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Subject Guide: Archaeology: Award-winning Books

A guide to resources in archaeology.

Archaeological Institute of America

Felicia A. Holton Book Award

Given annually to a writer who, through a major work of non-fiction, represented the importance and excitement of archaeology to the general public. For more information about the Archaeological Institute of America, sponsor of this award, click here.

2021  The barbarians : lost civilizations by Peter Bogucki
2020  Deep time dreaming : uncovering ancient Australia by Billy Griffiths
2019  Ziyaret Tepe : exploring the Anatolian frontier of the Assyrian Empire by Timothy Matney
2018  The fifth beginning : what six million years of human history can tell us about our future by Robert L. Kelly
2017  Bog bodies uncovered : solving Europe's ancient mystery by Miranda Aldhouse-Green
2016  A shark going inland is my chief : the island civilization of ancient Hawai’i by Patrick Vinton Kirch
2015  Outside the hacienda walls : the archaeology of plantation peonage in nineteenth-century Yucatan by Allan Meyers
2014  Tutankhamen : the search for an Egyptian king by Joyce Tyldesley
2013  Herculaneum : past and future by Andrew Wallace-Hadrill
2012  Imagining Head-Smashed-In : Aboriginal buffalo hunting on the northern Plains by Jack W. Brink (ebook)
2011  Civilizations of ancient Iraq by Benjamin R. Foster and Karen Polinger Foster; Uncorking the past : the quest for wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages by Patrick McGovern (honorable mention)

James R. Wiseman Book Award

Presented to the academic work on an archaeological topic deemed most worthy of recognition. For more information about the Archaeological Institute of America, sponsors of this award, click here.

2021  The early Roman expansion into Italy : elite negotiation and family agendas by Nicola Terrenato
2020  The Iranian expanse : transforming royal identity through architecture, landscape, and the built environment, 550 BCE-642 CE by Matthew P. Canepa
2019  Agricultural sustainability and environmental change at ancient Gordion by John M. Marston
2018  The Roman Forum : a reconstruction and architectural guide by Gilbert J. Gorski and James E. Packer
2017  Art and empire : the Roman frescoes and Imperial cult chamber in Luxor Temple, edited by Michael Jones and Susanna McFadden
2016  Maritime networks in the Mycenaean world by Thomas Tartaron
2015  Empire, authority, and autonomy in Achaemenid Anatolia by Elspeth R. M. Dusinberre
2014  Mycenaean Greece, Mediterranean commerce, and the formation of identity by Bryan Burns
2013  The symposium in context : pottery from a late Archaic house in the Athenian Agora by Kathleen Lynch
2012  Archaeologies of colonialism : consumption, entanglement, and violence in ancient Mediterranean France by Michael Dietler
2011  The destruction of cultural heritage in Iraq by Peter G. Stone and Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly
2010  The architecture of Alexandria and Egypt, c. 300 B.C. to A.D. 700 by Judith McKenzie
2009  Portrait of a priestess : women and ritual in ancient Greece by Joan Breton Connelly
2008  Ancient Greek portrait sculpture : contexts, subjects, and styles by Sheila Dillon
2007  Concrete vaulted construction in Imperial Rome : innovations in context by Lynne C. Lancaster
2006  Understanding early civilizations : a comparative study by Bruce G. Trigger
2005  Archaeological landscapes of the Near East by Tony Wilkinson
2004  Figures of speech : men and maidens in ancient Greece by Gloria Ferrari Pinney
2003  An island archaeology of the early Cyclades by Cyprian Broodbank
2002  In search of god the mother : the cult of Anatolian Cybele by Lynn Roller
2001  Farming the desert : the UNESCO Libyan valleys archaeological survey, Vol. 1 : Synthesis, edited by Graeme Barker and Vol. 2 : Gazetteer and pottery, edited by David Mattingly.
1999  The chora of Metaponto : the necropoleis by Joseph Coleman Carter
1998  The baths of Caracalla : a study in the design, construction, and economics of large-scale building projects in Imperial Rome by Janet DeLaine
1997  Classical bronzes : the art and craft of Greek and Roman statuary by Carol C. Mattusch
1996  Ancient Mesopotamian materials and industries : the archaeological evidence by P. R. S. Moorey
1995  Houses and society in Pompeii and Herculaneum by Andrew Wallace-Hadrill
1994  Codex Mendoza by Patricia Anawalt and Frances Berdan
1993  Daidalos and the origins of Greek art by Sarah P. Morris
1992  Emerging complexity : the later prehistory of South-east Spain, Iberia, and the West Mediterranean by Robert Chapman; Sennacherib's palace without rival at Nineveh by John Malcolm Russell
1991  A history of archaeological thought by Bruce Graham Trigger (2d ed (2006) here); The frieze from the Hera I temple at Foce del Sele by Frances Dodds Van Keuren
1990  Bronze and iron : ancient Near Eastern artifacts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art by Oscar White Muscarella
1989  The Roman port and fishery of Cosa : a center of ancient trade by Anna Marguerite McCann

Association of American Publishers

For books related to Anthropology and Archaeology and Sociology and Social Work (the award changed focus over time)

2021  Ancient Maya politics : a political anthropology of the classic period, 150–900 CE by Simon Martin; The tragedy of heterosexuality by Jane Ward; Introduction to social neuroscience by Stephanie Cacioppo and John T. Cacioppo
2020  Making motherhood work : how women manage careers and caregiving by Caitlyn Collins; Climate, clothing, and agriculture in prehistory : linking evidence, causes, and effects by Ian Gilligan
2019  The trans generation : how trans kids (and their parents) are creating a gender revolution by Ann Travers; Unearthing childhood : young lives in prehistory by Robin Derricourt
2018  Inka history in Knots : reading khipus as primary sources By Gary Urton; The plague of war : Athens, Sparta, and the struggle for ancient Greece by Jennifer Roberts (honorable mention); Lissa :  a story about medical promise, friendship, and revolution by Sherine aHamdy and Coleman Nye ; illustrated by Sarula Bao and Caroline Brewer; The limits of whiteness : Iranian Americans and the everyday politics of race by Neda Maghbouleh; Someone to talk to by Mario Luis Small (honorable mention)
2017  Enduring uncertainty : deportation, punishment and everyday life by Ines Hasselberg; Thunder shaman : making history with Mapuche spirits in Chile and Patagonia by Ana Mariella Bacigalupo (honorable mention); Destroyer of the gods : early Christian distinctiveness in the Roman world by Larry W. Hurtado; The Byzantine Dark Ages by Michael J. Decker (honorable mention)
2016  European products : making and unmaking heritage in Cyprus by Gisela Welz; The analysis of burned human remains, edited by Christopher W. Schmidt and Steven A. Symes (honorable mention); The scholar denied : W. E. B. Du Bois and the birth of modern sociology by Aldon D. Morris; American zoo : a sociological safari by David Grazian (honorable mention); America's safest city : delinquency and modernity in suburbia by Simon I. Singer (honorable mention)
2015  Ancient pathways, ancestral knowledge : ethnobotany and ecological wisdom of Indigenous peoples of northwestern North America by Nancy J. Turner; 1177 B.C. : the year civilization collapsed by Eric H. Cline (honorable mention); Nomadism in Iran : from antiquity to the modern era by D. T. Potts (honorable mention); Doctors Without Borders : humanitarian quests, impossible dreams of Medicins Sans Frontieres by Renee C. Fox; Deeply divided : racial politics and social movements in postwar America by Doug McAdam and Karina Kloos (honorable mention); Reluctant witness : survivors, their children, and the rise of Holocaust consciousness by Arlene Stein (honorable mention)
2013  The body in history : Europe from the Paleolithic to the future, edited by John Robb and Oliver J.T. Harris; Places of pain : forced displacement, popular memory and trans-local identities in Bosnian war-torn communities by Hariz Halilovich (honorable mention)
2012  Ancient Nubia : African kingdoms on the Nile, edited by Majorie M. Fisher, Peter Lacovara, Salima Ikram, and Sue D’Auria; photographs by Chester Higgins, Jr.; How ancient Europeans saw the world : vision, patterns, and the shaping of the mind in prehistoric times by Peter S. Wells (honorable mention)
2011  Histories of Peirene : a Corinthian fountain in three millennia by Betsey Ann Robinson; The evolution of the human head by Daniel Lieberman (honorable mention); Exceptional people : how migration shaped our world and will define our future by Ian Goldin, Geoffrey Cameron, and Meera Balarajan; Popular crime : reflections on the celebration of violence by Bill James (honorable mention)
2010  An anthropology of biomedicine by Margaret Lock & Vinh-Kim Nguyen; Favela : four decades of living on the edge in Rio de Janeiro by Janice Perlman; Fire in the heart : how white activists embrace racial justice by Mark R. Warren (honorable mention); The edge of the woods : Iroquoia, 1534-1701 by Jon Parmenter (honorable mention); The Jeffersons at Shadwell by Susan Kern (honorable mention)
2009  Knossos & the prophets of modernism by Cathy Gere; Dangerous citizens : the Greek left and the terror of the state by Neni Panourgia (honorable mention); Codes of the underworld : how criminals communicate by Diego Gambetta; Black men can't shoot by Scott N. Brooks (honorable mention); Why David sometimes wins : leadership, organization, and strategy in the California farm worker movement by Marshall Ganz (honorable mention)
2008  A Zapotec natural history : trees, herbs, and flowers, birds, beasts, and bugs in the life of San Juan Gbëë by Eugene Hunn; Digging in the City of Brotherly Love : stories from Philadelphia archaeology by Rebecca Yamin (honorable mention); Jamaican food : history, biology, culture by B. W. Higman (honorable mention); Cop in the hood : my year policing Baltimore’s eastern district by Peter Moskos; New tech, new ties : how mobile communication is reshaping social cohesion by Rich Ling (honorable mention)
2007  Antiquity recovered : the legacy of Pompeii and Herculaneum by Victoria C. Gardner Coates and Jon L. Seydl; Maya calendar origins : monuments, mythistory, and the materialization of time by Prudence M. Rice (honorable mention); Coercive control : the entrapment of women in personal life by Evan Stark; Poverty and discrimination by Kevin Lang (honorable mention)
2006  Wondrous curiosities : ancient Egypt at the British Museum by Stephanie Moser; Stories in stone : conserving mosaics of Roman Africa : masterpieces from the national museums of Tunisia by Aïcha Ben Abed and Tevuy Ball (honorable mention); The civil sphere by Jeffrey C. Alexander; Territory, authority, rights : from medieval to global assemblages by Saskia Sassen (honorable mention)
2005  The career mystique : cracks in the American dream by Phyllis Moen and Patricia Roehling; First farmers : the origins of agricultural societies by Peter Bellwood; The human fossil record, volume four : craniodental morphology of early hominids and overview by Jeffrey H Schwartz and Ian Tattersall (honorable mention)
2004  The human fossil record, volume three : brain endocasts - the paleoneurological evidence by Ralph L. Halloway, Douglas C. Broadfield, and Michael S. Yuan; Appalachian folkways by John B. Rehder
2003  Lothagam : the dawn of humanity in eastern Africa by Meave G. Leakey and John M. Harris; Remaking the American mainstream : assimilation and contemporary immigration by Richard Alba and Victor Nee
2002  Heat wave : a social autopsy of disaster in Chicago by Eric Klinenberg; The Penitente Brotherhood : patriarchy and Hispano-Catholicism in New Mexico by Michael P. Carroll
2001  Stand and prosper : private Black colleges and their students by Henry N. Drewry and Humphrey Doermann ; in collaboration with Susan H. Anderson
2000  American project : the rise and fall of a modern ghetto by Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh; The book of Jerry Falwell : fundamentalist language and politics by Susan Friend Harding (honorable mention)
1999  The barbarians speak : how the conquered peoples shaped Roman Europe by Peter S. Wells
1998  The sociology of philosophies : a global theory of intellectual change by Randall Collins
1997  The anatomy of disgust by William Ian Miller
1996  Encyclopedia of world cultures, David Levinson, editor in chief
1995  The power of place : urban landscapes as public history by Dolores Hayden
1994  The homeless by Christopher Jencks
1993  The Nariokotome Homo Erectus skeleton, edited by Alan Walker and Richard Leakey
1991  The middle ground : Indians, empires, and republics in the Great Lakes region, 1650-1815 by Richard White

Society for American Archaeology

The Society for American Archaeology annually awards two prizes to honor recently published books. One prize is for a book that has had, or is expected to have, a major impact on the direction and character of archaeological research. The other prize is for a book that is written for the general public and presents the results of archaeological research to a broader audience. For more information about the Society for American Archaeology, sponsors of this award, click here.

2021  Historical archaeology and indigenous collaboration : discovering histories that have futures by D. Rae Gould, Holly Herbster, Heather Law Pezzarossi, and Stephen A. Mrozowski (Scholarly); Maps for time travelers : how archaeologists use technology to bring us closer by Mark D. McCoy (Popular)
2020  The social archaeology of food : thinking about eating from prehistory to the present by Christine A. Hastorf (Scholarly); Six hundred generations : an archaeological history of Montana by Carl M. Davis (Popular)
2019  Connecting continents : archaeology and history in the Indian Ocean world by Krish Seetah (Scholarly); A future in ruins : UNESCO, world heritage, and the dream of peace by Lynn Meskell (Popular)
2018  Where the land meets the sea : fourteen millennia of human history at Huaca Prieta, Peru, edited by Tom D. Dillehay (Scholarly); The Barbarians : lost civilizations by Peter Bogucki (Popular)
2017  The white shaman mural : an enduring creation narrative in rock art of the lower Pecos by Carolyn E. Boyd (Scholarly); The archaeology and history of colonial Mexico : mixing epistemologies by Enrique Rodriguez-Alegría (Scholarly) (honorable mention); At home with the Aztecs : an archaeologist uncovers their daily life by Michael E. Smith (Popular)
2016  Orderly anarchy : sociopolitical evolution in aboriginal California by Robert L. Bettinger (Scholarly); Bog bodies uncovered : solving Europe's ancient mystery by Miranda Aldhouse-Green (Popular)
2015  Negotiated settlements : Andean communities and landscapes under Inka and Spanish colonialism by Steven A. Wernke (Scholarly); The Neanderthals rediscovered : how modern science is rewriting their story by Dimitra Papagianni and Michael A. Morse (Popular)
2014  Light and shadow : isolation and interaction in the Shala Valley of northern Albania by Michael L. Galaty, Ols Lafe, Wayne E. Lee, and Zamir Tafilica; The prehistory of home by Jerry D. Moore
2013  Hillforts of the ancient Andes : Colla warfare, society and landscape by Elizabeth Arkush (Scholarly); A shark going inland is my chief : the island civilization of ancient HawaiĘ»i by Patrick Kirch (Popular)
2012  The island of fogs : archaeological and ethnohistorical investigations of Isla Cedros, Baja California by Matthew R. Des Lauriers (Scholarly); The statues that walked : unraveling the mystery of Easter Island by Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo (Popular)
2011  Mound excavations at Moundville : architecture, elites, and social order by Vernon James Knight, Jr.; Traces of Fremont : society and rock art in ancient Utah by Steven R. Simms
2010  The horse, the wheel, and language : how bronze-age riders from the Eurasian steppes shaped the modern world by David W. Anthony; Digging in the City of Brotherly Love : stories from Philadelphia archaeology by Rebecca Yamin
2009  Chinese society in the age of Confucius (1000-250 BC) : the archaeological evidence by Lothar von Falkenhausen; Imagining Head-Smashed-In : Aboriginal buffalo hunting on the northern Plains by Jack Brink (ebook)
2008  Monuments, empires, and resistance : the Araucanian polity and ritual narratives by Tom D. Dillehay; Before Albany by James W. Bradley
2007  Transformations by Kristian Kristiansen & Thomas B. Larsson; Ohio archaeology : an illustrated chronicle of Ohio's ancient American Indian cultures by Bradley T. Lepper
2006  The first farmers : the origins of agricultural societies by Peter Bellwood; From a watery grave : the discovery and excavation of La Salle's shipwreck, La Belle by James E. Bruseth and Toni S. Turner
2005  Ambiguous images : gender and rock art by Kelley Hays-Gilpin; Ancient Mexico & Central America : archaeology and culture history by Susan Toby Evans
2004  Before California : an archaeologist looks at our earliest inhabitant by Brian Fagan; Archaeological landscapes of the Near East by T.J. (Tony) Wilkinson
2003  Archaeology at La Isabela : America's first European town and Columbus's outpost among the Tainos by Kathleen Deagan and José María Cruxent; Amelia Earhart's shoes : is the mystery solved? by Thomas F. King, Randall S. Jacobson, Karen Ramey Burns, and Kenton Spading
2002  Constructing frames of reference : an analytical method for archaeological theory building using hunter-gatherer and environmental data sets by Lewis R. Binford; Unearthing Gotham : the archaeology of New York City by Ann-Marie Cantwell and Diana Dizerega Wall
2001  Vikings : the North Atlantic saga by William W. Fitzhugh and Elisabeth I. Ward
2000  The paleolithic societies of Europe by Clive Gamble
1999  Mississippian political economy by Jon Muller; The complete pyramids by Mark Lehner
1998  Monte Verde : a late Pleistocene settlement in Chile by Tom D. Dillehay; Ancient peoples of the American Southwest by Stephen Plog
1997  The emergence of agriculture by Bruce D. Smith; Digging through darkness : chronicles of an archaeologist by Carmel Schrire
1996  Honor among thieves : a zooarchaeological study of Neandertal ecology by Mary C. Stiner