How did the colonists of Jamestown and Maryland live and die? Forensic anthropology provides an incredible array of answers. Scientists can look into a grave and determine the skeleton's gender, age at time of death, nationality, and sometimes even economic standing within minutes. Laboratory studies can provide cause of death information. Once these details are known, some skeletons can even be matched with a name via the historical record.
Sibert-winning author Sally M. Walker worked side by side with archaeologists and forensic anthropologists in her research for this uniquely appealing book.
©2009 Sally M. Walker; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
“Greg Abbey’s clear delivery and conversational tone enliven this fast-paced work.” (AudioFile)
Native Californian. Knit awesome socks and mittens while listening.
This book is about scientists digging up the bones of the earliest immigrant settlers of our country, mostly people from England who died in the 1600's. It is not too scientific to capture anyone's attention. The narrator is good, but I lopped off a star because he tries to replicate the voices of scientists who are being quoted. I don't care if a scientist has a brogue or is a woman with a cute little voice. Indeed, the narrator himself doesn't seem comfortable switching into those different voices! That said, the book is endlessly fascinating in telling of how various early graves are located and respectfully opened, the bones studied, etc. The graves are given very scientific monikers, but then as Walker describes the contents and the results of tests, we begin to see real people who worked very hard, who had just arrived or who had been eating an American corn diet for some time. We know which ones were plagued by painful life-threatening rotten teeth and in most cases how they died. We find out that they were not buried in clothes because clothes were so valuable! The shrouds were held together by straight pins. The custom of wrapping babies tightly in swaddling clothes prevented their getting the Vitamin D in sunshine, and the babies suffered from rickets. One very upscale lady tried to whiten her teeth, to the great detriment of the teeth! One young man had an Indian arrowhead in his thigh! Another was probably murdered or so overworked and mistreated that he didn't have a chance in the New World. Study of bones can show great physical effort in a lifetime, whether it is a 17th Century indentured servant or a modern weight-lifter! I wonder if the book included pictures and if so, I would like to see them. One Negro girl was recreated the way some police work with bones to arrive at a good idea what she looked like. In a few cases, the researchers could make very good guesses as to the names of individuals.
This book could help a young person choose a career or at least study harder the requisite sciences. Highly recommended for a bright ten-year-old and up and up! Just way too short!
This is the type of book that deals with an interesting subject but avoids the mind numbing bibliographies. The author stays on topic and avoids sensless deviations into the personal lives of everybody and their mother who was ever involved in the topic.
My only complaint is that it was so interesting that I could not stop listening and finished it quickly.
This audio book was so boring for the first few chapters that I almost gave up on it. It got more interesting after the first few chapters but was still pretty slow.
First paged through this at the Library and picked the audio version up on sale. Awesome read and one of my favorites this year.
I liked this due to the mystery and problem solving, technical details, and personal stories told from the grave.
I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.
This is the most didactic and dull thing I've ever read. It reads like a medical examiner's first effort for a college paper. Obvious deductions with no real juice. Very dry bones here.
Ardent Audible listener with a long commute!
This is a wonderful taste of Forensic Antrhopology - a real introductory look at the science behind Kathy Reich's popular "Bones" television series. Sally M. Walker explains basic scientific terms and concepts, such as the use and importance of carbon dating clearly and understandably . The respect and caring that she, and the forensic team, show for the people they carefully and respectfully excavated. The only complaint I have is that it was over much too soon. I hope Walker has more stories to tell.
There is a forward by Walker, and I would have liked it much better if she could have done the entire narration. There were some unusual pauses in Greg Abbey's narration, perhaps the result of an editing issue; but what was really distracting was his sometimes creepy voicing of the scientists involved.
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