Children's LiteratureThis largely successful attempt to tell the story of the development of the science of archeology focuses on eight prominent archeologists and their most important discoveries. The book also includes an introduction, which gives an overview of the history of archeology, and an epilogue, which describes current innovations in the field. Short biographical sketches of archeologists like Howard Carter, Hiram Bingham and Mortimer Wheeler accompany detailed descriptions of their methods and their finds in Egypt (the tomb of Tutankhamen), Peru (Machu Picchu) and India. Each chapter begins with an anecdote placing the archeologist at the moment of his or her greatest discovery, then shifts to a short, chronological biography that eventually returns to the opening scene. In some of the chapters, this approach creates unnecessary confusion. Otherwise, the writing is clear and straightforward. Black-and-white photographs and archival prints illustrate the text. The book contains a glossary, selected bibliography and lists of print and Internet sources for further exploration. It is part of the series, "Lives in Science." 2001, Franklin Watts/Scholastic, $25.00. Ages 10 to 14. Reviewer: Joyce Schwartz
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 5-9-Each of these series entries profiles half a dozen key figures in the specific fields. The chapters open with an interest-grabbing experience from the subject's life, then shift to a chronological narrative from childhood on. Along with the biographical information, readers are given some of the scientific knowledge of the person's era, providing needed context. Early geologist James Hutton, for example, made assertions about the Earth's age that challenged not only the scientists of his day, but also religious beliefs, which were even harder to overcome. The chronological arrangement helps to give a sense of how individual fields progress over time, and how scientists benefit from the work of their predecessors. Each book covers a span of a couple of centuries, and concludes with a fairly modern example. The writing is lively enough to engage readers with an interest in the topic. The authors generally focus on the people's work and careers, yet they emerge as distinct individuals. While the featured geologists are all men, key female contributors to the field are noted in the introduction to Pioneers. Archeologists Gertrude Bell and Kathleen Kenyon, along with Howard Carter and Hiram Bingham, are profiled in Digging. Black-and-white photos, reproductions, and occasional maps appear in both volumes. In addition to the life stories, the titles offer useful perspectives on the challenges of scientific careers over the past two centuries.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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