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Editors' Picks Volume 58 Number 2, March/April 2005

Frozen in Time

Starvation, scurvy, lead poisoning, and cannibalism ended a famous 1845 voyage through the Arctic in search of the Northwest Passage, the subject of Frozen in Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition (Vancouver: GreyStone Books, 2004; $15.95), by anthropologist Owen Beattie, who found the crew's gruesome remains in the 1980s. In this updated edition, Beattie gives the evidence for the crew having lead poisoning from tinned foods, which they ate to prevent scurvy (it didn't work). They were victims, quips novelist Margaret Atwood in her witty introduction, "of bad packaging."
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Patient archaeology fans will be rewarded in the last episode of the excellent three-part Nature show Deep Jungle (airing on PBS at 8 p.m. on April 17 and 24 and May 1) when archaeologists visit Tecolote, a Classic Maya site in Guatemala (one of a dozen found in 2004) and expand the investigation of Angkor into the Cambodian wild surrounding it. Both civilizations, the scholars argue, overtaxed their jungle environments, which ultimately led to their collapse.
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Touring Gotham's Archaeological Past

Pound the pavement with Touring Gotham's Archaeological Past: 8 Self-Guided Walking Tours Through New York City (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004; $18), from Diana diZerega Wall and Anne-Marie Cantwell, leading NYC archaeologists. Woodland sites in the Bronx; Dutch Colonial farmhouses in Queens; the native, free-black, and middle-class areas of Brooklyn; and Revolutionary War Manhattan are a few of the options.
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© 2005 by the Archaeological Institute of America