The Earth-Science Approach to Archaeological Interpretation, Second Edition

George (Rip) Rapp and Christopher L. Hill

View Inside Price: $50.00

May 11, 2006
368 pages, 7 x 10
103 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300109665

An indispensable book for all professionals and students interested in the field of geoarchaeology, including those with limited earth-science experience, this new edition of Geoarchaeology builds on the success and innovation of the first edition and includes updates, new concepts and examples, an enhanced bibliography, and many new illustrations.  The second edition begins by considering the history and theory of geoarchaeology.  Rapp and Hill then move to discussions of soils and environmental interpretations; initial context and site formation; methods of discovery and spatial analyses; estimating time; paleoenvironments, landscapes, and the human past; identifying, analyzing, and sourcing raw materials; and construction, destruction, and conservation of sites and materials.  
"[This book] covers a wide range of topics . . . with clarity and balance. . . . [The] chapters are all well written and have concise introductory discussions that are not too detailed and not too brief. . . . Beautifully produced."—Michael Waters, Geoarchaeology: An International Journal (on the first edition)

George (Rip) Rapp is Regents Professor Emeritus of Geoarchaeology and was formerly director of the Archaeometry Laboratory at the University of Minnesota. Christopher L. Hill is an assistant professor in the department of anthropology at Boise State University, Boise, Idaho. 

"Probably the most comprehensive treatise on geoarchaeology yet written."—Vance Haynes, University of Arizona

"Rapp and Hill provide the single most comprehensive guide to basic principles in the field of Geoarchaeology. The text is an essential resource for teaching earth science applications to undergraduate archaeologists."—Andrea Freeman, University of Calgary    

"Geoarchaeology will be very useful to any archaeologist, even those with many years of field experience. By its nature, archaeology sits between the social and the earth sciences. It is a social science because archaeology seeks to understand how past societies functioned, what they ate, what kinds of tools they made and how their societies were organized. Archaeology is also an earth science because it needs to determine how the cultural remains it studies came to be where they were found, where did the raw materials come from, and most important, what happened to the artifacts after they were abandoned. Many archaeologists, particularly those trained in the United States, have solid grounding in the social science portion of archaeology, but receive little training in the earth sciences. Geoarchaeology provides a sound introduction to the earth sciences, and will be a useful reference for years to come. It was written by two scholars, one (Rapp), trained in the earth sciences, has had a long interest in archaeology; the other (Hill) has a PhD in archaeology with a strong background in geology. Both have many years of experience in the application of earth science techniques in a wide variety of archaeological situations."—Fred Wendorf, Henderson-Morrison Professor Prehistory, Department of Anthropology, Southern Methodist University





“Rapp and Hill’s book fills a resource gap. There is very little available in book form about the interdisciplinary field of Geoarcheology. . . . The authors bring a lot of personal experience in the field to this book. They have contributed a wealth of information about almost all geological aspects of archaeology and the application of geologic knowledge to the solving of archaeological problems. . . . As an introduction and reference to the field their book is quite comprehensive. . . . Any university having archaeology courses should have this book in its library, as should any professor of archaeology.”—Choice


"[This book] covers a wide range of topics . . . with clarity and balance. . . . [The] chapters are all well written and have concise introductory discussions that are not too detailed and not too brief. Integrated into each discussion are many archaeological examples from around the world. . . . Beautifully produced."—Michael Waters, Geoarchaeology: An International Journal

"The authors have provided much new information and many useful insights. This book fills a niche not occupied by any other text or reference work."—Robert S. Sternberg, Franklin & Marshall College

"This uniquely integrated collection represents an original approach and important contribution to the field of geoarchaeology."—Sarah J. Vaughan, Department of Geology, University of Bristol

“A useful addition to the study of geoarchaeology in many of its aspects, and the authors are to be commended for an ambitious project.”—A. G. Latham, Antiquity

"Rapp and Hill present the full gamut of what geoarchaeology is and does in this textbook. . . . [This book] provides an accessible overview of earth science approaches for archaeologists. . . . I have no trouble recommending it to colleagues, regardless of where their research area is or what their level of familiarity with the earth sciences is."—Wayne C.J. Boyko, Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology