A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Explorers and Artists in the Valley of the Kings (American University in Cairo Press, 2002; $29.95), by the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Catharine Roehrig, is an exquisite introduction to the maps, landscapes, and copies of tomb paintings and reliefs created by early travelers and scholars in Egypt, from the colorful, though inaccurate, drawings of the eighteenth-century British clergyman Rev. Richard Pocoke, to the fine etchings made by architectural illustrator William Henry Bartlett during the mid-nineteenth century.[More Egypt books...]
Butch Cassidy Was Here: Historic Inscriptions of the Colorado Plateau (Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press, 2002; $24.95) takes the novel approach of telling the story of the historic Southwest through graffiti. The author, historian James Knipmeyer, has located and photographed nearly 1,600 inscriptions left behind on rocks in Utah and Arizona by everyone from Spanish explorers to nineteenth-century desperadoes.
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Presented with the meticulousness of one who has trudged through and mastered Maya epigraphy, John Montgomery's How to Read Maya Hieroglyphs (New York: Hippocrene Books, Inc., 2002; $24) and its companion volume Dictionary of Maya Hieroglyphs (New York: Hippocrene Books, Inc., 2002; $19.95) bring this challenging script to amateur and professional enthusiasts. You, too, will be able to write in glyphs: "On July 31, 749, ruler Five Flower Mountain danced the 'descending macaw.' That night he drank kakaw to get drunk."[More Mexico and Central/South America books...]
Prehistorian Jean Clottes' highly readable and lavishly illustrated rundown of the planet's greatest rock art, World Rock Art (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2002; $29.95) covers the usual suspects like the cave art of France and the "x-ray" style paintings made by Australian Aboriginals, but lesser-known examples of rock art from South America and the American West also get plenty of attention.