I read cozy and historical mysteries, a bit of Paranormal/UF, and to mix it up, I read science and gardening books on occasion.
Our group has chosen, and by popular vote, the book for September will be Unlocking the Past: How Archaeologists Are Rewriting Human History with Ancient DNA - Martin Jones
I've been told this is a revised and updated edition of The Molecule Hunt: Archaeology and the Search for Ancient DNA - Martin Jones
In Unlocking the Past, Martin Jones, a leading expert at the forefront of bioarchaeologythe discipline that gave Michael Crichton the premise for Jurassic Parkexplains how this pioneering science is rewriting human history and unlocking stories of the past that could never have been told before. For the first time, the building blocks of ancient lifeDNA, proteins, and fats that have long been trapped in fossils and earth and rockhave become widely accessible to science. Working at the cutting edge of genetic and other molecular technologies, researchers have been probing the remains of these ancient biomolecules in human skeletons, sediments and fossilized plants, dinosaur bones, and insects trapped in amber. Their amazing discoveries have influenced the archaeological debate at almost every level and continue to reshape our understanding of the past.
Devising a molecular clock from a certain area of DNA, scientists were able to determine that all humans descend from one common female ancestor, dubbed The Mitochondrial Eve,” who lived around 150,000 years ago. From molecules recovered through grinding stones and potsherds, they reconstructed ancient diets and posited when such practices as dairying and boiling water for cooking began. They have reconstituted the beer left in the burial chamber of pharaohs and know what the Iceman, the five-thousand-year-old hunter found in the Alps in the early nineties, ate before his last journey. Conveying both the excitement of innovative research and the sometimes bruising rough-and-tumble of scientific debate, Jones has written a work of profound importance. Unlocking the Past is science at its most engaging.
As always anyone interested is encouraged to join us.