Children's Literature - Kathleen Karr
A good, solid introduction to the subject, this guide begins with general background on archeology's role in history, followed by a precise detailing of excavation methods. The remainder of Moloney's book chronologically explores a number of the more famous sites around the world: Olduvai Gorge, Pharonic Egypt, Jericho, Stonehenge (including a fascinating reconstruction of how the stones were erected). It is her slightly less well-covered choices that are most welcome. Places such as Mohenjodaro in Pakistan, the Sutton Hoo ship burial site in England, and L'Anse aux Meadows-a Viking settlement in Newfoundland-are rarely brought to the attention of young students.
VOYA - Debbie Earl
All of us feel kinship with archeologists when we find or view historical artifacts and wonder about their origin and purpose. Although both these books present overviews for students interested in the subject, the books are aimed at different readers. Part of the Scientific American Sourcebooks series, the first title is a general summary of archeology for junior high school students. Starting with an explanation of what archeologists do, the book then surveys discoveries made over the years, focusing on lost cities, vanished empires, tombs, graves, bodies, and written records. A timeline of events, beginning with the discovery of Herculaneum in 1709 and culminating in 1995 with the unearthing of a two-hundred-year-old American battle site, is included. Photographs and illustrations enliven the text. Occasionally, a bordered anecdote gives the human side to a particular event. The bibliography, though brief, is up-to-date and presents material on varied subjects. The second title is a more sophisticated, detailed summary for high school students. Again, an overview of archeology is presented, followed by chapters on subjects often used for reports: the Ice Age, Stonehenge, Ancient Pompeii and Egypt, and the Vikings. A section on ethnoarcheology explains how scientists study present peoples to attempt to understand the past. The Garbage Project of the USA, an attempt to look at current American life through the study of rubbish, is also given coverage. There are more illustrations, photographs, maps, and tables in this book than the first. For example, the Scientific American discusses Pompeii and includes a picture of an Etruscan wall painting. The Oxford title, when discussing Pompeii, includes a map and pictures of the excavated town and its streets, mosaics, and houses, and provides a detailed explanation of how scientists made plaster casts of ashy human remains. I was surprised the Oxford title did not include a bibliography. If you have limited funds, choose the Oxford title for the wealth of well-illustrated material contained within. Glossary. Index. Illus. Photos. Maps. Charts. VOYA Codes: 4Q 4P S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses, Broad general YA appeal, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
This is an excellent introduction to archaeology for YA readers, although advanced students, including those completing high school, may prefer something more substantial. The text is authoritative, though compressed. Illustrations predominate, and the emphasis is on conveying basic information efficiently, as well as conveying something of the excitement of archaeological research. The book is organized into three parts: 1. Decoding the Evidence (e.g., excavation, methods for dating artifacts); 2. A Journey through Time (featuring, e.g., Olduvai Gorge, Stonehenge, Mohenjodaro, Ancient Egypt, Pompeii, the Vikings, Tenochtitlan, ethnoarchaeology, underwater archaeology, industrial archaeology); and 3. Learning from the Past (e.g., through pottery and burials). A useful glossary is situated at the end of the book. The book succeeds chiefly due to the illustrations, which are excellent. For example, in the 1860s the Italian archaeologist Fiorelli, working at Pompeii, discovered a way to inject plaster into the hollow impressions of those killed in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. By this method he obtained life-like representations of the dead. The illustrations of his method are certainly the best this reviewer has ever seen. There is also an excellent series of illustrations, with accompanying text, on the underwater excavation of the Tudor-period warship, the Mary Rose. This is a book worth acquiring, one that will be useful to any YA reader desiring to understand the fundamentals of archaeological research. KLIATT Codes: JSRecommended for junior and senior high school students. 1997, Oxford University Press, 160p, illus, bibliog, index, 28cm, $16.95. Ages 13 to 18.Reviewer: John Rosser; Professor, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA January 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 1)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 UpOnly the most dedicated student of archaeology will be likely to read this comprehensive volume from cover to cover. However, for anyone looking for report topics covering the most significant finds of the 19th and 20th centuries, this will be the place to start. The introductory chapters explain the science used to study ancient remains and how it has been enhanced by technology. Especially worthwhile are the descriptions of various forms of dating materials, ranging from tree rings to carbon 14 to thermoluminescence. Subsequent chapters deal with some of the more famous excavations: Pompeii, Stonehenge, the tomb of Tutankhamun, and the prehistoric cave paintings of France and Spain. The greatest value to young researchers, however, will be the chapters that treat lesser known but just as fascinating discoveries such as the city of Mohenjodaro on the Indus River, one of the first cities to have developed a comprehensive system of plumbing, or the only Viking settlement uncovered in North America at L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. The stunning full-color photographs and illustrations found on every page will entice browsers of a wide age group, but the text is sophisticated. Only one puzzling omission mars an otherwise exemplary work. No mention is made of the copper age body, commonly known as the Iceman, found in the Alps in 1991.David N. Pauli, Missoula Public Library, MT
From the Publisher
"For anyone looking for report topics covering the most significant finds of the 19th and 20th centuries, this will be the place to start."School Library Journal
"A thorough and intelligent survey of the field of archaeology, lavishly illustrated with photographs, maps, and drawings, and containing both the quality and quantity of information one would expect from an introductory college course.... A book for...those whose interest is strong enough to demand the most and the best in information."Kirkus Reviews
"This oversize volume is a thorough and thoroughly interesting introduction to archaeology.... The use of so many photos gives the book an immediacy that drawings often don't provide. An excellent overview."Booklist
"This colorful, well-planned, and sturdily bound work will enrich any library. Budding archaeologists and young historians will want their own copies."Library Lane
"Uses photographs, detailed reconstructions, and maps to complement a well-researched and very interesting-to-read text that examines evidence from several fascinating archaeological sites."Calliope
"Archaeology provides thorough research, an excellent variety of illustrations, and a broad-ranging format. The text is straightforward, with an easy range of vocabulary... Presented in a format fascinating to any age level from the intermediate grades to adults."Library Materials Guide
"Inviting, readable introduction to archaeology... Moloney writes well and provides a good overview... Each page features outstanding color illustrations... Will attract both browsers and researchers and is a good choice for any middle level library. Highly Recommended."Book Report