Many people are fascinated by archaeology: It has a special ability to create wonder, delight, and surprise. There is a natural human curiosity about the past within many of us. We want to know more about it, to understand it, and sometimes to try to experience it. Archaeology is one way to do these things.
This appendix provides information about how you can get involved in archaeology. There are annotated lists of written introductions to archaeology, magazines and journals that contain articles about archaeology, and videotapes and television programs about archaeological topics. Should you prefer to visit museums, sites, or excavations, there is a list of references and public agencies you can contact for up-to-date information. For those who wish to experience archaeology firsthand, there is a list of public agencies and private organizations that provide opportunities for members of the general public to participate in archaeological investigations.
Collecting artifacts from the surface or digging on your own is not a constructive way to participate in archaeology. Unauthorized collecting or digging for artifacts is illegal on federal land and many other public lands, as well as on private land without permission. More important, doing archaeology without proper training and professional support destroys potentially important archaeological information about the context in which artifacts are found.
For more information about the ethics of archaeology, see www.saa.org/aboutSAA/ethics.html.
National Parks provide opportunities for teachers to learn and teach archaeology. These resources include teacher guides, curriculums, and educational packets. In general these educational materials are Park-specific and are used in conjunction with visits at the Park. Some resources may not be applicable or useful in other parks or parts of the country. Please contact the Park you are interested in for further information.
Teacher Resources in Archeology (NPS).
Guide to Classroom Resources and Programs (NPS).