Bibliophilia – Archaeology

Francis Celoria - Archaeology


Carrying on the last post’s musings on the influence of archaeology, I came across this book on my bookshelf which I’ve kept since I was 12 and I thought I’d share some of its joys. The book is ‘Archaeology’ by Francis Celoria a ‘Hamlyn all-colour paperback’ (though oddly it’s a hardback). I got my copy when my school was throwing out a whole bunch of books which they had spread out on a table in case anyone wanted one. Rooting through the pile I remember coming across this one and thinking the front cover was very cool and mysterious. I like my books to feel well used (see here for my previous post on my copy of the Hobbit) and I’m a big fan of ex-library books, which is probably why this has hung around on the shelves so long. This one found its way to me via the Leicestershire and Rutland County Library as well as my School library.


The book itself is surprisingly comprehensive given its diminutive size. It gallops through prehistoric times illustrating how material artefacts have informed us about each period and even has a chapter on the history and practice of archaeology. What makes it great though are the illustrations. The book was published in the 1970s and the illustrations reflect the time period beautifully. Here for example is the classic Mesolithic woman (modelling a stag-tooth necklace for us):


Mesolithic Women looked suspiciously like Bridget Bardot


My goodness Mesolithic women were well manicured, I’m pretty sure that’s a Dior Stag-Tooth necklace. Accompanying the chapter on practising archaeology  are these guides on ‘how not to’, and ‘how to’ undertake a ‘modern’ dig:


Insert: A professional Problem Centred Dig


CHAOS! from poor direction and untrained people


Cups of tea? At an archaeological dig? It’s a disgrace. Actually it was 24 years too early but perhaps we could add in Baldrick clambering over the trench as well? The final image I want to show you is genius and I don’t know how it failed to convince me to become an archaeologist:


Now look here old bean... "The archaeologist needs to goodwill of all"



6 thoughts on “Bibliophilia – Archaeology

  1. Beckybim

    A very precious book. Excellent illustrations. Nice to see Mesolithic girls got their priorities right.

    1. thegentlemanadministrator Post author

      I love that 1960s/70s style of illustration. There’s a great one in there that has the caption ‘this is not an Eskimo’, classic.

  2. LadyCrafthole

    Haha! This is a fantastic book!

    Crafthole & I appear in a publication pretending to be Neolithic people… I think he is drilling a hole in some wood and I’m fixing a bit of flint to a stick. I don’t know why I haven’t posted that picture yet… next thing on my blog. I definitely do not look at all glamorous though.

  3. Pingback: The Craftholes in Prehistory « Lady Crafthole's Blog

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