Thousands of life-sized Terra-cotta soldiers, human footprints that are over 3 million years old, Blackbeard’s sunken pirate ship – these are just a few of the incredible finds made by archaeologists over the years. Archaeology, for kids, introduces them to the science that has revealed so much to us about past peoples. First, they’ll learn how archaeologists figure out where to dig, and then they’ll check out their methods, from mapping a site and sifting dirt to using delicate brushes to unearth artifacts without breaking them. It may sound like fun to kids, but it can take years before an archaeologist finds something worthwhile; it took Harold Carter five years of digging before he found King Tut’s tomb!
Understanding the daily lives of ancient people is the driving force behind archaeology, kids will discover here. The pottery, games, writings, art, tools, temples, and clothing they left behind provide a window into their culture that we would otherwise not have. But it’s a constant struggle for archaeologists to protect, preserve, and restore artifacts, whose “arch enemies” include bacteria, wind, earthquakes, looters and vandals. And despite the diligent efforts of archaeologists, there are some sites and discoveries that remain completely puzzling, like Stonehenge, the Bog People of northern Europe, and the Anasazi cliff dwellings. Still, there are countless impressive finds for every mystery in archaeology; for kids who love treasure hunts and riddles, this field might just be for them when they grow up.