dogma his own work has debunked. But at its heart, his book is the story of the revolution in thinking that he and his peers have brought about, and the firestorm it has ignited. As he writes, “The work of lifetimes has been put at risk, reputations have been damaged, an astounding amount of silliness and even profound stupidity has been taken as serious thought, and always lurking in the background of all the argumentation and gnashing of tenets has been the question of whether the field of archaeology can ever be pursued as a science.”
... Read more

Reviews (10)

3-0 out of 5 stars I gather they were mean.
Adovasio's book can be summarized in three bullet points:

1. Until recently, there has been a general consensus in archaeology that the first human arrivals in the Americas were the Clovis culture, around 10,500 BP (before present). Several older sites were proposed before 1970 or so but all turned out to be wrong dates.

2. However, Adavasio at Meadowcroft, Pennsylvannia and Tom Dillehay at Monte Verde in South America have really good archaeological sites which are definitely much older. This new evidence demands that the entire Clovis-first idea should be replaced.

3. And archaeologists who say otherwise are just plain mean. At great length, and naming names. They should be compared to religious fanatics and Mafia hit men and "Star Trek" scriptwriters in their meanness-based refusal to face facts. There's no point in talking to those people.

The meanness theme crowds out several points I would have liked to have read more about. Adovasio mentions in passing that he has recovered Meadowcroft-like artifacts from other sites near the Meadowcroft rock shelter, but never goes into detail. He also mentions a site called Fell's Cave at the south end of South America which is apparently post-Clovis, but so barely post-Clovis that humans getting so far so fast after the start of the Clovis period beggars the imagination. Again, no more details. I also wish I could have read more about the linguistic evidence for earlier and more widespread human arrival in the new world.

About two-thirds of this book is a pretty well-written first-hand review of a very interesting area of archaeology. The other third is like going out to dinner with friends and having them not only launch into a loud family argument in the middle of a restaurant, but try to drag you into taking sides.

4-0 out of 5 stars Clovis-firsters trumped
"The First Americans" is an excellent read despite being somewhat misnamed. It is primarily the story of the overturning of the archaeological orthodoxy that the first humans in the New World arrived no earlier than about 12 to 11 thousand years ago in the form of the 'Clovis' culture. It mixes up good science with a story of conflicts among scientists.

While not skimping at all on the details of archaeology, the author structures the book to explain how Clovis-first orthodoxy was established, and how it was overturned. It gets downright personal at times, as the author describes how particular members of the archaeological 'establishment' stopped at almost nothing to deride him and a few other archaeologists, whose excavations were instrumental in overturning the Clovis-first orthodoxy.

The author does conclusively convince that the first Americans arrived at least 17 to 16 thousand years ago and probably much earlier. But only toward the end of the book does he seriously speculate as to exactly who they were and exactly when they arrived.

5-0 out of 5 stars Data demolishes dogma
As a young science, archaeology is necessarily dynamic. New discoveries, fresh insights, novel concepts emerge with almost dizzying frequency. Science is supposed to work on hypothesis testing - evidence confirms or refutes ideas. To discover that entrenched dogmas have been established, battlelines drawn and still contested, careers launched and destroyed is disheartening. To realise that the issue centres on a few stone tools renders the situation almost ludicrous - until we remember archaeology is the study of humanity. And humans, as Adovisio points out vividly, can cling tenaciously to favoured ideas - particularly those concerning humanity.

Adovasio briefly relates the African origins and distribution of humanity across the globe. However, this story truly starts with the 1937 discovery of some finely crafted stone spearpoints in New Mexico. Debate over Indians as "noble savage" or "barbarous native" was sharply interrupted by this find. The workmanship and novel design of the "Clovis Points" demanded reconsideration of Native Americans - particularly of their origins and dispersal in the Western Hemisphere. Knowledge of the extent of the massive glaciers covering North American many millennia ago left but a small time window for Asian peoples to cross the Bering land bridge exposed during the glacial period. Who were these people? Adovasio asks. When did they arrive? How long did it take them to inhabit the hemisphere? What was their environmental impact?

All these questions have been asked for many years. Adovasio's own research made a significant contribution when he excavated a rockshelter at Meadowcroft, Pennsylvania. Artefacts there were dated to a time far earlier than the Last Glacial Maximum [LGM] of just over eleven thousand years ago. Other sites, most notably the Monte Verde site in Chile have added data positing an earlier emigration from the Old World to the New. All this new information has challenged the dogma of "Clovis" being the "earliest Americans". It's not just an academic debate, Adovasio points out. Questions of site selection, investigation, testing procedures, retention of artefacts and human remains have all be raised. Indeed, with the Native American Graves Protection and Preservation Act [NAGPRA] some of these issues have been enshrined in law. He examines all the issues in exquisite detail, readily dismissing the more bizarre, such as the contention that the Western Hemisphere is the cradle of all humanity. Data must not only support or demolish dogma, it must support or demolish poorly conceived law.

Adovasio's narrative becomes vigorously polemical at times. His stridency is forgiven when you recall he's spent three decades of defenders of the Clovis Bar shutting their minds to evidence - his and that of others. Although this is hardly an academic study, his assemblage of evidence and logic underpinning his assertions is a standard that any researcher would do well to review. He gives Paul Martin's "Pleistocene blitzkrieg" of the new human arrivals a thorough airing, but rejects it. In Adovasio's view, it was the climate or disease that drove the large fauna extinct, not human hunting. He examines a wide variety of emigration scenarios, including the "coastal enclave" idea, in explaining how this Hemisphere was populated. He admits defeat in selecting any one, but declares the first humans arrived here before the LGM. Only from that basis, he argues, can we establish not only when humans occupied this region, but how.

This book is both a scholarly and entertaining read. Adovasio builds his case well, even adding cartoons to his collection of photographs and diagrams. Instead of footnotes, he provides per-chapter references, a nuisance to the novice in this topic. [stephen a. haines - Ottawa, Canada]

5-0 out of 5 stars The best archeology book I ever read
Kudos to Dr. James Adovasio. This book has forever changed my concepts of the peopling of the Americas. The manner in which he starts from new world explorers and their contact with the natives through the beginnings of archeology to its present day inner circles is outstanding.
The wit and often times humerous approach to this story speaks volumes of Dr. Adovasio and his insights into this perplexing world we call home and how it came to be.
This book is well worth the money and I would give it 10 stars if it were available.

4-0 out of 5 stars fascinating look at American prehistory
This is an excellent book that covers much of the prehistory of America. I don't think Adovasio is any more critical of his critics than they are of him. He gives excellent review of carbon dating, the Ice Ages, genetic dating and so on. He discusses how a belief in a biblical "global flood" shaped geology in the early years. He should have detailed more how people turned to a local flood interpretation as Earth's antiquity became apparent, in order to combat the young-earthers who have spent the past fifty years trying to revive the global flood theory (see Hugh Ross' "The Genesis Question" for a detailed discussion on the flood and why a literal translation of the Bible requires an old Earth).

Adovasio does blindly accept too much of Darwinian evolution. For example, he claims it is "clear" (p. 85) that we and the apes share a common ancestor. This is untrue, as shown by genetics, and Adovasio leaves this out when he discusses genetic dating techniques. These techniques, and other discoveries, have shown we aren't related to Neanderthals, yet Adovasio claims (p. 86-87) that "no one can yet say for certain" if they were related or interbred with humans.

In any case the book is a fascinating look at American prehistory. It seems America was settled by different groups at different times much longer ago than originally thought. ... Read more

77. Patterns in Prehistory: Humankind's First Three Million Years
by Robert J. Wenke
list price: $66.88
our price: $66.88
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Asin: 0195085728
Catlog: Book (1999-02-01)
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Sales Rank: 92921
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Patterns of Prehistory is a comprehensive survey of world prehistory, from the origins of early hominids several million years ago to the evolution of the first great states and civilizations, focusing on the problem of formulating scientific explanations of the great cultural transformations of the past. In this fourth edition, Wenke has completely updated the text to incorporate recent archaeological discoveries and to address the insights and limitations of the new wave of "post-processual" or "cognitive" archaeology. ... Read more

Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and Well-Written
I found myself listening to people whine and complain about the detail that Wenke goes into when discussing a topic. As compared to a textbook such as Fagan's 'People of The Earth', 'Patterns in Prehistory' certainly is rather long-winded in some regards. When cramming for a test, it might not be the best, yet I thouroughly enjoyed reading through it. It feels as though you are having a discussion with Mr. Wenke himself, not trudging through the required reading before a lecture. It's the kind of textbook you take with you to a comfortable chair and read leisurely, not one with which you come armed with highliter, expecting helpful 'test terms' and colorful pictures. I'm glad I was able to use this textbook as opposed to Fagan (which I've glanced over). I feel that I have come away with a much better understanding than those who failed to get past the small print and long chapters. And compared to other textbooks, it's a steal pricewise. Mr. Wenke is an excellent writer with an obvious passion for his field, I thank him for a solid read.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good, but not great.
This is a suitable textbook for an introductory class on world prehistory. Comrehensive in scope, it goesd from australopithecus to the pre-contact in the New World. Wenke's writing is simple and straightforward, so even generalists with no archaeological background will be able to follow easily. The writing is even occasionally enlivened with Wenke's oft-present sardonic wit, although this falls flat a lot of the time. However, the sheer timespan covered by this text prevents it from going into any interesting detail, leaving the surface barely scratched. While easy to read, it's of less use, the further up one goes in the field of archaeology. It's also rather difficult to take notes from, and contains pages of daunting, unbroken texts. Some neat charts to break up the flow would help students. Perhaps because I have gone beyond this level now, I'm an arky snob, but I was less than impressed with this book. ... Read more

78. Antiquities of the Southern Indians, Particularly of the Georgia Tribes (Classics Southeast Archaeology)
by Charles C., Jr. Jones
list price: $34.95
our price: $34.95
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Asin: 0817310045
Catlog: Book (1999-09-20)
Publisher: University Alabama Press
Sales Rank: 531799
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79. Kingship and the Gods : A Study of Ancient Near Eastern Religion as the Integration of Society and Nature (Oriental Institute Essays)
by Henri Frankfort
list price: $36.00
our price: $36.00
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Asin: 0226260119
Catlog: Book (1978-07-15)
Publisher: Oriental Institute Of The University Of
Sales Rank: 564967
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

This classic study clearly establishes a fundamental difference in viewpoint between the peoples of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. By examining the forms of kingship which evolved in the two countries, Frankfort discovered that beneath resemblances fostered by similar cultural growth and geographical location lay differences based partly upon the natural conditions under which each society developed. The river flood which annually renewed life in the Nile Valley gave Egyptians a cheerful confidence in the permanence of established things and faith in life after death. Their Mesopotamian contemporaries, however, viewed anxiously the harsh, hostile workings of nature.

Frank's superb work, first published in 1948 and now supplemented with a preface by Samuel Noah Kramer, demonstrates how the Egyptian and Mesopotamian attitudes toward nature related to their concept of kingship. In both countries the people regarded the king as their mediator with the gods, but in Mesopotamia the king was only the foremost citizen, while in Egypt the ruler was a divine descendant of the gods and the earthly representative of the God Horus.

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Reviews (1)

Although now somewhat outdated in certain aspects of interpretation, this book surely will remain as one the pillars for the study of ancient Egyptian religion, and, in fact, is one of the never-absent bibliographic references. I do not agree in toto with Frankfort's ideas about several subjects, but I must confess that it is one of the most interesting studies that I ever read about the matter. There are many thought-provoking ideas! Buy it, read it, learn from it. Both for the learned and the newcomer! ... Read more

80. The Search of the Cradle of Civilization
by Georg Feuerstein, Subhash Kak, David Frawley
list price: $18.95
our price: $18.95
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Asin: 0835607410
Catlog: Book (2001-09)
Publisher: Quest Books (IL)
Sales Rank: 302582
Average Customer Review: 4.26 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A scholarly tour de force that will revolutionize the way we view the ancient world. ... Read more

Reviews (42)

Although this monumental work may seem far from complete to some, it contains a lot of sound evidence and good insights into a more accurate and believble history of ancient India. The authors did cover a great deal in the space of this book and tied it all together in a consistent and integrated manner.

Although it may take a few more years of archeological digging and the translating of ancient works to further the clearer picture effectively begun by these authors. This book will be a sound basis for rethinking of the real history of this Holy land. They have made a great use of most 20th century (and earlier) discoveries and data to support their views. They did this with the courage to tread a new path of invesigation. This is a great improvement upon the long held myths that were concocted by European scholars who still thought their culture was the origin and geographical center of God's great creation. Many do not realize that the rest of the world was not caught up in flat earth ideas.

I don't think we have heard the last of these three authors, and look forward to any future work they may produce along these lines..

4-0 out of 5 stars Looking for the oldest civilization in the world
In my search for better understanding the history of India or better yet, the search for the roots of vedic civilization this book has been my first stepping stone. This book is filled with facts and dates and its own interpretations that guide the reader through to discovering that Indic/vedic civilization is infact the oldest and largest populated civilization of the world, dating back to over 3000 B.C.

It debunks the theory of Aryan invasion. I am totally convinced that Aryans were not some European race that came down to India and suddenly started writing books, prose and vedas, and moved away from their nomadic & barbaric ways.

It has helped me towards the confirmation that Sumerian civilzation (currently the cradle of civilization) was a small 15000 village, as opposed to the Indic civilization at the same time being 300,000 ppl strong. A metropolis compared to Sumer.

Interesting and must read for anyone interested in getting their facts right about 3000 BC area. It is very relevant information to this day.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Pathbreaking Book
This was the first book to debunk the Aryan Invasion Theory, and it remains the best in presenting the scholarship from a variety of areas and showing step by step how the old paradigm is dead. As the most widely read book on ancient India, it has had great impact on the layperson as well academics. I use it as a text in my Indian Civ class.

5-0 out of 5 stars Found it very useful
I must first make it clear that the book neither presents a Hindu-centric view of history or claims to show that India is the cradle of mankind or that there have been no movements of people into India. It does, however, show -- using archaeological and literary evidence -- that the idea of the Aryans coming into India in the 2nd millennium BC is wrong. The skeletal records in India demonstrate that if there were large scale immigration into India, that must have occurred before 4500 BC (vide the findings of Professor Kennedy of Cornell).

The book does a fantastic job of bringing together evidence from a variety of sources to build its case. It is a very pleasant read, and I recommend it wholeheartedly to students and laypersons, as well as to scholars.

1-0 out of 5 stars Again Amazon deletes the one star reviews.
Remember to always subtract 2 stars from any Amazon rating since they delete the one star ratings and allow the authors and their friends to submit multiple 5 star reviews with different IDs.

My original review simply noted that genetic science has now proven the Aryan invasion theory. DNA analysis has shown that the upper caste Indians are descended from Indo-Europeans. Of course science might be considered too "Western" for some. ... Read more

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