A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Having spent more than 30 years shooting archaeological sites from the air--often in rickety planes through dangerous regions--Georg Gerster has created an authoritative collection of images with The Past From Above: Aerial Views of Great Archaeological Sites (Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2005; $65). Both beautiful and enlightening--one archaeologist says a photo of an Elamite city gave him a deeper understanding of the site than 10 years of fieldwork did--it includes full-page photos of 250 sites and text from more than a dozen archaeologists.
Stephen LeBlanc's Painted by a Distant Hand (Boston: Peabody Museum Press, 2005; $21.95) is a slim but informative volume inspired by a two-year-long exhibit of Mimbres (A.D. 200-1100) pottery at Harvard's Peabody Museum that closed in June. LeBlanc discusses the meaning of the pottery's figurative imagery and abstract patterns, the artists who created them (most likely women), and what they indicate about daily life, all in clear, straightforward prose.
If you haven't heard of San Bartolo, the Preclassic Maya site in Guatemala where archaeologist William Saturno discovered a cave with the best-preserved murals to be found in 60 years, visit the Proyetco San Bartolo website at sanbartolo.org. It neatly covers discovery, research, technology, and conservation related to the site, which also has more than 100 structures, the earliest dated to 800 B.C.
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