Archaeology is more popular than ever. TV and film have made it seem accessible and exciting, and the number of budding amateurs is on the rise, as is government support for archaeological initiatives on a global scale. From coins and combs to battlefields and plantations, archaeologist Joe Flatman provides an incisive introduction to the practice of archaeology. Through comparative case studies he demonstrates how the archaeological mindset reveals unexpected truths about the most modern phenomena. Suddenly a landfill site can expose more about our drinking habits than we may like to admit, and airports become sites as intriguing and complex as the towns and villages they were built over. Flatman also trains his eye on the future and reveals how archaeology can help us predict -- and even prevent -- the crises that are facing us today.