Current Exhibits


An Introduction to Archaeology and the Archaeology of San Diego
This exhibit provides viewers with a greater understanding of the tools, processes and research involved in the field of archaeology. Specifically, the archaeology of the San Diego region from 10,000 years ago to present day. Gallery guides to extend the learning experience are available.


Pottery – Earth, Water, Fire and Air
The strikingly beautiful Kumeyaay ollas on display from Cleveland National Forest provide a backdrop for a discussion on pottery in the archaeological record. The Center is a nationally recognized curation facility that curates federal collections, including the National Forest Service, Department of the Interior.

Fort Guijarros: Soldiers, Yankee Whalers, and Fisherfolk
Fort Guijarros was the first defensive structure built by the Spanish military to protect San Diego Harbor.  The fort was originally dedicated and named San Joaquin in 1796. Over the years that followed, it became home to soldiers, Yankee whalers, and fisherfolk.  Come and explore the past that is an integral part of Ballast Point.
Today’s Trash, Tomorrow’s Archaeology
View a mural that the displays the effects that excess waste has on our communities and the environment. The mural encourages viewers to become more environmentally-responsible.



Kid’s Exhibits and Activities



Archaeology Quest
Kids are invited to join an archaeology quest throughout the museum assisted by Sherdy, a piece of pottery, that is hundreds of years old. Sherdy is hidden throughout the museum and students are challenged to not only find him, but read the information around him in order to answer their archaeology quest questions. They will learn about archaeological artifacts, San Diego’s history, and the scientific method.


Shipwreck: Underwater Excavation
‘Dive in’ to learn artifact classification and analysis as you uncover the remains of a lost shipwreck.  Glimpse into the world of underwater archaeology and check out a hi-tech suit that allows archaeologists to reach deeper underwater than ever before.




Artifact Junction
Archaeologists use artifacts to learn more about the people who made or used them. We have to conduct research to learn how these artifacts were used. People who lived in the past used tools to do some of the same things we do today. Can you match up the modern day tools to the artifacts in the exhibit?


Pottery Reconstruction
Finding a complete pot at an archaeological site is very rare. Usually archaeologists only find broken pieces of a pot. Archaeologists rely on shape, texture, design, and color to figure out which pieces belong to the same pot in order to put it back together. Children are challenged to be a laboratory archaeologist by reconstructing ceramic tiles.


– Coming soon –
Layers in Time
Learn the principles of stratigraphy with this new interactive exhibit.

For information on Traveling Exhibits, or to present an exhibit at your venue, please contact the San Diego Archaeological Center.

For general information, please send your email to:

Mailing Address:
San Diego Archaeological Center 
16666 San Pasqual Valley Rd.
Escondido, CA 92027-7001

Phone Numbers:
Telephone: (760) 291-0370
Fax: (760) 291-0371