Print the Archeology reading
comprehension passage and questions (see
Students should read the passage
silently, then answer the questions. For younger students, or as an
option, teachers may also use the text as
part of a classroom lesson plan.
What, you ask, is Archeology?
Archeology is a scientific way of discovering new information about people that lived in the past by finding and studying the things that they left behind. An archeologist is a person that is a specialist in archeology. He or she can be thought of as a kind of detective whose job is to solve the mystery of who our ancestors were. It is important to remember that archaeologists only study humans and do not technically study dinosaurs, ancient animals, fish, and plants, or fossils though they do need to know quite a bit about these things to do their jobs.
Where did archeology come from?
The science of archeology is not just a modern day profession. Humans have always had an interest in knowing about their past and what their ancestors might have been like. Scientist have found evidence that archeology was studied in Babylon as far back as 550 BC and ancient some ancient cultures, such as the Romans, were known to dig up old burial grounds to study their ancestors. The Romans even devised an "aging" system which is still used by archeologist today that determines the time frame that a person lived in.
During the middle ages, the study of archeology died out for a while because at that time people believed that all of history was based on the bible and that artifacts were placed in the earth by supernatural means. However, during the 1400's, archeology made a huge comeback as wealthy citizens enjoyed impressing their peers by owning ancient treasures and bragging about their knowledge of history. Back then, archeologist were more like treasure hunters than scientists -- kind of like Indiana Jones in the movies. They looked for beautiful and valuable objects that they could sell. These treasure hunters destroyed many of the areas that they plundered.
It was not until the 1800's that archeology became the science that we know today. During this time, A.H. Pitt-Rivers, an archeologist, demonstrated how important it was to make organized lists of the artifacts that he found and record details about the places where he found them. He believed that the ordinary details and objects were very important in telling the story of who the people were and what they were like. Pitt-Rivers' methods are still followed in modern day archeology. (continued...)
Print this science worksheet for this lesson.
Includes reading passage, questions,
and answer sheet.
Lesson Plans, Teaching Worksheets, Lessons
teaching material, lesson plans,
lessons, and worksheets please go back to the InstructorWeb home page.