DIGGING THE PAST by Bruce Porell


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In something like the Brown Paper School tradition, this invitation to archaeology mixes smatterings of procedural and historical information with suggestions for independent activity. Disregarding such conventions as transition, Porell whisks readers from a glimpse of Haida artifacts to a note on the Black Death (never tied in) to one-page reports on Pompeii and the Dead Sea Scrolls to a list of methods of dating artifacts; finally he settles into a more obvious sequence of steps involved in a dig--finding a site, researching the location, dowsing, mapping, and so on. Short pages on Troy, tomb robberies, and the Rosetta Stone are thrown in en route, and readers are invited in passing to practice wastebasket archaeology, make their own time capsules or fossils or clay pots, and try out natural dyes (because early people used them). Everything flips by fast enough to satisfy the most restless TV-conditioned reader, and there are lots of drawings and photos to make this audience feel at home. Not a book for the serious student or the serious dreamer, but a possibly energizing resource for school-sponsored clubs or for classroom ""enrichment.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1980
Publisher: Addison-Wesley