Coming to Terms with Archaeology & Paleontology


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From the Museums at Ghost Ranch -- A Dictionary of Archaeology and Paleontology: Whether you’re a middle-school scholar fascinated by artifacts, fossils, and old bones, a high school or college student, or a lifelong learner—or anyone, really, with an avid or even passing interest in archaeology or paleontology—you’ll find this little book hard to put down. This book defines artifacts, bones and phrases used in the world of science and right here in our Museums.

We’ve worked with a team of experts in their fields to assemble definitions for hundreds of terms used in museum exhibits, guidebooks, popular scientific literature, and scholarly papers.

But the book doesn’t stop there, with just its definitions. Most entries include information that expands some facet of their use, setting them in an historical, geographic or scientific context that amplifies their literal meaning. And for those words you might not regularly hear over a latte or chai, we’ve included phonetic keys for their pronunciation. The book also features skillful line drawings and illustrations by Helen Byers and paleo dinosaur images by Jeffrey W. Martz.

So if you’ve been wondering why archeologists always dig square holes, or if there’s a word for prehistoric trash pile (there is), or what carbon-14 is, anyway, or how Coelophysis, New Mexico’s State Fossil, had cousins in South Africa, you’ll find it here—carefully written, easy-to-read, useful, informative and educational.

As a companion to serious study or something you pick up simply for leisurely reading, it’s a resource you can discover and explore.

And yes, we know it has a long name, but for short, you can call it the “Ghost Ranch Dictionary.” We do. And if by chance, you do actually have to put it down, you can slip it in your purse or pocket and take it with you.

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