We Dig Archaeology

Posted on January 28, 2019

by Amy H

Archaeology: It’s not what you find, it’s what you find out – David Hurst Thomas.

Find out all kinds of fascinating things in these stories of great discoveries in archaeology.

The Dinosaur Artist: Obsession, Betrayal, and the Quest for Earth’s Ultimate Trophy by Paige Williams

New Yorker magazine staff writer Paige Williams explores the perilous world of fossil collectors in this riveting true tale of one Florida man’s attempt to sell a dinosaur skeleton from Mongolia. Williams illuminates the history of fossil collecting–a murky, sometimes risky business, populated by eccentrics and obsessives, where the lines between poacher and hunter, collector and smuggler, enthusiast and opportunist, can easily blur. This is an irresistible story that spans continents, cultures, and millennia as it examines the question of who, ultimately, owns the past.

The First Signs : Unlocking the Mysteries of the World’s Oldest Symbols by Genevieve von Petzinger

In an adventure worthy of Indiana Jones, archeologist von Petzinger explores the little-known geometric cave art of our ancient ancestors—perhaps the first form of human written communication and a key to unlocking some of the mysteries of our ancient past.

Join von Petzinger as she travels throughout Europe and attempts to crack the code of these strange symbols, which persisted virtually unchanged for some 30,000 years. Clearly meaningful to their creators, these geometric signs are one of the first indicators of our human ancestors’ intelligence and capacity for symbolic meaning and language—glimpses across millennia of an ancient consciousness linked to our own. Part travel journal, part popular science, and part personal narrative, this groundbreaking investigation explores what makes us human, how we evolved as a species, and how this cave art laid the foundation for so much of the technology that we enjoy today.

The Lost City of the Monkey God : A True Story by Douglas Preston

Since the days of conquistador Hernan Cortes, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die.

In 2012 bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists who used lidar, a highly advanced, classified technology that could map the terrain under the densest rainforest canopy to search for this place. In an unexplored valley ringed by steep mountains, they discovered tantalizing evidence of not just an undiscovered city but an enigmatic, lost civilization.

Preston and the team battled everything the jungle could throw at them: torrential rains, quickmud, disease-carrying insects, jaguars, and deadly snakes. But it wasn’t until they returned that tragedy struck: the adventurers found they had contracted in the ruins a horrifying, sometimes lethal-and incurable-disease. Suspenseful and shocking, filled with colorful history, hair-raising adventure, and dramatic twists of fortune, THE LOST CITY OF THE MONKEY GOD is the absolutely true, eyewitness account of one of the great discoveries of the twenty-first century.

Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World by Stephen Brusatte

American paleontologist Stephen Brusette masterfully tells the complete, surprising, and new history of the dinosaurs, drawing on cutting-edge science to dramatically bring to life their lost world and illuminate their enigmatic origins, spectacular flourishing, astonishing diversity, cataclysmic extinction, and startling living legacy. Brusette also shares compelling stories from his globe-trotting expeditions during one of the most exciting eras in dinosaur research—which he calls “a new golden age of discovery”—and offers thrilling accounts of some of the remarkable findings he and his colleagues have made, including primitive human-sized tyrannosaurs; monstrous carnivores even larger than T. rex; and paradigm-shifting feathered raptors from China. An electrifying scientific history that unearths the dinosaurs’ epic saga, The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs will be a definitive and treasured account for decades to come.

Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt by Chris Naunton

Tombs, mummies, and funerary items make up a significant portion of the archaeological remains that survive ancient Egypt and have come to define the popular perception of Egyptology. Despite the many sensational discoveries in the last century, such as the tomb of Tutankhamun, the tombs of some of the most famous individuals in the ancient world—Imhotep, Nefertiti, Alexander the Great, and Cleopatra—have not yet been found. Archaeologist Chris Naunton examines the famous pharaohs, their achievements, the bling they might have been buried with, the circumstances in which they were buried, and why those circumstances may have prevented archaeologists from finding these tombs, making an exciting case for the potential discovery of these lost tombs.

Archaeology : The Essential Guide to Our Human Past edited by Paul Bahn

Spanning the dawn of human civilization through the present, this book provides a tour of every site of key archaeological importance. From the prehistoric cave paintings of Lascaux to Tutankhamun’s tomb, from the buried city of Pompeii to China’s Terracotta Army, all of the world’s most iconic sites and discoveries are here. So too are the lesser-known yet equally important finds, such as the recent discoveries of our oldest known human ancestors and of the world’s oldest-known temple, Göbekli Tepe in Turkey. A masterful combination of succinct analysis and driving narrative, this book also addresses the questions that inevitably arise as we gradually learn more about the history of our species. Written by an international team of archaeological experts and richly illustrated throughout,Archaeology: The Essential Guide to Our Human Past offers an unparalleled insight into the origins of humankind.

Ancient America : Fifty Archaeological Sites to See for Yourself by Kenneth L. Feder

Explore the stunning architectural, artistic, and technological achievements of America’s first peoples (and the archaeological stories behind them) in this accessible guide to fifty historically and culturally significant sites, all open to the public and located across the United States.

Entries are written in a conversational tone, and each site is illustrated with photos taken by the author. Sites are grouped into three main categories: “Mound Builders,” “Cliff Dwellings, Great Houses, and Stone Towers,” and “Rock Art”—with the majority of sites in the last category. For each site, the author provides his journal entry from the site visit, what visitors should expect to see, and why the site is important. Sites are also ranked on a number of factors useful for visitors, including “Ease of Road Access,” “Natural Beauty,” “Kid Friendliness,” and the overall “Wow Factor.” Most sites are either national or state parks, although a few are privately owned attractions. Part travel guide, part reference book, and part personal narrative, it will inspire readers to visit places that will connect them to the early peoples of North America.

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