This new brief version of the best-selling textbook was carefully rewritten to provide a readable and compact introduction to archaeology for those new to the field. No other book of this length can match its range of essential information and explanation. The vocabulary and the use of technical terms have been carefully reviewed. The amount of detail has been considerably reduced, and coverage of difficult or cutting-edge topics is made more accessible for students in courses that treat such subjects briefly. In particular, the coverage of archaeological theory and science has been substantially rewritten to provide a convenient overview without overwhelming the student.