Thursday, 4 November 2010

Archaeology Detectives by Simon Adams (Children's, Non-fiction, 10/10E)

May 2008, Oxford University Press
128 pages, Paperback
Review copy

Non-fiction, Children's, 8 years +

Filled with facts on many ancient civilisatiosn

Summary from Oxford University Press

Archaeology Detectives shows young readers how archaeologists interpret a wide range of evidence to put together pictures of vanished civilizations
How do we know what ancient Athens was like or how the Aztecs lived? This question is fully answered by Archaeology Detectives, which tells the story of how archaeologists in the past two hundred years have gradually deciphered some of the world's most fascinating ancient sites. It takes the reader on the journey from initial discovery of specific sites or monuments to contemporary understanding of the civilizations that built them.

This book links archaeological techniques with stories of how pioneers deciphered real sites, describing the thrilling process of analysis, frustrations, breakthroughs, and luck.

Nayuleska's thoughts
Fragments! Okay, so I'm an ancient history lover. If I see a pot, or fragments of a pot, I'm happy. I smiled the entire time I read this book - just seeing the stunning photos of artefacts and the excavation sites made me one  content reader. The book explores techniques used in archaeology, exploring some of the famous sites that have been excavated. It includes arguments involved at the time of the digs, special advances in technology which aided the archaeologists, and also the status of the sites in the world we live in today. Below follows a list of the places explored, and my random thoughts on them.

  • Altamira, 12,000 BCE 
    • Cave men were a creative bunch, filling their caves with paintings
  • Mohenjo-Daro, 2600 BCE: 
    • Lots of bricks used in this Indian city
  • Troy, 1900 BCE: 
    • I studied this! Including that wooden horse. 
  • Palace of Knossos, 1700 BCE: 
    • You wouldn't want to get lost in here, not if you wanted to avoid the minotaur 
  • Tutankhamun's tomb 1322 BCE: 
    • That famous Egyptian dude wrapped in bandages
  • Mont Lassois and Vix, 520 BCE: 
    • Not some strange medicine - a hill fort and a burial site. 
  • Alexandria Lighthouse, 290 BCE: 
    • Yup, studied about here too. It's not helping any ships now. 
  • Terracotta Warriors, 210 BCE: 
    • Lots of soldiers holed up in China, each one unique. 
  • The Rosetta Stone, 196 BCE: 
    • This was the find of the century - three languages on one stone! 
  • Pompeii, 79 CE 
    • Fire spewed out from the earth in a volcano, burying the town, preserving lots of useful info for archaeologists and ancient historians
  • Tenochtitlan, 1325 CE: 
    • A stunning site left over from the Aztecs
  • Machu picchu 1440 CE: 
    • The Incas also built a beautiful city
  • Ozette, 1450s CE: 
    • Native Americans were at the heart of this find. 
  • The Vasa, 1628 CE: 
    • A Swedish ship, filled with lots of treasure! 
  • Titanic, 1912 CE: 
    • This one doesn't need an introduction other than Iceberg ahead!! 

Final conclusion
A springboard for budding archaeologists and historians alike.

Other good reads:
Horrible Histories: Angry Aztecs and Incredible Incas by Terry Deary and Martin Brown, and Philip Reeve.

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