Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland

By: Sally M. Walker

How do forensic anthropologists examining colonial-era skeletons determine that one is the remains of a fourteen-year-old boy who was shot by an arrow, that another is a respected English trader, and that a third is an indentured servant who died of suspicious causes? Here is a look into how scientists use forensic evidence and historical records to identify the remains of people that have been buried in the Chesapeake region for hundreds of years. Source notes. Time line. Selected blibliography. Further reading. Index. Map. Charts. Diagrams. Full-color photographs and reproductions. A 2010 ALA Notable Children's Book.

ISBN: 9780822571353

JLG Release: Apr 2009


Sensitive Areas: None,
Topics: Skeletons , Graves , Colonial America , Forensics , Anthropology , Jamestown, Virginia , James Fort , Soil , Scientific methodology , Archaeology , Decomposition , Age , Gender , Ancestry , Conserving scientific artifacts , Carbon isotopes , Burial rituals , Indentured servants , Maryland , Religious tolerance , Lead coffins , Diseases , Dental care , Identity , African slaves , Farm labor , Facial reconstruction , Lessons from the past

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Awards & Honors

2010 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist; 2010 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, Recommended Book; 2010 ALA Notable Children’s Books, OlderReaders; ALA Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults 2010; NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2010, History/Life & Culture in the Americas: Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Books of 2009

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist*, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews*, School Library Journal*, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

Horn Book

With precise detail and meticulous description, Walker follows a forensic anthropologist and his team of scientists, historians, and archaeologists as they uncover human remains and other artifacts. Their excavations take them through a cross-section of people, from wealthy colonial leaders to indentured servants and African slaves. The book design With precise detail and meticulous description, Walker follows a forensic anthropologist and his team of scientists, historians, and archaeologists as they uncover human remains and other artifacts. Their excavations take them through a cross-section of people, from wealthy colonial leaders to indentured servants and African slaves. The book design is unified in its thoughtful use of layout, color, illustrations, and fonts. Timeline. Bib., ind.

Junior Library Guild

White teeth; straight leg bones; awkwardly contorted arm bones. On a hot summer day in 2005, Dr. Douglas Owsley of the Smithsonian Institution peered into an excavated grave at the skeletal remains of a person who had been buried there for four hundred years. “He was about fifteen years old when he died. And he was European,” Owsley concluded. White teeth; straight leg bones; awkwardly contorted arm bones. On a hot summer day in 2005, Dr. Douglas Owsley of the Smithsonian Institution peered into an excavated grave at the skeletal remains of a person who had been buried there for four hundred years. “He was about fifteen years old when he died. And he was European,” Owsley concluded.

With copious details and clear explanations that give the reader a true understanding of the processes involved, author Sally M. Walker explains how scientists are able to determine the age, sex, and ethnicity of an individual based on his or her remains. For example, certain bones are shaped differently in men and women, and individuals of distinct ethnicities tend to have differently shaped skulls. Using forensic evidence as well as information from historical sources, two individuals are even identified by name. In another case, Dr. Owsley concludes that a person died of unnatural causes. The scientists and author are careful not to jump to conclusions; the evidence is painstakingly gathered and presented convincingly.

Walker writes that she felt a “sense of awe” at touching a person who had lived and died several hundred years ago. Readers will feel similarly as they follow her investigations—they will awe at the remarkable stories the remains tell and at the skill, knowledge, and care scientists use to extract the information.

Book Details

ISBN

9780822571353

First Release

April 2009

Genre

Nonfiction.

Dewey Classification

614'.17

Trim Size

8 3/8" x 10 1/2"

Page Count

144

Accelerated Reader

Level 9; Points: 6;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 11.4; Points: 9;

Lexile

Level NC1140L

Format

Print Book

Edition

-

Publisher

Carolrhoda Books

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None,

Topics

Skeletons, Graves, Colonial America, Forensics, Anthropology, Jamestown, Virginia, James Fort, Soil, Scientific methodology, Archaeology, Decomposition, Age, Gender, Ancestry, Conserving scientific artifacts, Carbon isotopes, Burial rituals, Indentured servants, Maryland, Religious tolerance, Lead coffins, Diseases, Dental care, Identity, African slaves, Farm labor, Facial reconstruction, Lessons from the past,

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