Lost cities and lost languages, and the whole subject of archaeology has perennial enchantment for the rankest of amateurs. After a rather abrupt start, this book settles into a fascinating chronology of individual explorations in many of the ancient civilizations. There's a succinct summary of Egypt's history and the various explorers and archaeologists who have added to our knowledge, culminating in the high point of Howard Carter's discovery of the tomb of Tut-ankh-amen in 1923. Because of the threatened flooding of Upper Egypt by 1969, archaeologists are still frantically busy in the area. Other civilizations discussed include the Hittite empire, the civilization of the Indus, the Phoenicians and Carthaginians and the heritage of the alphabet, the Etruscans-still somewhat a closed book, and finally the account of Hiram Bingham's discovery of Macchu in Peru, high in inaccessible mountains. Actually archaeology is still a new profession:- the decipherment of the Hittite hieroglyphics was completed only in 1947; the Marshall theory of Indus civilization was outdated even before the publication of his Cambridge History of India, by an assistant's find at Harappa and Mohnejo-Daro. Some may find the book overladen with references, but a Bibliography makes further research tempting. A general introductory chapter seems almost a necessity.