Synopses & Reviews
Invaluable both for reference and collection development (with a 150-page bibliography), this guide to mainly prehistoric sites, cultures, and artifacts in the United States and Canada features some 1800 signed entries by 151 expert contributors that highlight the information upon which present North American prehistory is based. A scholarly achievement.
This dictionary of more than 1800 entries represents a collaboration of 159 archaeologists, each an authority on a particular region. The result is a source of basic information on the major prehistorical cultures, archaeological sites, and types of artifacts found in North America. The sites were selected from the more than one-half million prehistoric archaeological sites recorded in North America because they are the principal ones upon which the major chronologies, classifications, and interpretations of the continent's prehistory are based. The reference has entries for most major types of artifacts and details the important cultures, including their phases and subdivisions. At the end of each entry is a list of sources which refers primarily to published works, but which also cites unpublished documents on file at universities, museums, and government agencies when these represent the only available source of information.
More than 1,800 archaeological sites in North America (defined as the US and Canada) are described here by 151 professionals from the academic and museum community. The senior editor (emeritus, Illinois State) notes in his introduction that comprehensive coverage would be impractical and is also unnecessary. Therefore, the scope of the work is limited to those sites that a battery of regional consultants consider to have contributed uniquely to the "essential body of information upon which the current major classifications and interpretations of North American prehistory are based." An especially useful feature of the brief descriptions (usually not more than 100 words) is that bibliographies are appended. An appendix lists sites geographically by state or province. The bibliography numbers more than 150 pages and could serve as a strong reading list on the topic. The index does more than just list the entries themselves; it analyzes their contents with some thoroughness. Recommended for universities supporting research in North American archaeology.Choice
Jelks, a professor emeritus of anthropology at Illinois State University and a research archaeologist with 35 years experience, has compiled an impressive and useful archaeological dictionary. . . More than 1800 entries are arranged alphabetically with page headers for guidance. . . Each entry cites it major sources of information, many of them published, but unpublished research reports of museums and government surveys are frequently cited as well. The extensive bibliography of sources cited in the dictionary is preceded by a convenient list of journal abbreviations. The bibliography serves as a 'single, authoritative, up to date list of basic publications and file reports covering the prehistory of the entire continent.' The work also has a useful list of the archaeological sites selected, arranged geographically by state or Canadian province. Federal and state cultural resource agencies, college and university libraries, and public libraries emphasizing their regional archaeological resources will find this dictionary especially valuable in its practical identifications and indispensable in reference work and collection development.Reference Books Bulletin
"Invaluable both for reference and collection development (with a 150-page bibliography), this guide to mainly prehistoric sites, cultures, and artifacts in the United States and Canada features some 1800 signed entries by 151 expert contributors that highlight the information upon which present North American prehistory is based. A scholarly achievement." Library Journal
About the Author
EDWARD B. JELKS is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Illinois State University.
Table of Contents
Historical Dictionary of North American Archaeology
Appendix: Sites Listed Geographically