Hands on Ancient Civilizations Archaeology Activity Up until a few weeks ago, I honestly couldn’t spell archaeology. I would get lost as soon as I typed that “ae” in the middle. As an introduction to ancient civilizations with our boys we decided to do an introduction unit on archaeology. We had so much fun I wanted to share it with you. 9 Steps to Create an Archaeological Dig for Kids I gathered about a dozen random items from around the house. They were everything from plastic bottle caps to a vegetable peeler. I tried to keep them hidden from the boys as I collected “future artifacts”. 2. We went to the library and checked out some great archaeology books. My favorites in this batch were Eyewitness Archaeology and Digging up the Past. 3. We watched the Young Indiana Jones on Netflix and some of Indiana Jones. This was the secret sauce to hooking the boys. 4. When they were not watching, I buried our artifacts in a shallow tub and placed it on the side of the yard. 5. I casually mentioned they needed to get shoes, socks and a hat. “I had just received news that an artifact was discovered in our yard!’ The boys ran. 6. We gathered tools: a screen sifter, hand shovels, ribbon to make quadrants in our dig site, paper and pencil to record our finds, and a camera. Oh, I almost forgot. Real walkie-talkies. These were the highlight. 7. I sent them out to locate the dig site. Ok, at first they were devastated that there was a staged tub of dirt. The youngest almost cried because he was ready to get a backhoe and tear up the grass!! 8. Once they embraced the activity: we split the tub into quarters. I had them divide their papers into quarters. We numbered and labelled each quarter on our data sheet and then divided the dig site. The oldest chose the deepest dirt of course. 9. The rules. The kids would carefully remove dirt until they uncovered something. Then they were required to switch to toothbrushes. They had to carefully brush away dirt until the artifact could be seen. Next they had to sketch the item on their data sheet in the position it was found, then they could remove it and continue digging. They LOVED this activity after they recovered from the fact that mom staged it. Follow up activities. 1. Catalogue their finds. Take a picture of each artifact and carefully describe (in writing) everything about the item and indicate exactly where it was found. 2. Review the 7 aspects of culture. Arts and Literature, Customs and traditions, Economic Systems, Forms of Government, Language, Religion, Social Organization. 3. Create an educated guess about each artifact (ignoring its true life purpose they will create a new one) and create a chart that has each artifact fit into one of the 7 aspects of Culture. What did we cover? Math: ChartingReadingHistory: 7 Aspects of Culture, Intro into Ancient CivilizationsScience: ArchaeologyWriting: descriptive and creative writingArt: sketching real life objects This is a very full project. We spent 2 weeks so far and will take another week to wrap up the writing portion (maybe 2 weeks depending on life). (If I had a chance to do it again I’d get theses two books: Hands On Archaeology for Kids Pyramids! How about you? Have you done any amazing hands-on archaeology projects?