This was the first nonfiction book that I have read by Robert Silverberg and I think I like his science fiction better, but this was enjoyable too. It was simply a book of essays on the history of the archaeological work at six well known archaeological sites around the world. It concentrates on the archaeologists who pioneered the work and the mistakes and problems they made and went through. The focus was on the archaeologists themselves, but that could not be really done without teaching something about the discoveries that were made too and how they were made. The sites are Pompeii, Knossis, Babylon, Chichen Itza, Angkor and Troy. The book was published in 1962 so I expect that new things about the ancient cultures in question have been discovered since, but I was still able to learn from this book. It should be noted that it was written for the lay reader, but since I am a lay reader it suits me just fine. I don't know if it was written for young readers or not, but I was thinking through the whole thing that it would work fine for inclusion in a middle school library. It is around that time that people are trying to decide on their careers and lifetime interests and I think this could get some people of that age interested in archaeology.