Mummies, Dinosaurs, Moon Rocks: How We Know how Old Things Are

Mummies, Dinosaurs, Moon Rocks: How We Know how Old Things Are

by James Jespersen, Jane Fitz-Randolph
     
 

From dinosaur tracks to ancient cities to moon rocks, the authors explain how archaeologists and other researchers establish the ages of ancient things. There are stories about the discovery of the Lascaux cave paintings in France, and how a pig's tooth and a rat's jawbone indicate Columbus' first settlement in the New World. Photos and drawings. Young Adult.See more details below

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Overview

From dinosaur tracks to ancient cities to moon rocks, the authors explain how archaeologists and other researchers establish the ages of ancient things. There are stories about the discovery of the Lascaux cave paintings in France, and how a pig's tooth and a rat's jawbone indicate Columbus' first settlement in the New World. Photos and drawings. Young Adult.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Wendy Keen
Just how do scientists and historians figure out the age of objects? Jespersen and Fitz-Randolph explain everything from carbon dating to tree rings and CAT scans to geology. Even as they instruct, they are conscious of the need to entertain-or at lease amuse-the reader. A wry account of an art forgery reminds us that scholars are not always infallible. Mummies, Dinosaurs, Moon Rocks is a fine addition to any home or library.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 6-9Carbon dating, thermo luminescence, and counting tree rings are just some of the methods used to determine the age of various objects. This book follows scientists as they examine old things including mummies, the Dead Sea Scrolls, violins, and even stars, and then use everything from hunches to highly scientific techniques to place these items on a time line. This book should be noted for its original research; Jesperson and Fitz-Randolph have taken the time to get the facts "straight from the scientists' mouths." It's also more up-to-date than many books, and includes information on recent finds such as the mummified Iceman and human artifacts in Brazil that predate previous evidence of human life in the Americas. On the downside, this book's drab presentation and its bland illustrations are so lackluster that one can expect it to collect dust on the shelf without a hard sell by librarians or the dire need inspired by a homework deadline. Many of the techniques used to date objects are difficult to understand, providing a perfect opportunity for illustrations to make the text more comprehensible. Instead, readers will enjoy the tales of discovery, but may find themselves bogged down with technical descriptions, without much help from the pictures to explain them.Cathryn A. Camper, Minneapolis Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Subtitling their work "How We Know How Old Things Are," the authors write with enthusiasm and include up-to-date information about "many ways of finding the age of objects ranging from the relatively young—like pottery and old musical instruments—to fossils and the earth itself." Each method is put in the context of current and evolving scientific puzzles that will appeal to young readers: Methods include Carbon 14 dating, thermoluminescence, potassium-argon dating, dendrochronology, analysis of DNA, etc. Examples are wide ranging and intriguing, e.g., where did Columbus land that Christmas of 1492 and establish La Navidad? Scientists analyzed the strontium atoms in a pig's tooth found on one site and determined that it probably came from Spain close to the port from which Columbus sailed. In other stories, the scientists separate human blood from pigment in cave paintings to learn more about the artists or employ a process known as a polymerase chain reaction to look for genes in Neanderthal blood. Like a good detective story, the book will hook even casual readers, who will be subsequently enthralled.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689318481
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
08/13/1996
Pages:
96
Product dimensions:
7.22(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.54(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

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