Author: James M. Deem
Teen Reviewer: Tim Wood
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Faces from the Past: Forgotten People of North America, by James M. Deem, tells the stories of several skeletons who had lived anywhere from 1600 to 1900 years ago and whose remains were found by construction workers, archaeologists, or people who simply happened to find the final resting places of the skeletons. The faces of these people were then reconstructed and their bones were studied so that information about their lives and how they died was revealed. Just a few examples of these people are a Mexican soldier, a French sailor who traveled with Sieur de La Salle, a few slaves from Albany, and Native Americans in Virginia. Each chapter of the book tells a different story about the person, how they were found, and the details surrounding their death.
For those who like both history and archaeology, this book is a gold mine of information. There is a lot of detail in this book about what happens when a body is found and how they discover who the person really was. It also includes many historical facts as to the time period and situation that the person lived in. One thing that the author does well is that he makes the stories real and interesting. He makes the history come to life. Each story has so much detail, and he puts the reader into the time period of the person he is writing about. The detail was great for the historical aspect, but I thought the detail he put into the remaking of each historical figure's face and the techniques the archaeologists used was a bit bland at times. But for anyone interested in any kind of anthropology or history, this book is a must read.