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Archaeology

athans_secrets of the sky cavesAthans, Sandra K. Secrets of the Sky Caves: Danger and Discovery on Nepal’s Mustang Cliffs
Gr. 4–6     64 pp.     Millbrook

The “sky caves” were dug into cliff faces in Nepal’s Mustang region roughly one-thousand years ago. Variously used as living and burial spaces, the caves remained unexplored and unused for centuries until they were unearthed during a 2007 Mustang mountaineering expedition. The author, sister of expedition leader Pete Athans, offers a wealth of information about this little-known archaeological wonder. Color photographs provide stunning visuals. Reading list, timeline, websites. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Ancient and Medieval History; Nepal; Caves; Archaeology; Mountaineers

aveni_buried beneath usAveni, Anthony Buried Beneath Us: Discovering the Ancient Cities of the Americas
Gr. 4–6     90 pp.     Roaring Brook

Illustrated by Katherine Roy. This book explores ancient metropolises revealed by archaeological evidence. Focusing on specific cities in North, Central, and South America, the book allows the reader to compare and contrast daily life in the different regions and understand the sites’ development and decline. Black-and-white illustrations with sharp lines accompany the narrative, which imparts extensive information while remaining engaging and easy to read. Ind.
Subjects: Ancient and Medieval History; City and town life; Archaeology

deem_faces from the pastDeem, James M. Faces from the Past: Forgotten People of North America
Middle school, high school     151 pp.     Houghton

Deem recounts the lives of people whose remains have been located across North America—from “Spirit Cave Man” to the unnamed inhabitants of an early twentieth-century almshouse. The profiles detail the work of archaeologists to preserve skeletal remains, as well as the science behind the reconstructions. Copious illustrations include portraits of the sculptors at work, the facial reconstructions, and historical and modern-day sites. Reading list, websites. Bib., ind.
Subjects: North America; Anthropology; Forensic science; Archaeology; Prehistoric life

liu-perkins_at home in her tombLiu-Perkins, Christine At Home in Her Tomb: Lady Dai and the Ancient Chinese Treasures of Mawangdui
Gr. 4–6     80 pp.     Charlesbridge

Illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen. In 1971, the tomb of “Lady Dai” was discovered, virtually intact and of enormous archaeological significance. Here, buried in 158 BCE, was her still-soft body and more than a thousand artifacts. Liu-Perkins describes the discovery in fascinating detail; brief imagined scenes supplement the evidence. Illustrative materials include maps and well-captioned photos as well as Brannen’s watercolors of the fictionalized scenes. Timeline. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Ancient and Medieval History; China, Ancient; Treasure; Archaeology; Burial customs

Their Skeletons SpeakWalker, Sally M. and Owsley, Douglas W. Their Skeletons Speak: Kennewick Man and the Paleoamerican World
Middle school, high school
    136 pp.     Carolrhoda

Walker and Owsley (an anthropologist involved in the research) present a solidly written and documented account of Kennewick Man, a Paleoamerican whose nearly ten-thousand-year-old remains were found in Washington State. The authors build the narrative clue by clue, first in determination of the 1996 find’s importance, then through a richly detailed overview of the field of anthropology. Excellent photographs show the actual evidence and technologies used. Reading list. Bib., ind.
Subjects: Prehistoric Life; Native Americans—North America; Anthropology; Washington (State); Archaeology

From the January 2015 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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