Homeschooling, Super Easy Backyard Archaeology

April 2, 2013
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In college, I minored in Anthropology which included Archaeology.  It didn’t exactly have anything to do with my education major but it is an incredibly interesting field of study!  Recently, I took my kiddos on a little Archaeological expedition in our own backyard & I’m about to tell you how to do the same.  It’s very easy and worth the little bit of time and effort it takes.

To Accomplish Your Backyard Archaeological Expedition…

  • Save chicken bones and soak them overnight (in 1 c. bleach to 1 gal. warm water). (You can also use bones of a dinosaur model that hasn’t been put together yet).
  • Hide the bones in a sandbox or under the ground in an area where your children are allowed to dig.
  • Use old paintbrushes & toothbrushes to gently brush off the bones (just like real archaeologists do!)
  • Help children to figure out what animal the bones came from by observing them.
  • Have children document their findings in a field journal.  Real archaeologists can’t always rely on cameras and computers when they’re out in the middle of nowhere, so they often make sketches even in our technological age!

Note: You can also do this project with pig (ham) bones, cow (steak) bones, pottery shards, etc.  Help your children to discover what animal and what part of the animal the bones came from and what civilization the old pottery might have come from.

If you want to check out some famous Archaeological finds, check out these awesome sites:

Kot Diji: existed in 2600 BC in the Indus Valley.

Caral: the oldest town in “the New World” which also dates to 2600 BC.  It’s 1,000 years older than any other archaeological site in the area!

La Venta: one of the oldest civilizations in Mexico from 1600 BC. One of the earliest South American pyramids was found there.

Moche: a Peruvian culture until 800 AD. This find included a royal tomb, large amounts of gold, and elaborate clothing.

Imagine finding such amazing things from people who lived so long ago!  Through all of time, people really haven’t been so different. Inside, they were just like us, dealing with the same trials and joys of life as we do today.  It’s so intriguing!

To read more from Celena, visit the blog The Traveling Sisterhood.