The college recently hosted a camp for elementary-aged students. This is the first time the program has been separated between younger and older students. The upcoming middle and high school week will allow older students an opportunity to tackle more complex subjects.
Abbey Thomas who directs the program said the seventh- through 12th-graders would handle artifacts too fragile for the younger students.
More time will also be spent digging behind the Archaeology House on Trunk Street.
“They will be able to lay out their own square. We won’t have to measure it out meter by meter. They will take off the sod,” Thomas said. “That is not something 6- or 7-year-olds can do easily.”
The weeklong program costs $50 per student. Participants are encouraged to bring lunch from home as food is not provided because of concern about potential food allergies. The camp will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day.
Material has been compiled to challenge the participants. Thomas said it is her intention to provide a real-life archaeology experience. She hopes the program will sway some to consider archaeology for a field of study in college.
“Archaeology is all about seeing what is around you and I really want the older kids to learn how to do things carefully. I really want their powers of observation to increase and to learn to be detailed and careful in their work,” Thomas said. “I want them to have a basic understanding of archaeology and maybe it’ll inspire some of them to be archaeologists.”
She said archaeology offers a different view of history than written records. Tangible artifacts allow a person to hold an item created in another decade, generation, century and beyond. Thomas explained there are still items in the earth from the Civil War, Cherokee Indians and Mississippian Indians awaiting discovering in Bradley County and Cleveland.
“Heritage is very important to people and it is important to protect sites that have cultural value, historical value,” she said. “Archaeologists can help determine those sites and cultural value. Archaeologists can ensure that things on the site that are valuable to people survive.”
Speakers who deal with archaeology on a regular basis agreed to speak with the class. The subjects might run from “how to process artifacts” to what it is like on a dig site. Participants will also learn how to take field notes. These notes will be taken throughout the various projects and speaker presentations. Thomas said some other activities will include a visit to the curation lab, a trip to Schimmel’s Park to study stratigraphy and reconstructing an artifact.
Those interested can email Abbey Thomas before Saturday, June 21, at firstname.lastname@example.org.