What is Archaeology?
Archaeology, though a part of anthropology, has its own interesting and complex purpose: to learn about cultures from the past by discovering the material remains they left behind. Those remains are called artifacts and are studied later to give us clues about the culture that used them.
To uncover these remains, archaeologists must perform very thorough excavations. They must be very careful while excavating so that they do not miss or damage any artifacts that may be hidden in the dig site. To aid in this, archaeologists often work in very small areas that they have sectioned out into grids or quadrants. When an artifact is discovered, the archaeologist uses the locations of their grid to map the artifact. This helps them remember where the artifact was located in relation to the excavation site and other artifacts.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Excavation Activity
Do you think you have what it takes to be an archaeologist? Try your hand at a mock excavation by collecting and recording “artifacts” from a cookie with the activity below. Make sure to record everything before snacking!
Note: For the purpose of this activity, the cookie is your "site" and the chocolate chips are your "artifacts."
Fort Bend Museum Staff