The following books were reviewed by teachers participating in Eisenhower Professional Development and Elementary and Secondary Education Act Title II grants.
Title: Felix Travels Back in Time
Authors: Annette Langen & Constanza Droop
Publisher: Abbeville Kids
ISBN number: 0-7892-0002-3
Publication date: 1995
Grade levels: pre-K-3
Submitted by: Ruth DeJarlais
This book is about a stuffed rabbit named Felix that disappears from his owner (a young girl named Sophie) while she is on a school field trip at a museum. Felix sends letters home to Sophie from 6 different time periods and locations beginning with the Stone Age (15,000 B.C.) and ending with the Native Americans living in 1650 A.D. He also travels to the world of the ancient Greeks, a Viking town, the Middle Ages, and the Far East before safely returning to Sophie. The six letters as well as the big wall chart timeline spark an interest in our fascinating inheritance of the past.
Although this book does not delve deeply into the topic of archaeology I believe it is one that primary teachers could use to "kick-off" a lesson or unit on the subject. Early on in the book Sophie’s Grandma explains to her that there are scientists who have gone to places where great cities stood, and they dug up and pieced together ancient objects, from cups to buildings. This could be a great lead into a discussion/study of what archaeologists do. The letters could be used to also provoke discussion on how we learned about the people that lived in that particular time period and location. Students could make predictions about what kinds of things might have been found and compare that with what’s been written, etc. Students might also use the letters as models for writing their own letters from another time period based on research they might do! (In this case older students might also benefit from the book.)
Title: Mummies, Bones and Body Parts
Title: The House on Maple Street
Author: Bonnie Pryor
Publisher: Mulberry/ William Morrow and Co.
ISBN number: 0-688-1231-8
Publication dates: 1987/1992
Grade levels: 2-4
Submitted by: Ilene Pavelko
The House on Maple Street is a picture book that may prompt students to ask the question, "Who was here before me?" The story progresses from 300 years ago to the present. Early on, a young boy - we are led to believe a Sioux from the illustrations – loses an arrowhead. Years later at the same spot, a young pioneer girl finds it but loses it, along with a china tea cup, down a rabbit hole. Both are found together by the present day residents of 107 Maple Street. The story concludes: "Someday perhaps their children will play with the tiny treasures and wonder about them, too." Along with the text, the illustrations by Beth Peck depict the manmade changes to the land over the years.
This book can be used as a read aloud. Young listeners will be drawn in by the intriguing theme. Unfortunately, the pictures are somewhat dusky, so viewing is best done by having kids gather in closely. The book could be passed around later for closer inspection of detail. On-line reviews are mixed, but I used this with my 4th grade successfully. It helped to get them thinking about their own homes, the changing of hands through the years, and wondering about the Native Americans who occupied the land before them.
Title: Culture Smart!
Author: Susan Rodriguez
Publisher: Prentice Hall, A Simon and Schuster Company
ISBN number: 0-13-145863-9
Publication date: 1999
Grade levels: 2 -12
Submitted by: Judy Berdan
Culture Smart! is a wonderful resource for any classroom. The book uses art to teach the rich cultural diversity of our planet while introducing students to 10 different regions of the world. One hundred and twenty hands-on art projects, maps, 40 slides and over 500 line drawings and photographs of professional and student work is at your disposal along with reproducible patterns and design pages for art reference and background on the art and history of each culture. The section on Native America provides you with an overview of the tribal societies of the Southwest, the Great Plains, Northwest Coast, Canada and the Arctic.
An introduction, "To Know The Art Of…" provides you with essential cultural information of the people you will study. Your students can create clay storyteller figures of the Cochiti Pueblo tribe, a winter count "hide" made from brown butcher paper of the Plains culture, a dreamcatcher from the Ojibwa people of the Great Lakes and even a Chilikat Dance Blanket…just to name a few of the activities. I myself have used the "Winter Count" project with my students (grades 3-8). The lesson engaged them from start to finish as they prepared their "hide" to tell the story of a year in the life of their tribe - without words, only pictures.
The very essence of archaeology is the connection we have to the people who have gone before us; who left no written records of who they were and what they accomplished. What better way to experience this past than by recreating a bit of it from their art? I highly recommend this book.
Title: The All - New Amelia
Author: Marissa Moss
Publisher: First Pleasant Company Publications
ISBN number: 1-56247-840-0
Publication Date: 1999
Grade levels: 3-5
Submitted by: Ellyn Thibodeau
This book is a fictional account of a young girl named Amelia as she begins a new year of school. On the first day she notes two exciting things. First there is a new girl at school from London. Secondly Amelia finds out that she will be working on a special project with her new teacher Ms. Busby. There is a construction site near school that discovered some Native American artifacts, and Amelia’s class is going to help some archaeologists with the dig since they only have one month.
I feel this book would be a very nice introduction into the world of archaeology. They author does a nice job of covering the steps in preparing for and actually digging for artifacts. The book is set up in a journal form and does skip around a lot between the dig and Amelia’s attempts at impressing the new girl at school. I found this format entertaining and interesting.
Title: Archaeologists Dig for Clues
Author: Kate Duke
Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers, Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science Series
ISBN number: 0-06-027056-X, 0-06-445175-5 (pbk.)
Publication date: 1997
Grade levels: 3-5 as independent reading, K-2 as a reading aloud
Submitted by: Julie Welch, JoAnn Adams and Barb Moorhead
Julie Welch overview and comments:
JoAnn Adams overview and comments:
Barb Moorhead overview and comments:
Title: The Magic School Bus Shows and Tells: A
Book About Archaeology
Susan Schidell overview and comments:
Our leader, Ms. Frizzle, looks rather frazzled, with her hair in disarray. Each adventure finds her wearing clothes, shoes, and earrings that match the school bus’ destination. In addition, wherever the magic school bus goes, Ms. Frizzle will get her students (as well as the reader) to become part of the discovery process.
The Magic School Bus Shows and Tells: A Book About Archaeology:
I enjoyed this book. It explains archaeology in a way that 8-10 years olds will understand. Instead of just telling us facts about archaeology, it explains the idea behind archaeology and allows us to hypothesis with Ms. Frizzle’s class. The colorful and informative illustrations are sure to hold the interest of students, too. I especially like the way the book compares what an archaeologist does to something we all do. By having us use the higher level thinking skill of comparing, it is helping us become better thinkers and training us to be the archaeologists of tomorrow.
Julie Welch overview and comments:
The problem of the story has the main characters trying to discover what an unknown item is. The term hypothesis is introduced and the story follows the characters as they make different hypothesis and then test their theories. This is a very good explanation of experimental archaeology and was fun and easy to follow and understand.
Title: Wild Man Island
Title: How They Lived: An Ice Age Hunter
Title: Stone Age People
Series: Make it Work! History
Author: Keith Branigan
Publisher: Chicago, World Book/Two-Can
ISBN number: 0716617250
Publication Date: 1996
Grade levels: 3-7
Submitted by: Shanon Rodenberg
Sixty-three pages containing colored maps and illustrations. This book is an idea and activity book for students. The activities such as making clothes or tools would be enjoyed by 2nd – 6th grade students. The models of homes and village sites pictured in the book are great examples for any age, especially if they were constructing models.
Activities: Basic flintknapping, building a mammoth bone hut, creating clothing and jewelry, tool construction (atlatl, bow-drill), ancient art, pottery, music, communication, and rituals.
Models pictured: Paleo home site, shelters (cave, stick hut, mastodon hut, thatched houses, etc.), a central European farming village, cave drawings, early boats, late Neolithic settlement, a shrine, a burial tomb, and a excavation team on an archaeological dig.
Title: Indian Handcrafts: How to Craft Dozens of Practical Objects Using Traditional Indian Techniques
Author: C. Keith Wilbur
Publisher: Globe Pequot Press
ISBN number: 0762706619
Publication date: 2 edition, 2001
Grade levels: 3-12
Submitted by: Kathy Tulman
Indian Handcrafts, 2nd edition, is the well researched work of C. Wilbur Keith, who has written about a variety of early American history topics for children and young adults over the past two decades. This guide touches on Woodland Indian tools, toys, ornaments, shelters and clothing. It explains how each of many objects evolved, how the object was used, and what tools and materials are needed to recreate it. The illustrations are hand drawn pen and ink sketches.
I have used this book in a variety of ways with children over the years. It would be a wonderful resource for teachers and other adults who are looking to help children and young adults explore authentic American Indian tools, clothing, shelter, and more. Be certain to use the most recent edition.
Title: Archaeology for Kids - Uncovering Mysteries of the Past
Author: Richard Panchyk
Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Inc.
ISBN number: 1-55652-395-5
Publication date: 2001
Grade levels: 4-8
Submitted by: Carol Howard and Julie Knobloch
Carol Howard overview and comments:
Julie Knobloch overview and comments:
As an amateur in the field of archaeology, I found this book to be very helpful in developing a basic understanding of what archaeology is. I liked the activities that were embedded within the text. I thought they were very practical, and they gave a hands-on way of understanding and applying the material presented. I would recommend this book to any budding archaeologist, young or old.
Title: Bodies From the Past
Series: Digging Up the Past
Author: Robin Place
Publisher: Thompson Learning
ISBN number: 1568473974
Publication date: 1995
Grade levels: 4-8
Submitted by: Angie Petersen
Bodies from the Past first defines the difference between a body and a skeleton giving reasons why a body is a more valuable find for the archaeologist. Having organs to study, and sometimes even hair and clothing, the archaeologist can spend years working on one of these exceptional finds and discover an amazing amount of information about the person ranging from diet and nutrition, to class rank in the community and cause of death. Several of the most notable discoveries in the last quarter century are highlighted in two to three page articles. Coverage is given to The Ice Man of the Alps, the bodies found in Danish tree coffins, bodies from the peat bogs of Northern Europe and others. The author makes a point of describing how new technology has made it possible to recreate the original state of the body even more accurately than in the past. The reader is reminded often that the preservation of these bodies was the result of just the right combination of physical circumstances, and that archaeologists working on an ancient body can do so for only short periods of time since any prolonged exposure to air would cause the body to completely breakdown and decay. As methods and technology improve over time, more and more information about the past is being recovered from these ancient bodies.
Resources at the back of the book include a time line divided into areas of the world, a glossary and index as well as books for further reading and the addresses and phone numbers of museums in the United States with holdings that include an ancient body.
This is a fascinating read. Students, particularly those in upper elementary and middle school, will be drawn in by the format with its fairly large print, abundant white space and graphic color photographs. There is much to learn about the preservation of not only the body with its skin, hair, nails and internal organs, but also the conditions under which textiles and tools remained intact. Drawbacks would be found in the resources cited. None of the books listed for further reading were published after 1994. The phone numbers for the museums are probably inaccurate and, of course, there are no web sites listed.
Title: Buried in Ice - The Mystery of a Lost Arctic
Title: Eyewitness Books: Archaeology
Author: Dr. Jane McIntosh
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
ISBN number: 0-679-86572-1
Publication date: 1994
Grade levels: 4-8
Submitted by: Dani Hartman and Kathy Waldvogel
Dani Hartman overview and
There is a large amount of text on each page but this book could appeal to all age levels. I learned a great deal when I read this book. Upper elementary students will be drawn to the amazing photographs and will probably read picture captions only. The middle school student and teacher will find this an invaluable research tool, providing a brief overview of many branches of archaeology and igniting an interest in other branches. The Table of Contents and Index are user friendly and informative.
Kathy Waldvogel overview and comments:
Title: Indians of Wisconsin and the Surrounding Area
Author: Allen S. Hanson
Publisher: Allen S. Hanson
ISBN number: None
Publication date: 1993
Grade levels: 4-8
Submitted by: Vance Mead
By looking at the title of this book, one would conclude that its content discusses historic Indians. The title is misleading. While a good portion of this book provides information about historic Indians of Wisconsin, it does so within the context of prehistoric natives, an introduction to archaeology, and the study and collecting of artifacts. As an elementary teacher, I found this book to be an excellent resource for gaining personal understanding and for providing informed instruction of prehistoric Indians.
There are a number of characteristics that make this book a good resource. First, individual topics are laid out in short and concise chapters. Each topic, like the Paleo or Archaic cultures, is separated into chapters of two or three pages. This type of layout helps one to focus on the individual concepts or topics without getting overloaded with a huge quantity of information. Second, vocabulary words are explained within the text. The first time a term, like hafting, is used the author defines it. This aids in understanding the material and allows one to use this book without a dictionary or other reference materials. Third, the book is very user friendly. Closed, it measures eight and one half by eleven inches. This size combined with larger print and tasteful pen and ink diagrams allows the reader to locate and comprehend information quickly. Finally, Indians of Wisconsin and the Surrounding Area contains some good detailed information. Some of the topics include The Creation Story; Paleo, Archaic, Woodland and Mississippian cultures; Effigy Mounds; Pottery; and Lithics. This book also defines archaeology and describes some of the processes involved with this field of study. Some of the ethics of collecting and the laws regarding Indian graves are also broached.
It appears that Allen S. Hanson may have self-published this book for there was no ISBN number or publisher listed. Not with standing, I found copies in the Eau Claire Public Library as well as libraries in many of the surrounding communities. In the preface Allen S. Hanson stated, "This book is intended for use by students who can study topics they enjoy…. and also for the layperson with an interest in Native American history." I believe he has accomplished his goal. Allen Hanson can also add to this list teachers who are seeking a comprehensive resource that is easy to read and understand.
Title: Messages on Stone
Authors: William Michael Stokes and William Lee Stokes
Publisher: Stratum Publishing Co.
Publication date: 1992 out of print
Grade levels: 4-8
Submitted by: Paula Charron
Note: This book is no longer in print!
Messages on Stone is a very simple book and a good resource if you want to know more about Native American Rock Art from the western states. This book has rock art symbols and images illustrated in alphabetically groupings such as birds, hunting, reptiles, warfare and so on with an explanation of why these images might have been made and what they tell us about the ancient people. The authors explains how pictographs and petroglyphs were painted, carved or etched and how weathering and erosion has affected their state of preservation. I thought the authors could have done a better job explaining how they had come to some of their interpretations such as symbols thought to have mystical religious significance. It is a good resource showing exact illustrated replicas of western rock art, the location and possible meanings.
Title: North American Indians
Author: David Murdoch
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley
ISBN number: 0-7894-9808-1
Publication date: 2000
Grade levels: 4-8
Submitted by: Daniela Larkin
This book shows different artifacts from different tribes of the North America. I like the details that it shows and the information that is presented with each artifact. The book also includes information about the three sisters, religious artifacts, and a look at the types of homes that the tribes had. This book also tells a little about the religious beliefs.
Title: Painters of the Caves
Painters of the Caves is a beautiful book showing how art tells a story and spans time linking us to people of the prehistoric past. Lauber begins with a terrific explanation of the time know as the ice age. She weaves a picture of the climatic condition of ice building up, flowing, the earth warming again and finally the melting floods that bring life back to the land. The reader truly gets a great picture of the vastness of time as well as where humans fit into this timeline. She writes about the early modern humans and the major advances that took place 40,000 years ago in regards to tool making, the understanding of animal migration and new uses of fire. She suggests that the early moderns had developed a very successful way of life that perhaps gave them time for leisure and art making. The idea comes across that art making must have held great meaning for the early moderns as it took great efforts to paint on the ceilings and walls of these very deep, dark caves. She not only explains what was painted and how, but beautifully connects the clues found in the art works with reasons why the art might have been made. She also helps the reader see how the archaeologist gains insight about the lives of these early humans through the examination of the art in CONTEXT to what else was found at the site. She takes the reader through a very descriptive scenario of how a young person might have been taken to the cave to learn about their history and beliefs. She finishes her book with a picture of how life changed after the ice age and how great paintings of the caves were lost to time until discovered in most recent times.
Title: A Slice Through a City
Author: Peter Kent
Publisher: The Millbrook Press, Inc.
ISBN number: 0-7613-0039-2
Publication date: 1996
Grade levels 4-8
Submitted by: Carol Howard
Detailed cross-sections show a European city (perhaps London) from the Stone Age to the twentieth century, including the structures which are raised and torn down, the people who inhabit the city, and an accumulating underground collection of artifacts. This is a great book. Besides showing the accumulating layers and having lots of interesting detail on every page, there is a family which appears in a Waldoesque fashion during every age. While searching for the family, you find many more details to look at. There are also interesting pieces of information on every age. For example: Blue tattoos-the people of the Iron Age painted or tattooed themselves with intricate swirling patterns drawn with a blue vegetable dye called woad. The introduction gives a clear picture and explanation of strata. The work of archaeologists in briefly explained.
Title: Stone, Bones, and Petroglyphs: Digging into Southwest Archaeology
Author: Susan E. Goodman
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
ISBN number: 0-689-81121-7
Publication date: 1998
Grade levels: 4-8
Submitted by: Ellyn Thibodeau and Jerry Schwarz
Ellyn Thibodeau overview and comments:
The author did a nice job of dividing the book into six sections covering the past, preparing for the dig, digging into the past, and experiential learning. Throughout the chapter there are one page excerpts entitled "Why Did They Leave?" These each cover a different theory about why the original people may have left, and I feel really get the reader thinking. On the final "Why Did They Leave", they tie all of the theories together.
This book would be a good resource for helping to interest young people in the field of archaeology. The reading was interesting and not too difficult, and the photographs were colorful and informative.
Jerry Schwarz overview and comments:
I found this book to be informative and entertaining. This would be an appropriate text to use in the introduction of archaeology with intermediate students. There are several colorful photographs that show examples of artifacts and the process of archaeology. One puzzling aspect of the book is that the title makes reference to petroglyphs, yet very little is said about the interpretation or significance of them. The Crow Canyon website appears to be a good resource for the classroom as an introduction to archaeology.
Title: The Young Scientist Book of Archaeology
Alternate title: The Usborne Young Scientist Archaeology
Authors: Barbara Cork and Struan Reid
Publisher: Usborne Publishing
ISBN number: 088110-2202
Publication date: 1984
Grade levels: 4-8
Submitted by: Elizabeth Sullivan
This book describes the work of Archeologists. It describes the archeologist as a detective from the past and how he/she uses clues from the past as evidence in his/her work. It describes how evidence is "pieced" together using pottery, burials and bodies, animal and plant remains, buildings and writing. The book also describes how archeologists preserve the past as well as how they determine which objects uncovered are fakes or copies.
The author did a nice job of dividing the book into all of the different aspects of archaeology. There are many headings within the pages that will help students find the information they are looking for. The illustrations will help students and make the book more "user friendly" for fourth and fifth grade students, even though the content appeals through the eighth grade. Examples were given for all topics and detailed in the illustrations.
This book would be a good resource for helping young people to get an overall picture of the field of archaeology. The text may be somewhat difficult for fourth and fifth graders, but the pictures that are included make the book usable at these levels. The headings will help young readers find information and give main ideas.
A teacher could also use this book to teach the parts of a book as it has a Table of Contents, Title page, Glossary, and Index. This makes the book cross-curricular.
Title: Archaeology - Kingfisher Knowledge
Title: The Atlas of Archaeology-The Definitive Guide to the Location, History and Significance of the World's Most Important Archaeological Sites and Finds
Authors: Mike Aston and Time Taylor
Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing
ISBN number: 0-7894-3189-0
Publication date 1998
Grade levels: 4-12
Submitted by: Carol Howard
This is a beautiful and intriguing book. It moves from the hunter/gatherers through the industrial age. All world-wide sites for a particular time period are shown on a map of the world. Each period is illustrated with photographs of the artifacts found at each site. The artifacts are captioned. A detailed, full-color drawing of the site as it would have appeared originally is included. Photographs also show archaeologists at work. Their techniques are explained. Site evidence and the conclusions drawn are given for each site. The book also contains a gazetteer, glossary, and index. The maps are clear and easy to read. Although aimed at an older audience, this book is formatted much like the Eyewitness series.
Title: Mapping Wisconsin History: Teacher’s Guide and Student Materials
Authors: Wisconsin Cartographers’ Guild and Bobbie Malone
Publisher: The State Historical Society of Wisconsin (SHSW)
ISBN number: 0-87020-318-5
Publication date: 2000
Grade levels: 4 -12
Submitted by: Jim Tellstrom
I discovered this wonderful teaching resource while browsing at the State Historical Society of Wisconsin booth at the Wisconsin Education Association Council’s convention during the fall of 2000. I had previously purchased the best Wisconsin atlas that has been published, Wisconsin’s Past and Present: A Historical Atlas by the Wisconsin Cartographers’ Guild. This atlas is an outstanding overall informational resource for anyone teaching Wisconsin social studies.
Mapping Wisconsin History: Teacher’s Guide and Student Materials is a product of the SHSW Office of School Services effort to make the aforementioned historical atlas materials more teacher friendly and appropriate for use in the intermediate through high school classroom.
Mapping Wisconsin History contains eight thematic chapters spanning from the time of the Paleo-Indians, Wisconsin’s first people, to the present. Meaningful map exercises and concept activities provide visual and hands-on learning experiences derived from the maps and content materials contained in Wisconsin’s Past and Present: A Historical Atlas. The second chapter of Mapping Wisconsin History… is entitled "Native Americans." Featured are teaching maps and materials focused on the archaeology of Early Cultures, Effigy Mound Culture, and Rock Art. The remaining thematic chapters are Chapter 1-Landscape; Chapter 3-Migration and Settlement; Chapter 4-Cities and Counties; Chapter 5-Mining and Shipping; Chapter 6-Timber; Chapter 7-Agriculture; and Chapter 8-Transportation and Industry.
Other great teacher friendly features are the copy ready black-and-white maps that correspond with colorful and most importantly, ready-to-use, overhead transparency maps. All the maps are drawn to the same scale and can be overlapped to project multiple maps at one time.
The lessons and student materials contained in Mapping Wisconsin History: Teacher’s Guide and Student Materials nicely translates vast amounts of information contained in the Wisconsin’s Past and Present: A Historical Atlas. I believe both of these resource can help teachers foster awareness, understanding, and appreciation of our state’s rich archaeological past.
Title: The Mildenhall Treasure
The Mildenhall Treasure is true story of the greatest find of ancient Roman artifacts in the history of Great Britain. A farmer by the name of Butcher was hired to plow a field for a man named Ford at the start of WWII. While plowing Butcher makes the discovery and the story of how Ford manages to take the treasure is told throughout the book. This story gives the account of the Mildenhall Treasure as well as details of Britain's laws regarding archeological discoveries within Great Britain.
The Mildenhall Treasure was originally published in 1977 as a story in The Saturday Evening Post . In 1999 it was updated to include illustrations by Ralph Steadman. The first chapter of the book tells the story of how Ronald Dahl, in the year 1946, talked to Butcher and Ford. This is a wonderful book for catching the interest of students because of the wonder of finding lost treasure. It also has a good focus on the laws of archeology and the dilemma that individuals go through after encountering artifacts.
Title: The Romance of Wisconsin Place Names
Title: The Young Oxford Book of Archaeology
Author: Norah Moloney
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN number: 0-19-910067-5
Publication date: 1997
Grade levels: 4-12
Submitted by: Mike Johnson
This book starts out with an explanation of what archaeology is. It talks about the different misconceptions that most people have about archaeology such as the risk and adventure seen on TV. The book discusses how archaeologists use physical evidence to make assessments about certain people. What they look for and understand from items such as pottery sherds, stone artifacts, bones, other invertebrate animals, plants, and animals. Laying out sites for excavation and how other technology such as aerial photography can lend a helping hand. There is a real methodology to excavation and this book does in my opinion a good job of helping students and teachers understand it. Finally the last part of the first section deals with dating artifacts. It explains several methods archaeologists have to date various objects. Probably the most interesting though is the radioactive carbon dating (C-14) and Potassium-argon dating (K-Ar). The book does a nice job of relating the two.
The second half of the book is a good resource for teachers and students on various events throughout history. It discusses how archaeologists have helped in the understanding of life as far back as 3.8million years ago. Highlighted in this section are various cultures that thrived in various parts of the world and some structures that are still misunderstood. A social studies teachers guide to civilizations through the eyes of the archaeologist makes this book a great resource for any classroom. Topics such as Pompeii, Stonehenge, Egypt, Vikings and even the ancient Olympics are explained in detail within this last section of the book. It jumps around to many famous places and events which makes this a good source for many classrooms, not just the sixth grade classroom or the seventh. This book covers many topics and I found it not as a cover to cover read necessarily but a place to go for answers to many questions.
Title: Digging up the Past
Author: Carollyn James
Publisher: Franklin Watts: New York
ISBN number: 0531108783
Publication date: 1990 Out of print
Grade levels: 5-7 as independent reading, 3-7 as read aloud
Submitted by: Shanon Rodenberg
Note: This book is no longer in print!
This is a fictional story of an archaeological adventure. Two boys find an old farm garbage site (1800’s). With the help of one of their mothers, an archaeologist, they try to determine what significance this historic late 1800’s farm site has on a small town. They also find a Native American fire pit but don’t go into much detail about it. The book follows archaeological procedures and process. I am impressed with the discussion of cataloging and storing of artifacts. It contains nice illustrations to show the tools and procedures.
This book is a good read aloud for 3-8th grade. The story does get a little dry at times. A fifth or sixth grader could read this easily with a few explanations of technical processes. It also contains a glossary of archaeological terms.
Title: Native American Rock Art: Messages from the Past
Author: Yvette La Pierre
Publisher: Thomasson-Grant, Inc.
ISBN number: 1-56566-064-1
Publication date: 1994
Grade levels: 5-8
Submitted by: Dani Hartman
Native American Rock Art is a book that provides a basic overview of rock art found in the United States. Topics discussed include the differences between petroglyphs and pictographs, dating rock art, materials used to make rock art, and how to preserve current sites. Much controversy surrounds interpretation of rock art, especially when there is no other contextual evidence found nearby to help provide clues. Many times, however, archaeologists have found artifacts near rock art that help provide clues to past cultures. There is a focus on the southwestern part of the United States and the conclusions that scientists have been able to draw with the help of rock art as a historical record.
I like that this book provides a basic overview of rock art and many of the materials used to produce it. At the end of the book, specific rock art sites are listed for 26 states that people could go and visit. There is a user friendly glossary at the very end that I also thought was good. The best part about this book is the connection a classroom teacher could make between science and art. Students would be very interested in creating their own petroglyphs and pictographs and would enjoy the science behind what materials were used from nature to produce the actual art work. This book lends itself well to integration with the arts and would also be a way to enrich students interested in this topic.
Title: Stones and Bones! How Archaeologists Trace
Title: Adventures in Archaeology
Author: Tom McGowen
Publisher: Twenty-First Century Books
ISBN number: 0-8050-4688-7
Publication date: 1997
Grade levels: 5-12
Submitted by: Jeff Hansen
Adventures in Archaeology tells about the history of archaeology through time and how it has evolved and progressed. An interesting fact stated in the book is that the science of archaeology began during the Renaissance Period and it was around this time that people started to discover that animals and humans inhabited the earth before them. The book also defines three main periods that can be used to organize the past: the Stone age, Bronze age, and Iron age. Next, the book breaks things down into several types of archaeological sites such as Lost Cities, Vanished Empires, Tombs, Graves, Bones, and Bodies. Within each category it then gives examples of actual archaeological finds that are on record and shares some background information on each. A couple of well known examples are the Mayan ruins and the mummies of Egypt.
This book does a great job of showing the "big picture" of archaeology as well as providing a great resource for information regarding some of the better known archaeological finds. This detailed information would prove to be a great resource for any classroom as well as offering research information that would be related to many Social Studies topics. The text does get a bit complex, but it would still be appropriate for middle school students.
Title: Motel of the Mysteries
Author: David Macaulay
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
ISBN number: 0395284252
Publication date: 1979
Grade levels: 5-12
Submitted by: Debra Buswell
The book, Motel of the Mysteries is a great spoof on the Howard Carter discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamon. It is a quick fiction read which shows the demise of the Usa culture. An amateur archaeologist, Howard Carson and his assistant, Harriet Burton make many observations with hilarious inferences.
This book would be most appropriate for middle school students, although it could be adapted for elementary and high school students. I could see this book as an excellent interest hook. I plan to use this book in the following manner. I will initially begin with observations and inferences. We will than view "The Treasures" from the Motel of the Mysteries after reading about the find by Carson. We will then do a garbage study and make some inferences from the observations and then discuss the misconceptions we can arrive at due to our personal bias. This will be background knowledge for the study of pre-European cultures.
This is a great book for students to understand that inferences aren’t always right. We must always remind ourselves that our attitudes together with objects we are familiar with introduce bias into our reconstructions of the past.
Title: Archaeology: Life Digging Up Artifacts
Author: Holly Cefrey
Publisher: Rosen Central, The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., New York
ISBN number: 0-8239-3963-4
Publication date: 2004
Grade levels: 6-8, middle school
Submitted by: Carol Valenta
This is a book that is part of a series of career books (extreme careers). It starts with a reference to the character Indiana Jones in the archaeological adventure movies. It explains that archaeologists may go to exotic places, may teach at Universities, and do look for and find artifacts, but that is the extent of the similarities. Right after that it goes into a section on the risks of being an archaeologist, from working in caves to being exposed to molds, fungi and germs. It talks about the possibility of health problems after underwater archaeology, and chemicals used to clean artifacts. The next section begins to talk about the rewards of being an archaeologist. This section starts with what you might be doing on a dig. It discusses the careful documentation that must be done, and how slow you need to go in order to preserve the artifacts. But then, you make a find, and it is all worth it and exciting. The book next relates the history of archaeology. A new chapter explains the four main parts of archaeology: cultural archaeology, physical archaeology, linguistic archaeology, and archaeology. Next it jumps to how an archaeologist finds out what life was like in prehistoric and historic times. How sites to dig are determined follows. It compares finding a site from an ancient time to someone uncovering one of our dumps a long time in the future. Field equipment is listed, but rather than an explanation of what it is used for, it is to tell how heavy the things are that you might have to carry in to a dig site. You may have to live outside in primitive conditions, and will have to stoop, sit and work for long periods of time. The page after this describes how underwater archaeology began with Jacques-Yves Cousteau in the 1940's. Then there is a section about how sites are sometimes found by accident and gives some examples. It also explains the survey process and some things that you look for to try to determine if there is a site to dig. We jump back to underwater archaeology and the equipment used. It discusses the documentation that must be done since the actual excavation site is destroyed. As the excavation is done in an orderly way, with a grid system for record keeping, it describes stratigraphy. The book then details what people can learn from archaeological sites, and what happens to the artifacts that are found. It ends with an explanation of what education is needed to become an archaeologist, the salary range (LESS THAN A TEACHER!) and ways to find out more about archaeology and how to become one. There is a glossary, a list of archaeology organizations, a list for further reading, a bibliography and an index. There are also numerous "sidebars" throughout the book with interesting facts and ideas. Photographs, which average one every two pages, are extensively labeled.
While the information given is good, I found it very hard to follow this book. There are so many sidebars and photos, that sometimes you have to jump several pages before the text continues. I found I was distracted by the sidebars, which have interesting facts in them. The topic jumps around all the time, instead of finishing one thing before going on to the next. If I had trouble following it, and I am an adult with a high reading level, I can't imagine how a middle school student would wade through this. It wouldn't take long before the student gives up on the text and just starts looking at the pictures! The sidebars are very interesting, but are too distracting. This book would be a lot better had the format be better thought out. I would not recommend this book. If I started reading it as a potential student of archaeology, I would be discouraged about being an archaeologist before I ever got to the "rewards" section of the book. The text is also short sentences, very "choppy." There are a lot of "big words" in this book because of the topics, and I am wondering if sentences were shortened to give it a lower readability label. At first I thought that this might be a good supplemental "text" to use in class. I like the idea, but this would not be an easy resource to use.
Title: Archaeology Smart, Jr.: Discovering History’s Buried
This book tells how archaeologists find and study the clues that tell us all about the prehistoric eras. It does that through a story format in which Beauregard, a talking cat, and his three friends, Barnaby, Bridget, and Babette find a bag full of ancient artifacts stolen by the evil Dastardly Looter and must try to return them to their proper times and places. They do this with the help of a time machine while being chased by the thief and his dog. Their stops on this adventure include the Eagle Mesa Field School in southwest Colorado, eastern Africa (where Mary Leakey and her team excavated), the Innsbruck Institute for Forensic Medicine, Stonehenge (England), the Mesa Site in Alaska, and the Imperial City in Alexandria, Egypt.
Some of the best features of this book are the "Activities" sections following each chapter, the extensive Glossary, and the "Internet Resources in Archaeology" listed at the back of the book. There is also a lengthy bibliography that indicates the author used many references to help with the accuracy of details in the book as well as obtaining the most current information on the topic. The "Activities" sections include vocabulary lists, a variety of topics for further discussion, ideas for student projects, as well as six quizzes reviewing the contents of the book. I think many teachers would find this an excellent resource for an introduction to and overview of the science of archaeology. It also shows how this field is related to many others – anthropology, ethnology, etc.
Title: Early Humans, Interdisciplinary Thematic Unit
Title: The Archaeology of North America
Title: Dig This, How Archeologist Uncover our Past
Title: Archaeology, the Definitive Guide
Author: Paul G. Bahn, consultant Editor
Publisher: Barnes and Noble
ISBN number: 0 7607 4085 2
Publication date: 2003
Grade levels: 7-12
Submitted by: Sherry Newell
The book attempts to provide a new learner with a one stop shopping resource for information about Archaeology. It starts with a user’s guide, includes a very readable timeline, provides history of the science, defines terms, methods, explains some prominent theories and ends with overviews of some prominent past civilizations. The book is good to look at and has a very good feel. It is in paperback and is about the size of a study bible. It is printed on medium weight paper; all pictures are in color. The typeface is small and light, but sharp and not crowed on the page. I chose the book for all of the above reasons. I plan to use it in my classroom and well as a family resource. The price was about $13.00 dollars. Makes a very nice gift.
Title: Treasure in a Cornfield, The Discovery and Excavation of the Steamboat Arabia
Author: Greg Hawley
Publisher: Paddle Wheel Publishing, Kansas City, MO
ISBN number: 0965761258
Publication date: 1998
Grade level: 7-12
Submitted by: Tim Sprain
The steamboat Arabia was sunk by a submerged log on the Missouri River in 1856. All passengers survived with the exception of a mule that was tied to the boat; the 220 ton of cargo also survived. The Missouri River changed course several times throughout the late 1800’s burying the steamboat under a cornfield. Several individuals unsuccessfully attempted to stake claim on the merchandise. That is, until the Hawley family researched, excavated and preserved the precious cargo in the 1990’s. This book tells the whole story of one families dream and treasure.
The story is incredible and is unique enough to fascinate students with the process of archeology. It also focuses a lot on the research and money that is required to do a good job of finding and documenting archeological sites. The collaboration between the Hawley’s and all other parties involved is a good example for students to be able to understand the time and effort that is needed to recover artifacts properly.
Title: Indian Mounds of Wisconsin
Authors: Robert A. Birminham and Leslie E. Eisenberg
Publisher: The University of Wisconsin Press
ISBN number: 0-299-16874-3
Publication date: 2000
Grade levels: 8-12
Submitted by: Devery Quandt
No book of this scope has been written for almost 150 years. It is an important up-to-date survey of mounds in Wisconsin. It is estimated that between 15,000 and 20,000 of these earthworks could be found when the first European and American explorers and settlers arrived.
This book is quite a find! It is extremely informative and covers the initial mystery of the mounds, the ongoing speculation about who built them, and describes and documents mounds built mainly by the Woodland and Mississippian Cultures and very early in the Oneota culture. The authors unravel the mound building traditions in chronological order. Starting with the mystery, speculation, and ongoing excavations to find out who the mound builders were.
They proceed to describe the early mound builders (Early and Middle Woodland Stages), the Effigy Mound Builders (Late Woodland Stage ), the Temple Mound Builders ( Mississippian Tradition ), later mound construction and use, and also cover Indian Mounds in the modern world.
The authors carefully and in colorful detail relate these findings to the Science of Archaeology and the need to confine the findings and historical perspectives to the realm of scientifically acquired facts.
Indian Mounds is a very readable book that allows for some speculation, but is based strongly upon facts and insights provided by the sciences of Archaeology, Anthropology, and Ethnology.
A background in the terminology of archaeology would be helpful to the reader-however it is so thorough in its coverage and explanations that as much as one text can be a sole source of information about this topic, it certainly delivers. It could definitely be the primary source upon which an in-depth study of the mound builders could be based.
The book includes over fifty illustrations ( drawings and photographs) featuring maps, aerial photographs, and charts that explain, enrich, and clarify the information within. It could be useful as a background information and research instrument for cataloging and categorizing mounds, artifacts, and the groups of people involved in the building process.
It contains an appendix of selected mounds open to the public in Wisconsin, notes for each chapter with additional resources, a bibliography, and an index.
Finally, this book tells a story, actually a series of stories, that correlate with archaeological evidence of past cultures, that bring into focus the development of present Native American cultures. It allows the reader to sample current issues, debates, and discussions that are present in archaeological circles concerning traditions, cultures and their interwoven connection from then, to now.
Title: A Lake Where Spirits Live: A human history of
the Midwest's most popular park
Title: Lost Civilizations: Rediscovering Ancient Sites
Through New Technology
Title: Rubbish! The Archaeology of Garbage
Authors: William Rathje and Cullen Murphy
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN number: 0816521433
Publication date: 1992
Grade levels: 8-12
Submitted by: Debra Buswell
The Garbage Project started in the year 1972. This was to be a class project in an anthropology course at the University of Arizona teaching the principles of archaeology. They started with fresh garbage, which gave them demographic precision. Much later they began studying landfills which gave them aggregate information about culture.
According to the authors, garbage comes alive when it can be viewed in the context of broad patterns that the links between artifacts and behaviors can be discovered. The basic points about garbage are:
The reason this book was purchased for our L.M.C. was because William Rathje spent a day with our students explaining the project and dispelling the myths about garbage. He explained artfully how landfills are much more static than thought. They are more apt to preserve rather than change the garbage to mulch. He also explained how we might behave differently than we really do.
What is the point? Why should you read this book? Garbage helps us understand real world issues and gives us detailed knowledge of the behavior of large groups of real people. Garbage also offers a way to investigate issues of mentality.
Title: Archaeology - Science and Its Secrets
Dawn Cisewski overview and comments:
This book was broken down into 5 sections. They were as follows:
Title: 100 Great Archaeological Discoveries