Children learn at the Schorndorf City Museum: Archeology is more than a treasure hunt – Schorndorf

What do archaeologists do, how do they work and what is archaeology? In the Schorndorf City Museum’s summer vacation program, twelve young researchers between the ages of six and twelve learned from museum teacher Britta Ulrich what it means to be an archaeologist.

The program begins in the basement of the City Museum. Here, Britta Ulrich leads children first through the new hands-on exhibition, which, after years of planning, can be visited for the first time this summer.

This was designed and implemented by Nina Raczek and Nadja Bühler. As the name suggests, when touring this gallery, participants learn not only by watching and listening, but also by participating. Children can participate in interactive learning stations that convey the topics presented again. “We try to make the exhibition as interactive as possible,” explains Stephane Lawal, an intern at Stadtmuseum. “It’s more interesting for kids that way.”

In addition to the basics of archeology, the exhibition presents the various finds excavated by archaeologists at Schorndorf. In the gallery, they are arranged by age, so that when you walk through them, you embark on a “journey through time from young to old,” as Lawal describes it. The journey through time begins with the Romans and ends with the Stone Age Stone Age, where the oldest find, the Mammoth’s Tusk, can be found.

Archeology in the box

Among the Romans and the Mesolithic, the Celts were also represented by their “rainbow coins” and the German by the jewelry of a young German girl. If you want your own rainbow coin, you can mint one at the coin station. And if you want to know what the Yemeni girl looked like with her jewels, you can help complete the puzzle.

After half an hour we go to the restoration workshop. The children here participate in the “Archaeology in the Box” program offered by the Kultur-Social campaign. For an hour and a half they can work here like archaeologists and restorers.

Restorers work closely with archaeologists and are responsible for recovering the finds. A ceramic pot is being restored, the fragments of which must be assembled and glued together. “It teaches children the idea of ​​recovery that comes with recovery,” Lawal explains.

Undocumented: “The Science of Destruction”

However, before anything can be recovered, it must first be excavated from the ground, which is something archaeologists bear. Documenting discoveries is very important, because without them archeology would be a pure “science of destruction”. This aspect is also conveyed to the children by documenting as accurately as possible all the discoveries they make that day on the research slip and recording them in the form of a diagram. “Documentation is the essence of archaeological work. This is the only way to preserve the essence of the discovery that you pull from the ground.”

Children go in search of their own discoveries, which are meticulously documented and painted. Each is given a box of dirt, designed to represent the surface of an imaginary excavation site. “With much love, care and precision,” Ulrich commands, the children use the tools of archaeologists to search for what is hidden in the ground.

Great is the joy in every discovery. “I found a pearl” or even “I found a bracelet!” they eagerly chanted. From every angle minutes after starting to dig. If you find many pearls, you can combine them into a pearl necklace and thus restore the artifact. Every find cleaned, documented, painted and possibly recovered goes into a bag.

Lawal cites proper transmission of science to the next generation as the purpose of the programme. Thriller-packed films like the one about fictional archaeologist Indiana Jones have distorted society’s perception of antiquities somewhat. Programs like Archeology in a Box are designed to teach kids actual archeology, which is not about treasure hunting but about exploring cultural history. Lawal notes that “archeology in a box is very popular with children.”

Archeology in a box was first introduced by the Stadtmuseum in July, when the kids spent an entire day excavating the artifacts. Ulrich concludes that the children would have had fun again this time.

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