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WRITTEN IN BONE by Sally M. Walker Kirkus Star


Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland

by Sally M. Walker

Age Range: 12 - 15

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8225-7135-3
Publisher: Carolrhoda

Walker (Secrets of a Civil War Submarine, 2006 Sibert Award) places dedicated young CSI fans right at the elbows of forensic archeologists studying colonial-era burials in the Chesapeake Bay area. Focusing on nine graves, she explains in precise detail how scientists can draw sometimes-surprising conclusions about what these early settlers ate, where they came from and when, their age and sex, how they lived and died—all from subtle clues in the bones, the teeth, the surrounding dirt and, rarely, the sketchy historical evidence that survives. Her examples were all European except for one of African descent and range from a prominent relative of Maryland’s founder ceremoniously interred to a teenager who seems to have been hastily buried in a cellar after being beaten to death. Readers will be enticed by both the scientific detective work and by the tantalizing mysteries that remain. Based on interviews and published sources and profusely illustrated with photos of skulls and skeletons, this makes a riveting companion to Karen Lange’s 1607: A New Look at Jamestown (2007). (maps, timeline, resource lists) (Nonfiction. 12-15)