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Monday, April 2, 2012

April is Archaeology Month



April is Archaeology Month in Montana.

The Society will have a table at the Montana Archaeological Society Meeting in Helena, April 13-15.

In addition, lectures, demonstrations, and tours are occurring across the state. You can find a list of events on the Montana Archaeological Society website events page.

Archaeology Month can provide an important opportunity to reinforce the difference between archaeology and treasure hunting. Recent television shows—including “Diggers”—have sparked controversy among archaeologists, who are concerned that, as American Anthropological Association's president Leith Mullings explained, this type of “program wrongly represents archaeology as a treasure-seeking adventure, in which our collective heritage is dug up and sold for monetary gain."

The topic has recently hit the news, including articles in the Billings Gazette and the New York Times.

Interested in exploring further the importance of preserving archaeological sites? 

The Montana Historical Society has produced a rich archaeology curriculum, Montana Ancient Teachings. Among many other lessons, it includes a short article (written for upper elementary students) on why it is important to protect archaeological sites.

The Society has also created a 50-minute PowerPoint lesson on types of archaeological sites in Montana that reveal important information about the region’s earliest history. (It does NOT cover historical archaeological sites, however.)

For an amazing collection of Chinese artifacts from German Gulch, an archaeological site focused on the Gold Rush period, see this University of Montana site.

Thanks for all you do to train students to protect our irreplaceable heritage.


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