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Good Reads  History & Other Humanities  Anthropology  Physical Anthropology

Written In Bone Hidden Stories in What We Leave Behind

Popular Science
By: Sue Black(Author)
368 pages
Publisher: Black Swan
Written In Bone
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  • Written In Bone ISBN: 9781529176605 Paperback Feb 2022 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 5 days
  • Written In Bone ISBN: 9780857526908 Hardback Sep 2020 In stock
Selected version: £18.99
About this book Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Our bones are the silent witnesses to the lives we lead. Our stories are marbled into their marrow.

Drawing upon her years of research and a wealth of remarkable experience, the world-renowned forensic anthropologist Professor Dame Sue Black takes us on a journey of revelation. From skull to feet, via the face, spine, chest, arms, hands, pelvis and legs, she shows that each part of us has a tale to tell. What we eat, where we go, everything we do leaves a trace, a message that waits patiently for months, years, sometimes centuries, until a forensic anthropologist is called upon to decipher it.

Some of this information is easily understood, some holds its secrets tight and needs scientific cajoling to be released. But by carefully piecing together the evidence, the facts of a life can be rebuilt. Limb by limb, case by case – some criminal, some historical, some unaccountably bizarre – Sue Black reconstructs with intimate sensitivity and compassion the hidden stories in what we leave behind.

Customer Reviews


Professor Dame Sue Black is one of the world’s leading anatomists and forensic anthropologists. She is also the Pro-Vice Chancellor for Engagement at Lancaster University. She was the lead anthropologist for the British Forensic Team's work in the war crimes investigations in Kosovo, and she was one of the first forensic scientists to travel to Thailand following the Indian Ocean tsunami to provide assistance in identifying the dead. Sue is a familiar face in the media, where documentaries have been filmed about her work, and she led the highly successful BBC 2 series History Cold Case.

Sue was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2016 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to forensic anthropology. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Sunday Times bestseller All That Remains.


Popular Science
By: Sue Black(Author)
368 pages
Publisher: Black Swan
Media reviews

The Times: Best Memoirs Of The Year

"No scientist communicates better than Sue Black"
– Val McDermid, author of Still Life

"The corpse whisperer [...] could Black's life be any more ready for a series producer to pitch to Netflix? [...] and is it OK for her, or us, to enjoy this quite so much?"
– Helen Rumbelow, The Times

"A fascinating if grisly book. It should be read."
– Stuart Kelly, Scotland on Sunday

"For someone who deals in death every day, Sue Black has a rare ability to make blood and bones come alive. A marvellous writer."
– Ruth Davidson SMP

"A fascinating overview of the human skeleton from the forensic anthropologist's point of view, with case studies that are both pertinent and entertaining."
– Kathy Reichs, author of the Temperance "Bones" Brennan series

"Gripping from the start, Written in Bone is superb – fascinating in its detail of real life cases and written with a narrative that propels you forward to the next page."
– Dr Richard Shepherd, author of Unnatural Causes

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