Archaeology

Lessons

These selected lessons were developed by scientists and educators to demonstrate key archaeology concepts. For more lessons, search the full OceanExplorer.NOAA.gov lesson archive.

Older lessons are aligned to the National Science Education Standards and newer lessons support the Next Generation Science Standards  (and their associated Common Core Standards). All lessons from 2006 to the present also support the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts . Note: The links provided in lessons are verified at the time of publication, but over time, may change or become obsolete.

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5-6 6-8 7-8 9-12

Grades 5-6

Looking for Clues (pdf, 563 KB)

Focus: Marine archaeology (Physical Science)

In this activity, students will be able to draw inferences about a shipwreck given information on the location and characteristics of artifacts from the wreck, and will list three processes that contribute to the Titanic's deterioration.

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Shipwreck Explorers (pdf, 369 KB)

Focus: Marine archaeology (Physical Science)

In this activity, students use data about the location and types of artifacts recovered from a shipwreck site to draw inferences about the sunken ship and the people who were aboard.

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Ship of the Line (pdf, 293 KB)

Focus: Maritime history (Physical Science/Social Science)

In this activity, students will be able to describe general characteristics and technologies used in 18th century naval ships, draw inferences about daily life aboard these ships, and explain at least three ways in which simple machines were used on these vessels.

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Grades 6-8

To Find A Lost Fleet (pdf, 1.5 MB)

Focus: Magnetometer surveys for shipwrecks (Physics/Earth Science/Social Studies)

In this activity, students simulate a magnetometry survey, using a smartphone app or a conventional compass, to describe the cause and effect relationships of magnetic interactions that underlie magnetometer surveys for shipwrecks.

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Grades 7-8

This Old Ship (pdf, 272 KB)

Focus: Ancient and prehistoric shipwrecks (Earth Science/Social Studies)

In this activity, students will be able to describe at least three types of artifacts that are typically recovered from ancient shipwrecks; explain the types of information that may be obtained from at least three types of artifacts that are typically recovered from ancient shipwrecks; and compare and contrast, in general terms, technological features of Neolithic, Bronze Age, Hellenistic, and Byzantine period ships.

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Ping! (pdf, 269 KB)

Focus: Sidescan sonar (Earth Science/Physical Science)

In this activity, students will describe sidescan sonar, compare and contrast sidescan sonar with other methods used to search for underwater objects, and make inferences about the topography of an unknown and invisible landscape based on systematic discontinuous measurements of surface relief.

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Grades 9-12

The Robot Archaeologist (pdf, 879 KB)

Focus: Marine archaeology/marine navigation (Earth Science/Mathematics)

In this activity, students will design an archaeological survey strategy for an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV); calculate expected position of the AUV based on speed and direction of travel; and calculate course correction required to compensate for the set and drift of currents.

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Do You Have a Sinking Feeling? (pdf, 1.2 MB)

Focus: Marine archaeology (Earth Science/Mathematics)

In this activity, students plot the position of a vessel given two bearings on appropriate landmarks, draw inferences about a shipwreck given information on the location and characteristics of artifacts from the wreck, and explain how the debris field associated with a shipwreck gives clues about the circumstances of the sinking ship.

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The above items are only a selection of the educational materials highlighting marine archaeology on our website.

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