Three Stones Make a Wall is an overview of a lot of different archaeological sites and how archaeology is actually done there, and how it has been done in the past. It only glancingly deals with sites about which whole books can or should be written, but it does so by highlighting everything that’s so fascinating about them, and it definitely whetted my appetite for more. It’s easy to read and not technical at all, and if you have read specialist books on any of the digs mentioned — Schliemann’s dig at Troy, for instance — then it won’t be new to you, but Cline’s enthusiasm makes it worth reading anyway.
His choice of sites is reasonably diverse, too, including Greek and Roman sites, Native American sites, Biblical sites and more. Honestly, if you’re looking for a general book to give you a survey of archaeology, or give you some ideas for sites you want to learn more about, I recommend this whole-heartedly. It’s the pop-archaeology book I was longing for, after a childhood raised on Channel 4’s Time Team. It includes a list of sources, so you can look things up for yourself, and contextualises each dig and discovery beautifully. In retrospect, I’m giving it five stars for being exactly what I wanted at exactly the right moment.
If you’re looking for something substantial, it probably won’t be for you, but if you’re grasshopper minded like me and enjoy the idea of getting a tour of half the globe in archaeology, it’s great.