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Nov 26th

National Geographic Investigates Ancient Africa by Victoria Sherrow with James Denbow, consultant

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"National Geographic Investigates Ancient Africa" by Victoria Sherrow with James Denbow, consultant

Like it or not, school will be starting soon. That means you're going to have to think about what you did during your summer vacation, because you know your teachers are going to ask. Will you tell them you went on vacation with your family? Or did you go camping or just hang out at home with your friends. Well, how about this: ask Mom or Dad to get you a copy of "National Geographic Investigates Ancient Africa" by Victoria Sherrow with James Denbow, consultant. That way, you can tell your teacher you went on a great scientific discovery of humankind's roots.
Like it or not, school will be starting soon. That means you're going to have to think about what you did during your summer vacation, because you know your teachers are going to ask.

Will you tell them you went on vacation with your family? Or did you go camping or just hang out at home with your friends?

Well, how about this: ask Mom or Dad to get you a copy of "National Geographic Investigates Ancient Africa" by Victoria Sherrow with James Denbow, consultant. That way, you can tell your teacher you went on a great scientific discovery of humankind's roots.

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 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. A pair of scientists learned that the ancient village they were excavating turned out to be hundreds of years older than they'd first thought!

Despite that scientists have learned many fascinating things about ancient Africa, there are still lots of questions unanswered. Why was a huge wall built in Zimbabwe, and who built it? What significance do the half-human-half-bird statues hold? And what can you do to help preserve Africa's rich cultural heritage?

Is there a budding archaeologist in your family, or perhaps a genealogist-in-the-making? Then "National Geographic Investigates Ancient Africa" will thrill your young scientist with full-color pictures of sites and new-found treasures, easy-to-understand explanations of some pretty advanced scientific theories, and even an interview with a real archaeologist.

Consultant James Denbow kicks this book off with an overview, then author Victoria Sherrow gives kids a brief but comprehensive look at ancient Africa in art, culture, and geography, as well as a timeline of historical events. There are maps in this book, as well as a very thorough bibliography. While this might be a bit of a challenge for younger children, I think kids ages 9 and up will be able to tackle this book, and grown-ups might learn a few pretty fascinating things as well.

If your child is into archaeology, ancient history, or is just curious about Africa, get to your library or bookstore and check out "National Geographic Investigates Ancient Africa." The future scientist in your house will really dig it.

"National Geographic Investigates Ancient Africa" by Victoria Sherrow with James Denbow, consultant
c.2007, National Geographic Society $17.95 / $23.95 Canada 64 pages


 

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