The systematic study of historic civilizations is now attracting the attention of a growing number of anthropologically trained archeologists. The objectives of these investigators are not simply to repeat or to verify what is already known from textual evidence, but to extend the scope and fullness of our understanding of these important cultures (Moore, ed., 1974; Sabloff & Lamberg-Karlovsky, eds., 1975; Redman et al. ed., 1978). The study of historic civilizations offers a series of unique opportunities that equal and sometimes surpass those provided by the more commonly studied prehistoric cultures. First, the existence of historical documentation often facilitates the formulation of absolute chronologies for excavated material. By correlating archeological episodes with historically dated events, it is frequently possible even to assign lengths of duration to particular occupations. Second, the architectural and artifactual remains of historic civilizations are usually abundant in quantity and more readily identifiable than prehistoric material. Since many of the excavated tools, decorative objects and buildings are known from texts, art work or their continued use in recent times, identification and functional interpretation are more reliable, having been made by homology rather than by analogy. Third, and finally, the societal organization and processual relationships of historic civilizations are of considerable interest to anthropologists. Relatively sophisticated behavioral questions can be addressed because of the above two interpretive advantages and the fact that the historic record often provides general insights into the political and economic patterns of the era that aid in model building.