The Big Dig Project

The Archaeology Center runs an educational outreach project called 'The Big Dig'  designed to introduce elementary age school students to the basic concepts of archaeology. The project is designed to provide students with a participatory learning environment, giving them the opportunity to take part in a simulated archaeological dig which aims to give as authentic an experience as possible.

The Big Dig provides a constructed trench containing up to two occupational assemblages drawn from real archaeological artifacts recovered from the field. The artifacts are arranged within the trench in realistic groupings indicative of actual activities. Guided by Stanford students with archaeological field experience, the children learn to use excavation, mapping and recording skills, alongside analysis techniques, to excavate the materials from the trench. Following excavation they then analyze and develop a hypothesis about the time period and activities they are excavating. The project aims to build on a child’s historical and social knowledge as well as develop skills such as critical thinking, team-work and the basics of scientific enquiry.

The Big Dig Project is usually run over two consecutive school days (one for excavating and one for lab analysis) and is held on Stanford campus at our trench site. For more information or if your school may be interested in taking part, please contact Lancy Eang.

Are you a Stanford student interested in volunteering?

Sign up for 1-2 hour blocks between 8:30-3pm on these dates:

Winter 2014 dates: March 11, 13, 14

Spring 2014 dates: April 29; May 1, 2

Free lunch provided for volunteers! Contact Lancy Eang to sign up! Help us spread the word with our flyer.