Archaeology: Resources for Research: Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias

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Archaeological Method and Theory: An Encyclopedia. (Garland)  Linda Ellis, 705 p. (2000). Covers analytical technology, legislation, conservation techniques, and research from prehistoric to contemporary periods. Worldwide coverage.
Butler Reference R039.13 Ar22

Blackwell Encyclopedia of Industrial Archaeology. ed. Barrie Trinder, 964 p. (1992).
Monuments, settlements, and landscapes of 31 countries in Europe, Canada, United States, and Australasia from 1650 to 1950. Bibliography of almost 3,000 sources.
Avery AA6210 B56

Cambridge Illustrated History of Archaeology.
ed. Paul Bahn, 386 p. (1996). Explorations of the Middle Ages to the present in eight chapters: archaeology of archaeology; old worlds and new, 1500-1760; antiquarians and explorers, 1760-1820; science and romanticism, 1820-1860; search for human origins, 1860-1920; archaeology comes of age, 1920-1960; new techniques and competing philosophies, 1960-1990, and current controversies and future trends. Chronology of archaeology from 1500 and bibliography. All illustrations are original prints, manuscripts, artistic renderings, and photographs.
Avery-Fine Arts N5330 C14

Collins Dictionary of Archaeology.
ed. Paul Bahn, 654 p. (1992). Over 500 pages of short-entry definitions and facts with cross-references. Almost 100 pages of maps and lists of sites. Bibliography by topic. Limited illustrations.
Avery-Fine Arts N5330 C69

Icon Companion Encyclopedia of Archaeology. (Routledge:pub.; Proquest:Online vendor)
Ed. by Graeme Barker. Twenty-nine essays by individual authors are groups under three headings: origins, aims, and methods; themes and approaches; and writing archaeological history. Each essay includes an extensive list of references and a short "select bibliography." Photographs, drawings, tables, and plans.
Avery-Fine Arts N5330 C72 2 vols. = 1219 p. (1999).

Dictionary of Archaeology. (Oxford)
Ed. by Ian Shaw and Robert Jameson, 624 p. (1999).
Includes short definitions and longer articles on recent archaeological theory and applications with bibliographies of primary and recent sources. Some maps and drawings. China, Japan, and Oceania are covered.
Avery-Fine Arts N5330 D56

Elsevier's Dictionary of Archaeological Materials and Archaeometry in English with Translations of Terms in German, Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese.
by Zvi Goffer, 445 p. (1996). Old and New World; origins of civilizations, historical archaeology, 20th-century archaeology. Maps, chronologies/timelines, index.
Avery-Fine Arts N33 G55

Icon Encyclopedia of Archaeology. (Elsever:pub.; Credo:Online vendor)
Ed. by Deborah M. Pearsall. Avery-Fine Arts N5330 En17 : 3 vols. (2008).

Icon Encyclopedia of Archaeology: History and Discoveries.
(ABC-CLIO pub.; Credo: Online vendor)
Ed. by Tim Murray. Comprehensive, world-wide coverage including article bibliographies, maps, and illustrations.
Avery-Fine Arts N5330 En183 : 3 vols. (2001).

Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the world (Cambridge) 3 vols.=2384 p. (1997) and Supplement (Routledge) (2007).
Ed. by Paul Oliver. Vol. 1: Theories and principles; Vol. 2: Cultures and habitats (Asia, East and Central Australasia and Oceania, Europe and Eurasia, Mediterranean and Southwest Asia); Vol. 3: Cultures and habitats (Latin America, North America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Glossary, Lexicon, Bibliography, Indexes); Suppl. ed by Mariel Vellinga.
Avery AA200 En19 and AA200 V56

Icon Grove Art Online (an option within Oxford Art Online). (Online)
Ed. by Jane Turner. Covers the prehistorical era to the 1990's with online updates. Includes over 20,000 biographies of artists, collectors, theorists, critics, and scholars. Features extensive survey articles on the cultures and civilizations of the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas, and Australia. The online dictionary has links to images in external websites; interesting sites (people, places, art forms, styles, groups and movements, etc.); and to the Bridgeman Art Library, a comprehensive collection of more than 100,000 images.
Avery Reference N31 D56 (copies available in multiple locations) (34 volume paper version).

Icon International encyclopaedia for the Middle Ages (AKA Lexikon des Mittelalters online). (Online: a selection within Brepols' offerings)
Considered an update to Lexikon des Mittelalters, providing original articles that cover the time period 300-1500 CE, in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae. (LIMC) 8 in 16 vols. text and plate vols. (1981-1997)
[Avery Reference N 7760 L59]
Covers Mycenaean to Early Christian. Entries in language of author (English, French, German, Italian). Updated bibliography can be found online on a German website at  Also see: LIMC (Lexicon iconographicum mythologiae classicae) France. (Online)

Icon Lexikon des Mittelalters. (Online: a choice within the Brepols’ offerings: 1977-1999)
The standard encyclopedia for medieval studies. It deals with all branches of Medieval Studies and covers the period from 300 to 1500 AD/CE for the whole of Europe and parts of the Middle East and North Africa. Users can also perform automatic bibliographic searches in the International Medieval Bibliography Online.

Icon Oxford Classical Dictionary. (Online)
Ed. by Simon Hornblower and Antony Sprawforth. (2002) Covers the Greco-Roman world. It includes articles and definitions regarding literature, art, philosophy, law, biography, mythology, science, geography, daily life, and broad cultural and historical trends.

Icon Oxford Companion to Archaeology. (Print: 2012; Online: 2012).
Paper: 2 vols. (2012)
2nd ed. Ed. by Neil Asher Silberman. "...covers entire spectrum of human existence" from Australopithecines to modern New York City. All aspects of archaeology from Acheulean tradition to zoology. Signed entries with bibliographies and cross-references. No entries for individual archaeologists, but those mentioned in the text are indexed. Maps and timelines included. Updates and expands the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Archaeology (copies available in multiple locations), but lacks its illustrations of artifacts, architectural forms, and art.
Butler Reference CC70 .O96 2012  

Icon Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization. (2nd ed. Online:2014)

Icon Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. (pub.:1991; released Online:2005)
Ed. by Alexander P. Kazhdan. Contains more than 5,000 searchable entries covering all aspects of Byzantine history and civilization from the 4th through the 15th centuries, with special depth in subjects such as bureaucratic titles and fiscal terms, urban life, and rural economy.

Icon Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. ed. Donald B. Redford. (pub.:2001; released Online:2005)
Contains 600 entries covering the prehistoric, predynastic, and dynastic phases of ancient Egypt within the context of its contiguous and sometimes conquering neighbors, tracing its history through the Islamic conquest of 642 CE, with the focus on dynastic Egypt. Treats all branches of Egyptology: archaeology, anthropology, architecture, linguistics, literary studies, epigraphy, papyrology, history, art history, religion, economics, ecology, geomorphology, and the life sciences.

Icon Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece and Rome. (Online) (2010)
Ed. by Michael Gagarin. This multi-volume reference work is a comprehensive overview of the major cultures of the classical Mediterranean world--Greek, Hellenistic, and Roman – from the Bronze Age to the fifth century CE.
Butler Reference DE5. O95 2012

Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East. (Online) (1997)
5 vols. [Avery-Fine Arts N 5340 Ox2]

Icon Oxford Encyclopedia of Mesoamerican Cultures. ed by David Carrasco (2006) (Online)
Chronicles Pre-Hspanic, colonial, and modern Mesoamerica, defined as the lands stretching from Mexico to the southern tip of Central America. With more than 600 articles, it encompasses the civilizations of the Pe-Columbian era (including Olmec, Aztec, and Maya peoples) up through the colonial and postcolonial periods. Treats: art, archaeology, religious studies, anthropology, history, and historiography of the region in fully cross-referenced, signed articles by the leading scholars in the discipline.

Icon Oxford Islamic Studies online. (Online)
Contains more than 3,000 encyclopedia articles as well as primary source documents, maps, images, and timelines. Comprehensive resource for the study of the history, people, politics, and cultures of the Islamic worlds.

Icon Pauly-Wissova. Brill's new Pauly. (Online)
Intended as an aid for the study of Greek and Roman culture and its multifaceted presence in all periods of European and, since the Early Modern period, world history. See also paper editions:

  • Kleine-Pauly. 5 vols. (1964-1975)
    Avery-Fine Arts Reference N31 P2811 (copies available in multiple locations)
  • Real-Encyclopaedie der Classischen Altertumswissenschaft. 60 vols. +15 vol. suppl. (1894-1978)
    Avery-Fine Arts Reference N31 P281 (copies available in multiple locations)]
  • Index to Suppls.
    Avery-Fine Arts Reference  N31 M95
    (copies available in multiple locations)
  • Neue Pauly (1996)
    Avery-Fine Arts Reference  N31 N39 (copies available in multiple locations)
    Best known by the editors' names. The standard classical encyclopaedia.
  • Volume 14+ of Neue Pauly (Rezeptions- und Wissenschafts-geschichte) is useful to not only Ancient historians, but also to historians of the Renaissance through the 18th Century.

Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites. ed Richard Stillwell. (Online)
Ed. by Richard Stillwell. (1976) Avery Reference A31 P93 (1976)
Summaries of excavation results with references to full reports. Europe, Middle East, and Africa. Glossary, maps, map indexes, illustrations.