Harking back to the olden days of ""paper doll"" nonfiction series, this Clues To The Past title offers crudely rendered art accompanying a random assortment of generalizations, unsupported by analysis, lively presentation, or even such amenities as a glossary or reading list. On each topical spread Corbishley (Ancient Rome, 1989) invites readers to examine a photo of an actual artifact, then read about it, and see it in context in a nearby painted illustration. At times this premise works: The three battered but recognizable shoes, for instance, and a wonderfully realistic tombstone carving of a butcher's shop, really do afford unusual glimpses into ancient daily life. But the obvious questions (How old is this object? Where was it found? How was it made? etc.) go, by and large, unanswered, and few of the other items are so revealing. Predictably, regional variations in dress, family life, or eating customs get barely a mention, and any changes that may have occurred over the centuries rate even less notice. Piecemeal, superficial, and superfluous.