100 books like A History of Archaeological Thought

By Bruce G. Trigger,

Here are 100 books that A History of Archaeological Thought fans have personally recommended if you like A History of Archaeological Thought. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Hidden Scholars: Women Anthropologists and the Native American Southwest

Alice Beck Kehoe Author Of Girl Archaeologist: Sisterhood in a Sexist Profession

From my list on revealing the history of archaeology.

Who am I?

Observant of the world around me, and intellectual, I discovered my ideal way of life at age 16 when I read Kroeber's massive textbook Anthropology, 1948 edition. Anthropologists study everything human, everywhere and all time. Archaeology particularly appealed to me because it is outdoors, physical, plus its data are only the residue of human activities, challenging us to figure out what those people, that place and time, did and maybe thought. As a woman from before the Civil Rights Act, a career was discouraged; instead, I did fieldwork with my husband, and on my own, worked with First Nations communities on ethnohistorical research. Maverick, uppity, unstoppable, like in these books.

Alice's book list on revealing the history of archaeology

Alice Beck Kehoe Why did Alice love this book?

Out of the feminist movement in American archaeology came this thick testament to the number and importance of women archaeologists and ethnographers who worked in the American Southwest before the U.S. Civil Rights Act made discrimination illegal. As a woman who had been ignored and even brutally put down by men archaeologists, reading of these hardworking, persistent, and some of them brilliant women thrilled me. Over and above the revelations of great researchers who often collaborated with First Nations people, the book is a treasure of stories about pioneer conditions in the Southwest, discoveries of famous ruins, and early anthropologists breaking through into native communities.  

By Nancy J. Parezo,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hidden Scholars as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Women scholars, writers, curators, and philanthropists have played important roles in the study of Native American cultures of the Southwest. For much of the twentieth century, however, their work has been overlooked. The essays in this book, which grew out of the landmark conference known as Daughters of the Desert, help to rectify the appropriation, erasure, disparagement, and invisibility that many women anthropologists have suffered.
A number of essays are biographical or intellectual histories, such as Parezo on Matilda Coxe Stevenson, Hieb on Elsie Clews Parsons, Babcock on Ruth Benedict, Lamphere on Gladys Reichard, and Lange on Esther Goldfrank. Others…


Book cover of A Laboratory for Anthropology: Science and Romanticism in the American Southwest, 1846-1930

Alice Beck Kehoe Author Of Girl Archaeologist: Sisterhood in a Sexist Profession

From my list on revealing the history of archaeology.

Who am I?

Observant of the world around me, and intellectual, I discovered my ideal way of life at age 16 when I read Kroeber's massive textbook Anthropology, 1948 edition. Anthropologists study everything human, everywhere and all time. Archaeology particularly appealed to me because it is outdoors, physical, plus its data are only the residue of human activities, challenging us to figure out what those people, that place and time, did and maybe thought. As a woman from before the Civil Rights Act, a career was discouraged; instead, I did fieldwork with my husband, and on my own, worked with First Nations communities on ethnohistorical research. Maverick, uppity, unstoppable, like in these books.

Alice's book list on revealing the history of archaeology

Alice Beck Kehoe Why did Alice love this book?

Read this book along with the other handsomely published book, Hidden Scholars, and we have a pair that opens up the idealized Southwest and the ideology of White Supremacy behind it. Schemes and sufferings, deals and derring-do abounded in the territory that now boasts our U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Laguna Pueblo citizen Deb Haaland. Don Fowler and his wife Catherine Fowler are themselves archaeologists/ethnographers in the Southwest borderland, my longtime good friends and colleagues, with an eye for arresting details and a story-telling style that make this book a gripping account of how the Romantic Ruins and fascinating Pueblos were created out in America's desert.

By Don D. Fowler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Laboratory for Anthropology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Initially published in 2000, this beautiful paperback reprint of respected archaeologist Don Fowler's A Laboratory for Anthropology tells the sweeping history tells of an idea, "The Southwest," through the development of American anthropology and archaeology.

For eighty years following the end of the Mexican-American War, anthropologists described the people, culture, and land of the American Southwest to cultural tastemakers and consumers on the East Coast. Digging deeply into public and private historical records, the author uses biographical vignettes to recreate the men and women who pioneered American anthropology and archaeology in the Southwest. He explores institutions such as the Smithsonian,…


Book cover of Tracing Archaeology's Past: The Historiography of Archaeology

Alice Beck Kehoe Author Of Girl Archaeologist: Sisterhood in a Sexist Profession

From my list on revealing the history of archaeology.

Who am I?

Observant of the world around me, and intellectual, I discovered my ideal way of life at age 16 when I read Kroeber's massive textbook Anthropology, 1948 edition. Anthropologists study everything human, everywhere and all time. Archaeology particularly appealed to me because it is outdoors, physical, plus its data are only the residue of human activities, challenging us to figure out what those people, that place and time, did and maybe thought. As a woman from before the Civil Rights Act, a career was discouraged; instead, I did fieldwork with my husband, and on my own, worked with First Nations communities on ethnohistorical research. Maverick, uppity, unstoppable, like in these books.

Alice's book list on revealing the history of archaeology

Alice Beck Kehoe Why did Alice love this book?

I was at the landmark conference in 1987 that legitimated critical analyses of archaeological work and the socio-cultural parameters in which it takes place. We were all surprised at the numbers, range of interests, range of professional standing of the participants, and enthusiasm––all reflected in the papers in this book.  Dipping into it startles with the diversity of persons and places and times affecting the history of archaeology. Feminist concerns were loud and clear and critiqued from a supportive standpoint. Pair this with Trigger's magisterial history to see how he distilled a multitude of disparate activities oriented to the past, into his deeply discerning long story.  

By Andrew L. Christenson (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tracing Archaeology's Past as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?



In 17 critical essays, the first book to address the historiography of archaeology evaluates how and why the history of archaeology is written.

The emphasis in the first section is on how archaeologists use historical knowledge of their discipline. For example, it can help them to understand the origin of current archaeological ideas, to learn from past errors, and to apply past research to current questions. It can even be integrated into the new liberal arts curricula in an attempt to instruct students in critical thinking.

The second section considers the sociopolitical context within which past archaeologists lived and worked…


Book cover of Knossos & the Prophets of Modernism

Alice Beck Kehoe Author Of Girl Archaeologist: Sisterhood in a Sexist Profession

From my list on revealing the history of archaeology.

Who am I?

Observant of the world around me, and intellectual, I discovered my ideal way of life at age 16 when I read Kroeber's massive textbook Anthropology, 1948 edition. Anthropologists study everything human, everywhere and all time. Archaeology particularly appealed to me because it is outdoors, physical, plus its data are only the residue of human activities, challenging us to figure out what those people, that place and time, did and maybe thought. As a woman from before the Civil Rights Act, a career was discouraged; instead, I did fieldwork with my husband, and on my own, worked with First Nations communities on ethnohistorical research. Maverick, uppity, unstoppable, like in these books.

Alice's book list on revealing the history of archaeology

Alice Beck Kehoe Why did Alice love this book?

Palace of King Minos at Knossos on Crete seized the imaginations of scores of modernist writers, artists, psychoanalysts, and philosophers as wealthy English archaeologist Arthur Evans had its ruins disinterred and reconstructed with reinforced concrete, a novel building material in the early twentieth century. Evans' imaginative palace complex is today mobbed by tourists (I recommend going off-season in January, as I did) who revere the Aegean as the birthplace of Civilization. Gere ties it in to Modernist projects rejecting Victorian overstuffed ornamentations in favor of supposed ancient purity. Her fascinating documentation of culture leaders from Freud to Le Corbusier buying into Evans' myth of an idealized past embeds archaeology in arts and humanities fashions that still confuse speculation with history.

By Cathy Gere,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Knossos & the Prophets of Modernism as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the spring of 1900, British archaeologist Arthur Evans began to excavate the palace of Knossos on Crete, bringing ancient Greek legends to life just as a new century dawned amid far-reaching questions about human history, art, and culture. With Knossos and the Prophets of Modernism, Cathy Gere relates the fascinating story of Evans' excavation and its long-term effects on Western culture. After World War I left the Enlightenment dream in tatters, the lost paradise that Evans offered in the concrete labyrinth - pacifist and matriarchal, pagan and cosmic - seemed to offer a new way forward for writers, artists,…


Book cover of The Discovery of the Past

Tim Murray Author Of From Antiquarian to Archaeologist: The History and Philosophy of Archaeology

From my list on the history and philosophy of archaeology.

Who am I?

Tim Murray has been a leading exponent of the history and philosophy of archaeology for the past thirty years. He has used the history of the discipline to explore the nature of archaeological theory and the many complex intersections between archaeology and society. Of his many publications flowing from this general project, the award-winning global scale five-volume Encyclopedia of Archaeology, the single volume global history of Archaeology Milestones in Archaeology. Murray is a global leader in applying studies in the history of archaeology to the reform of archaeological theory. This is evidenced by the publication of a collection of his essays, From Antiquarian to Archaeologist, and his numerous academic papers on the subject.

Tim's book list on the history and philosophy of archaeology

Tim Murray Why did Tim love this book?

The Discovery of the Past is an intellectual tour de force focused on explaining how the modern practice of archaeology came to be.

The book has a particular strength in charting the origins and growth of archaeology in Europe and the consequences of its application to the exploration of remote human history around the world.

By Alain Schnapp, Ian Kinnes (translator), Gillian Varndell (translator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Discovery of the Past as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Examines the development of archaeology as a science and the process by which humankind developed an understanding of its past


Book cover of Thinking from Things: Essays in the Philosophy of Archaeology

Tim Murray Author Of From Antiquarian to Archaeologist: The History and Philosophy of Archaeology

From my list on the history and philosophy of archaeology.

Who am I?

Tim Murray has been a leading exponent of the history and philosophy of archaeology for the past thirty years. He has used the history of the discipline to explore the nature of archaeological theory and the many complex intersections between archaeology and society. Of his many publications flowing from this general project, the award-winning global scale five-volume Encyclopedia of Archaeology, the single volume global history of Archaeology Milestones in Archaeology. Murray is a global leader in applying studies in the history of archaeology to the reform of archaeological theory. This is evidenced by the publication of a collection of his essays, From Antiquarian to Archaeologist, and his numerous academic papers on the subject.

Tim's book list on the history and philosophy of archaeology

Tim Murray Why did Tim love this book?

Wylie’s philosophical journey over the past 22 years has mirrored (and in some senses helped to create) the landscape of contemporary archaeological philosophy.

Certainly Wylie’s commitment to developing an ethical and inclusive archaeology, where discussions of research agendas such as feminism should not be ruled out by the application of empiricism, has done a great deal to support the work of archaeologists also committed to those agendas. 

By Alison Wylie,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Thinking from Things as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this long-awaited compendium of new and newly revised essays, Alison Wylie explores how archaeologists know what they know. Examining the history and methodology of Anglo-American archaeology, Wylie puts the tumultuous debates of the last thirty years in historical and philosophical perspective.


Book cover of A History of American Archaeology

Tim Murray Author Of From Antiquarian to Archaeologist: The History and Philosophy of Archaeology

From my list on the history and philosophy of archaeology.

Who am I?

Tim Murray has been a leading exponent of the history and philosophy of archaeology for the past thirty years. He has used the history of the discipline to explore the nature of archaeological theory and the many complex intersections between archaeology and society. Of his many publications flowing from this general project, the award-winning global scale five-volume Encyclopedia of Archaeology, the single volume global history of Archaeology Milestones in Archaeology. Murray is a global leader in applying studies in the history of archaeology to the reform of archaeological theory. This is evidenced by the publication of a collection of his essays, From Antiquarian to Archaeologist, and his numerous academic papers on the subject.

Tim's book list on the history and philosophy of archaeology

Tim Murray Why did Tim love this book?

The first (and still most influential) history of archaeology in the Americas.

Willey and Sabloff wrote at a time of great ferment in the theory and practice of archaeology where old certainties were beginning to give way to radically new ways of creating and understanding archaeological knowledge. This book was particularly influential in helping archaeologists find their ways through a new intellectual landscape.

By Gordon R. Willey, Jeremy A. Sabloff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A History of American Archaeology as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Book by Willey, Gordon R., Sabloff, Jeremy A.


Book cover of From Genesis to Prehistory: The Archaeological Three Age System and its Contested Reception in Denmark, Britain, and Ireland

Tim Murray Author Of From Antiquarian to Archaeologist: The History and Philosophy of Archaeology

From my list on the history and philosophy of archaeology.

Who am I?

Tim Murray has been a leading exponent of the history and philosophy of archaeology for the past thirty years. He has used the history of the discipline to explore the nature of archaeological theory and the many complex intersections between archaeology and society. Of his many publications flowing from this general project, the award-winning global scale five-volume Encyclopedia of Archaeology, the single volume global history of Archaeology Milestones in Archaeology. Murray is a global leader in applying studies in the history of archaeology to the reform of archaeological theory. This is evidenced by the publication of a collection of his essays, From Antiquarian to Archaeologist, and his numerous academic papers on the subject.

Tim's book list on the history and philosophy of archaeology

Tim Murray Why did Tim love this book?

It is a commonplace observation about the history of archaeology that the Three Age System, along with the discovery of high human antiquity, forms one of the two great defining ‘events’ of prehistoric archaeology in the nineteenth century.

Generations of students have been introduced to the discipline (and the nature of its distinctive contribution to the writing of human history) through re-telling of foundation stories about antiquity, and our capacity to order and measure it.

Rowley-Conwy’s excellent book significantly recasts the first of these great foundation narratives and teaches us much about the continuing importance of those narratives.

By Peter Rowley-Conwy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked From Genesis to Prehistory as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We are now familiar with the Three Age System, the archaeological partitioning of the past into Stone Age, Bronze Age, and Iron Age. This division, which amounted at the time to a major scientific revolution, was conceived in Denmark in the 1830s. Peter Rowley-Conwy investigates the reasons why the Three Age system was adopted without demur in Scandinavian archaeological circles, yet was the subject of a bitter and long-drawn-out contest in Britain and Ireland, up to
the 1870s.


Book cover of The Archaeology of Race: The Eugenic Ideas of Francis Galton and Flinders Petrie

Angela Stienne Author Of Mummified: The Stories Behind Egyptian Mummies in Museums

From my list on why there’s an Egyptian mummy in your back garden.

Who am I?

When at 13, I declared that I’d become an Egyptologist, quite a lot of people thought it would pass. Fast forward 10 years, and I was starting a PhD on Egyptian mummies in museums – it did not pass. I journeyed from the Louvre where I was a gallery attendant trying to uncover the story of bodies buried in their garden, to England where I relocated with little English to pursue an Egyptology degree… and then two more! The ethics of human remains in museums is a complex topic: that’s why I like to make it more approachable to the public, from running my project Mummy Stories, to giving talks in pubs! 

Angela's book list on why there’s an Egyptian mummy in your back garden

Angela Stienne Why did Angela love this book?

This was the first book to introduce me to the relation between race studies, eugenics, and archaeology.

It was quite a revelation: I was volunteering at the Petrie Museum at the time, and the book uncovers the dodgy relationship between Petrie and Francis Galton.

It was pivotal in transforming the ways I looked at familiar places: it reminded me that places I called home, like the Petrie Museum but also the Louvre, have been very exclusionary to many. It taught me to look differently at places I navigate on a regular basis, to look for the other story.

You’ll then have to listen to the Bricks + Mortals podcast on the history of UCL buildings, and your wanders in Bloomsbury won’t be the same again.

By Debbie Challis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Archaeology of Race as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How much was archaeology founded on prejudice? The Archaeology of Race explores the application of racial theory to interpret the past in Britain during the late Victorian and Edwardian period. It investigates how material culture from ancient Egypt and Greece was used to validate the construction of racial hierarchies. Specifically focusing on Francis Galton's ideas around inheritance and race, it explores how the Egyptologist Flinders Petrie applied these in his work in Egypt and in his political beliefs. It examines the professional networks formed by societies, such as the Anthropological Institute, and their widespread use of eugenic ideas in analysing…


Book cover of Tunnels

Kevin Moran Author Of Lying Beneath

From my list on fiction books set in underground worlds.

Who am I?

I’ve been writing fiction for as long as I can remember, but more formally for over a decade. I have published a variety of works from short-story collections to children’s books, and my latest is a science-fiction trilogy set in an underground world. I’m passionate about imagination and creativity, and love exploring different kinds of books and different ways of expressing similar ideas.

Kevin's book list on fiction books set in underground worlds

Kevin Moran Why did Kevin love this book?

Another overlooked book because it is targeted for children. It’s the first in a series and is darker in tone than others. The imagination of the underground world here is neat and built in such a way that lets you envision it. The plot can be a bit disjointed for younger readers, and there are some twists to keep it interesting, but overall, is a fast read.

By Roderick Gordon, Brian Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Tunnels as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 8, 9, 10, and 11.

What is this book about?

Fourteen-year-old Will Burrows lives with his family in London. He
has little in common with them except for a passion for digging
which he shares with his father.

When his father suddenly disappears down an unknown tunnel, Will
decides to investigate with his friend Chester. Soon they find themselves
deep underground, where they unearth a dark and terrifying
secret - a secret which may cost them their lives.


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