Scouting/BSA/Archaeology Merit Badge
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Tell what archaeology is and explain how it differs from anthropology, geology, paleontology, treasure hunting, and history.
Archaeology is the study of past human life by examining buildings and objects found in the ground; geology is the science that deals with the dynamics and physical history of the earth; anthropology is the science that deals with the origins, physical and cultural development, biological characteristics, and social customs and beliefs of humankind; paleontology is the science of the forms of life existing in former geologic periods, as represented by their fossils; treasure hunting is seeking relics of history for the sake of finding them rather than scientific goals or pursuit of knowledge; history is the branch of knowledge dealing with past events.
Describe each of the following steps of the archaeological process: site location, development of a research design, historical research, site excavation, artifact identification and examination, interpretation, preservation, and information sharing.
Site location: First, the archaeologists try to locate sites. There are many ways to find sites. Archaeologists can locate sites by looking for places where there is a possibility that ancient cultures might have survived. A likely idea is near a river, but not close enough for houses to be affected by floods. An unlikely idea is in the center of a desert, far way from a source of water. Some sites are found before a construction. Before a building construction, archaeologists are informed of the building. If they find artifacts, construction plans might have to be changed. Construction might also be delayed. Site excavation: 2nd, before the excavation the archaeologists separate the field into several areas. After that, they begin to protect the site. They forbid access to other people. At the end, they begin to excavate. Artifact identification and examination: The assistance of specialists and the recourse to laboratories often are essential to date to determine materials or organizations, to study the human remainders. Interpretation: After the study of the new data, the researcher proposes several assumptions on the object find. This aspect determining of research often calls upon a gathering of specialized knowledge joined together in data bases. Preservation: the preservation is of course out of question of preserving all the sites concealing of the vestiges. It’s imperative to preserve the sites major and necessary to study the others before any destruction. It is also advisable to ensure the conservation of the vestiges put at the day: they are intended to enter public collections (museums), where they are then accessible to the researchers. Information sharing: The diffusion of the results of the excavations and the archaeological studies constitutes an essential stage of the work of the archaeologist. The ministry for the Culture and the Communication took this route by the means of a policy of edition and exposures in order to sensitize the public with archaeological research. The regional services of archaeology publish each year a regional scientific assessment.
Describe at least two ways in which archaeologists determine the age of sites, structures, or artifacts. Explain what relative dating is.
1) The dating with carbon-14 is a method of measurement of the age of an organic subtance (time passed since the death). The absolute age limits which can be measured is approximately 50 000 years. The dating with the carbon-14 is a powerful tool thanks to which them archaeologists dates from the events before indatable, in particular those which are old of more than 6000 years (prehistoric). 2)the archaeologists can date object with the style. For example in Greece, people black , background red (-620 ; -530) and people red, background black (from -530).
Do TWO of the following:
- A. Learn about three archaeological sites located outside the United States.
- B. Learn about three archaeological sites located within the United States.
- C. Visit an archaeological site and learn about it.
- For EACH site you research for options a, b, or c, point it out on a map and explain how it was discovered. Describe some of the information about the past that has been found at each site. Explain how the information gained from the study of these sites answers questions that archaeologists are asking and how the information may be important to modern people. Compare the relative ages of the sites you research.
Choose ONE of the sites you picked for Requirement 4 and give a short presentation about your findings to a Cub Scout pack, your Scout troop, your school class, or another group.
Do the following:
- A. Explain why it is important to protect archaeological sites.
It is important to protect archaeological sites. The archaeological sites are unique. Many of the sites are broken. They need protection. The sites have been made by our ancestors. It’s important to protect these sites.
- B. Explain what people should do if they think they have found an artifact.
When a person finds old objects, he must call to the City Hall. The City Hall can call to an archaeologist. Many sites are found during a construction of a road, buildings, landscaping, etc... All states have laws to protect sites.
- C. Describe the ways in which you can be a protector of the past.
To protect archaeological sites, you must obey the law of protection of archaeological objects. don’t do excavation alone
Do ONE of the following:
- A. Make a list of items you would include in a time capsule. Discuss with your merit badge counselor what archaeologists a thousand years from now might learn about you and the culture in which you live based on the contents of your capsule.
Archaeologists will understand what the world was like with the photos, the map, and the books. They will understand what some people of the world think with the religious text. * photos of all the world * Bible and other religious texts * current map of the world
- B. Make a list of the trash your family throws out during one week. Discuss with your counselor what archaeologists might learn about you and your family if they found your trash a thousand years from now.
Do ONE of the following:
- A. Under the supervision of a qualified archaeologist, spend at least eight hours helping to excavate an archaeological site.
- B. Under the supervision of a qualified archaeologist, spend at least eight hours in an archaeological laboratory helping to prepare artifacts for analysis, storage, or display.
- C. If you are unable to work in the field or in a laboratory under the supervision of a qualified archaeologist, you may substitute a mock dig. To find out how to make a mock dig, talk with a professional archaeologist, trained avocational archaeologist, museum school instructor, junior high or high school science teacher, adviser from a local archaeology society, or other qualified instructor. Plan what you will bury in your artificial site to show use of your "site" during two time periods.
Under the supervision of a qualified archaeologist or instructor, do ONE of the following:
- A. Help prepare an archaeological exhibit for display in a museum, visitor center, school, or other public area.
- B. Use the methods of experimental archaeology to re-create an item or to practice a skill from the past. Write a brief report explaining the experiment and its results.
Do ONE of the following:
- A. Research American Indians who live or once lived in your area. Find out about traditional lifeways, dwellings, clothing styles, arts and crafts, and methods of food gathering, preparation, and storage. Describe what you would expect to find at an archaeological site for these people.
- B. Research settlers or soldiers who were in your area at least one hundred years ago. Find out about the houses or forts, ways of life, clothing styles, arts and crafts, and dietary habits of the early settlers, farmers, ranchers, soldiers, or townspeople who once lived in the area where your community now stands. Describe what you would expect to find at an archaeological site for these people.
Identify three career opportunities in archaeology. Pick one and explain how to prepare for such a career. Discuss with your counselor what education and training are required, and explain why this profession might interest you.
Egyptologist studies old Egypt. An archaeologist need to work Latin and Greek. He goes an archaeologist's school and to choose option Egyptologist. Archaeologist under water: Sub-aqueous archaeology is research and the study of the vestiges in order to know the human activities of last and is practiced in interior water: artificial often closed: wells, cisterns, underground conduits drowned, natural: lakes, rivers, ponds, peat bogs, marshes, karst, and ground water. The aquatic environment is very favorable to archaeology: water protects from the destructive human actions, the organic and mineral elements safe from oxygen, the light and the biological organizations are preserved often perfectly. A archaeologist under water need do a school of archaeology an to practice swimming under water. Restorer restores objects like ceramic and glass found in an archaeological excavation. They need to do history of art and after to work in “conservation and restoration of the object”
- Archaeology Merit Badge with Workbook PDF, current requirements, and resources.