tDAR Logo tDAR digital antiquity

Digging without Dirt: An Excavation Simulation

Author(s): Shannon Fie

Year: 2015

» Downloads & Basic Metadata

Summary

Efforts to simulate archaeological excavations typically include the seeding of objects in plastic tubs, sandboxes, and even cakes. Although these activities may spark excitement in students at the discovery of artifacts, they are often simple caricatures of the methods employed in actual archaeological investigations. Far worse, this treasure-hunting approach tends to reinforce the quest for "things", while also undermining key aspects of excavation that educators hope to instill, namely, the importance of context and provenience in making sense of these same objects. Simply eliminating the dirt mitigates much of the problem by directing student interest towards observing, recording, and interpreting different archaeological materials. Instead a seeded sand box, the highlighted activity utilizes craft paper units, unprovenienced artifacts, and painted features to simulate modern, historic, and prehistoric residential deposits. While highly effective in introducing students to in basic artifact recovery and interpretation, this approach is also highly flexible and can be easily modified to suit different age groups, time constraints, and a variety of course goals.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit http://www.tdar.org/SAA2015 for instructions and more information.


This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Cite this Record

Digging without Dirt: An Excavation Simulation. Shannon Fie. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396612)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
North America - Midwest


Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America