Knowledge Library

For more information on archaeology, below are online and print publications for a wide range of audiences.

Archaeology & You [PDF 1.2 MB]
This 1996 booklet from National Geographic Society and the Society for American Archaeology is about archaeology and you. It is designed to provide basic information about the science of archaeology, along with advice on how you can learn more and actually take part in it. An Internet version was developed in 2000, and the PDF created in 2018. The links in the document may no longer be active.

What is the NPHA? [PDF 1.3 MB]
This fact-sheet from the Society for American Archaeology helps explain the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), a federal law that protects archaeological resources in the United States. It includes common misconceptions about the law and explains the Section 106 review process, which is particularly important to historic preservation.

Is the Past in Your Future? [PDF 1.1 MB]
Aimed at high school students, this brochure create by the Society for American Archaeology in 2015 provides brief information about a career in archaeology.

Why are there Two Different Spellings: Archaeology and Archeology? [PDF 220 KB]
You may have seen two different spellings (archaeology and archeology) and wondered which one is right. Both are correct! This explanation by Barbara Little covers how the two spellings came to be and how they are used today.

Archaeology: The Comic
Johannes Loubser, the author and artist, takes the reader through all of the major topics in contemporary archaeology—done through cartooning.

AnthroNotes Digital Repository
The entire collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Department of Anthropology publication AnthroNotes (1979-2012) and individual AnthroNotes articles can be downloaded from the Smithsonian Libraries digital database. AnthroNotes includes research-based articles by leading scholars in the field as well as classroom-tested activities.

Invitation to Archaeology
Written by renowned historical archaeologist James Deetz in 1967, it is still considered a classic introduction to archaeology.

Discover Our Past: A Brief Introduction to Archaeology
An introductory textbook published by Wendy Ashmore and Robert Sharer in 2000. It covers techniques, methods, and theory in contemporary archaeology. Designed primarily for undergraduate students, but useful for teachers as an overview and reference.

Archaeology: A Brief Introduction
This volume published by Brian Fagan in 2003 provides a thorough presentation of how archaeologists study human behavior in the past and introduces the fundamental principles of archaeological method and theory.

Archaeology Magazine
This popular magazine is a heavily illustrated journal written for the general public, covering ancient cultures in the Old and New Worlds.