BOOK REVIEWS The Archaeology of War The Editors of Archaeology Magazine

New York, London Hatherleigh, Andrea Ragragio
2005 unpublished
A 5,000-year-old murder victim is found frozen in the Alps. The ghostly remains of the warship Mary Rose is raised from the depths. And the gargantu.rn craters of the central Nevada nuclear test site make the landscape seem as barren as the moon. All these bespeak the human capacity for, and our long history of, violence and warfare. As archaeologists, we study how people in the past lived-how they got their sustenance, created crafts, exchanged goods, built their homes, worshiped their
more » ... buried their dead, and related with each other. As we study how they Iived, why not how they killed each other as well? Warfare may seem to the layperson to be as blunt as that last statemcnl, but a new book, The Archaeology of War, seeks to reveal the subtleties and nuances behind some of the worst acts committed by human beings through archaeology. Wars and battles, after all, were traditionally seen as the realm of the historian rather than the archaeologist. However, this usually results in incomplete interprc-tations skewed in the favor of groups and individuals who were able to leave behircl written documentation. It is only quite recently that archaeology, with its focus on material culture and landscapes, has jumped into the fray. The Archaeology of War is a compilation of various short articles that explorc the phenomena of human conflict from the distant past to recent times. It features contributions from archaeologists working around the world and is edited by thc editors of Archaeology magazine. The book is divided into five parts, roughly in chronological order. Part