Synopses & Reviews
Most people think the dead are silent, but to an archaeologist theyre boisterous storytellers. Favorite tales come from remains thousands, even millions, of years old. Of course the dead dont leap out of their graves and give away their secrets.
It takes scientists from every field imaginable to coax the details out of them. The stories are often garbled, and scientists dont always agree about what the dead are saying. And then sometimes another find comes along with a different version of the story that changes everything.
A hundred years ago archaeologists were adventurers with a splash of scientist in their blood. They were driven to find things from the past—grand things, like treasures and kings. In the last century archaeology has changed dramatically. Todays archaeologists are scientists first and foremost. They are driven to find out about things from the past—often ordinary things belonging to ordinary people.
These are the tales of four ordinary people—four hominins who lived long before recorded history.
"An absorbing introduction to anthropological facial reconstruction . . . Impressive and fascinating."
and#8212;Kirkus, starred review
"Deem's writing is riveting and his research deep."
and#8212;Booklist, starred review
"Clear prose, pleasing layout, and crisp photographs combined with subject matter rarely explored in history books make this book an excellent choice for most collections."
and#8212;School Library Journal, starred review
"A strong choice for independent reading, this will also be a boon to social studies and science teachers in search of classroom readalouds."
and#8212;The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
When aand#160;centuries-old skeletonand#160;is unearthed,and#160;scientists rely onand#160;specialized artists to reconstruct a forgotten face of the past.
Once, no humans lived on the continent of North America; then they began to journey, the first migrants arriving perhaps 15,000 to 20,000 years ago. and#160; When a skeleton from long-ago centuries is discovered, scientists want to study it for information about the personand#8217;s life and death, about her or his time and place in history. Sometimes artists are asked to reconstruct faces from the past using copies of their skulls. Then these nameless, unknown people can be "brought back to life"--remembered, and honored.
Now, when their skeletons are discovered, their stories can be told.
About the Author
James M. Deem is the author of numerous books for young readers, including 3 NB of Julian Drew, Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Rediscovery of the Past, and Faces From the Past. Mr. Deem lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona.