The Greeks ¦ The Romans ¦ The Incas ¦ The Vikings
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No one knows for sure where the Incas came from, nor how the Vikings navigated on the open sea, but we do know a great deal about these ancient civilizations, partly from surviving features such as buildings and, increasingly, through the evidence of archaelogical discoveries.
The National Curriculum states that 'pupils should be able to recognise that historical sources can stimulate and help answer questions about the past'. In this new series each title reveals the wide range of material which helps us to interpret the way of life, beliefs and achievements of societies.
Throughout each 64-page volume, information is served up in bite-size portions using double-page spreads, but this format is not, as in so many cases, to the detriment of the narrative. Each topic is introduced logically and lucidly, using an uncomplicated text in an attractive typeface and with well-chosen, skilfully captioned illustrations. Where relevant, the same page-headings appear in each title, enabling comparisons of such universal themes as Family Life, Clothes and Appearance, Trade, Transport, and Farming.
A time line summarises important dates, and there is a useful glossary, but what a pity that having whetted the appetite and enlivened the text with some fascinating facts (Did you know the nursery rhyme 'London Bridge is Falling Down' is about an attack by Vikings led by Olaf the Stout?) there is no list of further reading or suggestions of places to visit.