Fall SAVY 2019: Day 1 – Archaeology 101 (Grades 1/2)
We were so excited to begin Archaeology 101 and loved meeting all of our students! Our day began by setting class rules and assessing students’ knowledge of the class topic. I was impressed with how much they already know about archaeology.
During our morning session, we discussed what archaeology means, what archaeologists do, and how to define an artifact. Students learned that the first methodological step in archaeology is survey. Before lunch, we set up a mock archaeological survey, and students practiced systematically searching for artifact clusters while recording their finds. In the afternoon, we discussed social networks, as the basis of what archaeologists study. Students learned social networks can be as large as a country or as small as a family unit. Students formed their own social networks and chose characteristics important to their group. After designing a symbol or motif representing their group, we made our own clay pots which included the groups’ symbols. Students learned that motifs on pottery often help archaeologists figure out which cultural groups they are derived from and help us understand trade networks. We closed the day with a cultural highlight: Ancient Egypt! Students learned briefly about mummification and Egyptian hieroglyphics. Students decoded messages in hieroglyphics and wrote their own messages for their partners to figure out.
Overall, it was a busy day and the students did very well. We’re excited to have them return next week as we will learn about stratigraphy and excavation. Please have your student wear clothes that can get a little dirty as we will be working outside like real Archaeologists.
Have a great week!
Rosemary and Maya
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