Skeletons speak to forensic anthropologists, the scientists who study the bones found in archaeological digs. Simply from looking at bones which have spent hundreds of years buried underground, forensic anthropologists can determine the age, sex, race, and sometimes even profession of the person to whom they belonged. By comparing to historical records the information gleaned from the bones, they may even be able to pinpoint the skeleton’s name.
Sally M. Walker describes archaeological digs in Colonial Virginia and Maryland that uncovered a number of graves from the 17th and 18th centuries. She frames her story almost as a mystery, as the scientists seek to uncover the identity of the person whose bones they have rediscovered, and she describes both the science and the history that surround their process. Written in Bone is a fascinating and engaging nonfiction story. I highly recommend this book to middle grade and teen readers who enjoy science and/or history.
If you liked Written in Bone, you might like Phineas Gage: a Gruesome But True Story About Brain Science or Extreme Scientists.