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 Archaeology in the Classroom: Guidelines for the Evaluation of Archaeology Education Materials Minimize


Archaeology is fun, absorbing, and intellectually engaging. It involves:

  1. the discovery of objects and other evidence of the past such as architecture, tools, foodways, and social patterns;
  2. scientific analysis through laboratory work and library and archival research; and
  3. creative imagination and interpretation for reconstructing past lifeways.

Archaeology offers students an opportunity to use and develop such critical thinking skills as observation, interpretation, deduction, inference, and classification. It also enhances students' skills in math (e.g. working with grids), science (e.g. studying stratigraphy), language arts (e.g. taking notes), and art (e.g. drawing objects). Student exploration in this field may involve observing or assisting in a historic or prehistoric excavation, laboratory analysis, archival research, and report writing.

Because of archaeology's special educational value, the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) formed the Public Education Committee in 1990 to address issues of public awareness and education. In 1995, the committee published Archaeology in the Classroom: Guidelines for Evaluation of Archaeology Education Materials. Four key sections from this publication are presented in this website:

  1. Myths and Misconceptions,
  2. Essential Concepts,
  3. Elements of Archaeological Method & Theory,
  4. Additional Resources.