David J. Meltzer
's new book is a meticulous study of the controversy over human antiquity in America, a dispute that transformed North American archaeology as a practice and discipline, tracing it from 1862-1941. The Great Paleolithic War: How Science Forged an Understanding of Americas Ice Age Past
(University of Chicago Press, 2015) traces the heated and multi-disciplinary debates over the existence of a Pleistocene human antiquity in North America. Meltzer's book is a thick history that introduces readers not only to the major conceptual, epistemological, and methodological issues at stake in the controversy, but also to the figures who debated the nature and scope of human antiquity in America. Anyone with an interest in the history of archaeology or the study of human origins should check it out!