Mammoth Bones and Broken Stones

The Mystery of North America's First People
48p. 978-1-59078-561-4.
Gr 5—7—Harrison's clear text investigates a long-standing question: "Who came first?" in the prehistory of the Americas. Did people cross on the Beringia land bridge on foot? Did they paddle or sail their way along the Siberia/Beringia coastline to Alaska and points south? And when did they arrive? Harrison begins with the Clovis people, whose beautifully fluted flint points set an artistic standard in the prehistoric Americas (and who were the first to be brought to the attention of the modern world), and goes on to record the efforts and finds of scientists searching for the cultures that preceded them. Photographs of digs, artifacts, and scientists at work and maps and realistic illustrations offer visual enrichment to the text, and a glossary will assist novices to the subject. Harrison concludes with up-to-date archaeological information and photos of recent digs, but admits that the precise answer to "first?" is yet to be found. Similar in reading level to Patricia Lauber's handsome Who Came First?: New Clues to Prehistoric Americans (National Geographic, 2003), this intriguing addition is a solid find.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Harrison guides readers through the chronology of scientific explanations for the origins and migration of humans into North America. For each archaeological find he presents the evidence it uncovered; scientists who contributed to our knowledge of early humans are also introduced. Photographs and diagrams as well as artistic renderings of what prehistoric life may have been like illustrate the occasionally choppy text. Bib., glos., ind.

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