Review of book, film, TV, video, software, performance, music etc
Place of publication
Monash, VIC, Australia
Australian Archaeological Association
Rob Swigart’s The Stone Mirror is a fictional narrative focused on the archaeology of Aynalı Tepe, a fictitious Neolithic occupation mound in Central Turkey. Based on the leviathan excavation project at Çatalhöyük, Swigart’s narrative is presented in 18 well-written chapters alternating between a modern excavation (chapters headed ‘Now’) and life in the ancient settlement (chapters headed ‘Then’).
While the book lacks many of the methodological and theoretical details required of text books, the scope of subject matter and the synthetic treatment of past and present make the book a potentially invaluable teaching tool. For Australian universities with an Australasian/Oceanic focus, the specific geographical focus on Southwest Asia may limit the book’s usefulness, however, I recommend it as a must for university libraries and for anyone with an interest in early farmers beyond the abstractions of sedentism and domestication.