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 Exercises and Activities Minimize

Archaeological Methods and Concepts

Applying Excavation Strategies to Case Studies by Leah McCurdy

This activity is a group discussion exercise for students to apply excavation strategies (introduced via reading and/or lecture) to real-world archaeological contexts and research questions. It introduces students to several different archaeological regions and types of sites and integrates concepts such as context, transforms, and survey methods. Click here to download document.

Atlatl Experimental Archaeology by Leah McCurdy

This activity is an experiential exercise to practice experimental archaeology, derive a dataset, and apply quantitative data visualization and interpretation. Click here to download document.

Hunter-Gatherer Settlers Game by Justin Patrick Williams

This modified Settlers of Catan game allows students to experience several sets of archaeological concepts. The first set of concepts is the mobility styles outlined by Binford (1960). Students will find that a logistical mobility pattern is required to win, but will be asked how the rules can be changed to allow for victory using a residential style. Storage is also required for victory and again students will be asked how the rules could be changed to waive this requirement. This could also lead to a discussion of storage in general. Click here to download document.

Store Typology by Leah McCurdy

This activity is an individual assignment for students to complete outside of class. Students visit a local store, choice as certain type of object, and determine a set of “finds” as iterations of that object (e.g. different types of plates found at Target stores). Students describe their finds in detail and then create types. The students are asked to reflect on what feature of their finds was most important as they created their typology as a way to connect to discussions of artifact analysis. Click here to download document.

Archaeological Stewardship

Archaeology Day or Archaeology in Your Own Backyard by Nancy Gonlin

Many of us are familiar with famous archaeological sites throughout the world, such as the Great Pyramids in Giza, Egypt. But what about the remains that exist where you live? This exercise will explore the archaeological record in your own backyard in connection with Archaeology Day. Click here to download document.

Stakeholder Meeting Simulation by Kelly L. Jenks

In this hypothetical scenario, multiple stakeholders are asked to weigh in on a proposal to allow hydraulic fracturing in an area rich with cultural resources. Students are assigned the roles of stakeholders, and are given time to research their roles before participating in a simulated stakeholder meeting. Click here to download document.

World Heritage in Danger by Nancy Gonlin

The archaeological record is a non-renewable resource that is under threat from many different sources. This exercise will raise awareness of the urgency of protecting the past and highlight the need to approach sites from a sustainable viewpoint. Click here to download document.