The Topic: 
Archaeology


Easier - Archaeology is the study of ancient societies by scientists called archaeologists. Archaeologists dig up and study tools, bones, artwork, pottery, weapons, household items, and the ruins of buildings. The discovery of a few stone tools or ancient grains may reveal much about an early people. From these items, archaeologists learn about the people's customs and their way of life.
 
Harder - Archaeology is the scientific study of the remains of past human cultures. Archaeologists investigate the lives of earlier people by examining the objects they left behind.
 
Archaeology is considered a branch of anthropology, the study of humanity and human culture. Archaeological research is the main method for learning about societies that existed before the invention of writing (about 5,500 years ago), but also provides additional knowledge of earlier societies that did leave written records. Archaeology is unlike history; it deals with evidence. Historians generally study the lives of people as recorded in written documents. Archaeologists search for clues to how earlier cultures developed, lived, and died.
  
 
ArchNet 
http://archnet.asu.edu/archnet/
This massive site provides access to archaeological resources available on the Internet. Information is categorized by geographic region and subject.
 
Diggin' Up the Facts about Archaeology! 
http://tqjunior.advanced.org/5751/
At this ThinkQuest site, you can find details about archaeology, interviews with famous archaeologists, a glossary, and more.
 
Archaeological Adventure 
http://tqd.advanced.org/3011/
You can learn how archaeology works and investigate archeological sites from the past, in the present, and into the future.
 
Is The Past In Your Future? 
http://www.sha.org/sha_kbro.htm
This site lets you learn about careers in historical archaeology. 
 
 
Explore several of the websites below; then complete an archaeology project or activity:
 
Be An Archaeologist. How do archeologists know where to dig? How do archeologists learn about people of the past? How can they turn bits and pieces of evidence into a big picture of the past? Go to Archaeology and expand your skills. Then visit Is The Past In Your Future? to learn more about archaeology careers.
 
Explore Online Archaeological Sites. Select two; then compare and contrast the projects. 
Arbuckle's Fort - An Archaeological Adventure (Revolutionary War)
Cave of the Warrior (Judean Desert, west of the Dead Sea, now Israel)
The DigSite (Odyssey in Egypt)
The Five Points Site (19-century New York neighborhood)
Jamestown Rediscovery (Virginia)
Mysteries of Çatalhöyük (9,000 yr. old village in modern-day Turkey)
Teotihuacan (Mexico)
The Tomb of Senneferi (Egypt) 
 
Join A 'PassPort in Time' Project. Go to Passport in Time and browse through some of the projects. Are there any PIT archaeology events scheduled for an area close to you? Identify your favorite and pretend that you can participate. Look at the requirements. Calculate all the expenses that you would incur as a PIT volunteer.
 
Debate Archaeology Issues. Identify likes and differences between being a 'pothunter', 'grave robber', or 'looter of historical artifacts' and being an archaeologist? Related sites: 
Cultural Site Etiquette
Relic Hunting
The "Looting Question" (A links page)
Who Owns the Past?
Should gravesites be protected for all time? What changes may future technologies bring with regard to these issues?
 
Write An Archaeology Story. (High School Level) Visit Lost Vegas and Doom in the Desert: The Last Days of Sin City; read the two-part fictional account about Las Vegas. Now write a story from an archaeological viewpoint that is set in your community at the next millennium (Year 3000). What would they find? What would they think of your community? What evidence would be there?
 
Complete an Archaeology WebQuest. Adapt or follow the procedures found at this webQuest site: 
1) I Dig Archaeology http://encarta.msn.com/alexandria/templates/lessonFull.asp?page=1138
2)You are the Archaeologist. http://www.lfelem.lfc.edu/tech/DuBose/webquest/katie/katie2.html
 
 
Archaeology News Archive 
http://www.tamu.edu/anthropology/newsarch.html
Links to news stories relating to aspects of archaeology published on the web by ABC, CNN, USA Today, Washington Post, Nando, Archaeology, university press releases and other sources. Some services require that you register and select a password in order to retrieve articles, but none of the services listed here charge a fee to retrieve these news stories.
 
Archaeology Magazine 
http://www.archaeology.org/
Here you can get current archaeology news, stories, and theories from the official publication of the Archaeological Institute of America.
  
Teacher's Guide- Archaeology
http://www.ktca.org/newtons/11/archeogy.html
How do archaeologists kinow where to dig?
 
Lost City of Arabia (NOVA Online) 
http://web-cr05.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/ubar/index.html
This site explains the search for the city of Ubar in Arabia, discusses how remote sensing helps archaeologists, and lets you prepare for your own expedition!
  
Passport in Time (PIT) 
http://www.passportintime.com
Learn about the PIT volunteer program of the USDA Forest Service. PIT provides opportunities for individuals and families to work with professional archaeologists and historians on historic preservation projects.
 
Remote Sensing Archeology Research (NASA) 
http://wwwghcc.msfc.nasa.gov/archeology/archeology.html
Learn how remote sensing satellites have offered new tools to researchers exploring human history.
 
What do Archaeologists do?
1) http://www.usd.edu/anth/midarch/archdo.htm
2) http://www.timelinesinc.com/nipmuc2.htm
Learn about their work.
 

archaeologist

excavation

test pit

archaeology

dig

site

culture

anthropology

scientific study

social scientist

notes

maps

wire screen

preservation

tree rings

radiocarbon dating

typology

seriation

classification

evaluation

dating

artifacts

features

ecofacts

strata

foot survey

potsherds

obsidian

record keeping

remote sensing

 
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 1/99, Updated, 10/99. Update by Nancy Smith 3/02.