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Editors' Picks Volume 55 Number 6, November/December 2002

Science writer Steve Olson's ambitious Mapping Human History (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 2002, $25) traces the dispersal of humans across the globe. First-hand reporting from Africa, China, and Polynesia give a human touch to this engaging and wide-ranging synthesis of the genetic, archaeological, and linguistic evidence for the development and spread of modern humans.
[More Human Evolution books...]

Mapping Human History: Discovering Our Past Through Genes

The Chaco Handbook: An Encyclopedic Guide.html

Thanks to his father, a prominent Southwestern archaeologist, R. Gwinn Vivian literally grew up in the ruins of New Mexico's Chaco Canyon. Now, together with Bruce Hilpert, Vivian has harnessed his unique knowledge of this extraordinary Anasazi site to produce The Chaco Handbook: An Encyclopedic Guide (Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press, 2002; $17.95). Intended both as an introduction and an accessible reference, this volume is replete with photographs and diagrams, and does a good job of decoding the layers of jargon surrounding the most spectacular archaeological site in North America.
[More Canada & the U.S. books...]


After surveying successfully decoded ancient scripts, like Egyptian hieroglyphics, Linear B, and Mayan glyphs, Andrew Robinson's Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts (New York: McGraw Hill, 2002, $34.95) dissects the writing systems that still befuddle linguists; Harappan, Linear A, and Easter Island's enigmatic Rongorongo being the chief examples. Robinson's enthusiasm for the subject is so infectious that you might find yourself trying to crack Etruscan in your spare time.
[More books...]

Lost Languages: The Enigma of the World's Undeciphered Scripts.html

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© 2002 by the Archaeological Institute of America
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