Non-peer-reviewed journals. Beware!
Archaeology. Archaeology is a glossy, popular magazine that has been published by the Archaeological Institute of America since 1948. Although it is published by a venerable professional society, it is NOT peer-reviewed; the articles are mostly written by journalists rather than by the investigators themselves.
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I. General Journals
American Anthropologist: This journal has been published by the American Anthropological Association since the late 1800s. It is a general anthropology journal in the American tradition, meaning that it publishes contributions in all four fields of American Anthropology: cultural anthropology, linguistics, biological anthropology, and, of course, archaeology. So, there is plenty of archaeology in this journal, even though the words “archaeology,” “antiquity,” or “prehistory” do not appear in the title.
American antiquity: This journal is published by the Society for American Archaeology, the major professional society in the United States. It is an important general journal. Some consider it the premier archaeology journal in the country. Published since 1935, these days it mostly publishes articles on North American archaeology, but it used to publish articles on Central and South American archaeology too. It continues to publish the occasional article on Old World archaeology. Some of its articles focus on method or theory more than on a particular site or region.
Cambridge archaeological journal: A good general archaeology journal that emphasizes symbolic, social, and cognitive archaeology but with broad geographic and topical coverage.
Journal of anthropological archaeology: A well-known journal with a focus on cultural evolution and other scientific anthropological theories.
Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory: This journal published articles on method and theory in archaeology, as the title suggests. The articles are often longer than those in other journals, and they include some topical reviews.
Journal of archaeological research: A general archaeological journal that publishes longer reviews of current research.
Journal of Archaeological Science. This journal has the highest impact factor of any in the field. The journal is published by the Society for Archaeological Science. “Archaeological Science” is the term used to refer to the application of natural science methods to archaeological questions. So, the articles include a lot of case studies in which chemistry, physics, geology and other allied sciences are used to address archaeological problems. Some of the articles are highly technical, but the journal is of high quality and is widely read and highly cited around the world.
Journal of field archaeology: Originally conceived in the 1970s as a venue for publishing field reports, this journal has evolved into a general archaeology journal with world-wide coverage, although it still emphasizes field work.
Latin American antiquity : a journal of the Society for American Archaeology
Like American Antiquity, this journal is also published by the Society for American Archaeology. The journal was founded in 1990 by the Society for American Archaeology to focus on the archaeology and prehistory of Latin America. Some articles are in Spanish. Since it began publication, American Antiquity has largely ceased publication of articles on Latin America.
II. World Archaeology and Prehistory
World Archaeology. World Archaeology is a general archaeological journal that has been published since 1969. As its title suggests, it covers the whole world. Unlike in most journals, each issue focuses on a single theme. If the themes selected by the editors interest you, you will find this a congenial journal. If they seem to have skipped your particular interests, then you will not find it a helpful publication.
Journal of World Prehistory. This journal, which has been around since 1987, focuses, like World Archaeology, on the whole world. Also like World Archaeology, the Journal of World Prehistory has an unusual format: it publishes one or two long review articles in each issue, although recently it has started publishing more varied fare, including special theme issues.
Historical Archaeology. This is the premier journal in the United States that focuses on historical archaeology, that is, the archaeological investigation of peoples and cultures who lived during the historic period, i.e., since the advent of historical records in the region. It is published by the Society for Historical Archaeology.
International Journal of Historical Archaeology. This is a newer journal focused on historical archaeology. It does have somewhat more international coverage than Historical Archaeology but that may be in part because it is published by a European commercial publishing house, Springer.
III. Journals on Special Topics
Geoarchaeology. As the name suggests, Geoarchaeology publishes articles on geoscience applications in archaeology. So, the emphasis is on geomorphology, soil studies, geophysical prospecting, and the like.
Radiocarbon. This journal specializes in issues related to radiocarbon dating.
International Journal of Nautical Archaeology. Underwater is archaeology is still a pretty new field, having really started only after the invention of the SCUBA gear during World War II. This journal, which seems to be the original journal in the field, is therefore not very old. It focuses on the archaeology of shipwrecks and is international is scope.
Journal of Maritime Archaeology. A newer journal on underwater archaeology.
American Journal of Archaeology. This old and prestigious journal is published by the Archaeological Institute of America, the oldest archaeological society in the country. The journal started publishing in 1897. For many years, it has focused almost exclusively on Classical Archaeology, that is, ancient Greek and Roman archaeology. Although quite interesting, Classical Archaeology is a small field (compared to the rest of the world); therefore, the journal is somewhat narrow in scope.
American Journal of Archaeology and of the History of the Fine Arts. Published by the Archaeological Institute of America from 1885 to 1896, this was the predecessor of the American Journal of Archaeology. Like its successor, it focused strongly on Classical Archaeology.
Oxford Journal of Archaeology. This journal covers both European and Classical archaeology.
IV. Local and Regional Journals
As we mentioned in the introduction, there are many local and regional archaeological journals around the world. They are far too many to list, even if we limit ourselves to those to which the library subscribes. Therefore, we only mention a few more prominent ones.
African Archaeological Review. Obviously, this journal focuses on the archaeology of the African continent, but with an emphasis on the sub-Saharan region. It does not generally cover Egyptology, which has its own journals.
Ancient Mesoamerica. This journal covers the archaeology, prehistory, historical archaeology and ethnohistory of Mesoamerica, the culture area that spans central and southern Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and parts of Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua.
Arabian Archaeology and Epigraphy focuses on the Arabian Peninsula and the immediately surrounding region.
Near Eastern Archaeology. Near Eastern archaeology includes the archaeology of Sumeria, Akkadia, Assyria, and Mesopotamia in general, including neighboring areas of the Iran and Turkey. This journal, formerly entitled Biblical Archaeology, covers the region, although with a bit of a religious slant. It’s a glossy, popular magazine, but most of the articles are peer-reviewed. It is published by the American Schools of Oriental Studies.
Ñawpa pacha. Ñawpa pacha is one of the few journals on South American archaeology. It focuses on the Andean region. It is hard to search for electronically because of the énye.