The following books have arrived on the Book Review Editor’s desk but will, for one reason or another, not be reviewed in the journal.
Feldman, Marian H. (2006) Diplomacy by Design. Luxury Arts and an “International Style” in the Ancient Near East, 1400-1200 BCE. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 278 pp., illustrated incl 20 colour plates, hbk, ISBN 0-226-24044-4. US$60 / Â£38.
This is a beautiful, large coffee-table book about luxury arts from the Ancient Near East and its role in the construction of human relations. But as 60pp of notes and references testify, the intended audience is (at least in parts) academic. Not surprising as the volume is apparently based on Marian Feldman’s PhD thesis.
Sulgostowska, Zofia (2005) Contacts between Late Palaeolithic and Mesolithic communities in the area between the Odra, Dvina and upper Dniestra rivers. A study of siliceous artifacts distribution. Polish with English summary. Warsaw: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Polish Academic of Sciences and available directly from them. 344pp., 47 illustr. incl one colour plate, hbk, ISBN 83-89499-25-8. â‚¬30.
The book tackles the social significance of human contacts in hunting-gathering societies of the Final Paleolithic and Mesolithic, relating specifically to raw materials acquisition and distribution. It contains a 64pp-long catalogue of relevant sites and their finds. There is also an appendix by Malgorzata Winiarska-Kabacinska presenting the results of a micro- and macroscopic functional analysis of 154 flint artefacts. The English summary of the book is very detailed (53pp.) and will enable anyone to understand the substance of the book.
It is well worth checking out the full range of publications available online from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology, Polish Academic of Sciences in Warszaw. They are fairly inexpensive and the website (go to “Bookshop”) contains useful concise summaries (in English) of all publications!