Three Stones Make a Wall: The Story of Archaeology

Author(s): Eric H. Cline


In 1922, Howard Carter peered into Tutankhamun's tomb for the first time, the only light coming from the candle in his outstretched hand. Urged to tell what he was seeing through the small opening he had cut in the door to the tomb, the Egyptologist famously replied, "I see wonderful things." Carter's fabulous discovery is just one of the many spellbinding stories told in Three Stones Make a Wall.

Written by Eric Cline, an archaeologist with more than thirty seasons of excavation experience, Three Stones Make a Wall traces the history of archaeology from an amateur pursuit to the cutting-edge science it is today by taking the reader on a tour of major archaeological sites and discoveries, from Pompeii to Petra, Troy to the Terracotta Warriors, and Mycenae to Megiddo and Masada. Cline brings to life the personalities behind these digs, including Heinrich Schliemann, the former businessman who excavated Troy, and Mary Leakey, whose discoveries advanced our understanding of human origins. The discovery of the peoples and civilizations of the past is presented in vivid detail, from the Hittites and Minoans to the Inca, Aztec, and Moche. Along the way, the book addresses the questions archaeologists are asked most often: How do you know where to dig? How are excavations actually done? How do you know how old something is? Who gets to keep what is found?

Taking readers from the pioneering digs of the eighteenth century to the exciting new discoveries being made today, Three Stones Make a Wall is a lively and essential introduction to the story of archaeology.


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Eric H. Cline is professor of classics and anthropology and director of the Capitol Archaeological Institute at George Washington University. An active archaeologist, he has excavated and surveyed in Greece, Crete, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and the United States. His many books include 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Princeton).

List of Illustrations vii Preface: A Petrified Monkey's Paw xi Prologue: "Wonderful Things": King Tut and His Tomb 1 Part 1 Early Archaeology and Archaeologists 1 Ashes to Ashes in Ancient Italy 13 2 Digging Up Troy 24 3 From Egypt to Eternity 38 4 Mysteries in Mesopotamia 52 5 Exploring the Jungles of Central America 66 Digging Deeper 1: How Do You Know Where to Dig? 80 Part 2 Africa, Europe, and the Levant: Early Hominins to Farmers 6 Discovering Our Earliest Ancestors 97 7 First Farmers in the Fertile Crescent 115 Part 3 Excavating the Bronze Age Aegean 8 Revealing the First Greeks 131 9 Finding Atlantis? 146 10 Enchantment Under the Sea 157 Part 4 Uncovering the Classics 11 From Discus-Throwing to Democracy 171 12 What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? 188 Digging Deeper 2: How Do You Know How to Dig? 204 Part 5 Discoveries in the Holy Land and Beyond 13 Excavating Armageddon 221 14 Unearthing the Bible 234 15 Mystery at Masada 245 16 Cities of the Desert 257 Digging Deeper 3: How Old Is This and Why Is It Preserved? 269 Part 6 New World Archaeology 17 Lines in the Sand, Cities in the Sky 291 18 Giant Heads, Feathered Serpents, and Golden Eagles 303 19 Submarines and Settlers; Gold Coins and Lead Bullets 314 Digging Deeper 4: Do You Get to Keep What You Find? 326 Epilogue: Back to the Future 333 Acknowledgments 341 Notes 343 Bibliography 383 Index 431

General Fields

  • : 9780691166407
  • : Princeton University Press
  • : Princeton University Press
  • : 2.05
  • : March 2017
  • : 22.90 cmmm X 15.20 cmmm X 1.50 cmmm
  • : United States
  • : September 2016
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Eric H. Cline
  • : Hardcover
  • : 217
  • : Glynnis Fawkes
  • : en
  • : 930.1
  • : General Adult
  • : 2016041435
  • : 448
  • : 50 line illus. 2 maps.