Reviews for Ancient China

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2006 Spring
Photos, maps, diagrams, and sidebars combine with an accessible text to demonstrate the roles of archaeological discoveries and scientific advancement in providing an accurate history of each ancient civilization. The thoughtful design successfully presents a bounty of information on science, religion, and culture without overwhelming report-driven readers. Reading list, timeline. Glos., ind. [Review covers these Excavating the Past titles: Mesa Verde, Ancient China, and Mesopotamia.] Copyright 2006 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

School Library Journal Reviews 2006 February

Gr 4-6 -In these handsomely designed volumes, color photographs of sites and artifacts are supplemented by detailed drawings of re-created structures and scenes from the past. Numerous sidebars provide additional information. Cartoon archaeologists in ever-changing garb at the bottom of alternate pages highlight "Did You Know?" tidbits. Mesa Verde explains how these ancient people reached North and South America using the land bridge and settled down to farm in the Four Corners area. Quigley uses the term "Ancestral Puebloans" rather than the sometimes derogatory "Anasazi" and explains why. She describes the daily lives of the people and includes current theories about why they may have abandoned this site. Activities and discoveries by the Wetherill brothers and other archaeologists as well as cultural information from modern-day people bring knowledge about the ancients up to date. This excellent title updates Caroline Arnold’s The Ancient Cliff Dwellers of Mesa Verde (Clarion, 1992). Ancient China covers the region’s history from the first single kingdom dynasty, Xia (2205 B.C.E. to 1700 B.C.E), to the conquering of China by Mongols in C.E.1279. Shuter includes a history of archaeology conducted by Westerners and by the Chinese government. Artifacts and a few well-preserved burial sites reveal lifestyles of the powerful and wealthy. Short chapters describe living conditions of the poor and of skilled workers as well. Others are devoted to the Silk Road trade routes and to the many Chinese inventions. Virginia Schomp’s The Ancient Chinese (Watts, 2004) provides biographical information on more prominent ancient Chinese as well as many more bibliographical references.-Ann G. Brouse, Steele Memorial Library, Elmira, NY

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