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by Julie Nelson

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Other books in this "Ancient Civilizations" series include Incas, Mesopotamia and Khmer Empire. This volume would therefore appear to be the only series title dealing with a still extant civilization and culture. Beginning with the Indus Valley peoples, the timeline covered here extends to the end of the so-called "Golden Age" of the Gupta Empire, A. D. 520. Mathematics (including zero and the decimal system), astronomy, architecture and art are discussed, and the short chapters are illustrated with full-color photographs. Unfortunately the narrative problems posed by the cultural continuity between ancient and modern India are only patchily dealt with. "Curry," for example, is cited with certainty as an ancient food, when, in fact, one might question that its existence as a pan-Indian food, even since colonial times, may be a figment of European perception. Errors of spelling are jarring—for example, Na(r)mada and c(h)apati, the latter unleavened bread being incorrectly described as a pancake. Alas, the flaws overshadow the many interesting facts that young readers might find here and underscore the need for publishers to authenticate material more carefully. A glossary, index and lists of useful addresses and Internet sites are included. 2000, Steck-Vaughn, $22.83. Ages 7 to 10. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami

Product Details

Raintree Publishers
Publication date:
Ancient Civilizations Series
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 8.92(h) x 0.35(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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