The Skull in the Rock: How a Scientist, a Boy, and Google Earth Opened a New Window on Human Origins (Library Binding)

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"A fascinating account of an Indiana Jones–style fossil hunter and how his discoveries have changed the way we see human evolution." —Kirkus Reviews

In 2008, Professor Lee Berger--with the help of his curious 9-year-old son--discovered two remarkably well preserved, two-million-year-old fossils of an adult female and young male, known as Australopithecus sediba; a previously unknown species of ape-like creatures that may have been a direct ancestor of modern humans. This discovery of has been hailed as one of the most important archaeological discoveries in history. The fossils reveal what may be one of humankind's oldest ancestors.

Berger believes the skeletons they found on the Malapa site in South Africa could be the "Rosetta stone that unlocks our understanding of the genus Homo" and may just redesign the human family tree.

Berger, an Eagle Scout and National Geographic Grantee, is the Reader in Human Evolution and the Public Understanding of Science in the Institute for Human Evolution at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.

The focus of the book will be on the way in which we can apply new thinking to familiar material and come up with a breakthrough. Marc Aronson is particularly interested in framing these issues for young people and has had enormous success with this approach in his previous books: Ain't Nothing But a Man and If Stones Could Speak.

Berger's discovery in one of the most excavated and studied areas on Earth revealed a treasure trove of human fossils--and an entirely new human species--where people thought no more field work might ever be necessary. Technology and revelation combined, plus a good does of luck, to broaden by ten times the number of early human fossils known, rejuvenating this field of study and posing countless more questions to be answered in years and decades to come.



Releases simultaneously in Reinforced Library Binding: 978-1-4263-1053-9 , $27.90/$32.00 Can

About the Author




Marc Aronson is the award-winning author of a wide variety of nonfiction works for younger readers, including Sir Walter Ralegh and the Quest for El Dorado, which received the first Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award. He edits and publishes young adult fiction in a special arrangement with Candlewick and lives with his wife and two sons in Maplewood, New Jersey. For more information visit www.marcaronson.com.

Praise For…


CCBC's Book of Choice 2013!  

Winner of The American Association for the Advancement of Science/Subaru Science Books & Films Prize for Excellence in Science Books!

“Adding to a heap of impressive recent books about old bones, The Skull in the Rock provides a dual picture of science being practiced in all its current high-tech glory.”   —The Washington Post

"A fascinating account of an Indiana Jones–style fossil hunter and how his discoveries have changed the way we see human evolution." —Kirkus Reviews

“… a fine pairing of an impassioned personality and scientific achievement.” —School Library Journal

"Slim, enticing and totally accessible, this is a book that will open eyes to the world around us and, perhaps, inspire a whole new generation of “Indies.”" —Bookends, a Booklist Blog

"The co-authors have given this photo- and imagined paintings-filled volume a fun, hands-on flavor by providing a number of series of captioned photos that demonstrate scientific processes utilized in the searching and evaluating of these new fossils." —A Book and a Hug

"The fossils Berger discovered reveal what may be one of humankind’s oldest ancestors. The find has been hailed as one of the most important archaeological discoveries in history." —Niagara Falls Review

"The focus of the book will be on the way in which we can apply new thinking to familiar material and come up with a breakthrough. Marc Aronson is particularly interested in framing these issues for young people and has had enormous success with this approach in his previous books." GSWNY MLK Troop #30294

Product Details
ISBN: 9781426310539
ISBN-10: 1426310536
Publisher: National Geographic Society
Publication Date: October 23rd, 2012
Pages: 64
Language: English