Summary and Info
Well David J. Meltzer is a Phd, and I am just an average joe who loves archaeology, especially north American archaeology. The two "five-hundred pound" gorillas in north American prehistory are Clovis and Folsom "cultures". Most folks focus more on Clovis as it is deemed earlier. However, comparing Clovis and Folsom dart points, which about all the physical remains of their culture, Folsom to me at least is more delicate, more difficult to knap/produce, and the Folsom people have always fascinated me. Dr. Meltzer produced a long needed volume on Folsom, trying to bridge the gap and appeal to the average Joe on the street who is interested in this stuff, and the professionals who understand the archaeological lexicon. Meltzer interjects some light hearted humor into his writing, and makes at least part of the book easy enough to understand, that I did enjoy it and come away with a better understanding of not only the Folsom culture,but the archaeologists who excavated it in the mid 1920s, up to the most recent excavations in the 1990s. There are a lot of graphs and charts and listings of various detailed information that will only appeal to professionals, but all in all, I felt the book was worth my time and money. Dr. Meltzer does on occasion tend to drift into the complex wording that only trained professional archaeolgists and geologists will understand, and occasionally state things in ways that could have been much more simple. To quote Mr. Forrest Fenn, an artifact collector and amateur/vocational archaeolgist of NM: "1. I am born of you and am nourished by your lectures, your reports, and your beautiful museum displays. Thank you for giving me life. 2. Leave the jargon at home. Your future depends on increased public interest, and that's where your future funding will originate. If 14-year-old students don't understand your report, you're doing it wrong. And incidentally, color in books is OK. 3. Stop whining about what amateurs are doing. You have bigger problems at home, like unreported field work, for starters. 4. Collectors are not going away, and you're heavily outnumbered. Get used to it and learn from them. 5. Don't get carried away with your importance. Private property rights come first, now and always. 6. If it's a Canis Latrans bone, give us a break; say it's part of a coyote. 7. Your peers already know you're smart, so write for the rest of us sometime. We'll buy your book and read it; they probably won't "The above quote of Mr. Fenn, are words all professional archaeolgists should read, and hopefully heed. We surface collectors and armchair archys, really love this stuff, so keep writing and don't forget point number 6! Thanks for a great book!
More About the Author
David Owen Meltzer (born 1964) is a Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago. He holds faculty appointments in the Department of Medicine, Department of Economics and the Harris School of Public Policy Studies.
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