Children and Archaeology
Learning about archaeology is extremely important, no matter what field of life you may decide to choose for yourself. However, getting to know the facts about this field should be brought into our learning at a young age. This way, we can ensure that our future generations are aware of the importance of preserving and protecting the archaeological sites and artefacts and also play their role in their discovery. For that reason, we have decided to provide some basic level of information about this field so that the children of our society can be more involved in this amazing field of exploration.
What is an archaeologist?
An archaeologist is someone who studies the development of the history and also the prehistory of mankind. The distinction of being only relevant to the human history is very important because the study of pre-human life like the dinosaurs etc. is not included in it. The time span that archaeologists cover in their study ranges from the early ages when the first stone tools were used by humans in Africa nearly 4 million years ago to the recent times. An archaeologist surveys, examines, excavates and analyses the data and artefacts discovered in any particular area.
What is the difference between fossil and artefact?
There is a very fundamental difference between fossils and artefacts that every archaeologist must be aware of. Fossils are the remains of all the living things like the human beings, animals and plants, whereas the artefacts are the remains found of things that are not living and made by humans. So for example if an archaeologist finds bones in an excavation site then it is a fossil and if manmade things like tools and utensils are found then they are artefacts.
What is a site?
A site refers to a place where the archaeologists dig the ground to find fossils and artefacts that may indicate the presence of remains of older civilizations from an old time. In order to excavate, the archaeologists can either perform a research based excavation or a development-led excavation. When it is research based, the archaeologists work at a slow pace and study the site in full detail. However, if it is development-led then that means there is construction to be done in the area and the main goal is to preserve the artefacts from the site. Under that circumstance, the main goal is to recover the artefacts as quickly as possible and leave the studying for later.
How are archaeologist sites discovered?
The science behind the finding of an excavation site is very advanced and archaeologists use different tools to find these places. The process involves using all kinds of resources which include old documents and maps about the site, information about the place from people who are aware of the presence of old buildings and advanced technology like Geographic Information Systems and ground penetrating radars. There are several other complicated tools involved too in order to make sure that the right spot is excavated.
Is permission needed to explore archaeologist sites?
To dig up any site for finding remains, archaeologists have to take permission from the government first. This is because all such sites are considered as national heritage and are considered to be the property of the government. Without proper documentation, having a license to do excavation and permission from the government, no one is allowed to dig up any sites and it is against the law to do it without permission.
Before (on-site lab) and at the lab
There are two kinds of labs that archaeologists use during excavation and one is on site and the other is in an established area. The on-site lab is used mainly to store and catalogue the findings from an excavation site and once the excavation is done, the artefacts are taken to the main lab where all the study is done. The proper labs are the ones that have all the tools to study the artefacts in detail and on-site labs are lightly equipped most of the time.
Archaeologists have a lot of tools that they use during excavation and all of them have their own specific purpose. Some of the tools that are used include shovels, trowels, screens, hand brooms, tape measures, line levels, cameras, soil cores, and dental picks.
Studying the field of archaeology is a very interesting way to explore different areas from a new perspective. In order to spread the awareness among children and involve them in the process, there are several organizations too that are dedicated to involving children in this field. You can find useful information regarding children activities on the website of Young Archaeologists’ Club and several others too.
What is Corridor H?
When it comes to road safety and highway services, it is very crucial that the roads are built with proper safety measures and at the same time, provide the sort of interest and relaxation that makes it easier for the travellers to take their long trips without feeling completely tired and intense. In the case of Virginia, if one is to go from Elkins and pass through Scherr and Thomas towards Moorefield, after which they will end up heading towards the border of Virginia, it has now become a necessity to take a trip that is n early 120 miles long and goes through U.S Route 219 and in the middle, going onto West Virginia State Routes 93, 42 and then 55. This causes passengers to fall into slower traffic and the time required to travel across becomes very long. Therefore, the highway authorities have designed a new road known as Corridor H which will be designated to provide a much more comfortable and safer travelling experience to the motorists without having to mingle in the state highways. This is a really amazing project and coincidentally, it also has a direct involvement with the Reed Farmstead excavation project. To find out more about this road and its connection to Reed Farmstead, keep reading.
The length of the highway is said to be set at a full 100 miles and given the fact that it will not include any state highways or traffic from the inner parts of the state; it will definitely make the journey much more easier and comfortable. The highway will take the travellers through the east-central part of West Virginia and will and parts of places that fall on the route. These places include a number of counties including Randolph, Grant, Tucker and also Hardy County. On the route, you will come across both of the Appalachian Plateaus, Ridge and Valley provinces. The overall road will extend from Elkins towards the state border with Virginia which is on the east.
The authority directly in charge for the building of the road is the West Virginia Department of Highways that is particularly keen on making sure that there is as little damage to the wildlife and natural environment as possible from the project and special focus has been given towards the preservation and protection of areas around the proposed route which includes wetlands, fragments of forests, streams and also wildlife. The highway authority is working closely with biological consultants to make sure that every effort is made to protect these landscapes during the project and maintain its beauty.
In order to make sure that the project is doing as little amount of damage to the surrounding areas as possible, the highway authority is keen on handling mitigations with the highest level of professionalism and that includes three steps. The first is to avoid sensitive resources that fall in the way as much as possible. The second is to make sure that the extent of impact is as minimized as possible and the third is to make sure that any impact that is unavoidable is compensated for properly. In order to make sure that the whole idea of mitigation is carried out properly, the project also includes an environment monitor whose job is to ensure that all the mitigation is carried out properly and nothing is left damaged in any manner.
The Reed Farmstead Connection
The excavation project going on at Reed Farmstead is being done under the direct supervision of the West Virginia Division of Highways and the reason for that is to ensure that same mitigation policy as is described above because this area comes in direct contact with the Corridor H. Providing proper exaction service and extracting the full value of the site is extremely important because of the National Historical Preservation Act which calls upon the safety of such historical sites as the highest public interest. Therefore, the identification of historical sites like the Reed Farmstead and their preservation is of utmost importance and that is why the highway authority is doing the best it can to provide the maximum amount of preservation to the Reed Farmstead excavation site.
The Corridor H is certainly a great project when it comes to providing the travellers with proper and safe travelling services. However, considering the fact that it puts sites like the Reed Farmstead in direct line of impact, seeing the highway authorities provide logistical support and supervision to its preservation is quite admirable.
Top 10 Archaeology Sites in America
America is a wonderful country that is filled with countless treasures of historical and archaeological importance that attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year to explore them. In this article, the top archaeological sites of America have been discussed briefly to provide you with an insight on these amazing treasures. Keep reading to find out more about them.
Located in the south-western part of Montana, this is a very important site that provides us with a lot of important information regarding the earliest of the Paleo-Indian settlers who wandered these lands. With an area of 19 acres covering the archaeological sites, it is a really amazing and beautiful place that also provides a great chance to admire the diverse wildlife and plantation in the area.
This historical site is a place where Native Americans belonging to the pre-Columbian era who settled around a time frame between 600 to 1400 CE. The site is located in the southern Illinois and covers an area of 2200 acres. The site has been thoroughly excavated and archaeologists have found a lot of amazing artefacts belonging to that era. It is certainly a great place to learn about the ancient Native American history.
Calico Early Man Site
Located in the central Mojave Desert, this is a great historical site where Holocene alleviation has buried under the ground, the possible evidence that could prove the existence of pre-Clovis cultures. Archaeological efforts have been made quite extensively here and in addition to several artefacts, the excavators have also found fossils that are from as early time that goes beyond 350,000 years. The site is really amazing and a field trip to this place is certainly worthwhile.
Casa Grande Ruins
Situated in Coolidge, Arizona, this is one of the most important archaeological sites with regards to the exploration for the Ancient Pueblo societies in the area. With sites that date as far back as the 13th century, this is a great place to learn in depth about the Pueblo lifestyle and the artefacts that have been recovered from this site.
This site is located in Nebraska and was formerly a private ranch which has now become the site for several archaeological excavations. With work being done here for the past four decades, a lot of artefacts and bison remains were discovered here and palaeontologists have also been assisting in the processing of the findings. It is a great place for exploration, especially if you are interested in archaeology.
This is a settlement in Virginia which marks the first permanent settlement that was ever made by the English upon their arrival to America. So essentially this was the first ever colony of the British Empire. Over the years it saw a major downfall and then was left forgotten until 1940s when a full on archaeological rediscovery of the site took place and a plethora of artefacts and buildings were uncovered. It is a really mesmerizing place to visit and you get an important lesson on the history of the country.
Located in Colorado, this is one of the most popular archaeological sites in all of United States which is also among the World Heritage Sites. With vast archaeological discoveries that brought to light the settlements of the Anasazi Pueblo People, this place is one of the most visited archaeological sites in all of America.
Pumpkin Creek Site
Located in the state of Oklahoma, this is one of the most important archaeological sites of the Archaic period that shows evidence of life dating back to 7000-9500 BC. Several tools and important artefacts were recovered from here and currently the place is a fully developed historical site with proper tourism trips taken regularly.
This is also a very interesting site in Ohio with its origin stories that date back to a time before 1200 BCE in the Archaic period. Shaped in the figure of a serpent, the 420 meter long mound is a very strange and curious site that has caused the origination of several stories. It is certainly worthwhile to go and discover these stories and enjoy the surrounding beauty.
This archaeological site is located about 30 miles away from Phoenix, Arizona and was home to the Hohokam people. With its origin dating back to 1200 BCE, it is also among the biggest sites in all of America. The artefacts that have been discovered here count in the thousands and visiting the museum there is certainly a great source of learning and enjoyment.
There are countless other archaeological sites too spread all over America and to find out more about the excavation activities being carried out currently, you can visit the website of Society for American Archaeology.
The History of Reed Farmstead
West Virginia is a really nice state with nice people and a peaceful environment that everyone can enjoy. However, it is not the calm environment that is going to be discussed here because what this article will is discuss something that is far from calming. In fact, it is something very exciting and marks a great achievement in the history of the state itself. The thing that will be discussed here is the historical archaeological site of Reed Farmstead. A place that is filled with stories and artefacts that remind you of a life that leads back the 19th century, it is one of the most popular archaeological sites in all of United States. A lot of people visit here on regular basis to get an insight into one of the most interesting stories of life in the whole area. With a mix of old family stories based around household items and a whole collection of items from the Civil War times, it is a place that everyone must visit at least once. Several excavation projects have been carried out in this area over the period of time and a huge treasure of tools and other artefacts have been discovered here. With so much importance being given to the place and the fact that it is considered a protected site, it is important that we know more about it.
With the site being built as early as the start of the 19th century, the data that has been collected from this place indicates that the first owner of this place was a man named William Reed. His family built this farmstead around that time and in the year 1807 he married a woman named Hannah Musgrove, with whom he spent around 40 years on this farm. According to the data found here, it is indicated that there were six children to the couple who were named Isaac, Sarah, Thomas, William, Elizabeth and David Reed. The family lived there for a long time but in the later years, half of the children left and when William died in 1948, only his daughter Sarah and his son William were still living at the farm. During his life, William was also able to increase the area he owned around the farm to 500 acres. A full inventory of the household items was only shortly available when the house was being partitioned and a tract of 58 acres was created which was given to Daniel Link and Sarah (believed to be Reed’s daughter). All the children had already left the state and settled elsewhere and even the Links sold the property in 1854, two years after acquiring it to Andrew Garrett and his wife Fannie.
The Garrett family was not to have the custody of the farm for too long because Andrew Garrett died only three years after buying the farmstead in the year 1857. In his will, he left the house to his wife and there is some description of the household items too in it. Since the land was a tract right in the middle of the original area of the Reed farm, it was not long before problems started between the two families. The relatives of Andrew Garrett stayed at the farmstead for about three decades after his death, after which they sold the estate to James M. Warden due to a chancery case between the two families.
The research done on the farmstead is quite extensive and the backbone of that research is a two phase archaeological excavation that was done in specific parts of the farm. With careful planning, areas were marked and soon the results of the efforts started showing as the excavators started discovering items like household good, documentation, tax papers and a lot more. It is through these excavations that the history of the place itself was developed and constructed properly. The result of these efforts has been really great and the excavation has resulted in the unearthing of nearly 900 unique artefacts that belong to early 19th century. With advanced technology and a fully dedicated archaeology lab serving the site, it has been possible to properly process and catalogue all the priceless items that have been discovered here. This processing will also be a very important tool for archaeologists when it comes to understanding the function of this site and the accurate history behind its owners and events that may have taken place here.
The Reed Farmstead is an amazing archaeological site that is definitely worth exploring.