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Archaeology & Anthropology

See also: America Before Columbus, Paleontology and Archaeology in Pittsburgh.

Selected Books

Adovasio, J. M., Olga Soffer & Jake Page
The Invisible Sex: Uncovering the True Roles of Women in Prehistory
GN799.W66 A36 2007
Historically prehistory has been told from the man's point of view and portrays a life in which women were unimportant. This book deconstructs those stories and offers a new interpretation.
Anthony, David W.
The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World
GN778.28.A57 2007x
Roughly half the world's population speaks languages derived from a shared linguistic source known as Proto-Indo-European. Linking prehistoric archaeological remains with the development of language, David Anthony identifies the prehistoric peoples of central Eurasia's steppe grasslands as the original speakers of Proto-Indo-European, and shows how their innovative use of the horse and wheel turned the Eurasian steppes into a thriving transcontinental corridor of communication, commerce, and cultural exchange.
Burton, Frances D.
Fire: The Spark That Ignited Human Evolution
GN416.B86 2009
Burton, an anthropology professor and primate expert, feels that the association between our ancestors and fire, somewhere around six to four million years ago, had a tremendous impact on human evolution.
Cunliffe, Barry W.
Europe Between the Oceans: 9000 BC to AD 1000
CB245.C85 2008
Archaeologist Barry Cunliffe reframes our conception of early European history, from prehistory through the ancient world to the medieval Viking period, by viewing Europe not in terms of states and shifting political land boundaries but as a geographical niche particularly favored in facing many seas and possessing many inland rivers. See also Cunliffe's Facing the Ocean: The Atlantic and its Peoples, 8000 BC-AD 1500.
Fagan, Brian M.
Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans
(CD) GN286.3.F34 2010bx
Brian Fagan takes us on a journey into the late Ice Age world of the Cro-Magnons, the first full modern Europeans, who arrived in their homeland more than 40,000 years ago. Fagan explores who they were and what made them different from the Neanderthals. Watch a lecture by Fagan at the Linda Hall Library in Kansas City, MO.
Fagan, Brian M.
Floods, Famines, and Emperors: El NiƱo and the Fate of Civilizations
GC296.8.E4 F34 2009, GC296.8.E4 F34 1999x
The first major trade book on El Nino is not a mere summary of current knowledge but a work at the cutting edge of archaeology. It integrates climate science, archaeology, history & superb writing in a compelling new view of how climate affects the course of history.
Flannery, Kent and Joyce Marcus
The Creation of Inequality: How Our Prehistoric Ancestors Set the Stage for Monarchy, Slavery, and Empire
GN740.F54 2012
Drawing on their knowledge of both living and prehistoric social groups, American archaeologists Flannery and Marcus describe the changes in logic that create larger and more hierarchical societies, and they argue that many kinds of inequality can be overcome by reversing these changes, rather than by violence.
Kenneally, Christine
The First Word: The Search for the Origins of Language
P107.K465 2008x
Christine Kenneally shows how a few brilliant scholars (Noam Chomsky, Steven Pinker, Sue Savage-Rumbaugh and Philip Lieberman) took evolutionary linguistics from wild speculation into hard science and brought us face-to-face with the origins of that most human of characteristics.
MacGregor, Neil
A History of the World in 100 Objects
GN740.M16 2011
Originally a 100-part radio series of 15 minute programs, Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, selected one hundred man-made artifacts, each of which gives us an intimate glimpse of an unexpected turning point in human civilization. Take a look at the 100 Objects at the British Museum.
Oppenheimer, Stephen
Eden in the East : The Drowned Continent of Southeast Asia
GN635.S58 O66 1998x
British geneticist Oppenheimer proposes that the flood at the end of the last Ice Age drowned the huge continetal shelf of Southeast Asia (Sundaland), and caused a population dispersal which fertilized the Neolithic cultures of China, India, Mesopotamia, Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean, thus creating the first civilizations. Learn more about Oppenheimer's Journey of Mankind.
Oppenheimer, Stephen
The Real Eve: Modern Man's Journey Out of Africa
GN370.O67 2003x
British geneticist Oppenheimer argues that all the races and cultures of the non-African world resulted from only one major exodus from Africa 80,000 years ago. This migration first populated India and southeast Asia before the climate became warm enough to allow migration to the north through Russian to Eastern Europe. Learn more at Oppenheimer's Journey of Mankind.
Reader, John
Missing Links: In Search of Human Origins
GN282.R42 2011
In this enlarged and updated edition, Reader traces the history of the science of palaeoanthropology as it has developed from the activities of a few dedicated individuals, into the rigorous multidisciplinary work of today.
Ryan, William B. F. and Walter Pitman
Noah's Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries About the Event That Changed History
BS658.R93 1998
Pitman and Ryan theorize that the Black Sea was a freshwater lake before rising seawaters due to glacial melting broke through the Bosphorus Strait. It was this deluge that is referred to in Genesis and Gilgamesh. Learn more on the PBS/Scientific American site The Truth Behind Noah's Flood.
Tudge, Colin
The Link: Uncovering Our Earliest Ancestor
GN282.T83 2009x
Science writer Tudge tells the story of a complete forty-seven million year-old primate skeleton found in Germany in 1982 and its importance in the search for our human origins.
Wilson, Ian
Before the Flood: The Biblical Flood as a Real Event and How It Changed the Course of Civilization
BS658.W538 2002x
Wilson elaborates further on the Black Sea hypothesis put forward by Pitman and Ryan (above) as the basis for the story of Noah's flood.
Wrangham, Richard W.
Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human
GN799.F6 W73 2009
Harvard biological anthropologist Wrangham holds that it was the invention of cooking, which increases the caloric value of food and which only humans engage in, that allowed humans to devote more energy to expanding brain size and becoming human.

Browse the Catalog

For additional titles browse the library catalog under the subject headings:


Web Sites

  • ABC Science News: Ancient Worlds
    Check out what archaeological and paleontological discoveries are being made on the other side of the world from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  • American Anthropological Association
    The American Anthropological Association (AAA), the primary professional society of anthropologists in the United States since its founding in 1902, is the world's largest professional organization of individuals interested in anthropology. Their Anthropology in Education section highlights educational programs integrating anthropology into the school curriculum.
  • The Archaeological Conservancy)
    Publishes American Archaeology, a quarterly consumer magazine devoted to archaeology in the United States, with additional coverage of Canada and Latin America. The Archaeological Conservancy, established in 1980, is a national non-profit organization dedicated to acquiring and preserving the best of U.S. remaining archaeological sites. They have a regional office in Ohio.
  • Anthropology In The News
    Links to an extensive collection of current news articles from a variety of news sources related to anthropology. From Texas A & M University Anthropology Department.
  • Archaeological Institute of America
    The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) is North America's oldest and largest organization devoted to the world of archaeology. The Institute is a nonprofit group founded in 1879 and chartered by the United States Congress in 1906. Today, the AIA has nearly 9,000 members belonging to 102 local societies in the United States, Canada, and overseas.
    • Archaeology
      An Official Publication of the Archaeological Institute of America that offers some online feature articles.
  • The Archaeology Channel
    Watch streaming videos of archaeology documentaries provided by the Archaeological Legacy Institute, whose goal is to make more people aware of the need to preserve archaeological site.
  • Biblical Archaeological Review
    Published by the Biblical Archaeology Society
  • Bradshaw Foundation: Journey of Mankind: Peopling of the World
    An interactive map (using Adobe Flash) that charts the global journey of man over the last 160,000 years from his origin in Africa, showing the interaction of migration and climate. Based on theories of Stephen Oppenheimer.
  • Dig Magazine
    The archaeology magazine for kids published by the Archaeological Institute of America, the country's oldest and largest archaeological society. Their website includes extensive links, a glossary, factoids, a quiz, and an ask a question page.
  • Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc.
    The Foundation (FAMSI) was created in 1993 to foster increased understanding of ancient Mesoamerican cultures and assist and promote qualified scholars of Mesoamerica in anthropology, archaeology, art history, epigraphy, ethnography, ethnohistory, linguistics, and related fields. Mesoamerica (Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico) from 1500 BC to 1519 AD is one of six cradles of early civilization. See their "Research" section for project information.
  • National Geographic: Archaeology
    Topics and news in archaeology from the magazine.
  • National Geographic Genographic Project
    The National Geographic Society, IBM, geneticist Spencer Wells, and the Waitt Family Foundation have launched the Genographic Project, a five-year effort to collect genetic information, especially from indigenous peoples, in order to trace the prehistoric migrations of humans. It is a controversial effort opposed by the Indigenous Peoples Council on Biocolonialism (IPCB).
  • National Park Service: History
    Archaeological and historical sites in our National Parks.
  • Nature: Peopling the Planet
    Includes an interactive map of ancient human migrations and links to recent articles in anthropology.
  • Passport in Time
    Passport in Time (PIT) is a volunteer archaeology and historic preservation program of the USDA Forest Service (FS) that allows you to work with professional archaeologists and historians on projects including archaeological excavation, rock art restoration, survey, archival research, historic structure restoration, gathering oral histories, or writing interpretive brochures.
  • Smithsonian Institution: Department of Anthropology
    Their website includes many bibliographies and teaching packets for anthropology.
  • Society for American Archaeology
    Their website includes a section for the public which includes information on archaeology month for each state.
  • Society for Commercial Archaeology
    Established in 1977, the SCA is the oldest national organization devoted to the buildings, artifacts, structures, signs, and symbols of the 20th-century commercial landscape, especially roadside structures, like restaurants, drive-ins, etc.

Pittsburgh Region

  • Army Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh: Archaeology
    Learn about current excavations at the Historic Harmony Brick Works under the direction of the Pittsburgh District, U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. The site dates back to 6000 BC when it was an island in the Ohio River. At this Corps of Engineers website you can also learn about the Lower Mon Project plans to modernize locks and dams along the Lower Monongahela River.
  • Meadowcroft Rock Shelter
    Meadowcroft Rockshelter, located south of Pittsburgh, represents the oldest dated and longest continual human use of a particular site in eastern North America. Radiocarbon dates for the earliest human occupation levels are 12,000 B.C. and may be as far as 17,000 B.C.
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The canal that made Pittsburgh great
    An article from May 16, 1999 about the remnants of the Pennsylvania Canal from the mid-1800s on Pittsburgh's North Side.
  • Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Westmoreland County archaeological site offers clues to region's past
    Tuesday, September 21, 2004. Information about the donation of an archaeological site in Ligonier (Geisey site) on Loyalhanna Creek to the Archaeological Conservancy. "According to an announcement published in the fall issue of American Archaeological Quarterly, archaeologists think Geisey was a village of the Early to Middle Woodland Period, belonging to a tribe that thrived 6,000 years ago in what is now Pennsylvania and Ohio." (PG)