This Smithsonian coffee table book highlights 100 archaeological sites across the world, trying to give a cross section of sites both time-wise (ancient Neolithic cave art to the Battle of Little Bighorn) and geography-wise (Egypt, Peru, Australia, Canada, etc.). The introduction notes that the criteria for inclusion in this book included things like whether the sites were important in the field, would be interesting to the lay person, were accessible to visitors and were photogenic.
Some of these sites would be familiar to a lot of us (Egyptian pyramids and the Sphinx; Machu Pichu; Angkor Wat) but a lot of these were ones I’d never heard of (standing stones in Senegal/Gambia; cave art in southern Siberia; so many of the Peru sites outside of Machu Pichu). I spent a lot of time googling exactly where a site was, and looking for more photos of the sites (its hard in a few pages to give both a good large-scale and detailed view of some of these massive sites).
I really enjoyed learning about the existence of a lot of these places, as well as getting a more complete view of just how many sites exist in certain areas (I spent some time googling distances between the different Peruvian sites and the different Mayan/Aztec sites). One of the things I wanted more of was how the different sites might have interacted with each other, and how they fit together chronologically (the descriptions of each site list the time period at the top of the entry, but then it dives into descriptions of temples/stelae/carving description- totally understandable for a book about archaeology, but as a fiction lover, I wanted more narrative). This drawback aside, I’d still really recommend this as an eye-opening glimpse into the variety and geographical range of a lot of these sites.