Kids Dig Archaeology Blog

Amazing Archaeology!

Dr. Arty Fax’s Archy Facts is a weekly blog introducing kids to the exciting world of archaeology!

Besides being a word that can be hard to spell and pronounce with so many vowels, ARCHAEOLOGY is the study of past people and culture through the objects that they left behind.  These objects, anything made or used by humans, are called ARTIFACTS.  Each artifact is a clue to the past and can help archaeologists learn about how people lived, what they ate, the jobs they did, the tools they used, and much more.

When artifacts and other material remains have been left behind at a specific location, this is called an ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE.  Did you know there are archaeological sites all over the world? Even underwater!  Here in San Diego County, there are over 34,000 recorded sites, the oldest of which may be over 10,000 years old!  At the most basic level, an archaeological site is simply a place where humans did something in the past.  It is our job as archaeologists to figure out who those people were and what they did.


Do you know what archaeological site is pictured at the top?
Scroll down to find out!


Many people, adults included, confuse archaeologists with paleontologists.  We both study the past, use similar tools (find out more about that next week), and probably even dress the same.  However, paleontology is the study the history of life on Earth as based on plants and animals that lived millions of years ago. The remains of these plants and animals preserved in rock, including dinosaurs, are fossils.  Archaeologists study our human past, and dinosaurs became extinct long before we modern humans started walking the earth.


Archaeologists don’t dig dinosaurs…

We love them as much as you do, but we don’t study them.
psst…that’s paleontology…but you already knew that


Kids Dig Archaeology @ HOME ACTIVITY

Learn more archaeological terms and find them in this Word Search

Temple of Kukulkan (El Castillo) at Chichén Itzá
Location: Yucatán, Mexico

Fun Facts:
Chichén Itzá was an important Maya city from around 750 – 1200 AD.  The Temple of Kukulkan, named after a feathered serpent deity, was actually built on top of another pyramid and has a total 365 steps.  During certain times of year, the sun casts shadows along the stairway that look like a serpent.

Read more about Chichén Itzá

Want to learn more?

Check out:

Dig Deeper: What is Archaeology?
Archaeology 101 Exhibit

Volunteers work in the Center’s Research Library, cataloguing materials and organizing on a computer-based system.

Marketing and Administrative Volunteers assist the Development Office or Administration Office with data entry, updating marketing materials and clerical tasks. Computer experience is a plus.

Docents welcome visitors and answer general questions regarding the Center and exhibits. Docents staff the gift shop and help out with administrative and curatorial tasks.

Volunteers support event activities at the Center, such as the Annual BBQ, lectures, workshops, and fundraising events. Be a part of the party!

Volunteer provide support for K-12 programs offered at the Center. These are fun, hands-on programs that kids really enjoy. Teaching experience is a plus, but not required. Background checks are required.


With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will use photogrammetry to prepare one or more archaeological collections for digital preservation, as well as create a virtual museum exhibit for our Public Archaeology department. Per approval, special projects of the intern’s choosing are also available. During the research and planning, the intern will receive guidance as appropriate to their selected project. Prospective interns should already be familiar with photogrammetric procedures, and Agisoft Metashape.

Collections Management

With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will prepare one or more archaeological collections for curation. During the course of the internship, the intern will learn to identify artifacts and ecofacts common to the San Diego region, including lithics, ceramics, historical objects, and faunal, botanical, and mineral specimens. Center staff will instruct the intern on archaeological laboratory procedures such as basic artifact analysis, manual and computer cataloguing, storage requirements, and preventative conservation. In addition, the intern will become familiar with historical trends in archaeological practice in the San Diego area and will be introduced to current legal and ethical issues in archaeological curation as well as the concerns and rights of culturally affiliated groups with regard to archaeological materials.

Development and Marketing

Under the direction of Center staff, the intern will support the department in various activities, including, but not limited to, fundraising and grant research; e-newsletter development; social media marketing; and website maintenance. This internship will give the intern valuable, real-world experience in non-profit fundraising and marketing.

Geographical Information Systems in Archaeology

Prospective Interns must have completed three courses: Introduction to GIS, GIS Database Management, and Intermediate/Advanced Methods in GIS. The intern will be assigned a project where they will create shapefiles and maps for curated archaeological collections, museum exhibits, and/or public outreach using ArcGIS 10.6. Center staff will instruct the intern on archaeological GIS laboratory procedures such as computer cataloguing, storage requirements, and database management.

Library Science

With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will arrange and catalog materials in the Center’s library. During the course of the internship, the intern will take a leading role in the cataloging, sorting and storing of research files and creating user guides for these collections. Center staff will instruct the intern on archival procedures, computer cataloging, storage requirements, and preventative conservation.

Public Archaeology

Harness your passion for Public Archaeology and gain hands-on experience with K-12 museum field trips, lectures, and public outreach. Additional projects may include creating virtual museum exhibits and activities, assisting in the development and implementation of K-12 curricula programs, planning and presenting public facing content, or educational field trip content of your own design. Must be able to pass a Live Scan.