Archaeology Days: 10/17 & 18

Come to the Museum on Archaeology Days 2020, Saturday, October 17 and Sunday, October 18 to enjoy demonstrations and activities to learn how we use the archaeological record to better understand our past.

Archaeology gives us a snapshot of the past. Objects enter the ground, a house decays leaving only the foundation. We only get to see the remnants, not the activity. We look at all of these clues, carefully piece the fragments of a moment in time together, and create a picture of what life was like, for example, on the American frontier.

So, what does Archaeology Day at the Frontier Culture Museum mean? It means walking around our Old World loop and learning about different types of artifacts, like glass, metal, and ceramics, and also a little bit about experimental archaeology. It also means heading over to the New World section and being able to try your hand at properly social distanced excavation in our dig boxes and learning a bit about what happens after the artifacts are excavated.

We also have some virtual content, videos and activities, that you can do at home. We hope to see you here at the museum, as we celebrate International Archaeology Day!

Bring the entire family as there will be socially-distanced activities for all ages!



Archaeology Day Activities

1700s West African Farm

Experimental Archaeology – Architecture
Experimental archaeology can be useful when a culture leaves little behind. As with our West African exhibit, we use our best guesses based off of local and historical sources to attempt to reconstruct appropriate building materials and methods. Come try your hand at mud-puddling to build a house.


1600s English Farm

Glass Artifacts
Glass is a very interesting substance, found all over for building materials and other objects, but difficult to produce. Learn about the regional styles of production and decoration and take your best guess at placing glass objects along a timeline.


1700s Irish Farm

Intangible Archaeology- Music
While music doesn’t leave a typical archaeological record, it has significant impact on our understanding of our cultural past and present.


1700s Irish Forge

Metal Artifacts
Metal production requires specialized knowledge and training that was highly protected. Come watch our blacksmiths create objects to be used on the farms and see those objects in use at the Irish farm.


1700s German Farm

Ceramic Artifacts
Ceramics, or objects made from clay, are found throughout human history and beyond. Stop by the German farm to learn about different techniques and designs on the ceramics found throughout the Museum.


1700s Ganatastwi

Pit Firing Pottery
Come see our interpreters fire Indian pottery in a traditional underground firing pit.  Other parts of the Eastern Woodland toolkit were lithics.  Lithic, or stone tool, technology took time, effort, and knowledge.


1740s American Settlement

Dig Boxes
Getting dirty is part of archaeology.  The artifacts and architecture that tell us about the past are buried in the ground and we have to excavate, or dig it up. Head to the 1740s Settlement to try out our mock excavation and see what you dig up!


1820s American Farm

Dig Boxes
You’ll find another dig box on our 1820s American Farm. Come get your hands dirty and see what you find.


1850s American Farm

Artifact Analysis
The artifacts excavated in the field need to be washed and analyzed to help us understand a site and the activities taking place.  Help our interpreters process an assemblage of artifacts, just like an archaeologist would do in the lab.