Archaeology is the study of the life ways of people of the past through material remains, such as pottery and stone tools. This is achieved through by employing a range of methods. To investigate a place, archaeologists first undertake a survey and then carry out an excavation, which is the process by which archaeological remains are exposed, processed and recorded. Later, they examine materials from the dig in a laboratory and then collate and interpret the evidence.
While digging, archaeologists use a number of tools. The most prized possession of any archaeologist is a nose-pointed trowel, also known as a brick mason’s trowel, which is used to break up and scrap away earth. In my own field satchel, I carry several trowels of different sizes. Other essential items include a pair of gloves, a bucket, a tape measure and a line level that is used when archaeologists map and outline excavation units. During excavation, archaeologists also utilise cameras, shovels, wheelbarrows, mattocks, screens and dustpans as well as electronic and optical equipment, such as total stations, used to gather spatial information in order to produce a map of the site.
As an adult, studying Archaeology is a wonderful choice: among other reasons, it affords one the opportunity to travel and to develop practical and life skills that are transferrable to other career pathways. Children can also significantly benefit from becoming ancient explorers and holding their own dig in the backyard. First, this is a wonderful type of exploratory play; it is a physical activity, which can foster curiosity and encourages children to mindfully engage with their surroundings. Second, it is also a wonderful way to encourage children, especially those that love the outdoors, to engage in role-play. They can build creativity, confidence and problem solving skills by imagining that they are time-travellers, searching for clues to solve ancient mysteries.
Do your children enjoy exploring the past? Comment below or write to us and let us know how they like to explore. We would love to hear from you.
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