Sunday, July 22, 2007

Book Review: Ancient Africa (National Geographic)

Broward Times (Terr Schlichenmeyer)

Review of a book aimed at school children:

Imagine digging through the soil and finding a fossil that turns out to be the skull of an early human. Did you know that that hominid might have been your ancestor? Scientists have proven that humans can trace their origins back to Africa.

Now think of pyramids. You’ve probably got Egyptian pyramids pictured in your brain, but you might be surprised to know that there are more pyramids in Sudan than there are in Egypt. That’s because, over the centuries, Nubia sometimes ruled Egypt, and at other times, Egypt ruled Nubia. In both cases, pyramids were built to serve as tombs for important rulers.

And as you’re digging for other clues about ancient Africa, you might find some pottery shards, bones, or ancient tools. Scientists can tell how old these finds are by a carbon dating method that determines how much carbon has disappeared from an object. It’s not a foolproof method, but it has given some archaeologists a few surprises.


Anonymous said...

By reading the text describing the context of this book I understand that it's a childrens' book. Finding this in a site dealing with Egyptology is remarkable.

Andie said...

Dear L A (and anyone else reading these comments):
Yes, the book under discussion is aimed at school children. I should have made that clear. I considered it relevant because the review stresses that if children show an interest in this type of subject then this book would be a good way for them to gain access to it. Quite a big percentage of queries sent to me from visitors to the site are from older school children.
Kind regards