In this week’s lesson the students got to dig around in garbage! Clans were combined in order to form two groups and each group was given a giant bag of trash. The students were asked to sort the “artifacts” into categories and answer the following questions about the people their trash might have come from
- How many people created this trash?
- How old were the people who deposited this trash?
- Were these people wealthy? Healthy?
- What did these people like to do? What kind of interests did they have?
The point of this exercise was to illustrate that archaeologists do not just deal with exquisite artifacts and treasures. They often use the everyday items they find in past people’s households, like their trash, to learn about the people who lived there. A lot of the students were very surprised by what they could tell about these people just from looking at their trash.