London: Watts & Co, 1944. — 119 p. — (The Thinker's Library, No. 102).“Digging up the past” has now come to be generally recognized as not only an exciting pastime, but also a serious science, so that many people want to know what it is all about. The glamour of excavation cannot, indeed, be recaptured in a few brief pages. A bare enumeration of spectacular finds from the disinterment of Pompeii in 1748 to the discovery of the ship-burial of an Ando Saxon king in 1939 and of the glittering tomb of Pharaoh Sheshonk in 1940 would be more tedious than instructive. Even less palatable would be a compressed outline of the speculative and controversial reconstructions of historical events—folk migrations, religious reformations, and social cataclysms—extracted by prehistorians and historians from such finds. Are there no more comprehensive results, general conclusions, and principles to be drawn from the vast array of isolated facts excavators and collectors have so industriously and patiently amassed? In certain branches of the study, at least, archaeology does disclose trends and developments all tending in one definite direction, and consequently cumulative and progressive in effect. It is the sole aim of this book to set forth concisely the most clearly and confidently recognizable of these progressive tendencies as they have operated during at least 50,000 years.The Progress of Archaeology. The Food Quest. Tools, Machines, and Materials. Warmth and Shelter. Intercourse and the Diffusion of Culture. Funerals. Sacrifice and Temple Building. Results of Progress.
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