Tuesday, 27 December 2011


We are using the "Story Of The World" series as our history spine. This week we have been defining history and investigating archaeology. A few days ago we visited The Big Dig archaeology site beneath Sydney Rocks YHA. The children got to view a real excavation and see some of the artefacts that had been discovered.

The Big Dig Sydney

We have been reading about archaeology in our library books and found this book to be very interesting. Its really in-depth and explains how sites are chosen, how they are excavated and how we can learn from what we find. It also covers radio-carbon dating, surveying, geophysics and much more.

We decided to make our own archaeological dig in the garden. Rather than just dump any old thing in, the children selected items to bury which would answer questions such as; "What did these people eat?", " How did these people travel?", "What was their clothing like?", " How did they spend their leisure time?".

Items we buried

The children buried the items in the sand tray and we sprayed the whole thing with water and then left it for a few days.

Burying items

Today we dug them up again. Just like a real dig we had a grid system and we excavated one section at a time. The children recorded the position of their finds before they removed them from the sand. We used small spades, spatulas and paint brushes to uncover our finds.

The dig site ready for action

Excavating our first finds

Recording the position of finds

Carefully uncovering another find

Diagram showing position of finds by L

Diagram showing position of finds by R

Any finds were put into the finds tray and later they were washed carefully and placed into a bag labelled with their location.

Washing their artefacts

We kept all the sand we had removed and, once it has dried out a bit, we will use a sieve to collect any small items we may have missed.

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