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INTRODUCTION TO ARCHAEOLOGY

Beyond Time Team

Archaeology is the most hands-on way to study the past because it is all about ‘stuff’: finding it, recording it, understanding it. This session gives students a chance to try some of the techniques that real archaeologists use, and to start understanding how objects from the past can tell you about the people who made and used them. They will also be asked to think about why archaeologists might do these things.
 

Activities can include any combination of the following:
Archaeology is rubbish – A chance to look through my modern rubbish to see what you can learn about people from the things they throw away, and think about how much of it would survive months and years later.
Sieving for finds – Sometimes objects are too small to be seen in the dirt, so archaeologists need to sieve the spoil heap to make sure nothing gets lost. Students will be allowed to get (a little) dirty and see what they can find.
Drawing a plan – Students will use a planning frame, a metal square 1m x 1m with string marking smaller squares, to draw an accurate plan of a test pit and everything in it.
Object handling – An opportunity to look at some artefacts in detail, drawing them as accurately as possible and writing detailed descriptions.
Rot or not?– Given a range of different objects students will discuss what they are made from and sort out which objects will rot in the ground and which will survive for archaeologists to find.

Timelines - Given a selection of events and objects, students will try to put the images in order. As an extension task, they can also add dates to their timeline.

Length: 2 hours (briefing and debreifing + circuit of five activities)

Curriculum Links: History, Science, Art and Design, English