Famous Finds and Finders: Searching for the Past

Famous Finds and Finders: Searching for the Past
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
Release Date
November 28, 2023
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A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

This engaging book for young adventurers features 40 historical discoveries, from tiny artifacts to entire cities, including the people and circumstances behind their uncovering. 
In Famous Finds and Finders, young readers are taken on an adventurous journey back through time as they learn about the field of archeology and its role in uncovering the secrets of our past. Emphasizing the importance of preserving and recording moments in history, it encourages children to consider their own place in the ongoing story of humanity.

Kids will also learn about the tools and techniques (from crude to state-of-the-art) that archeologists and paleontologists use, as well as about the challenges they face in uncovering fragments of the past buried in the ground or under the ocean.

The discoveries are divided into 5 categories:

  • People and Animals
  • Towns and Cities
  • Works of Art
  • Under the Sea
  • Underground
Sections include:

  • Tutankhamun’s Tomb: An Ancient Egyptian burial chamber discovered by archeologist Howard Carter in 1922, famous for its magnificent treasures.
  • Lascaux: A complex of caves in France containing some of the most well-preserved prehistoric cave paintings in the world, discovered in 1940 by exploring four teenagers.
  • The Titanic: A British luxury passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in 1912 after colliding with an iceberg, resulting in the loss of many lives.
  • Lucy: A partial skeleton of a female Australopithecus afarensis hominin, discovered in Ethiopia in 1974 by a paleoanthropologist from the University of Cleveland.
  • Ötzi the Iceman: The mummy of a man who lived around 3,300 BCE, discovered in 1991 in the Alps by hikers who thought he was a deceased modern climber.
  • Whydah Gally: A pirate ship discovered by an underwater explorer off the coast of Cape Cod in 1984.
  • Terracotta Army: A collection of earthen sculptures depicting the armies of the first Emperor of China, discovered by local farmers in 1974.
  • Miss Ardi: The oldest known hominid skeleton, providing insights into human evolution.
  • Chinchorro Mummies: The oldest artificially preserved human remains, found along the coast of present-day Chile and Peru.
  • Altai Princess: The well-preserved mummy of a young woman who lived over 2,500 years ago in Siberia.
  • Sue the Rex: The most complete and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex fossil ever discovered.
  • Angkor Wat: A historic temple complex in Cambodia built in the 12th century – one of the largest religious monuments in the world.
  • Pompeii: A Roman city destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79, preserving it and providing insight into ancient Roman life.
  • Troy: An ancient city in Turkey, best known for the Trojan War described in Homer’s epic poem, The Iliad.
  • Babylon: A city in ancient Mesopotamia, located in present-day Iraq, known for its legendary Hanging Gardens.
  • Port Royal: A major center for piracy and commerce in the Caribbean, destroyed by an earthquake in 1692.
  • Bust of Nefertiti: A sculpture of the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, created in the 14th century BCE and discovered in 1912 by a German archeologist.
  • The Venus de Milo: The Venus de Milo is an ancient Greek statue of Aphrodite, discovered by a poor farmer on the island of Milos in Greece in 1820.
  • Lighthouse of Alexandria: One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, constructed in the 3rd century BC on the island of Pharos in Alexandria, Egypt.
This book highlights some of the most significant archeological discoveries of all time, introducing young readers to some of the key figures in the field. It provides a fun and engaging way for children to learn about historical discoveries and the people who made them, and will inspire them to continue exploring the world with a sense of wonder and curiosity.

Filled with evocative illustrations and informative content, Famous Finds and Finders is perfect for children aged 9–12 who are curious about history and the world around us. Whether they are a student of history, a budding archeologist, or simply curious about the world around us, this book is the perfect introduction to the fascinating world of archeology.

Editor review

1 review
Interesting and Informative
Overall rating
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Famous Finds and Finders: Searching For The Past is an informative and engaging book that focuses on archeological discoveries through the years. Everything from the first mummy Otzi to the Dead Sea Scrolls is covered.

A collection of famous finders is featured in the book, from archeologists to ordinary people who made a remarkable discovery. After that, it moves on to 40 fascinating discoveries. Two-page spreads are provided for each discovery, including illustrations, maps, and fun facts. One thing I especially like about it is that each artifact is associated with a discoverer.

Wolfe's illustrations bring the stories to life, depicting historical figures, artifacts, and landscapes in an engaging and informative way. Learning is further enhanced by maps and timelines, which provide context and a visual representation of when and where events occurred.

Famous Finds and Finders is targeted for readers 9-12 years old, but I can say on good authority that a 40 year old adult will love this book too!
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