Archaeological Dig: Class Activity
The purpose of the activity is for students to find artifacts and draw conclusions through
analysis about a civilization. Students will also experience some of the realities of being an
Decide in your groups (China, Greece, etc.) who will bring in the following items for the
class dig day on September 30th:
-recording sheets -string -ruler -graph paper
-pencils brushes -masking tape -labels and bags for the artifacts
-digging tools (small trowel, spoons, etc.)
Setting up your site
Each group will receive an “archaeological site” (tub + sand). You will bury all of your
created artifacts in your dig site.
Groups will then excavate another civilization site and draw conclusions from those
Step 1: Prepare the Site
1. Initial survey of dig site – record observations
2. Make a “grid” system at the site (the plastic tub) using the string. Set up a piece of
graph paper with the same grid and label each square (e.g. A:1:iii)
3. Lay out all materials in organized fashion at dig site.
4. Assign roles and make a plan for the excavation of the site. - who is digging, who is
labeling, who is recording, where you will put sand, how you will screen it. etc.
Step 2: Digging and Recording
1. Using various tools, begin the excavation of site.
2. Ensure that all findings are recorded in Data Collection as you find artifacts.
3. Place all artifacts in “artifact bags”
4. Use the labels to number all artifacts for further analysis.
Step 3: Analysis, Conclusions and Report
1. After all artifacts have been excavated, begin the analysis of artifacts on recording
2. Layout all artifacts for presentation.
Step 4: Presentation of Artifacts & Clean up
1. Overview of site, artifacts and conclusions / analysis.
2. Clean up of area.
3. Complete and hand in all required sheets / notes.
Archaeological Dig: Recording Sheet
PART A. INITITIAL SURVEY OF SITE
Brief Description of Site / Soil
PART B. DATA COLLECTION
RECREATE the following chart for your data collection.
Artifact Grid Size of Physical Sketch / Hypothesis
Bearings Artifact Description Illustration
PART C. ANALYSIS & CONCLUSIONS
On a separate piece of paper, answer the following questions for any THREE artifacts as if
they were AUTHENTIC. Remember to refer to the artifact number you issued above. You
may have to do some more research.
1. What is the artifact? When would it have been dated?
2. What materials would have been used to make this artifact? What skills would be
3. What would be the possible uses for the artifact? Who used it?
4. What do all the artifacts tell you about the civilization? Explain your conclusions.
5. Based on the “Characteristics of a Great Civilization” created in class, how would you
rate this civilization? Justify your response.