Tales Mummies Tell

( 1 )

Overview

Sand in their bread caused serious tooth problems for the ancient Egyptians, peasants and pharaohs alike.Skull surgery was commonly performed by the Inca Indians of Peru. A thick soup made of grain and seeds was a typical winter meal in Denmark during the Iron Age. How can we be so sure of what ancient life was like? Largely because, in recent years, mummies have begun to "talk" to scientists who study them for clues to the distant past. X-rays reveal mumm ies that have never been unwrapped. The shape of the face...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (50) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $4.50   
  • Used (47) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$4.50
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(50)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New

Ships from: streamwood, IL

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$5.50
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(94)

Condition: New
fast shipping

Ships from: El Dorado, CA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$45.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(148)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

Sand in their bread caused serious tooth problems for the ancient Egyptians, peasants and pharaohs alike.Skull surgery was commonly performed by the Inca Indians of Peru. A thick soup made of grain and seeds was a typical winter meal in Denmark during the Iron Age. How can we be so sure of what ancient life was like? Largely because, in recent years, mummies have begun to "talk" to scientists who study them for clues to the distant past. X-rays reveal mumm ies that have never been unwrapped. The shape of the face appears, and resemblances may establish family relationships. In the bones of a mummy, medical scientists can read age at death, signs of disease, fractures that healed. Teeth yield information about diet and health. Sometimes a mummy offers a surprise: an Egyptian mummy is found to have two skulls; another, long thought to be the child of a high priestess, turns out to be a baboon. Sometimes a mummy tells a moving story: examination of a girl's mummy shows she lived her short life in considerable pain; a man's mummy, with broken bones and slit throat, proves he met a violent death.Generously illustrated with photographs ranging from the gruesome to the starkly beautiful, Tales Mummies Tell is a remarkable account of mummies — intriguing talebearers from the pastand of the ways scientists unlock their secrets.

Explains how the study of mummies, both natural and man-made, including a frozen baby mammoth found in Siberia and the human mummies of Egypt, Peru, and Denmark, can reveal information about ancient civilizations and prehistoric life.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780590464086
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/28/1992
  • Lexile: 970L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

Patricia Lauber is the author of more than sixty-five books for young readers. Many of them are in the field of science, and their range reflects the diversity of her own interests-bats, dolphins, dogs, volcanoes, earthquakes, the ice ages, the Everglades, the planets, earthworms. Two of her books, SEEDS: POP STICK GLIDE and JOURNEY TO THE PLANETS, were nonfiction nominees for The American Book Awards. She was the 1983 winner of The Washington Post/Children's Book Guild Award for her overall contribution to children's nonfiction literature.

As well as writing books, Ms. Lauber has been editor of Junior Scholastic, editor-in-chief of Science World, and chief editor, science and mathematics, of The New Book of Knowledge

A graduate of Wellesley College, she is married and lives in Connecticut. When not writing, she enjoys hiking, sailing, traveling, cooking, reading, and listening to music.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

A Mammoth Mummy

One long-ago summer's day, a baby woolly mammoth somehow lost his mother. He was no more than seven or eight months old, so young that he had only milk teeth and still depended on his mother for food. As he wandered around his home range, near the Arctic Circle, his body fat was quickly used up. Frantic with hunger, he tried to eat dirt and plants. Then he had an accident and fell, perhaps into an icy pit, where he soon died. In the far north, summer is short. The body froze and became encased in ice. Cave-ins buried it under six feet of earth. The ground froze and stayed frozen, except for the top few inches, which thawed each summer. In this natural deep freeze, the body of the baby mammoth was preserved for thousands of years. It became a mummy, which is the term now used for any well-preserved body, whether animal or human.

The mummy was found in June 1977. At that time Soviet gold prospectors were working near a stream in northeastern Siberia. One was running a bulldozer, digging out mud and frozen ground, when he struck a big block of muddy ice with something dark inside. Curious about what he had found, the prospector changed the flow of the stream and used its water to melt some of the ice. In a short time, the shape of a baby mammoth appeared.

The discovery was of great interest to Soviet scientists who study mammoths. Woolly mammoths, which were relatives of today's elephants, managed to survive a long period of drastic changes in the earth's climate. They lived through times when heavy snows fell, when great glaciers formed and grew so big that mile-thick sheets of ice swallowed hugeareas of land for thousands of years. They lived through times when the air warmed and the glaciers shrank, releasing floods of meltwater. Yet when the glaciers last melted and drew back, about 9,000 to 12,000 years ago, the woolly mammoths died out. How and why they did remains a mystery.

We know about mammoths from the cave drawings of Stone Age peoples and from the remains of mammoths that have been found. Over the years countless bones and tusks have been found in the far north. From time to time parts of woolly mammoths have been discovered in the frozen ground, but whole mammoths are rare. The few discovered in the 1800s rotted away or were eaten by animals before scientists could study them. The ones found in this century have not been complete. The Soviet prospectors' find, which they named Dima, was the first whole mammoth mummy that modern scientists had ever had a chance to study. In addition, only once before, in Alaska, had anyone found remains of a baby mammoth.

The mummy was flown to a laboratory in the north, where it was refrigerated to keep it from rotting. Later it was flown to Leningrad for detailed study. Samples of material from the body were shared with scientists in the United States who were trying to find out, among other things, the exact relationship of mammoths and elephants.

Early studies showed that Dima was about 4 feet tall and 4 feet long and weighed 198 pounds. His trunk measured 22 inches and had two "fingers" at the end, just like the ones that can be seen in cave paintings. The hide was now separated from the body, but in life Dima had had a shaggy, chestnut-colored coat. The soft, thick undercoat was 3 to 4 inches long and protected by a covering of wiry hairs up to 10 inches long. The trunk was furry and the outer ears were tiny. Like all woolly mammoths, Dima was well equipped to live in the far north, with a covering that trapped and held in body heat. By contrast, today's elephants live in warm or hot climates and are equipped to get rid of body heat. They have no fur, only bristles, on their leathery hides. Their huge outer ears provide extra surface area from which heat can escape.

It was clear that Dima had been hungry: His ribs stuck out through his skin. The stomach and other intestines provided more clues to what had happened. In them was only a trace of his mother's milk. Alone, he had eaten mostly dirt. With just three milk teeth, he had not been able to chew plant food but had simply swallowed some roots, stems, grass, and grass seeds. The presence of grass seeds showed that Dima had died in summer, the time of year when these seeds form. The month was most likely August, which is late summer in the arctic.

The excellent condition of the mummy was the chief clue to the kind of place in which Dima died. It must have been a cold one, cold enough to keep the body from decaying before it froze. And because the body was buried, it must have been a place where cave-ins or landslides could occur, such as a pit or the bank of a stream.

To find the age of the mummy, scientists made use of a built-in atomic clock. This is how the clock works:

Certain kinds of atoms are radioactive-they keep breaking down by giving off tiny parts of themselves. Among these atoms are those of carbon 14, which is a radioactive variety of carbon. Carbon 14 forms when the atmosphere is bombarded by cosmic rays. When it combines with oxygen, it forms carbon dioxide. This radioactive carbon dioxide mixes with the other carbon dioxide in the air.

Plants take in carbon dioxide, which they use to make their food. And so they also take in carbon 14. Every bit of a living plant contains a tiny amount of carbon 14. Animals feed on plants or on other animals that eat plants. As a result, every animal's body also contains a tiny...

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2001

    GREAT BOOK!!

    This Book is filled with great information about mummies. It tells about ancien Mummies from Peru and Denmark. It is a great work of nonfiction.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)