Use the smaller-sized text Use the larger-sized text Use the very large text

Book Reviews

The search for and the debates about the First Americans have gone on for a very long time. Much has been said and written and the interpretations have changed as new information comes to light and we can see existing data in new ways. This is particularly true as news of the work at the very early site of Monte Verdi, Chile and the investigations and controversies involving Kennewick man have taken center stage. The following books discuss these recent investigations, the debates about them, and the controvercies that swirl around the topic of the First Americans.

Wisconsin Archaeology. Edited by R. A. Birmingham, C. I. Mason, and J. B. Stoltman, 1997. "The Wisconsin Archeologist" 78 (Number 1 and 2). This edition of "The Wisconsin Archeologist" provides the most up-to-date synthesis of Paleo-Indian communities in Wisconsin. It also provides an overview the pre- and post- contact history of the state.

Red Earth, White Lies. By Vine Deloria, 1995. Dr. Deloria provides the reader with an impassioned case for the validity of a deep time perspective in American Indian oral traditions. His account in continent wide and example filled.

Ancient Encounters: Kennewick Man and the First Americans. By James C. Chatters, 2000. In July of 1996, James Chatters received a call about some human skeletal material that was found along an eroding stream bank. For an archaeologist and biological anthropologist these calls are always exciting and always filled with anticipation. The age of the remains and the events that have transpired since Kennewick man, as the remains have come to be known, have been profound. They changed Jim Chatters' life forever and they have raised challenging new questions about the First Americans.

Repatriation Reader: Who Owns American Indian Remains? Edited by Devon A. Mihesuah, 2000. The passage of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act in 1990 set in motion the return of American Indian human remains and articles of cultural patrimony as well as protecting burials on Federal and Tribal land. The challenge has been in the implementation of the act so that both the “letter” and the “intent” of the law are carried out. This book describes the radically opposing views on the topic, the successes, the failures, and the search for the sometimes-elusive middle ground.

Riddle of the Bones: Politics, Science, race, and the Story of Kennewick Man. By Roger Downey, 2000. By Roger Downey. Mr. Downey is a journalist who writes for papers in the Seattle area. He provides an outsiders account of the facts and controversies surrounding Kennewick Man.

Skull Wars: Kennewick Man, Archaeology, and the Battle for Native American Identity. By David Hurst Thomas, 2000. D. H. Thomas provides a detailed history of archaeological thought and theory on the First Americans. He brings the story forward to the current debate over Kennewick Man providing a well written informed account of current thoughts.

Bones, Boats, & Bison: Archeology and the First Colonization of Western North America. By E. James Dixon, 1999. Dr. Dixon pulls together all of the archaeological, linguistic, and human biological evidence regarding the peopling of the Americas in this well-written and detailed account.

The First Americans: In Pursuit of Archaeology's Greatest Mystery. By James M. Adovasio and Jake Page, 2002. Dr. Adovasio provides a detailed account of the history of the search for the First Americans and his work at the Meadowcroft Rockshelter. His work and his passionate search for the First Americans has helped define the future of research on the topic.

A Forest of Time: American Indian Ways of History. By Peter Nabokov. Join Dr. Nabokov as he time travels through the America's. His sensitive reading and analysis of American Indian myths, legends, and folk tales provides a wealth of information. The book is particularly timely considering the debate about the First Americans.

  • Questions about this page? Email us
  • Email this page to a friend
select text size Use the smaller-sized textUse the larger-sized textUse the very large text