BAR 4:04, Nov/Dec 1978
Archaeology for the Young of All Ages
An archaeology series for kids teaches adults as well
The Lerner Archaeological Series is written for readers twelve and above, but like many well written books for youngsters, this series can be enjoyable and informative to adults as well.
Individual volumes are about 85 pages long and cover a single subject area, like coins, scrolls, jewelry, mosaics, pottery, pre-history, underwater archaeology, and weapons and warfare of ancient times. An introductory volume entitled Search for the Past by the late Professor Michael Avi-Yonah, takes the young reader to a typical archaeological expedition, explaining how the site was selected, how the expedition was organized and how the site is excavated. Avi-Yonah describes the grid system of digging, the careful record keeping, the registration of finds by physical location in the stratum where each was found; he discusses absolute and relative dating and how archaeologists use coins, pottery, inscriptions, and architectural features for dating purposes. He also describes important centers of civilization in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome. The volume concludes with a historical review of archaeological research, beginning with the great pioneers like Heinrich Schliemann, the discoverer of Troy; Arthur Evans, the explorer of Knossos; and William Flinders Petrie, who found that pottery could be used to date archaeological strata.