Archaeology Program: Dig for Ancient Treasures

Recently one of my colleagues in the Youth Services department, Marie Plug, and one of our pages from Support Services, Luz Mejia-Ramos, put together an amazing science program for kids--an archaeological dig! I'm sharing Marie's blog post about it and reprinting it with her permission. It was such a cool program, giving kids a chance to dig in sand to find "artifacts" like broken pieces of a clay pot, bones from a replica human skeleton, and a replica of a papyrus from Ancient Egypt. But without further ado, I'll let Marie tell you more...

Dig for Ancient Treasures: Archaeology

By Marie Plug

Twenty seven budding archaeologists participated in Pasadena Central Library's first archaeological dig. Fortunately for them our Library has a "resident" archaeologist on staff - Luz Mejia-Ramos. Luz works for the Support Services Department at Central Library but during her time off she travels the world to participate in archaeological digs.

Luz obtained a degree in Archaeology from the National School of Anthropology and History in Mexico City, and a degree in History from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. After completing her studies, she spent five years as an archaeologist for Mexico City's National School of Anthropology and History. Her past projects include the 1630-31 New Spain Fleet Archaeological Project in the Gulf of Mexico and the Manila Galleon Project, which she co-directed for a few seasons.

Luz was the perfect person to help lead our library students into the Egyptian desert to Dig for Ancient Treasures.

The Lecture.

Before we began excavating artifacts, our young crew attended a PowerPoint presentation which not only defined archaeology, but included a discussion of artifacts, archaeological tools and the importance of archaeological context.

The Excavation Site: A Desert in Egypt

After the lecture, it was time to move to the excavation site.

Before the dig began, Luz instructed our archaeologists on the proper methods for handling artifacts and made sure everyone understood that all "found" items must be handled with care.

She also reminded the crew that all of the artifacts would be inspected and pieced back together in the Laboratory. Luz referred to found artifacts as "clues" or "puzzle pieces" that would (when put together) reveal important information about the people who lived at or near the excavation site.

The Actual DIG in progress.

(Our makeshift "Egyptian desert" was located in kid pools on the patio right next to Central Library's Children's Wing.)

Examples of ARTIFACTS the children uncovered.

Putting the "puzzle" pieces back together in the Archaeological Laboratory.

At the close of the program each student of archaeology went home with a handout on Ancient Egyptian artifacts and a hard-earned snack!

So much fun and learning on a weekday afternoon! Thanks again to all of the children & parents who came out for the library's very first dig.

P.S. Look out for a future program on Paleontology!

If you have any questions/comments about this program, feel free to contact Marie Plug in Central Library's Youth Services Department at 626-744-4027.

Thanks again Marie Plug and Luz Mejia-Ramos for this incredible library program!  


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