While there are a multitude of excellent archaeology publications, this page provides a select list of books, magazines, and web sites that work well as an introduction to the field for the general reader. We have also included several selections just for students.
Books and Magazines
Archaeology and You This on-line booklet from the National Geographic and the Society for American Archaeology provides a basic overview on the science of archaeology, including career information.
Archaeology: The Comic by Johannes Loubser. The author and artist takes the reader through all of the major topics in contemporary archaeology—done through cartooning.
AnthroNotes Digital Repository: Museum of Natural History Publication for Educators.
1978-. The entire collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Department of Anthropology publication AnthroNotes (1979-2012) and 263 individual AnthroNotes articles can be downloaded in three formats (PDF, mobi, ePub) from the Smithsonian Libraries digital database. The database is searchable by author, title, year and subject. Searches may be conducted in over 40 topics, including geographic regions, contemporary issues, and education. AnthroNotes includes research-based articles by leading scholars in the field as well as classroom-tested activities.
Anthropology Explored: The Best of Smithsonian AnthroNotes. Revised and Expanded. 2004. A collection of articles originally published in AnthroNotes. One third of the book is devoted to archaeology; each article is followed by an author update that summarizes the latest developments in the field. A free Instructor’s Guide accompanies the volume.
Invitation to Archaeology by James Deetz. 1967. Still considered a classic introduction to archaeology, written by a renowned historical archaeologist. Available in most libraries.
Discover Our Past: A Brief Introduction to Archaeology by Wendy Ashmore and Robert Sharer. 2000. An introductory text book that covers techniques, methods and theory in contemporary archaeology. Designed primarily for undergraduate students but useful for teachers as an overview and reference. Available in paperback.
Archaeology: A Brief Introduction by Brian Fagan. 2003. 8th ed. Prentice-Hall.
This volume provides a thorough presentation of how archaeologists study human behavior in the past and introduces the fundamental principles of archaeological method and theory. Available in paperback.
Archaeology Magazine is a heavily illustrated journal written for the general public, covering ancient cultures in the Old and New Worlds. Contains feature articles, current exhibitions, book and film reviews, and travel information.
National Geographic Society Publications Index
This very useful, free online index contains articles from over 100 years of National Geographic publications, including past issues of the student publication National Geographic Explorer! This magazine is accompanied by a Teacher’s Guide with background information, web links, and activities tied to each feature article. The Publications Index can be searched by subject (such as “archaeology”) and will pull up not only magazine articles but also related National Geographic books, videos, and maps.
Cobblestone Publications Index
This new database includes thousands of articles from all of Cobblestone’s magazines for young people, including Dig!, Faces, and Calliope. You can search by subject area (“archaeology”) and time period. There is a fee to subscribe.
Faces Magazine, Theme Pack on Archaeology
Includes six issues of Faces, geared for ages 8–14, that focus on archaeology (Archaeology Finding the Past; Archaeology: Digging Up History; Lost Treasures /Lost Ships; Fieldwork: The Anthropologist at Work; and What Bones Tell Us), plus a Teacher’s Guide.
Calliope Magazine, Theme Packs:
Ancient Civilizations I
Ancient Civilizations II
Ancient Civilizations III
Each theme pack, devoted to world history, includes nine issues of Calliope, geared for ages 8–14, and includes a Teacher’s Guide.
About Archaeology is an excellent web site for all kinds of information on archaeology, including current digs, archaeology news, career information, and “entertaining archaeology” such as crossword puzzles and movies.
Books, Magazines and Web Sites for Students
Dig is an archaeology magazine for 9-14 year olds. Each issue focuses on a specific theme and includes graphics, photographs, puzzles, games, and hands-on-projects.
Archaeology for Kids: Uncovering the Mysteries of Our Past by Richard Panchyk (Chicago Review Press). Consists of 25 activities that support an overview of the science of archaeology.