Students work on sorting the trash.

Hello all. This blog is intended to provide information about the University of Alabama Outreach Anthropology session at Tuscaloosa Magnet School Elementary.  So far, we have had two sessions, both exciting, and both interesting.  For the first class, we talked about what is anthropology (the study of humans), what kind of things anthropologists do, and talked a bit about how and why anthropologists study people.  All the students were encouraged to embrace the idea that now, they are anthropologists too!

The first class also included the wonderful exercise of…Digging Through Trash!!!  Yippee!  Really, the students went through trash.  Specially prepared trash: clean and not yucky.  The purpose of this exercise was to introduce everyone to one of the facets of human culture that anthropologists study: material culture, i.e., artifacts.  This is generally the specialty of archaeology, one of the subdisciplines of anthropology.  Students categorized the trash as they saw appropriate, usually based on material and function.

That’s all for the moment.  I’ll get back here and introduce the professors and the graduate student instructors, as well as giving further exciting details about our playing with trash.

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