Archaeological “Dig” With the Anthropology Club

SUNY Oneonta

Lara Murray-Sterzel, Staff Writer |

Calling all archaeologists! The time for excavations has come. The Anthropology Club held an archaeological dig where participants got to dig up gems and fossils. Whether you’re studying historical ruins of prehistoric cities or something completely different, the Anthropology Club is a place where you can have fun while learning about ancient cultures.

On Tuesday, April 4, in Human Ecology 132, the Anthropology Club welcomed students to their meeting for this exciting event. Club members set up a supply table in the center of the room that had small paper bowls, plastic utensils, and colorful bricks lined up for the activity. Once each student got their supplies, a club member would pour water into your paper bowl. Next, students were instructed to place their bricks into the bowl and wait until the water changed color.  These specific bricks held either a gem or a fossil in them. When the bricks broke down, students began to use their utensils to cut, dig, or saw their way through the brick to find their treasure. Club members said we were welcome to use our hands, but to be weary as the clay the brick is made from is very messy.

I picked a purple brick from the table and dug into the brick once my water changed color. After a while, I found my treasure. It was a gem, but not just any gem. Club members provided a list at the table after the supplies were cleared that told you the type of gems and fossils you found. As it turns out, I ended up requiring an amethyst stone.

After the activity, a few Club members presented their research and findings on fossils to students. The main topic of discussion was teeth and how they help us in archaeological study. Their layers, sizes, and defects can tell you about the different species and the kind of food they ate. They discussed the various eras, such as the Ice Age and the Stone Age, which altered each species through weather changes and new environments. If it wasn’t for the study of archaeology, we wouldn’t know any of this or how it led to the future.

The Club has two big events already planned in the upcoming weeks. The first event is a general body meeting discussing Pine Lake, a beautiful lake resort in the Adirondacks. The Club uses this resort for fun activities. The next event is Bones in the Quad, where students will guess what bone is presented, what period it’s from, and what happened to it. The Anthropology Club is in talks of making this event a donation by selling stickers, bone pens, and club shirts. For more information about these events or the club, go to Campus Connections or the Corq app to learn about their meetings. For any further questions email them at [email protected].

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