In some parts of Indonesia, people bury their babies in living tree trunks. In the Amazon rain forest, the Yanomami dead are burned, crushed, and then eaten. Today in Ghana, people bury their dead in coffins shaped like cars, fish, and other animals. People around the world view death in many different ways, and National Geographic editor Christopher Sloan's Bury the Dead examines what ancient burial sites in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas reveal about varying cultural perspectives on death and life after death. Sections such as Why People Bury Their Dead, The First Burials, Egypt Prepares for the Afterlife, Golden Tombs of the Amazons, and Ghost Soldiers of the Emperor discuss ancient burial secrets that cast new light on modern burial practices. Packed with vivid color photographs, timelines, artful illustrations, helpful maps, a bibliography, and an index, this riveting, clearly presented book is sure to fascinate budding archaeologists, anthropologists, and cultural historians. (Ages 10 to 14) --Karin Snelson
From School Library Journal
Grade 5-9-An exceptionally handsome book on a macabre topic. The lucid text discusses the why of funeral rites and internment and then presents a vista of burials, beginning with the shadowy reaches of far prehistory through the colorful tombs of ancient Egypt, the golden graves of the Scytho-Siberians, the horde of clay warriors surrounding the tomb of the first Qin emperor, and the caparisoned grave of the Moche Lord of Sip ne Peru. The author closes with an investigation into more modern burial practices and speculates on what they may reflect about our relatively recent cultures, with a note on offending ethnic groups when ancient burial sites are disturbed for research. Formal in tone, the book includes location maps; a time line; colorful diagrams; realistic artwork; and an array of clear, color photos (some may find that the close-ups of mummies, fleshless skulls, and other mortal remains make them queasy). For those who have been fascinated with such dynamic titles as James M. Deem's Bodies from the Bog (Houghton, 1998), Donna M. Jackson's The Bone Detectives (Little, Brown, 1996), and Johan Reinhard's Discovering the Inca Ice Maiden (National Geographic, 1998), this title will prove irresistible.
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Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.