Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dig Into the Past at Fernbank’s Archaeology Day

Take an exciting journey into Georgia’s past with archaeology-themed activities and special demonstrations at Fernbank Museum of Natural History’s Archaeology Day on Saturday, May 3, 2008 in support of Georgia Archaeology Awareness Month.

Archaeology Day participants will enjoy a variety of hands-on activities, including demonstrations of excavation techniques, sifting for artifacts using a screen, discussions with archaeologists, participation in Canoe Q & A, playing a prehistoric Native American game of Chunky, and taking part in arts and crafts.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to see remarkable artifacts that help tell the fascinating cultural stories of Georgia’s rich history before and after European arrival, including a rare 300-year-old dugout canoe now on view in Fernbank’s permanent exhibition, First Georgians. The 17-foot-long canoe was discovered in 2006 adjacent to the Satilla River in South Georgia. Carved out of a single longleaf pine tree, this canoe is a rare find and is considered “the minivan of its day” for providing transportation to Native Americans along the region’s rivers and streams.

Archaeology Day supports Georgia Archaeology Awareness Month’s message of educating the public about the significance of protecting and preserving Georgia’s archaeological sites. Fernbank will continue its celebration of Georgia Archaeology Awareness Month on May 13 with a special lecture, A Grand, Gloomy and Peculiar Place: Cave Archaeology in the Southeastern U.S. by Dr. George Crothers of the University of Kentucky.

The IMAX® film Grand Canyon Adventure offers another opportunity to appreciate Native American history and view how the Grand Canyon has influenced Native American life for centuries as you journey down the Colorado River with a Havasupai tribe river guide.

Archaeology Day will be offered at Fernbank Museum of Natural History on Saturday, May 3, 2008 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is included with museum admission or free for members. Tickets are $15 for adults, $14 for students and seniors, and $13 for children ages 3 to 12, and free for children 2 and under. Value Pass tickets, which combine one IMAX® ticket with full museum access, are $23 for adults, $21 for students and seniors, and $19 for children ages 3 to 12, free for children 2 and under, and $8 for museum members.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History is located at 767 Clifton Road in Atlanta. More information is available to visitors at fernbankmuseum.org. Tickets can be purchased in advance at 404.929.6400.

Full Listing of Scheduled Activities:

Archaeology Screening Activity
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Great Hall
Act like an archaeologist as you “sift” through dirt to find artifacts.

Society for Georgia Archaeology
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Great Hall
Enjoy hands-on activities guided by real archaeologists.

Pottery Demonstration by Patrick Severts
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Great Hall
See a master at work and create your own clay masterpiece to take home.

Ancient Weaponry and Flint Knapping with Brian Floyd and Mark Eastland
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Great Hall
Discover how ancient weapons were created using primitive tools and technologies.

Canoe Craft Activity
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Great Hall
Make and decorate your own miniature version of Fernbank’s dug-out canoe.

Chunkey Game
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Terrace (weather permitting)
Try your hand at playing this ancient game.

Dugout Canoe Talks
11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m., First Georgians (Upper Level)
Learn more about the newest addition on display at Fernbank Museum, a rare dugout canoe.

Flotation Demonstration
11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m., Terrace (weather permitting)
See how archaeologists find tiny seeds and bones in dirt.

Don’t forget to stop by The Fernbank Café (Lower Level, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) for special $5 kids’ meals that include a delicious “dirt cup” dessert inspired by Fernbank’s Archaeology Day.
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