100 books like A Laboratory for Anthropology

By Don D. Fowler,

Here are 100 books that A Laboratory for Anthropology fans have personally recommended if you like A Laboratory for Anthropology. 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 A History of Archaeological Thought

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?

In its original edition, Bruce Trigger's book was the first ever to examine the history of archaeological thought from medieval times to the present in worldwide perspective.

Now, in this new edition, he both updates the original work and introduces new archaeological perspectives and concerns. At once stimulating and even-handed, it places the development of archaeological thought and theory throughout within a broad social and intellectual framework.

The successive but interacting trends apparent in archaeological thought are defined and the author seeks to determine the extent to which these trends were a reflection of the personal and collective interests of archaeologists as these relate - in the West at least - to the fluctuating fortunes of the middle classes.

While subjective influences have been powerful, Professor Trigger argues that the gradual accumulation of archaeological data has exercised a growing constraint on interpretation.

In turn, this has increased the objectivity of…

By Bruce G. Trigger,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A History of Archaeological Thought as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In its original edition, Bruce Trigger's book was the first ever to examine the history of archaeological thought from medieval times to the present in world-wide perspective. Now, in this new edition, he both updates the original work and introduces new archaeological perspectives and concerns. At once stimulating and even-handed, it places the development of archaeological thought and theory throughout within a broad social and intellectual framework. The successive but interacting trends apparent in archaeological thought are defined and the author seeks to determine the extent to which these trends were a reflection of the personal and collective interests of…


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 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 Mimbres Lives and Landscapes

Stephen H. Lekson Author Of A History of the Ancient Southwest

From my list on southwestern archaeology.

Who am I?

I was Curator of Archaeology at the Museum of Natural History, University of Colorado, Boulder; recently retired.  Before landing at the University of Colorado, I held research, curatorial, or administrative positions with the University of Tennessee, Eastern New Mexico University, National Park Service Chaco Project, Arizona State Museum, Museum of New Mexico, and Crow Canyon Archaeological Center.  Over four decades, I directed more than 20 archaeological projects throughout the Southwest. I wrote a dozen books, chapters in many edited volumes, and scores of articles in journals and magazines. While many of these were technical treatises, I also tried to write scholarly books accessible to normal intelligent readers.  

Stephen's book list on southwestern archaeology

Stephen H. Lekson Why did Stephen love this book?

My archaeological career began in 1971 in the Mimbres region of Southwestern New Mexico. I continued to work in the area, on and off, until 2013. Along the way, I wrote four books and many chapters/articles about Mimbres, and I formed some strong opinions on ancient Mimbres history.

Centered in the Mimbres River valley, the Mimbres built about twenty sizable stone villages at the same time as Chaco Canyon, from 1000 to 1125. Their towns were notably large for the time, fueled by sophisticated canal irrigation (probably adopted from the Hohokam, see above). But Mimbres is most famous for its remarkable black-on-white pottery: artfully-painted bowl interiors show bugs, fish, antelopes, birds, and people – people doing things, tableaus of daily life, esoteric rituals, mythical events. These images appeal strongly to us, today. In ancient times, however, Mimbres bowls and Mimbres art seems to have been limited to the Mimbres region…

By Margaret C. Nelson (editor), Michelle Hegmon (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Mimbres Lives and Landscapes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

People have called the mountains, rolling hills, wide valleys, and broad desert plains of southwestern New Mexico home for at least ten thousand years. When they began to farm a little over two thousand years ago, they settled near the rich soils in the river floodplains. Then, around 900, the people of this region burned all of their kivas and started gathering in large villages with small ritual spaces and open plazas. Between 900 and about 1100, they also made the intricately painted geometric and figurative bowls today called Mimbres, their best-known legacy. Then, in the 1130s, they stopped making…


Book cover of Theft

Catherine Ryan Hyde Author Of Seven Perfect Things

From my list on animals by people who actually understand them.

Who am I?

In addition to being the author of lots of books, I am a wrangler of lots of pets. I live with a dog, two cats, a Belgian warmblood horse who I rode in dressage for many years, and his pasture pal who is a miniature horse. I’m known for writing books with animals in which the animal is a character, not a caricature. So many authors don’t seem to know animals deeply, and so just insert them in a scene like a placeholder. But every animal is an individual, and I try to reflect that in my work.

Catherine Ryan's book list on animals by people who actually understand them

Catherine Ryan Hyde Why did Catherine Ryan love this book?

This is a stunning debut novel about a woman who is a master wildlife tracker out to help save the Mexican wolf from extinction. There’s a lot more to the plot than that, but her relationship to animals and to the natural world is deeply satisfying. She allows them to “people” each scene, not only the wolf but her ranch animals, and her respect for other species shines through. This is a far cry from my pet peeve, which is a book with a dog, but the dog is a cardboard cutout who just holds up the end of the leash and makes us think his owner is nice. This is the opposite of that stereotype.

By BK Loren,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A master wildlife tracker's life is thrown into upheaval when she is tapped to hunt not the animals of America's Southwestern terrain, but her own troubled brother. 

Willa Robbins is a master tracker working to reintroduce the Mexican wolf, North America's most endangered mammal, to the American Southwest. But when Colorado police recruit her to find her own brother, Zeb, a confessed murderer, she knows skill alone will not sustain her. Willa is thrown back into the past, surfacing memories of a childhood full of intense love, desperate mistakes, and gentle remorse. Trekking through exquisite New Mexico and Colorado landscapes,…


Book cover of The Pot Thief Who Studied the Woman at Otowi Crossing

G G Collins Author Of Anasazi Medium

From my list on the American Southwest respecting the culture & land.

Who am I?

The American Southwest never gets old. Exploring any of the Ancestral Pueblo sites is like walking back in time. Anasazi Medium takes the reader there. I love the land and the culture that has brought us to the present. My character, Santa Fe reporter Rachel Blackstone, reflects this. She is sarcastic at times, can be funny, and has her poignant moments as she copes with a “talent” she never wanted. In Anasazi Medium, I concocted a mixture of mystery, Hopi traditions and a journalist’s eye to entertain and inform. What resulted is a climate mystery in the most water-challenged state in the U.S. and a high adventure read. 

G G's book list on the American Southwest respecting the culture & land

G G Collins Why did G G love this book?

The Pot Thief Who Studied the Woman at Otowi Crossing (A Pot Thief Murder Mystery) is a fun, quick read. Our pot dealer (not the kind you smoke) owns a shop in Albuquerque's Old Town. "Hubie" as he is called, digs for pottery on public lands to sell in his shop. I enjoyed his university meetings and the hierarchy at the University of New Mexico. When things got heated among the profs, he dove into a book until the collegiate clashing was over. Fond of margaritas, and who isn't, I got a kick out of how much mystery solving he could do at this favorite bar. My characters share that trait by stopping by The Shed in Santa Fe with regularity.

By J. Michael Orenduff,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Pot Thief Who Studied the Woman at Otowi Crossing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A New Mexico pottery dealer cracks a perplexing mystery in this “winning blend of humor and character development” (Publishers Weekly).
 
Hubert Schuze is an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and he has a fairly lucrative side gig digging up ancient relics and selling them. He also seems to have a talent for finding killers. When Hubie discovers a body outside his pottery shop, it appears the victim was stabbed in the back with something resembling a screwdriver. But the story gets a lot more mysterious when a video turns up showing the man collapsing with…


Book cover of Brujo: Seduced by Evil

G G Collins Author Of Anasazi Medium

From my list on the American Southwest respecting the culture & land.

Who am I?

The American Southwest never gets old. Exploring any of the Ancestral Pueblo sites is like walking back in time. Anasazi Medium takes the reader there. I love the land and the culture that has brought us to the present. My character, Santa Fe reporter Rachel Blackstone, reflects this. She is sarcastic at times, can be funny, and has her poignant moments as she copes with a “talent” she never wanted. In Anasazi Medium, I concocted a mixture of mystery, Hopi traditions and a journalist’s eye to entertain and inform. What resulted is a climate mystery in the most water-challenged state in the U.S. and a high adventure read. 

G G's book list on the American Southwest respecting the culture & land

G G Collins Why did G G love this book?

Jann Arrington Wolcott’s Brujo: Seduced by Evil features Lee Lindsay as the intrepid reporter. The action takes place in Santa Fe, New Mexico. After a co-worker is killed in a suspicious car crash, Lee is sent to complete his assignment. The man she meets in a remote village casts a spell over her. Flashbacks to a former life begin to haunt her as the brujo (male witch) stalks her and her family. As someone who knows Santa Fe well, I liked how Wolcott used Santa Fe locations and local color to enhance the narrative. Lee’s friendship with the artist who knew something about brujos was the best part for me; a true friend who risked it all.

By Jann Arrington Wolcott,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Book by Wolcott, Jann Arrington


Book cover of A Canticle for Leibowitz

Christopher Ruocchio Author Of Empire of Silence

From my list on science fiction for fantasy readers.

Who am I?

I am the author of 5 (nearly 6) science-fantasy novels in my Sun Eater series, as well as the author of 2 novellas and nearly two dozen short stories, as well as an 8-year veteran of the publishing industry. For 7 of those years, I worked as an editor for Baen Books, a nearly 40-year-old publisher of science fiction and fantasy. On top of all that, I am a lifelong sci-fi and fantasy fan, and something of an amateur historian of the field. 

Christopher's book list on science fiction for fantasy readers

Christopher Ruocchio Why did Christopher love this book?

Folks daunted at the prospect of jumping in to a longer series will be delighted to know that this is just a standalone novel. In fact, it was the only novel Walter M. Miller, Jr. wrote in his lifetime. There is a posthumously published sequel to this novel, but it was completed by another writer and is generally considered the lesser work, and at any rate, Canticle stands on its own. This is a post-apocalyptic novel, set after a nuclear war in the 1960s wiped out civilization. It takes place over the course of centuries, and follows a small Roman Catholic monastery in the American southwest as they struggle to preserve documents from before the bombs destroyed everything—scientific knowledge, mostly, knowledge the poor monks can’t even begin to understand.

This is one of the most beautifully written novels in the genre’s history, and one that—though I’ve only read it two…

By Walter M. Miller, Jr.,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked A Canticle for Leibowitz as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the depths of the Utah desert, long after the Flame Deluge has scoured the earth clean, a monk of the Order of Saint Leibowitz has made a miraculous discovery: holy relics from the life of the great saint himself, including the blessed blueprint, the sacred shopping list, and the hallowed shrine of the Fallout Shelter.

In a terrifying age of darkness and decay, these artifacts could be the keys to mankind's salvation. But as the mystery at the core of this groundbreaking novel unfolds, it is the search itself—for meaning, for truth, for love—that offers hope for humanity's rebirth…


Book cover of Roadside Geology of Utah

Maya Silver Author Of Moon Zion & Bryce: With Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Grand Staircase-Escalante & Moab

From my list on featuring the American Southwest desert.

Who am I?

Even though I’m from humid DC, I’ve been drawn to the desert since I first set foot there as a kid on a family road trip. Now, I’m lucky enough to live in Utah, home to some of the world’s most legendary desert landscapes. One reason I love the desert is the otherworldly scenery: uncanny arches, bizarre hoodoos, and sand dunes you could disappear into. Before your eyes, layers of geologic time unfold in epochs. The desert is a great place for contemplating the past and future—and for great adventures, with endless sandstone walls to climb, slick rock to bike, and sagebrush-lined trails to hike.

Maya's book list on featuring the American Southwest desert

Maya Silver Why did Maya love this book?

Organized by the roads of Utah, this book helps you make sense of what you’re looking at out the window and along the trail. This is an essential guide to keep in your car if you’re road-tripping through the state!

Written by the late female geologist Halka Chronic and her two daughters, this book has great maps, photos, and writing that will turn you into an armchair geologist in no time and give you a deeper appreciation for the mountains, canyons, spires, and more formations of the Utah desert and beyond. 

By Felicie Williams, Lucy Chronic, Halka Chronic

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Roadside Geology of Utah as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Arches National Park. Bryce Canyon. Zion. When one thinks of Utah, it�s rocks and iconic landforms�preserved in a nearly endless list of national parks and monuments�come immediately to mind. Perhaps more so than any other state, Utah is built for geologic exploration, and geologists/authors Felicie Williams, Lucy Chronic, and Halka Chronic are its expert tour guides.
The Beehive State is splitting at the seams with wondrous geological contrast. Utah�s high mountains, showcasing the results of what happens as the Earth bends, folds, and breaks itself apart, run like a backbone down the center of the state. To the east, the…


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