Friday, June 19, 2015

Archaeology Quest

It's the first day of camp! Today we learned the basics of archaeology.  What is it, who does it, and how can we become archaeologists ourselves?  After the first week meet and greet we dove into our activities.

Asking our friends to help hypothesize.
Can you guess what the object might be?

Looking at our objects on the projector.
We learned about how archaeologists use context clues to determine what an object is and how it might of been used.

We honed our skills of perception while doing our Bag 'O Artifacts activity.  Archaeologists have to be very observant and be logic when looking at unknown artifacts.

Our Filling in the Picture activity helped us learn about how dig sites are designed and explored.  We got to solve a few picture mysteries ourselves.

Tuesday, 2 of our groups (Blue and Green) went on a field trip to the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology to learn about Roman soldiers.  We had a lots of fun with our tour guides and were able to see real Roman armor, make our own mosaic, and visit the exhibits.  We even got to play the same games the soldiers played with knuckle bones as dice!

Red and Yellow group got to stay at the Natural History Museum to learn about ancient Egypt.  Campers learned about ancient Egyptian fashion and made their own Egyptian collars.  We also learned about how the ancient Egyptians wrote down their history.  Did you know they used hieroglyphs for their alphabet? We deciphered some hieroglyphic messages and wrote some of our own!

Red and Yellow group also took a virtual tour of a Egyptian temple and learned about mummification.  There's a lot that goes into making a mummy!  We even got to make our own virtual mummy based on what we learned!

On Wednesday, Camp Explorations learned about ancient Greece and the Olympics.  Did you know the original Olympic athletes were awarded wreaths to be worn on their heads, not medals?  Our campers followed the more modern tradition and designed their own medals.
We learned about Greek gods and goddesses and played a matching card game to help us remember them all (Greece had quite a few).

After we learned about Greece we held our own Olympics.  We held our soda straw javelin event, our long jump competition, and our hopping foot race where all our campers competed as excellent sports.  Luckily, each one had a medal to prove it.

On Thursday, Red and Yellow group got their chance to go to the Kelsey and learn about Rome and their soldiers.  They did many of the same activities as Blue and Green group did on Tuesday.

Our Blue and Green groups also got their chance to study Egypt.  We took a virtual tour of the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx via Google Earth.
Campers also made their own Egyptian relief sculpture by carving a chosen Egyptian symbol in balsa foam.  These sculptures were often carved out of or into he rocks and walls of ancient Egypt.  

We also played Mehen, a popular game in ancient Egypt somewhat similar to backgammon. Blue and Green group also took a trip to the planetarium to enjoy our Stars of Pharaohs show that relates ancient Egyptian culture and architecture to astronomy.
Our last day of camp was an overview of ancient culture.  We followed a story of a prehistoric man on a mastodon hunt and put ourselves in his shoes. What items would you take with you?  What kind of drawings and items might you make for fun? Campers also learned about some ancient mysteries including investigating items from Catalhoyuk (a site in Turkey) and the Incas.
Cultures tend to put images of important people or sites on their money.  We made our own ancient currency by designing our own coin with images that were important to our campers.
Finally, we used all of our knowledge to remember and draw ancient artifacts from all of the cultures we discussed.  We played a matching game and had all of our friends try and place our artifacts with the correct cultures!

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