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Girls Dig It! at Girls Inc. Archaeology Camp

By Hannah Serwe, Summer Youth Counselor, Girls Inc. at YWCA Minneapolis
June 26, 2017
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YWCA Girls Inc. facilitated a course on archaeology for Hiawatha College Prep’s J-Term. The participants learned that archaeology is the study of historical artifacts to learn about human activity. They were able to examine the importance of learning about people, particularly women throughout time. The girls visited Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery, which is the oldest historical cemetery in Minnesota! They learned about the practices and rituals of death and burial. The girls were able to do headstone rubbing and utilized math skills to determine the age of those buried in the cemetery.

Ethical Considerations

Girls Inc. participants exercised their debate skills by participating in a structured forum on the ethics of archaeology. Inspired by an episode of National Geographic, they looked at the benefits and drawbacks of practicing archaeology, especially in resource poor communities.

Practice Dig and Reconstruction

Before gearing up for their final field trip, Girls Inc. took part in a practice dig and artifact reconstruction. Participants headed over to the “dig site” at a local park and used similar tools and methods as real archaeologists to uncover hidden artifacts. Back in the classroom, girls were given several pieces of a broken object. It was their job to use refitting skills to figure out what the object was and how to put it back together!

Field Trip and Archaeology Tour

As a culmination of their J-term, Girls Inc. took an extra special field trip to Fort Snelling where they got an exclusive behind the scenes tour of their archaeology lab. Participants spoke with Jennifer, an archaeologist at the fort, and even held actual artifacts. Many girls expressed a new interest in archaeology, and one participant even commented, “This is so fun! You can get paid for this?”