Most of the time Selvi’s little village of peanut farmers lies forgotten. But once a year it springs to life – when the archaeologists come to excavate tools of prehistoric ancestors from the same river-bed that Selvi now walks over every day. These ancestors were hominins of the Lower Paleolithic Acheulian culture who lived more than half a million years ago, and their stone tools are what the villagers call chakka kal, meaning ‘shining stones’.
Superimposing facts and photographs from an excavation site in Tamilnadu with perky illustrations and imagined stories, the archaeologist-author brings to life a very, very distant past and initiates young children into the fascinating world of archaeology. The main narrative is complemented with snippets of information in child friendly doses, with pages designed to be visually attractive. A timeline of major hominin species from around four million years ago to the present takes children on a quick march through evolution. A perfect supplement to classroom history lessons.
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