Kids Dig Archaeology Blog

Oh My Fluffle!

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


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“What in the world is a fluffle?” you might ask. Well, this funny little word means a group of wild rabbits. It turns out that a specific fluffle of bunnies has been uncovering some very interesting artifacts on Skokholm Island in the United Kingdom.

Skokholm Island, also known as Dream Island because of its natural beauty, is off the coast of Wales. Starting 1324, it was a rabbit farm for 200 years. Fast forward to the present day where the descendants of those rabbits are making headlines!

It was reported just recently that a Stone Age artifact was found near a rabbit warren, or hole. Researchers think that this stone tool was used for preparing seal hides or processing shellfish and dates all the way back to 9,000 years ago! Just a few days later, a potsherd was found near the same place. This fragment is from a thick-walled pot and is about 3,750 years old!

Image credit: Richard Brown & Giselle Eagle/WTSWW

This is an example of something we call bioturbation.  Bioturbation is when nonhumans, like burrowing rodents, insects, or even rabbits as you now know, disturb an archaeological site.  As these animals dig around, the artifacts and soil from the site can get all mixed up.  Normally this can spell trouble for archaeologists, but in the case of Skokholm, it helped reveal a hidden past.

Little was known about the prehistoric people that once lived on the island, but thanks to a fluffle, we may know more soon!

For more information on this fascinating discovery, check out

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.

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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.