Recent revelations from our planet’s shrinking “cryosphere.”
Preserved in ice or permafrost like “the veggies in a kitchen freezer,” artifacts and bodies both human and animal are now being discovered at an increasingly rapid pace in many parts of the world. With particular attention to finds in northern Canada and, more broadly, the northern region known as Beringia, Eamer highlights their variety—from cave lion cubs, woolly mammoths, and rotting 2,400-year-old caribou poop to a moccasin “worn and lost 1300 years ago” and an entire passenger plane that went down in Alaska in 1952 but has only since 2012 begun emerging from a receding glacier. Many of these are both chance discoveries and ephemeral, but they offer unique information about ancient times and our own histories. For human remains she includes descriptions of Ötzi (the “Iceman”) and Scythian kurgan burials in the Altai Mountains among others but devotes particular attention to Kwäday Dän Ts’ìnchi, a 200- to 300-year-old Indigenous teen found in northern Canada with, according to DNA analysis, 17 living relatives. Shannon fills in the sparse assortment of photographed artifacts and bodies with rough, generic paintings, mostly reconstructions of prehistoric scenes or images of wildlife and of researchers at work. The rare human figures visible in the painted art are nearly all light-skinned.
A wide-angled survey of the hot new field of “glacial archeology.” (timeline, resource list, index) (Nonfiction. 8-11)