In Experiencing the Past Michael Shanks presents an animated exploration of the character of archaeology and reclaims the sentiment and feeling which is so often lost in the purely academic approach. With the use of illustrations closely associated with the text, he depicts the archaeologist as a skilled interpreter of cultural remains. As the author moves through the debates surrounding heritage and cultural identity, archaeology becomes a cultural kaleidoscope. With perceptive clarity, Shanks considers the key concerns of archaeology in the 1990s and weighs controversial topics such as scientific objectivity and the validity of different claims to the past. The result is an exposition of archaeology as a field of human discernment and understanding, telling of a critical engagement with the material past. The aim of Experiencing the Past is not so much to instruct as to provoke thought and reflection on feelings about the past.