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What does an Archaeologist Do?

Do your children love to pretend play? Do they enjoy to be superheroes or princesses or animals? What about community members? Have they thought of dressing up like archaeologists? It would be so much fun, especially if it ties in with a super duper awesome History and Archaeology lesson!

In this post, you will see what we learned about what History is and what Archaeology is and what Archaeologists do for a living. We had a blast during this lesson because it includes an archaeological dig, but not just any archaeological dig, it was a fantastic and unique one! Come and take a look at how awesome it was. Oh and don’t forget to grab your free printables as well.

What does an Archaeologist Do?

What is History?

We used several books to learn about History and Archaeology. Take a look at the list below.

What does an Archaeologist Do?

We also used several sets of mini replicas including the Ancient Egypt set, the Ancient Fossils set and the Ancient Rome set. They are fantastic and highly recommend them!

When it comes to History, we learned that

  • The word “History” comes from the Greek word “Histo” which means “to know.”
  • It must be based on evidence.
  • History is not just one story, but many at the same time.
  • It has to be tested for errors.
  • A person that studies History is called a Historian.

What is Archaeology?

What does an Archaeologist Do?

Archaeology is the study of the story of humanity by the findings of objects used during different civilizations in History.

What does an archaeologist do? An archaeologist digs objects out of the ground to study them and learn who used them and owned them and in what time period.

Important facts about Archaeology:

  • An artifact is any object made by humans.
  • Archaeologists are like detectives that study about people that lived a long time ago.
  • An archaeological site is a place where ancient people lived.
  • Another name for archaeological site is archaeological dig.


What does an Archaeologist Do?

And that is exactly what we did! Take a look! I decided to pretend play with my children and say we are archaeologists from the future and that we are directing an archaeological dig, studying our current civilization.

I picked out five objects for each of my children from our current civilization, including a toy bowling ball, a measuring tape, a ceramic bowl, a wooden spoon, an iPhone and even a used Keurig cup and buried them in the dirt before our lesson. They had no idea about it, which made it very fun.

We used regular-sized paintbrushes to brush the dirt out of the way. We were very careful and slow to displace the dirt without displacing the objects.

What does an Archaeologist Do?


Once each child dug up their 5 artifacts, we drew a rough map of where they were all located on the dirt mound.

Mapping the artifacts is something archaeologists do before removing them from the dirt. We then placed them on a tray and dusted them off further.

We had so much fun talking like archaeologists. We would speculate about what the artifacts were and how they were used by this current civilization.

We threw out all kinds of fantastic theories like the toy bowling ball was a household weapon, the iPhone was a child’s toy (not too far fetched) and the Keurig cup was used to store some sort of black food item that looks disgusting (so not true).

What does an Archaeologist Do?

Lastly, we read the introductory chapter in the first book of the wonderful History curriculum we love. This set also comes with a CD that narrates the chapter. We enjoyed listening to it as we followed along with our book.

Reading this chapter totally brought it home and we enjoyed our archaeological dig and pretend play outside. What do you think? Is it easy enough to do this lesson for 45 minutes and at the same time, have fun and learn a lot.

Archaeologists have been a part of many fascinating discoveries, including the Parthenon, pyramids, Pharaoh tombs and the list goes on. Take a look at  THIS POST to get the printable above. You can see how we used them and for this lesson, I picked the cards that applied to our History and Anthropology lesson.

Thank you for visiting our “What does an Archaeologist Do?” post!

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