New Books in Archaeology

New Books in Archaeology

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Interviews with Archaeologists about their New Books


David Carballo, “Collision of Worlds: A Deep History of the Fall of Aztec Mexico and the Forging of New Spain” (Oxford UP, 2020)
Jul 3 • 62 min
Mexico of five centuries ago was witness to one of the most momentous encounters between human societies, when a group of Spaniards led by Hernando Cortés joined forces with tens of thousands of Mesoamerican allies to topple the mighty Aztec Empire. It…
Kathryn M. De Luna, “Collecting Food, Collecting People: Subsistence and Society in Central Africa” (Yale UP, 2016)
Jun 4 • 71 min
In Collecting Food, Collecting People: Subsistence and Society in Central Africa (Yale University Press, 2016), Kathryn M. De Luna documents the evolving meanings borne in the collection of wild foods for an agricultural people in south central Africa…
James C. Scott, “Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States” (Yale UP, 2017)
Jun 3 • 54 min
We are schooled to believe that states formed more or less synchronously with settlement and agriculture. In Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States (Yale University Press, 2017), James C. Scott asks us to question this belief. The…
Brian Greene, “Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe” (Random House, 2020)
Jun 2 • 120 min
Brian Greene is a Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Columbia University in the City of New York, where he is the Director of the Institute for Strings, Cosmology, and Astroparticle Physics, and co-founder and chair of the World Science Festival. He…
Leslie M. Harris, “Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies” (U Georgia Press, 2019)
Apr 28 • 59 min
Slavery and the University: Histories and Legacies (University of Georgia Press, 2019), edited by Leslie M. Harris, James T. Campbell, and Alfred L. Brophy, is the first edited collection of scholarly essays devoted solely to the histories and legacies of…
Matt Cook, “Sleight of Mind: 75 Ingenious Paradoxes in Mathematics, Physics, and Philosophy” (MIT Press, 2020)
Mar 30 • 54 min
Paradox is a sophisticated kind of magic trick. A magician’s purpose is to create the appearance of impossibility, to pull a rabbit from an empty hat. Yet paradox doesn’t require tangibles, like rabbits or hats. Paradox works in the abstract, with words…
Adrian Currie, “Rock, Bone, and Ruin: An Optimist’s Guide to the Historical Sciences” (MIT Press, 2018)
Mar 27 • 54 min
The “historical sciences”—geology, paleontology, and archaeology—have made extraordinary progress in advancing our understanding of the deep past. How has this been possible, given that the evidence they have to work with offers mere traces of the past?…
Adrian J. Boas, “The Crusader World” (Routledge, 2015)
Mar 25 • 50 min
The Crusader World (Routledge, 2015), edited by Adrian J. Boas, is a multidisciplinary survey of the current state of research in the field of crusader studies, an area of study which has become increasingly popular in recent years. In this volume Adrian…
Phillipa Chong, “Inside the Critics’ Circle: Book Reviewing in Uncertain Times” (Princeton UP, 2020)
Feb 25 • 42 min
How does the world of book reviews work? In Inside the Critics’ Circle: Book Reviewing in Uncertain Times (Princeton University Press, 2020), Phillipa Chong, assistant professor in sociology at McMaster University, provides a unique sociological analysis…
K. Linder et al., “Going Alt-Ac: A Guide to Alternative Academic Careers” (Stylus Publishing, 2020)
Jan 30 • 39 min
If you’re a grad student facing the ugly reality of finding a tenure-track job, you could easily be forgiven for thinking about a career change. However, if you’ve spent the last several years working on a PhD, or if you’re a faculty member whose career…
Alberto Cairo, “How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter about Visual Information” (Norton, 2019)
Dec 3, 2019 • 57 min
We’ve all heard that a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if we don’t understand what we’re looking at? Social media has made charts, infographics, and diagrams ubiquitous―and easier to share than ever. We associate charts with science and…
Kathleen Sheppard, “The Life of Margaret Alice Murray: A Woman’s Work in Archaeology” (Lexington, 2017)
Nov 29, 2019 • 33 min
After Napoleon occupied Egypt, Europeans became obsessed with the ancient cultures of the Nile. In Britain, the center of Egyptology research was University College London (UCL). At the heart of the UCL program was the Egyptologist, Margaret Alice Murray.…
Kathryn Conrad on University Press Publishing
Nov 3, 2019 • 40 min
As you may know, university presses publish a lot of good books. In fact, they publish thousands of them every year. They are different from most trade books in that most of them are what you might called “fundamental research.” Their authors—dedicated…
J. Neuhaus, “Geeky Pedagogy: A Guide for Intellectuals, Introverts, and Nerds Who Want to Be Effective Teachers” (West Virginia UP, 2019)
Oct 24, 2019 • 32 min
The things that make people academics — as deep fascination with some arcane subject, often bordering on obsession, and a comfort with the solitude that developing expertise requires — do not necessarily make us good teachers. Jessamyn Neuhaus’s Geeky…
John D. Hawks, “Almost Human: The Astonishing Tale of Homo naledi and the Discovery That Changed Our Human Story” (National Geographic, 2017)
Jul 19, 2019 • 33 min
John D. Hawks talks about new developments in paleoanthropology – the discovery of a new hominid species Homo Naledi in South Africa, the Neanderthal ancestry of many human populations, and the challenge of rethinking anthropological science’s…
Ashley Thompson, “Engendering the Buddhist State: Territory, Sovereignty and Sexual Difference in the Inventions of Angkor” (Routledge, 2016)
Jul 4, 2019 • 40 min
Thanks to the international tourism industry most people are familiar with the spectacular ruins of Angkor, the great Cambodian empire that lasted from about the 9th to the early 15th century. We are especially familiar with those haunting images of the…
PJ Capelotti, “Adventures in Archaeology: The Wreck of the Orca II and Other Explorations” (U Florida Press, 2018)
Jun 14, 2019 • 40 min
Anthropologist PJ Capelotti discusses the role of exploration archaeology in understanding the Pacific voyage of Kon-Tiki, the Arctic airship expeditions of Walter Wellman, and the fate of Orca II, a fishing boat used in the film Jaws. Capelotti is a…
Adrian Goldsworthy, “Hadrian’s Wall” (Basic Books, 2018)
May 24, 2019 • 56 min
Stretching across the north of England, from coast to coast, are the 73-mile long remnants of a fortification built by the Roman Army during the reign of the Emperor Hadrian. It is, as our guest Adrian Goldsworthy has written, “the largest of the many…
Gregory Smits, “Maritime Ryukyu, 1050–1650” (U Hawaii Press, 2018)
May 20, 2019 • 68 min
Conventional portrayals of early Ryukyu are based on official histories written between 1650 and 1750. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, Gregory Smits makes extensive use of scholarship in archaeology and anthropology and leverages unconventional…
Caitlín Eilís Barrett, “Domesticating Empire: Egyptian Landscapes in Pompeian Gardens” (Oxford UP, 2019)
May 7, 2019 • 102 min
Domesticating Empire: Egyptian Landscapes in Pompeian Gardens (Oxford University Press, 2019) is the first contextually-oriented monograph on Egyptian imagery in Roman households. Caitlín Eilís Barrett, Associate Professor of Classics at Cornell…
Chip Colwell, “Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits: Inside the Fight to Reclaim Native America’s Culture” (U Chicago Press, 2017)
Apr 19, 2019 • 66 min
Five decades ago, Native American leaders launched a crusade to force museums to return their sacred objects and allow them to rebury their kin. Today, hundreds of tribes use the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act to help them recover…
Richard Hingley, “Londinium: A Biography” (Routledge, 2018)
Apr 18, 2019 • 49 min
From its humble beginnings as a crossing point over the river Thames Londinium grew into the largest city in Roman Britain. In Londinium: A Biography (Routledge, 2018), Richard Hingley draws upon the latest archaeological discoveries to provide a look at…
Paul J. Kosmin, “Time and Its Adversaries in the Seleucid Empire” (Harvard UP, 2018)
Mar 21, 2019 • 75 min
In the aftermath of Alexander the Great’s conquests, the Seleucid kings ruled a vast territory stretching from Central Asia to Anatolia, Armenia to the Persian Gulf. In a radical move to impose unity and regulate behavior, this Graeco-Macedonian imperial…
Discussion of Massive Online Peer Review and Open Access Publishing
Mar 19, 2019 • 32 min
In the information age, knowledge is power. Hence, facilitating the access to knowledge to wider publics empowers citizens and makes societies more democratic. How can publishers and authors contribute to this process? This podcast addresses this issue.…
Seth Bernard, “Building Mid-Republican Rome: Labor, Architecture, and the Urban Economy” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Mar 14, 2019 • 35 min
Building Mid-Republican Rome: Labor, Architecture, and the Urban Economy (Oxford University Press, 2018), offers a holistic treatment of the development of the Mid-Republican city from 396 to 168 BCE. As Romans established imperial control over Italy and…
Fred S. Naiden, “Soldier, Priest, and God: A Life of Alexander the Great” (Oxford UP, 2018)
Feb 8, 2019 • 49 min
The Macedonian king Alexander III is best remembered today for his many martial accomplishments and the empire he built from them. Yet as Fred S. Naiden details in Soldier, Priest, and God: A Life of Alexander the Great (Oxford University Press, 2018),…
Douglas Hunter, “Beardmore: The Viking Hoax That Rewrote History” (McGill-Queen’s UP, 2018)
Feb 8, 2019 • 70 min
In 1936, long before the discovery of the Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows, the Royal Ontario Museum made a sensational acquisition: the contents of a Viking grave that prospector Eddy Dodd said he had found on his mining claim east of Lake…
Elizabeth Macaulay-Lewis. “Classical New York: Discovering Greece and Rome in Gotham” (Empire States Editions, 2018)
Jan 30, 2019 • 41 min
A new book explores how and why New York City became a showcase for the art and architectural styles of ancient Greece and Rome. Classical New York: Discovering Greece and Rome in Gotham (Empire States Editions, 2018), co-edited by Elizabeth…
William Kelso, “Jamestown: The Truth Revealed” (U Virginia Press, 2017)
Jan 18, 2019 • 72 min
In Jamestown: The Truth Revealed (University of Virginia Press, 2017; paperback, 2018), William Kelso, Emeritus Head Archaeologist of the Jamestown Rediscovery Project, takes us literally to the soil where the 1607 Jamestown colony began, unearthing…
Kathryn Lomas, “The Rise of Rome: From the Iron Age to the Punic Wars” (Harvard UP, 2018)
Jan 15, 2019 • 108 min
By the third century BC, the once-modest settlement of Rome had conquered most of Italy and was poised to build an empire throughout the Mediterranean basin. What transformed a humble city into the preeminent power of the region? In The Rise of Rome: From…
Christopher Gerrard, “Lost Lives, New Voices: Unlocking the Stories of the Scottish Soldiers from the Battle of Dunbar, 1650” (Oxbow Books, 2018)
Jan 11, 2019 • 89 min
In November 2013, two mass burials were discovered unexpectedly on a construction site in the city of Durham in northeast England. Over the next two years, a complex jigsaw of evidence was pieced together by Christopher Gerrard, Professor of Archaeology…
Angelos Chaniotis, “Age of Conquests: The Greek World from Alexander to Hadrian” (Harvard UP, 2018)
Jan 8, 2019 • 70 min
The world that Alexander remade in his lifetime was transformed once more by his death in 323 BCE. In Age of Conquests: The Greek World from Alexander to Hadrian(Harvard University Press, 2018), Angelos Chaniotis, Professor of Ancient History and Classics…
Mark Rice, “Making Machu Picchu: The Politics of Tourism in Twentieth-Century Peru” (UNC Press, 2018)
Dec 11, 2018 • 64 min
Speaking at a 1913 National Geographic Society gala, Hiram Bingham III, the American explorer celebrated for finding the “lost city” of the Andes two years earlier, suggested that Machu Picchu “is an awful name, but it is well worth remembering.” Millions…
McKenzie Wark, “General Intellects: Twenty-One Thinkers for the Twenty-First Century” (Verso, 2017)
Dec 6, 2018 • 64 min
McKenzie Wark’s new book offers 21 focused studies of thinkers working in a wide range of fields who are worth your attention. The chapters of General Intellects: Twenty-One Thinkers for the Twenty-First Century (Verso, 2017) introduce readers to…
Kathleen Hull and John Douglass, “Forging Communities in Colonial Alta California” (U Arizona Press, 2018)
Nov 28, 2018 • 76 min
Between 1769 and 1834, an influx of Spanish, Russian, and then American colonists streamed into Alta California seeking new opportunities. Their arrival brought the imposition of foreign beliefs, practices, and constraints on Indigenous peoples. Edited by…
G. Mitman, M. Armiero and R. S. Emmett (eds.), “Future Remains: A Cabinet of Curiosities for the Anthropocene” (U Chicago Press, 2018)
Aug 29, 2018 • 34 min
Future Remains: A Cabinet of Curiosities for the Anthropocene (University of Chicago Press, 2018) curates fifteen objects that might serve as evidence of a future past. From a jar of sand to a painting of a goanna, the contributions to this edited…
Andrew Frank, “Before the Pioneers: Indians, Settlers, Slaves, and the Founding of Miami” (UP of Florida, 2017)
Feb 14, 2018 • 39 min
In this interview, we discuss Andrew Frank‘s most recent book, Before the Pioneers: Indians, Settlers, Slaves, and the Founding of Miami (University Press of Florida, 2017). The book is a concise and authoritative history of the region where modern-day…
Sam White, “A Cold Welcome: The Little Ice Age and Europe’s Encounter with North America” (Harvard UP, 2017)
Dec 15, 2017 • 54 min
Sam White’s brand new book A Cold Welcome: The Little Ice Age and Europe’s Encounter with North America (Harvard University Press, 2017) turns the tales we learned in grade school about early European colonization of North America upside-down. In the last…
James F. Brooks, “Mesa of Sorrows: A History of the Awat’ovi Massacre” (W.W. Norton and Co., 2016)
Dec 5, 2017 • 78 min
James F. Brooks, UC Santa Barbara Professor of History and Anthropology and the William S. Vaughn Visiting Fellow at Vanderbilt University’s Robert Penn Warren Center for the Humanities, offers a scrupulously researched investigation of the mysterious…
Paul Irish, “Hidden in Plain View: The Aboriginal People of Coastal Sydney” (NewSouth Publishing, 2017)
Dec 1, 2017 • 17 min
In his new book, Hidden in Plain View: The Aboriginal People of Coastal Sydney (NewSouth Publishing, 2017), historian Paul Irish debunks the myth that local Aboriginal people disappeared from Sydney within decades of the arrival of Europeans in 1788.…
Douglas Hunter, “The Place of Stone: Dighton Rock and the Erasure of America’s Indigenous Past (UNC, 2017)
Oct 30, 2017 • 51 min
In The Place of Stone: Dighton Rock and the Erasure of America’s Indigenous Past (University of North Carolina Press, 2017), Douglas Hunter examines the history of meanings, affinities, and petroglyph studies of Dighton Rock. First noticed by colonists in…
Marilyn Palmer and Ian West, “Technology and the Country House” (Historic England Publishing/U.Chicago, 2016)
May 26, 2017 • 61 min
For the aristocracy in Britain and Ireland, country house living was dependent upon the labors of men and women who performed innumerable chores involving cooking, cleaning, and the basic operation of the household. In the 18th century, however, the…
Rebe Taylor, “Into the Heart of Tasmania: A Search For Human Antiquity” (Melbourne UP, 2017)
Apr 30, 2017 • 18 min
In her book, Into the Heart of Tasmania: A Search For Human Antiquity (Melbourne University Press, 2017), Rebe Taylor, the Coral Thomas Fellow at the State Library of New South Wales, explores the life of Ernest Westlake, whose fascination with remnants…
David Rohl, “Exodus: Myth or History? (Thinking Man Media, 2015)
Feb 27, 2017 • 42 min
Archaeologists and scholars of the ancient Near East regularly make statements to the effect that there is absolutely no archaeological evidence for many events of the Bible, including Israel’s sojourn in Egypt, the Exodus out of Egypt, and the conquest…
Stephen Dupont, “Piksa Niugini” (Peabody Press/Radius Books, 2013)
Oct 18, 2016 • 49 min
Piksa Niugini by Stephen Dupont, with forward by Robert Gardner and essay by Bob Connolly, is published by the Peabody Press and Radius Books, (2013). Volume 1: 144 pages, 80 duotone, 6 color images. Volume 2: 144 pages, 120 color images. Piksa Niugini…
Eric H. Cline, “1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed” (Princeton University Press, 2014)
Oct 7, 2015 • 87 min
It quickly sold out in hardback, and then, within a matter of days, sold out in paperback. Available again as a 2nd edition hardback, and soon in the 10th edition paperback with a new Afterword by the author, Eric H. Cline‘s 1177 B.C.: The Year…
Bruce A. Bradley, et al., “Clovis Technology” (International Monographs in Prehistory, 2010)
Sep 12, 2015 • 113 min
13,000-years ago, the people of the first identifiable culture in North America were hunting mammoth and mastodon, bison, and anything else they could launch their darts and spears at, and undoubtedly, most assuredly, they themselves were being hunted by…
Douglas B. Bamforth et al., “The Allen Site: A Paleoindian Camp in Southwestern Nebraska” (U of New Mexico Press, 2015)
Aug 25, 2015 • 81 min
In this episode of New Books in Archaeology we talk with Douglas B. Bamforth about his new book The Allen Site: A Paleoindian Camp in Southwestern Nebraska (University of New Mexico Press, 2015). Bamforth focuses primarily on Paleoindian land use…
Asya Pereltsvaig and Martin Lewis, “The Indo-European Controversy: Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics” (Cambridge UP, 2015)
Jul 21, 2015 • 61 min
Who were the Indo-Europeans? Were they all-conquering heroes? Aggressive patriarchal Kurgan horsemen, sweeping aside the peaceful civilizations of Old Europe? Weed-smoking drug dealers rolling across Eurasia in a cannabis-induced haze? Or slow-moving but…
J. Laurence Hare, “Excavating Nations: Archaeology, Museums, and the German-Danish Borderlands” (U of Toronto Press, 2015)
Jun 28, 2015 • 52 min
A recent book review I read began with the line “borderlands are back.” It’s certainly true that more and more historians have used borderland regions as the stage for some excellent work on the construction of national identities (or indifference to…
Agnieszka Helman-Wazny, “The Archaeology of Tibetan Books” (Brill, 2014)
Mar 21, 2015 • 62 min
In Archaeology of Tibetan Books (Brill, 2014), Agnieszka Helman-Wazny explores the varieties of artistic expression, materials, and tools that have shaped Tibetan books over the millennia. Digging into the history of the bookmaking craft, the author…
Rowan K. Flad and Pochan Chen, “Ancient Central China” (Cambridge UP, 2013)
Oct 19, 2013 • 75 min
One of the most exciting approaches in the contemporary study of China is emerging from work that brings together archaeological and historical modes of reading texts and material objects to tell a story about the past. In Ancient Central China: Centers…
Mark Byington, ed., “Early Korea: The Rediscovery of Kaya in History and Archaeology” (University of Hawaii Press, 2012)
Jul 1, 2013 • 74 min
Early Korea is a resource like no other: in an ongoing series of volumes produced by the Early Korea Project at the Korea Institute of Harvard University, the series provides surveys of Korean scholarship on fundamental issues in the study of early Korean…