NONFICTION

Digging Deep: How Science Unearths Puzzles from the Past

116p. bibliog. chron. further reading. index. photos. Annick. Apr. 2019. pap. $14.95. ISBN 9781773212388; Tr $24.95. ISBN 9781773212395.
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Gr 6–9—Archaeology, a fascinating subject, is made more so in this slim, well-written volume that examines how advances in technology—including radiocarbon dating, DNA testing, forensics, and underwater exploration—have helped us learn more about impressive artifacts and reshaped theories about how our forebears lived. Six engaging chapters delve into archaeological discoveries from around the world and throughout time, from prehistory to several centuries ago. Scandiffio offers eye-opening information about Otzi the Iceman, the most ancient poison ever used, the "lost cities of Cambodia," two 19th-century ships buried under Arctic ice, the lost grave of Richard III, and the world's oldest-known cave paintings. Each chapter opens with a map highlighting the location of the find; provides colorful modern and contemporary photos, illustrations, numerous informative sidebars, and explanations of scientific terms; and includes a time line that places the discovery and its time period in clear historical context. Each chapter ends with an illuminating sidebar, "What we thought we knew…and what we know now," that discusses how science not only enhances archaeological knowledge and updates previously accepted notions but also clarifies that we have more in common with our ancestors, even very ancient ones, than we may have realized.
VERDICT Recommended for school and large public-library collections; best for mature, strong readers. Useful in history and science units and across the general social studies curriculum.

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