Layman and archaeologist alike will find this absorbing and fascinating reading. Here is the history of that science on which history is based, scholarly, comprehensive, but exciting reading. Ceram goes back to 1783, when the daughter of Augustus III, elector of Saxony, married Charles, King of the two Sicilies, and moved to Naples. The discovery of old statuary in her garden fired her imagination, and she begged for permission to ""dig"" near Vesuvius. There, with a Spanish engineer and an Italian humanist to aid her, the first hint of what lay beneath the relics was found, an inscription indicating the existence of the Archaeology was born. It is a relatively new science. Its first great exponent was the German, Winkelmann, though Sehilemann, with his discovery of Troy and his explorations at Mycenae, did more dramatic things. Arthur Evans worked at Crete. And Napoleon I and Vivant Denan opened up Egyptian excavations. And so it goes, in the Old World and the New, many of the discoveries have changed the patterns of thought, altered the ""facts"" of history. Ceram does a wonderful job of both narration and interpretation. The book should do for archaeology what did to popularize that far less dramatic subject.