Recent publications


The Eyes of the Leopard (2022) - An adventure novel for young readers set in France during the last Ice Age, The Eyes of the Leopard is inspired by archaeologist and anthropologist Dr. Brian Hayden’s lifetime experience in the field studying prehistoric and ethnographic hunter-gatherer societies. Hayden’s expertise brings realistic depth to this classic coming-of-age story, painting Sev’s life of communal hunts, ritual feasting, and spiritual ceremonies “with the vivacity of a graphic novel” and providing an excellent introduction for young readers interested in archaeology. With art by professional archaeological illustrator Eric Carlson, the novel has been acclaimed by Hayden’s peers as a successful union of scientific work and storytelling.




Understanding Chipped Stone Tools (in press) - "A sophisticated introduction to basic lithic analysis, written in an informal and engaging style. Employing a design theory perspective and stressing a need for active experimentation, it views lithic artifacts as a solution to substantive problems and sociopolitical realities. An excellent lithics primer." - Christopher J. Elllis, University of Western Ontario



The Power of Ritual in Prehisotry: Secret Societies and Origins of Social Complexity (2018) - The Power of Ritual in Prehistory is the first book in nearly a century to deal with traditional secret societies from a comparative perspective and the first from an archaeological viewpoint. Providing a clear definition, as well as the material signatures, of ethnographic secret societies, Brian Hayden demonstrates how they worked, what motivated their organizers, and what tactics they used to obtain what they wanted. He shows that far from working for the welfare of their communities, traditional secret societies emerged as predatory organizations operated for the benefit of their own members. Moreover, and contrary to the prevailing ideas that prehistoric rituals were used to integrate communities, Hayden demonstrates how traditional secret societies created divisiveness and inequalities. They were one of the key tools for increasing political control leading to chiefdoms, states, and world religions. Hayden's conclusions will be eye-opening, not only for archaeologists, but also for anthropologists, political scientists, and scholars of religion.