STEM Tuesday– Digging Up History/Archeology — Book List


This month we dig into the science of archaeology. By getting down and dirty, these scientists discover long forgotten civilizations, locate sunken ships, and solve puzzles. These books introduce readers to archaeologists and their findings and highlight how improvements in technology help make these discoveries possible.

Digging into Archaeology


Archaeological Discoveries of Ancient America by Frank Joseph
One way to understand the history of America is through examination of artifacts archaeologists uncover. This book examines the use of DNA and carbon dating to explain out of place artifacts (Viking ruins), debunk frauds, confirm lost cities, and explore the truth of our past.


Archaeology: Excavating our Past edited by Heather Moore Niver
An in-depth examination of the field of archaeology. Discusses the types, training, techniques, history, and recent discoveries. It includes sidebars of important archaeologists and their finds.



Mummies Exposed! by Kerrie Logan Hollihan
New technologies, such as such as X-ray imaging, carbon-dating, and DNS analysis, help scientists uncover fresh facts about the dead. This book explores desert mummies, ice mummies (the oldest cold case ever!), bog bodies, a princess, and mummy medical mysteries.



Two books by Lois Miner Huey who works as a historical archaeologist for the State of New York:

Forgotten Bones: Uncovering a Slave Cemetery
In 2005, the installation of a new sewer in New York became an archaeological treasure trove with discovery of a hundred-year-old skull. Follow the scientists who piece together the colonial history of a forgotten cemetery and slavery in the north.


Children of the Past: Archaeology and the Lives of Kids
Children of the twenty-first century have a lot in common with kids from long ago. Their clothes looked different and they ate different foods, but children living thousands of years ago did household chores, played with friends, and created art.

And for arrrr-chaeologists of the deep:

The Whydah: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked and Found by Martin W. Sandler
Ahoy, mateys! If ye be looking for a combination of pirate adventure and marine archaeology, this be it. The Whydah is the only pirate ship found and excavated. [Sept 19 is Talk Like a Pirate day; link:]



Modern Technology Meets the Past


The impact of technology in history and archaeology by Alex Woolf
From metal detectors to computers, technology has transformed archaeology. This book examines satellite surveys, LIDAR, SONAR, and dating techniques beyond radiocarbon that help scientists analyze artifacts and human remains.



Digging deep : how science unearths puzzles from the past by Laura Scandiffio
Examine discoveries about life in the Stone Age, lost cities, Franklin’s expedition to find the Northwest Passage, the grave of King Richard III, and ancient art. It’s cool how the stuff archaeologists discover affects the way we view history.


Archaeologists at work


Robert Ballard: Explorer and Undersea Archaeologist (Makers of Modern Science) by Lisa Yount
Ballard combined his passion for archaeology and the submersible, Alvin, to discover the RMS Titanic, Bismark, Isis (Roman Ship), and others. His work, and his mapping of the ocean floor, changed science.


Archaeology: Cool Women who Dig by Anita Yasuda
Explore archaeology through the work of three women working in the field. From historical archaeology to marine archaeology you’ll learn more about women pioneers in field research, various methods of investigation, and possible career options.



The Hero Schliemann: The Dreamer Who Dug for Troy by Laura Amy Schlitz
Quick, engrossing look at the “archaeologist” who inadvertently discovered Troy. Full of mistakes to avoid and “fake news.”



STEM Tuesday book list prepared by:

Sue Heavenrich writes about science for children and their families, from space to backyard ecology. Bees, flies, squirrel behavior—things she observes in her neighborhood and around her home—inspire her writing. A long line of ants marching across the kitchen counter generated one of her first articles for kids. When not writing, you can find her committing acts of science from counting native pollinators to monitoring water quality of the local watershed. Her most recent book is Diet for a Changing Climate (2018).


Maria is a children’s author, blogger, and poet passionate about making nature and reading fun for children. She was a round 2 judge for the 2018 & 2017 Cybils Awards. And a judge for the #50PreciousWords competition since its inception. Two of her poems are published in The Best Of Today’s Little Ditty 2016 and 2014-2015 anthologies. She is the parent of two amazing adults and lives in the Pacific Northwest with two Pixie Bob cats. When not writing, critiquing, or reading, she bird watches, travels the world, bakes, and hikes. Visit her at

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  1. Oh my gosh this is such perfect timing. I’m working on an archaeology book right now and was just finishing the “Further Reading” section. I have many of these but am adding a lot more! THANK YOU!

  2. Can’t wait to check some of these out – thank you for sharing!