This book for children brings alive our excavations at Attirampakkam. A fact and fiction series from Tulika publishers, Chennai, the book is being used by teachers and has been translated into Malayalam. To order the book contact Tulika Publishers, Chennai
On Involving local people in community archaeology...
A little book from India targeting 7-10 year old children does this wonderfully well. The Shining Stones by Shanti Pappu is didactic, and not afraid to tackle the very distant past: not the archaeology of the Indus Valley civilisation, but that of 700,000 BP or 'more than 10,000 grandafters ago!' A number of devices are used, woven together: the story of the excavation of a Lower Paleolithic site at Attirampakkam in Tamilnadu; the presentation of the finds – an Acheulean handaxe, a human tooth, the footprints of a baby elephant; life in the village (the local people are asked to 'Guard the site. Don't allow anyone to pick up stone tools from the site. All this is yours. Look after it.'); and the story of the hunter-gatherer family on the banks of the river Kortallayar which allows the present-day children to relate to remote people. Add to this a timeline of human evolution and explanations of the techniques and tools used by archaeologists. All this in 26 pages, with colour photographs from the modern village and the excavations and different styles of illustration to suit the mood of each element of the narrative. This is informative, fresh, deligtful, a lovely, even if directed, way of connecting living communities with humanity's deep past.
– March 2008, Antiquity (volume 82, no 315) New Book Chronicle
Set in a story book format, The Shining Stones, succeeds in its aim of bringing archaeology alive for children. As you browse through this book, it's like revisiting the same topics from history that you so dreaded. But this time round, you'll be surprised to find yourself smoothly leafing through the entire book with renewed interest. ...the relatively short (32pages) book...is brimming with interesting illustrations, photographs and facts about the most fascinating era of mankind – the Stone Age...Mainly aimed at children and teachers...also likely to be an indispensable guide for parents wanting to educate their kids about human evolution, how archaeologists work, the tools used in excavations and the lives of our ancestors.
– June 2007, Indian Express
The Book Leaf, Pune: http://thebookleaflibrary.com/page/2/
The Statesman, Kolkata, 24 June 2007, Review by Lopamudra Maitra