May 4, 2011

Every Bone Tells a Story by Jill Rubalcaba

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 5:01 pm by suebe2

Every Bone Tells a Story:
Hominin Discoveries, Deductions and Debates

by Jill Rubalcaba

Charlesbridge Publishing

AR 7.6

This book offers nonfiction lovers a close look at four of the most important “early man” finds — Turkana Boy, Lapedo Child, Kennewick Man, and the Iceman.  Each find is detailed (both in terms of what was going on when the person died and how the discovery of the remains was made) and then the findings and controversy surrounding each is discussed.  I really enjoyed reading what scientists learned about each person’s life by examining the skeletons — a nick or a bump can reveal quite a bit to someone who understands what they are looking at.

Part mystery and part anthropology, this book is a must for anyone interested in archaeology.  But don’t turn the pages expecting a dry text book.  Rubalcaba finds the humor involved in the various debates ranging from how flowers might have been introduced into a grave (by accident or did Neanderthal have religion?) to bumbling about trying to decide if a find is a missing hiker (dressed in extinct furs) or an early man.

And don’t be surprised if it sounds a bit like a CSI investigation.  Forensic scientists built their specialties upon the foundations of archaeology.  Each group studies the remains and surrounding items for clues.  In one case, the remains may be only hours old.  In the other, thousands of years.

This is definitely the book to whet the appetite of a future archaeologist.


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