In Brooklyn and Boston, in Wyoming and New Mexico, wherever highways, dams, buildings, and pipelines are under construction, archaeologists are racing to salvage prehistoric, Indian, and colonial artifacts before they are obliterated by the inexorable advance of civilization.
A crew drilling a gas well in New Mexico strikes a snag: archaeologists summoned to the scene discover a complete mammoth skeleton and a stone knife used by an Ice Age man. Building construction in Boston turns up a fence used by Indians more than 4,000 years ago to trap fish in the Charles River. In Arizona a salvage team excavates thirteen major sites in the path of a new pipeline, keeping just ahead of the bulldozers that are clearing the right of way at a rate of ten miles a day.
In his discussions of digs at construction sites all over the United States, Mr. Silverberg reviews the latest archaeological methods and provides an intriguing look at American history and prehistory as seen through the unearthed relics of the past.