Awesome Fossils

Awesome Fossils Activity Source: National Park Service. Adapted with permission. Any evidence of past life preserved in a geologic context, such as within rock or sediment, is called a fossil. In this activity you will work as a paleontologist — a scientist who studies fossils to understand ancient landscapes, climate, and life on Earth — to find and identify fossils. The National Park Service preserves fossils of many types of organisms and traces evidence of their living behaviors, such as making tracks and burrows. [Read More]

Space Archaeology

Space Archaeology Activity Source: Archaeological Institute of America. Adapted with permission. Want to be an archaeologist without leaving your school? No problem! Use a computer to become a space archaeologist (no spacesuit required)! Archaeologists are using remote sensing techniques to find archaeological sites with greater accuracy than ever before. Remote sensing refers to a variety of non-intrusive techniques that can be used to create detailed images of the Earth’s surface and record sub-surface features. [Read More]

Tree Rings and Ancient Climatic Conditions

Tree Rings and Ancient Climatic Conditions Activity Source: Adapted with permission by Archaeological Institute of America. How do archaeologists learn about climatic conditions and their effects on people in the past? In 1815, Mount Tambora in Indonesia erupted so violently that the sound of the eruption could be heard 1,600 miles away. Gases from the volcano shot into the stratosphere almost six miles above the Earth’s surface and lingered for years. [Read More]

What Will Survive?

What Will Survive? Activity Source: Adapted with permission by Archaeological Institute of America. Archaeological remains include artifacts (portable) and features (non- portable) made and used by humans. Archaeologists use these objects to understand how ancient people lived. How well archaeological remains survive depends on the materials they were made of, the ways they were used, the manner in which they were discarded, and the environment in which they were deposited. Organic remains generally decay in a short time unless preserved in special conditions. [Read More]