Fagan’s latest book is a synthetic overview of a single topic, constructed as a narrative and geared for a popular audience. Fishing covers the latest methods and theory in archaeology about the global importance and evolution of fishing. Fagan artfully weaves vignettes about the importance of fishing in ancient societies, the complex interaction of climate with the availability of fish, and variation (and commonality) in global fishing strategies. Archaeological experts can probably find reasons to quibble, but Fagan is at his best in Fishing, expertly synthesizing complex academic literature, telling a great story, and demonstrating why archaeology matters.

Fagan begins with a brief and interesting introductory chapter and divides the remaining twenty-two chapters into three parts: (1) opportunistic fishing, (2)...

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