This entertaining, colorful cartoon book is about archaeology, particularly in Georgia; it is accurate and amusing. The book features hand-lettered text accompanied by eye-catching, vivid, often humorous artwork. The volume also provides various ideas for archaeological projects. Although oriented toward Georgia and Southeastern archaeology, this volume is useful for understanding general concepts in the archaeology of any geographical area, and is highly recommended for any audience.
Frontiers in the Soil begins with an introduction to the complex field of archaeology, which is often part of multidisciplinary projects and must deal with complicated issues related to chronological dating, and the meaning of the material evidence of past human behaviors. Dickens discusses the major prehistoric eras, and describes important locations occupied in prehistory. Dickens also describes an archaeological project at an imaginary sixteenth-century Native American community, including fieldwork methods, cleaning and analyzing artifacts, and finally authoring a report so that the information the site contained is preserved for the future.
The author of Frontiers in the Soil, Roy S. Dickens, Jr., was a well-known archaeologist who worked in Georgia, and across Southeastern North America. His engaging text is supported by the captivating artwork of James McKinley. The first edition, published in 1979, quickly sold out. SGA now owns the copyright to the book, and published a second edition with the assistance of the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
Concurrently with the second edition, the SGA published a new teacher handbook to assist teachers in instructing students in all aspects of archaeology, including methods and techniques (and advancements in the field since the original edition was published), preservation and stewardship, and archaeological ethics. The new handbook meets Quality Core Curriculum (QCC) standards for the state of Georgia (current at the time of its publication).