Stones, Bones, and Petroglyphs: Digging into Southwest Archaeology

Stones, Bones, and Petroglyphs: Digging into Southwest Archaeology

by Susan E. Goodman, Michael J. Doolittle
     
 

The author and photographer of Bats, Bugs and Biodiversity follow another group of school kids on a very special field trip. This time a group from Hannibal, Missouri, studies the ancient people of the Southwestern desert. These ancient Puebloan people, sometimes known as the Anasazi, built their stone dwellings in the canyon walls of the Four Corners area. The kids…  See more details below

Overview

The author and photographer of Bats, Bugs and Biodiversity follow another group of school kids on a very special field trip. This time a group from Hannibal, Missouri, studies the ancient people of the Southwestern desert. These ancient Puebloan people, sometimes known as the Anasazi, built their stone dwellings in the canyon walls of the Four Corners area. The kids learn about Anasazi food, games, hunting skills, and culture and help to excavate a village site in one of the canyons. A visit to Mesa Verde, with its 600 cliff dwellings, caps the week of learning how archaeology can help us find out more about a Native American culture.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
Many color photos and a lively conversational text recount how a group of eighth-graders from Hannibal, Missouri help archeologists try to discover more about the Anasazi, or Ancient Puebloans, in the Crow Canyon Archeological Center in Colorado. The second volume in "An Ultimate Field Trip" series, this photoessay skillfully blends basic information on Anasazi culture and the principles of archeology with comments from various students, their teachers and the archeologists, as they share questions, insights and opinions about their experiences. A glossary and further reading sections are included.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 3-6Once again, the creators of Bats, Bugs, and Biodiversity (1995) and The Great Antler Auction (1996, both S & S) have combined clear, informative, color photographs with simply stated, easy-to-comprehend prose to take readers along on "an ultimate field trip." Here, they follow a group of students from Hannibal, MO, on their week-long visit to Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, a research and teaching establishment in Cortez, CO. The youngsters learn about archaeology and the ancestral Puebloans by studying artifacts, touring ancient sites, participating in an on-going dig, and trying out skills and games from the past. The pages are in a rainbow of colors that add to the liveliness created by quotes from the kids and the action photographs. The well-organized volume includes a series of questions that encourage readers to think about archaeological quandaries and to reconsider and revise their answers as they go along. Up-to-date theories and interpretations are an important asset. This book gives readers a solid sense of both the world of a current-day archaeologist and the world of the ancient Native Americans from the Four Corners region, as well as a good introduction to Crow Canyon and its staff.Darcy Schild, Schwegler Elementary School, Lawrence, KS
Horn
Modern eighth graders experience the long-ago habitations of the Pueblo people as they work side-by-side with archaeologists in this account of a very special field trip. The class from Hannibal, Missouri, spends a week at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Colorado discovering artifacts, helping to build a pithouse, learning ancient work methods, and finally visiting fully excavated sites at Mesa Verde National Park. Following the format of the earlier "Ultimate Field Trip" title, Bats, Bugs, and Biodiversity, this book effectively uses the reactions and questions of the kids to demonstrate the work of archaeology and to introduce Pueblo history. Goodman carefully develops the view of science/social science as a process that changes our understanding over time. "We used to call these people the Anasazi...But the Navajo gave them that name, which means 'enemy of our people.' So you can understand why their current relatives don't like it. Since we don't know what they named themselves, we call them the ancestral Puebloans." The students examine the plentiful artifacts at the site and are cautioned to leave them in their exact locations for future investigators to consider. An element of mystery threads through the account as readers are repeatedly confronted with the question of why those ancestral Puebloans suddenly abandoned their thousand-year-old settlement shortly before the year 1300; the book discusses various possible answers still under scientific consideration. The presentation suffers from a lack of maps and a clutter of design elements and small photographs on vari-colored pages, de-tracting from the interesting subject matter. The title is also misleading, since petroglyphs don't actually come into the picture except in a brief note on the verso. Still, it's a felicitous and ambitious approach that will whet the interest of many readers. Glossary and bibliography are included.
Kirkus Reviews
This scrapbook chronicle of an archaeological field trip combines photo album with scientific inquiry, following a format identical to Goodman's previous venture, Bats, Bugs, and Biodiversity (1995). Packing water bottles and smelling of sunscreen, a group of eighth graders from Hannibal, Missouri, embark on a field trip much more than a bus ride away to the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, aiming to dig up the past of ancestral Puebloans (formerly called Anasazi), who lived on mesas and canyon tops of the Southwest desert over 700 years ago. Corn-grinding tools masquerade as stones, an ancient fingerprint hides in the mortar of bricks, a small animal skull poses the puzzle—pet or food source? Inklings of a way of life unfold for the participants and readers, as the adults emphasize that it's not "what you find, it's what you find out." The dialogue sounds scripted and stiff; information and theories are detailed in a more successful narrative form. Speculation as to the fate of the ancestral Puebloans is addressed in periodic insets titled "Why Did They Leave?" Interspersed with sweeping full-color postcard views of canyon and kiva are more candid snapshots. Readers will vicariously follow along as the joking junior archaeologists piece together fragments of history both scientifically and experientially. (glossary, further reading) (Nonfiction. 9-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689811210
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
03/10/1998
Series:
Ultimate Field Trip Series
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
48
Product dimensions:
10.31(w) x 8.32(h) x 0.42(d)
Lexile:
880L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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