Roving Reporter: Children Dig Up Past


What’s in your trash? Archaeologists-in-training were determined to turn their trash into treasure at the Archaeology Discovery Room in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology on Saturday October 20. This “trash,” as the children learned, actually had scientific value in the archeological sense.

Some of Harvard’s MayaArch3D team, reasearchers committed to creating architertural models, came to exhibit their high resolution 3D models of ancient Mayan artifacts as they spoke about how this new technology allows them to share these discoveries with the world.

Kids of all ages not only learned how these images were constructed and how the objects were found, but also how to describe various bones, scientific tools, and ancient pottery, discussing their origins and learning about what kinds of communities may have once used them.

The Roving Reporter was lucky enough to catch a few scientists in the making.

Ryan, 11

RR: Did you measure the pipe stems from the Harvard Yard Archeology Project?

Ryan: Maybe.

RR: I don’t get it.

Ryan: Well if you haven’t done it yet then you’ll just use my answer.

RR: I promise you I won’t.

Ryan: How do I know you’re telling the truth?

RR: You don’t.

Ryan: See what I mean?

Bianca, 13

RR: Were you as good at making pottery as some of these communities were?

Bianca: Well, I once made a coffee cup for my mom for Mother’s Day.

RR: How sweet of you! Does she use it?

Bianca: No, she doesn’t drink tea or coffee.

RR: I’m sorry.

Bianca: It’s okay. I’m dressing up as her for Halloween.

Arianna, 12

RR: What was your favorite table at the Archaeology Discovery Room?

Arianna: The one where you can figure out which animals the bones came from.

RR: And what did you find out?

Arianna: That the bones came from a cow!!!!

RR: Did that freak you out a little?

Arianna: No, I’m not a vegetarian.

RR: But isn’t it weird to touch part of a dead animal?

Arianna: Hamburgers aren’t alive either. Shouldn’t it be weird to eat them too?

RR: 10 points to Arianna.

Ned, 12

RR: So what did you think of the Mayan archaeology?

Ned: The stuff was cool. I liked how we could see it in 3D.

RR: Did you know that Mayans predicted that the world would end in 2012?

Ned: 2012 isn’t over yet. There is still time.

RR: Great.

Parker, 9

RR: So do you use any of these tools that the archaeologists use?

Parker: Yes, the tape measure and the ruler.

RR: What do you do with them?

Parker: You know, building Legos, constructing things.

RR: I was never really a “construction” kid growing up.

Parker: What does that mean?

RR: I wasn’t really good at building stuff. I was better at playing music.

Parker: You sound like you were just lazy.

RR: Right. Well some people are just good at different things.

Parker: And some people are bad at others.

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