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Sunday, May 18, 2008

Discover what lies beneath

'Archaeology – Techniques and Methods’ is a must-have dictionary for archaeologists – both the budding and expert kind. The book is in an easy-to-read and understand format for the layman, who just wants to know what goes into looking for treasures belonging to lost cultures – especially after watching a gripping episode on Discovery Channel!

The alphabetized glossary style of the book makes it a simple task to just look for the word you have in mind. While the lucid way the words are explained is also a relief, for those who may be put off by the dull cover of this book. The author Harpreet Kaur has kept the book accessible to everyone with her idea of explaining archaeological terminology, but the publishers could have done a better job at proof-reading.

For instance, under ‘Mummified and Dried Human Tissues, Study’- this term has been explained well but Christian Era has been spelled as ‘Christian Eera’ – such typographical errors should have been looked into.

But this book, does give a dry subject a good shot at sustaining people’s interest by including fascinating facts like when excavators were digging at the site where the Roman city of Pompeii had once stood, and which was destroyed when the Mount Vesuvius volcano erupted – the excavators found lifelike casts of people. They found casts like that of a woman who was fleeing from the ashes and fumes and who died, while covering a part of her face with her clothing. She was discovered in exactly this manner, centuries later.

Harpreet Kaur has done her research well to unearth these jewel-like details, which will make for great dinner table snippets and conversation. If only, the book also had pictures of these statues – it would have added greatly to its visual appeal.

One rule that should be a must for books such as these – which are not exactly academic but is also not something people will pick up for light reading – is use as many visuals as you can possibly get your hands on. After all, one picture is equivalent to a thousand words – no matter how well written or well said.

1 comment:

alok said...

well said! d last para says it all!
me to will nt buy d book, plz tell how 2 manage an e-book for free :P