Archeologists are some of the greatest adventurers of science. They study ancient cultures and civilizations in remote as well as familiar places to help us better understand humankind. Consider an image from an archeological site, the Moche Lords of Sipán, for example. Go to Bing Visual Search and search for "Moche Lords of Sipán." Show the students the image of "Moche Lords of Sipán.” What might this discovery tell us about the people who lived here? How do we know this culture existed between 100 and 800 C.E.? Why is it important to know about these people and their way of life?
Archeologists study the past. They study different aspects of the past, however, and approach the past differently from paleontologists and historians.
Paleontologists are scientists who study prehistoric life forms on earth by examining fossils. They focus on rocks, plants, animals, and other life forms, but they do not study hominids (human beings, chimps, and their ancestors) or their culture and behavior.
Historians are scholars who study the written record of the human race and/or oral histories of human cultures.
Archeologists are scientists who study human cultures by recovering, documenting, analyzing, and interpreting environmental data and remains such as architecture and artifacts. Archeologists seek to understand human behavior and ecology and the development of human culture.
In this activity you will take on the role of an archaeologist who makes an important discovery at an ancient site. Then you will create a multimedia article for an archaeology magazine to announce your discovery to the world.