×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

The Griffin and the Dinosaur: How Adrienne Mayor Discovered a Fascinating Link Between Myth and Science
     

The Griffin and the Dinosaur: How Adrienne Mayor Discovered a Fascinating Link Between Myth and Science

5.0 1
by Marc Aronson, Chris Muller (Illustrator), Adrienne Mayor
 

See All Formats & Editions

Could Griffins have been real? When Adrienne Mayor carefully read the ancient Greek and Roman descriptions, this mythic hybrid of a lion and an eagle sounded like something people had actually seen. What could explain that evidence? After a decade of hunting through myths, poring over old maps, and tracing the discoveries of modern dinosaur hunters, she

Overview

Could Griffins have been real? When Adrienne Mayor carefully read the ancient Greek and Roman descriptions, this mythic hybrid of a lion and an eagle sounded like something people had actually seen. What could explain that evidence? After a decade of hunting through myths, poring over old maps, and tracing the discoveries of modern dinosaur hunters, she found the answer: awesome dinosaur fossils observed by ancient gold-hunters in the Gobi desert. Here is the story of one insightful, curious, and determined woman who solved the mystery of the Griffin, and invented a new science. Now she and others travel the world matching myths and fossils.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
04/21/2014
What started as a hunch—that the legend of the griffin began with people who had seen fossils of extinct animals—led self-taught scientist Mayor to trace the origins of a myth to a basis in fact. With the suspense of a detective story, the narrative details Mayor’s research process as she consults with experts, conducts fieldwork, and seeks out ancient documents, artifacts, and stories. Beyond the intriguing content of the book itself, Aronson and Mayor deliver an empowering message: that the world contains many yet-to-be-solved enigmas, and there’s more than one way to crack a (dinosaur) egg. Ages 10–up. (Apr.)
School Library Journal
03/01/2014
Gr 5–8—Aronson has come together with folklorist/historian Mayor to create this intriguing account of how ancient people conceived of the griffin. How did the ancients come to dream up these amazing creatures? Were they the result of creative minds? Or was there something in the environment that led people to believe in these phenomena, such as how the mythical Cyclops and water monsters bear great resemblance to the bones of ancient dinosaurs? In this work, Aronson describes the journey that Mayor embarked upon to discover if there is a connection between the legend of the griffin and scientific fact. Over the course of eight well-written chapters, information about Mayor's life and research unfolds, letting readers travel to the many countries she visited to conduct her work. From a very young age, Mayor sought answers to the same questions that would inspire her later in life. A complementary blend of photography and ancient artwork aid the readers' perception of the myths and science that are shared in this book. A solid addition about mythology, art, and science for most collections.—Katy Charles, Virgil Elementary School, Cortland, NY
Kirkus Reviews
2014-02-26
Researchers have used fossils to understand much about the prehistoric world, but this work shows how a passionate woman with a curious mind studies them to understand how early peoples devised their myths and legends. Mayor's family heritage includes both a knack for storytelling and an interest in the natural world. She developed a love for the myths and legends of Greece and Rome, and her curiosity about the origins of the legendary part-lion, part-eagle griffin led her to seek answers. "[W]hat creature with four legs and a beak like a bird could have been so real to Greeks thousands of years ago?" Her search for fossils that could have inspired such an image led her to sites throughout Greece, ancient texts and even CIA maps of Central Asia. By following a series of clues, Mayor was able to connect the griffin image to fossil remnants of Protoceratops, making the case that ancient civilizations based their stories and legends on what they observed in the natural world. Supporting his text with Muller's illustrations and copious photographs, Aronson reveals Mayor's story as she searches for answers, demonstrating how one woman's curiosity and determination provided a new view of the origins of some of our oldest stories. The excellent list of suggestions for further reading will encourage readers to dig deeper on their own. Readers interested in mythology and paleontology will be intrigued. (glossary/index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)
From the Publisher
“Focused through a single woman’s obsessive search, this book comes off as both a riveting historical mystery as well as a wonderful example of how a person’s passions might take them places they never imagined they might travel.”—Fuse #8, School Library Journal
Children's Literature - Beverley Fahey
As a child Adrienne Mayor was shy and quiet. She seldom spoke out in class and preferred to spend her time imagining the lives of the long ago people who once roamed the vast prairie. As a young woman she travelled to Athens to study ancient tomes in hopes of finding a relationship between the myths of the fabled griffin and fossils or bones that would prove it once lived. In a stuffy library in Greece, she painstakingly did her research following every clue no matter how inconsequential. The more she read and studied the more convinced she was that she would one day find remains and solve the mystery. Her research took her to the deserts of Central Asia, the land of the gold hunting ancient Scythians. The Scythians did not have a written language but were keen observers of nature, much like Adrienne, and in the stories handed down through the centuries they told of this wondrous creature with the head of a bird and the body of a lion. After years of dedication, countless hours poring over maps and books, and visits to museums, Adrienne found her quarry…the remains of Protoceratops. Mayor’s strong convictions regarding the link between myths and fossils have lead to the creation of a new science in which researchers are beginning to view the world through the eyes of ancient people. Reading like a true detective story, Aronson with input from Adrienne Mayor herself, crafts and engaging account of dedication and resolve. Mixed media illustrations, maps, museum relics, and sketches round out the text. There are many classroom applications for this title. It is an excellent biography of a resourceful woman, compliments units on storytelling and oral tradition, is an interesting examination of ancient people, and a glimpse into an exciting and fascinating branch of science. Reviewer: Beverley Fahey; Ages 10 to 12.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781426311086
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
Publication date:
04/08/2014
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
212,939
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 10.90(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
1140L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

Meet the Author

ADRIENNE MAYOR is an independent folklorist/historian of science who investigates natural knowledge contained in pre-scientific myths and oral traditions. The Poison King is Mayor's latest book, and won top honors (Gold Medal) for Biography, Independent Publishers' Book Award 2010. It is a 2009 National Book Award Finalist. The History Channel's "Ancient Monster Hunters" is based on Mayor's first book. Co-author MARC ARONSON is an award-winning author and editor who earned his doctorate in American History at NYU. A prolific author, a blogger for SLJ, and an innovative thinker on children's book subjects, Marc brings deep knowledge of how kids relate to information.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

The Griffin and the Dinosaur: How Adrienne Mayor Discovered a Fascinating Link Between Myth and Science 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
readerbynight More than 1 year ago
An enticing story for young and old, a detective story of ancient times An exciting adventure in a way, this story begins with Adrienne Mayor born in 1946, as a young schoolgirl who is fascinated by mythology and in particular with the story of the Griffin. How does a shy, quiet kid from Souix Falls, South Dakota, come to develop a new field of research - geomythology? This book by Marc Aronson follows her path as student from country to country as she searches through ancient texts about mythical creatures. This is no easy task as she learns ancient languages in order to read these texts. An enticing story for young and old, a detective story of how to seek and find from the most ancient of times. The fascination of paleontology captures our imagination already, and here the vision of what can be discovered turns to mythology. How exciting is that?