short program: two hour simulated excavation
In an educational setting in which there are significant time and curricula constraints, it won't always be possible to visit archaeological utopia with your students. For this reason, a new version of the program has been developed which, instead of teaching the archaeological process over an entire day, focuses only on the simulated excavation, as a complement to classroom content, rather than engaging in the long program as a stand-alone learning activity. This will be particularly suitable for those schools who would like to give their students the opportunity to engage in this exciting, hands-on experience, but may only have a lesson or two to spare.
Introduction to the Fieldwork
Post-excavation analysis of material culture
DESCRIPTION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL TASKS
* Students discuss the reasons archaeologist's conduct fieldwork, in particular the nature of salvage excavation (as this is how the simulation is couched).
* Students are issued with their official excavation logs, where they will record their learning throughout the day. Firstly, they will be issued with a 'dig permit' (conditional upon their completion of the pre-incursion online fieldwork tutorials) and a stamp in their log. From there, as they engage with the excavation, recording and analysis tasks, students receive 'proficiency points' in their log for the different individual and group tasks they complete. Students also have to keep a record in their own log of the progress of the day's fieldwork, and their observations about the site.
* Students are provided with a short recap of the field equipment to be used and its correct usage. Their skills with this equipment will be continually guided throughout the excavation.
* In teams of approximately six, students excavate their designated square (0.9m x 1.25m) rotating tasks such as excavation, sieving, labelling and bagging artefacts, completing digital excavation proformas on tablets, planning features and artefact contexts and photographing artefacts in-situ.
* Students are given an artefact to record and analyse, eg. pottery, beads, or metal objects. Students must describe, analyse, classify, photograph, sketch, interpret, reach their own scientific conclusions (for example by looking at the fabric of the pottery under a hand-held microscope) and suggest areas for further scientific analysis.
* The entire cohort engages in a discussion of the interpretation of the site as a whole.
** Timing and duration of activities is a guide only.