Project Archaeology is an educational organization dedicated to teaching scientific and historical inquiry, cultural understanding, and the importance of protecting our nation’s rich cultural resources. We are a national network of archaeologists, educators, and concerned citizens working to make archaeology education accessible to students and teachers nationwide through high-quality educational materials and professional development.
“My students came away from this unit with the feeling that they had made significant advances in their ability to reason and the data and feedback that i recorded showed that they were correct.” Teacher, Hot Springs, MT
Project Archaeology gives students a basic understanding of how archaeology works and teaches them to respect and protect our nation’s rich cultural heritage.[/quote]
Project Archaeology is composed of three integral components:
- High quality educational materials
- Professional development for educators
- Continuing professional support
Project Archaeology utilizes these high quality curriculum guides:
Intrigue of the Past: A Teacher’s Activity Guide for Fourth Through Seventh Grades
Twenty-eight classroom tested lessons use archaeology to teach science, math, history, social studies, art, language arts, and higher level thinking skills such as problem solving, synthesis, and evaluation.
The guide is divided into three sections:
- 1) Fundamental Concepts – a series of lessons covering the basic concepts of archaeology,
2) The Processes of Archaeology – explains how archaeologists do their work and interpret their results, and
- 3) Issues in Archaeology – relates archaeology to personal ethics, stewardship of our heritage resources, citizenship, and cultural understanding.
Project Archaeology: Investigating Shelter
Built on the Understanding by Design curriculum model, Project Archaeology: Investigating Shelter is a complete archaeological investigation of a shelter site through nine lessons and a final performance of understanding. Students learn the fundamentals of archaeological inquiry and conduct their own investigation of an archaeological site through maps, artifact drawings, oral histories, and historic photographs. Assessments are built into instruction. An online database of regional investigations allows teachers to download locally relevant materials at our Teachers Section.
Facilitator and Instructor Training Handbooks
For Project Archaeology workshop facilitators and online instructors.
Intrigue of the Past: Discovering Archaeology Series
State specific handbooks about the prehistory, and sometimes history, of selected states expand and localize Intrigue of the Past. Each edition also contains classroom lessons and resources for teachers. (See publications for availability in your state.)
Additional Materials on Project Archaeology website
Historic photographs, videos, resources, and a regional database of shelter investigations including interactive investigations.
Project Archaeology uses archaeological inquiry to foster understanding of past and present cultures; improve social studies and science education; and enhance citizenship education to help preserve our archaeological legacy.
Professional Development for Educators:
Delivery of educational materials through professional development workshops, peer mentoring, and online courses ensures that the materials will be used effectively.
Continuing Professional Support:
Continuing support ensures that educators will continue to use Project Archaeology effectively in the classroom and gives them innovative new ways to teach archaeology.
Forms of continuing professional support employed by Project Archaeology state programs include:
- Printed updates
- Networking opportunities
- Project Archaeology Web Site
- Additional learning experiences
Participants discover the science of archaeology through:
- Lesson plans that teach basic concepts and principles.
- The expertise of professional archaeologists.
- Discussions of the need to preserve and protect sites and artifacts.
- Consideration of Native American and other cultural perspectives on archaeological preservation.
The Project Archaeology guidelines serve two purposes:
- Guidance For Planning A New State, Local, Or Regional Project Archaeology Program.
- Guidance For Maintaining An Existing Project Archaeology Program.
History of Project Archaeology:
Project Archaeology is a national archaeology education program founded by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) for educators and their students. Project Archaeology was developed in the early 1990s for three purposes: to develop awareness of our nation’s diverse and fragile archaeological sites, to instill a sense of personal responsibility for stewardship of these sites, and to enhance science literacy and cultural understanding through the study of archaeology.
Project Archaeology is a joint program of Montana State University and the Bureau of Land Management. The program began in Utah in 1990 as a statewide project to combat the vandalism and looting of archaeological sites.
New national curriculum guide:
Our new national curriculum guide, Project Archaeology: Investigating Shelter, was published in July 2009. The inquiry-based guide was designed using the Understanding by Design curriculum development model. It consists of nine complete lessons and a final performance of understanding and guides students through a complete investigation of a shelter using artifacts, maps, historic photographs or drawings, and oral histories. To order the guide, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.