Archaeologists look at stuff†: all the junk people make, modify, use, and discard, like tools,
buildings, ships, monuments, roads, clothing, or even the landscape itself. They try to find out a
little bit more about how people lived, whether in faraway lands or right here in our backyard.
Sounds an awful lot like your 13 year old, doesn’t it?
That’s why the Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society (GWBHS) and the Detroit Center for
Public Archaeology (DCPA) have come together to offer tweens the opportunity to get their
hands dirty and learn about the history of their community, inspiring them to think about the stuff
they use and play with on a regular basis.
“GWBHS is excited to bring archaeology learning opportunities to the community with classes
based at the Orchard Lake Museum,” explained Gina Gregory, President of GWBHS. “American
Indian artifacts have been found in this area and learning about archaeology in a handson
setting in our own backyard is rewarding.”
Our community’s shared history doesn’t belong to one person or even to a group of people; it
belongs to all human beings. These classes are meant to teach tweens the importance of
preservation and the fun that can be had by exploring our history.
“We use handson
activities to explore not only archaeology, but the life ways of the earlier
people archaeologists study,” explained Liam Collins of Detroit Center for Public Archaeology.
“What makes us different is we focus on archaeology that is literally happening in YOUR
Studying archaeology in school is important to having a career, but archaeologists don’t have to
have a lot of fancy degrees to do what they do; anyone can be an archaeologist! This class
gives tweens a taste of this interesting world.
“All you have to have is some basic training in the correct way to explore the hidden past and a
desire to share that past with everyone,” Collins said. “We get your tweens onsite of some
actual archaeology going on in your community.”
Archeologists have to know a little bit about a lot of fields. It’s the perfect opportunity for
someone who likes: biology, medicine, architecture, chemistry, engineering, geology, physics,
art, history, philosophy, linguistics, astronomy, logic, math, botany, zoology, or conservation.