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Written in Bones: How Human Remains Unlock the Secrets of the Dead Paperback – Mar 1 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Firefly Books (March 1 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1552976599
  • ISBN-13: 978-1552976593
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 18.1 x 1.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 590 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #588,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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First Sentence
In addition to the ongoing fascination with the peculiarities of burial ceremonies and mummification, the matter of how life was actually lived in bygone times is a compelling and informative aspect of archaeological discovery. Read the first page
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By A. Carvalho on June 26 2009
Format: Paperback
"Written in Bones" seems like a great read and it succeeds. It is not ripe with information overload but brief summaries of each case study ellicits a reader response to the ones they find most interesting. The case summaries are teasers and a broad range of topics are covered including natural and deliberate deaths, burials and mummies. The way a person is buried can provide information about that person, their society, and/or their group dyanmic. There were a few spelling and grammatical errors mid-way through the book which was a little bit distracting. Many times human remains, specifically burial sites, are the last voice the body has to tell their stories.
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Format: Paperback
Although the writing tends towards the dry and academic, I find this one of the more interesting books on physical anthropology out there. It details dozens of the most well known and important anthropological finds in history, from who killed King Tut, to the legal battle of Kennewick Man, to the brutal murders of the "bog bodies" of Western Europe during the Bronze Age, and beyond. It's extremely facinating, but with each description totalling a few pages at most, I found it almost too brief. I would have loved to been able to read an entire book on just about all the burial finds offered up in "Written in Bones", as the short synopsis of each site feels more like a teaser than a complete story. Definitely a good way to get your feet wet if you're interested in physical anthropology and don't know where to start, or as a sort-of Cliff's Notes of some of the more recognizable finds in anthropology.
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Format: Paperback
As an introductory book to archeology and anthropology, this book is without peer. It's individual case studies are detailed enough to spark interest, but short enough not to bog down in details. There are lots of color photographs so the reader can see what the writer is trying to describe. The case studies cover many different parts of the world, including some that one doesn't readily connect with archeology, and many time periods, from 1.5 million years ago to a couple of hundred years ago.
From these case studies one can begin to understand how ancient bodies are yielding their secrets to forensic science. Each case study produces more revelations. For me one of the most amazing was "The Wife of the Marquis of Dai" who died in China some 160 years before the birth of Christ. Her body is almost perfectly preserved and it has been discovered that she suffered from about 10 diseases, including tuberculosis, but that she died from a heart attack due to overeating.
I found this book a delight. I've always been impressed by the way forensic anthropologists can sample, analyze and deduce human stories from these ancient bones. This book presents the results in a very readable fashion and should help to create wider interest and understanding of this fascinating topic.
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Format: Paperback
As an introductory book to archeology and anthropology, this book is without peer. It's individual case studies are detailed enough to spark interest, but short enough not to bog down in details. There are lots of color photographs so the reader can see what the writer is trying to describe. The case studies cover many different parts of the world, including some that one doesn't readily connect with archeology, and many time periods, from 1.5 million years ago to a couple of hundred years ago.
From these case studies one can begin to understand how ancient bodies are yielding their secrets to forensic science. Each case study produces more revelations. For me one of the most amazing was "The Wife of the Marquis of Dai" who died in China some 160 years before the birth of Christ. Her body is almost perfectly preserved and it has been discovered that she suffered from about 10 diseases, including tuberculosis, but that she died from a heart attack due to overeating.
I found this book a delight. I've always been impressed by the way forensic anthropologists can sample, analyze and deduce human stories from these ancient bones. This book presents the results in a very readable fashion and should help to create wider interest and understanding of this fascinating topic.
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