Maps for Time Travelers

Winner of the Society for American Archaeology 2021 Book Award (Popular)

Popular culture is rife with movies, books, and television shows that address our collective curiosity about what the world was like long ago. From historical dramas to science fiction tales of time travel, audiences love stories that reimagine the world before our time. But what if there were a field that, through the advancements in technology, can bring us closer to the past than ever before?

Maps for Time Travelers is a guide to how technology is revolutionizing the way archaeologists study and reconstruct humanity’s distant past. From satellite imagine to 3D modeling, today archaeologists are answering questions about human history that could only previously be imagined. As archaeologists create a better and more complete picture of the past, they sometimes find that truth is stranger than fiction.


“Lucid, entertaining, and highly informed in the art and science of geospatial archaeology,” and “a brilliant introduction to the frontiers of archaeology.” –Brian Fagan, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara

“[An] impassioned study written to change popular perceptions of archaeology.”—Nature

“An eye-opening and engaging look at the science and technology of modern archaeology that will be of interest to any time traveler—and since we are all traveling through time at the rate of one second per second, this set definitely includes you!”––Ryan North, author of How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler

“[A] cogent survey of the geospatial technological advances over the last few decades. . . . [and] an engaging introduction, for the general reader, to the very nature of archaeological research.”—Geography Realm

“It is hard to imagine a more compelling use of geospatial technology than in revealing the human past, and in making it possible to see the world as it used to be. This book tells the story of maps in archaeology in a fresh, inspiring, and lively way, helping to make a complex technology understandable to the general reader.”––Michael Frank Goodchild, Emeritus Professor of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara

“McCoy is a splendid guide to archaeology’s use of geospatial technologies to discover and interpret the past. He is curious, knowledgeable, approachable, and engaging. This book is an excellent introduction to an important subject. Even better, it is a fun read.”––David J. Bodenhamer, coeditor of The Spatial Humanities: GIS and the Future of Humanities Scholarship



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