This type of compendium of information, unless it is truly encyclopedic and includes full bibliographic references, tends to be of limited value to the specialist but of considerable help to someone either entering the field or from another field wishing to “borrow” material.

Facts and Artifacts of Ancient Middle America is a well executed compendium of terms that are liable to confuse the neophyte. The definitions and descriptions are concise but not too brief and cover not only archaeology but also ethnohistory. Since it is more specialized than The Penguin Dictionary of Archaeology, Facts and Artifacts is able to provide more extensive descriptions over a broader range of terms within its geographical constraints. However, while Facts and Artifacts lacks references to the important contributors to Middle American archaeology and ethnohistory, its drawings and the color photo section are superior.