From Site to Sight: Anthropology, Photography, and the Power of Imagery, Thirtieth Anniversary Edition
by Melissa Banta and Curtis M. Hinsley
with Joan Kathryn O’Donnell
foreword by C. C. Lamberg-Karlovsky
introduction by Ira Jacknis
Harvard University Press
Paper: 978-0-87365-867-6
Library of Congress Classification GN34.3.P45B36 2017
Dewey Decimal Classification 306.0747444


In 1986 the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard mounted From Site to Sight, a groundbreaking traveling exhibition on the historic and contemporary uses of photography in anthropology. Using visual materials from the vast photographic archives of the Peabody Museum and the work of members of Harvard’s anthropology department, the accompanying catalog investigates how anthropologists have employed the camera as a recording and analytic tool and as an aesthetic medium. Photographs ranging from daguerreotypes to satellite images are presented in an examination of the possibilities and limitations of using the camera as a fact-gathering and interpretive tool. The authors also explore the broader implications of the uses—and misuses—of visual imagery within the human sciences.

From Site to Sight has been a foundational text for scholars and students in the developing field of visual anthropology, illustrating the role of photographic imagery in anthropology and archaeology from the disciplines’ formative years to the 1980s. Long out of print, this classic publication is now available in an enhanced thirtieth anniversary edition with a new introductory essay by Ira Jacknis.

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