Summer SAVY 2018: Session 4, Day 3 – Traveling Through Time (Rising 2nd)
How can it be the end of Day 3 already?? I could not be happier with our work so far. We had another challenging day today, but our team charged ahead without fear! This morning, our awesome TA, Miss Emily, set up Maya Math stations at every table so our students could practice using the same symbols the ancient Maya used centuries ago. Our students solved several calculations using Maya math, and then they even came up with some of their own! It is important for archaeologists to be able to read Maya heiroglyphs because the Maya recorded tons of information about the histories of their kingdoms. They also used these symbols to record business and trade transactions, which gives us important insights into Maya economic systems. We even have exact dates for hundreds of events! This also gives archaeologists insights into how the Maya viewed and perceived themselves, which may differ from modern views. In addition to reading Maya writing, it is also important for archaeologist to know the dates of artifacts and archaeological sites. In the last part of class, we set up three stations (technology, artifacts, and books), and students had to hypothesize the relative ages of the items at each station by putting them in order from youngest to oldest. Archaeologists call this “relative dating,” and it is one of our most essential skills! The students really enjoyed thinking through the different processes they should use to determine which items were older. We especially enjoyed the technology station, which had a wall telephone, an answering machine, a handheld radio, a DVD, a VHS tape, a Game Boy, and a handheld telephone from the early 1990s. Much like archaeologists who have just discovered an artifact that hasn’t been used in centuries, most of our students had no idea what many of these items were!
Tomorrow, we will start putting everything we have learned so far together and making connections between the social, economic, and political systems of ancient Mesoamerica. We will also start preparing for our mock excavations happening on Friday!
Here is a link to a website for Maya math problems and games you can play with your children. I think you will be impressed with the skills they have learned!
Searching Through Our Artifacts to Determine Their Age