THE TOP SECRET CLUE PAGE
a number of clues in trying to
figure out how people lived
in the past.
The clues of past human
activity are all around us.
Some of the big ones are
very obvious like the pyramids of Egypt, Stonehenge and the totem poles
made here on the NorthWest Coast by First Nations peoples.
I'm sure you can think
of some more.
A lot of the time archaeologists
deal with clues that are not so big. Artifacts, ecofacts and features
are things that are usually found during 'digs' that have been made, used
or changed by people in
Artifacts include things
like stone arrowheads pottery and baskets.
Most artifacts are actually
stuff that was thrown away by people in the past! We find their food remains,
the bits of broken pottery bowls and used arrowheads. These things
survive because they are made out of material that lasts. Stone, clay and
metal all last a long time. Things like food, cloth and wood don't
last and so we don't find them very often during 'digs' when we excavate.
Imagine what archaeologists
thousands of years from now are going to find as artifacts from us (probably
a lot of old computers that don't work any more and all of our penny collections!).
Archaeologists also use
ecofacts as clues.
Ecofacts are things that
are not made by humans, like animal bones and plant remains in order to
figure out what the environment might have been like or what the people
Features are just like artifacts
except that they
can't be moved. Yup, that's
right, no matter how hard you
pull, push or tug, you can't
move a feature. But this is
not because they are too
heavy or too big, it is because
features really are unmoveable!!
They are things like hearths or
holes where posts used to
be or stains in the soil.
See what I mean?
It would be pretty hard
to move a hole and if you can invent
a way to actually move
a stain then your mom would probably already know about it from washing
your dirty clothes!!
Actually, most of the things
that we will see during our virtual journey through DhRl 16 are features,
so it's a big help (or a big clue) to know what these things are.
If you've read this far,
good for you, you are well on your way to becoming a great archaeological
detective! As you have probably learned, the most important 'clues'
that archaeologists use are 'observations' about artifacts and ecofacts
After finding one
these things, we observe
and consider what it could have been used for, who used it, when
did people use it and why did they use it?
Often we can't answer
all of these questions, but by observing artifacts, ecofacts and features,
we can try.
me back to the Hint Page!