Virtual Classroom Visit with a Harvard Student Archaeologist

Grades 3–12

sara zaia digging at an excavation.Harvard student Sara Zaia on an archaeological dig

Available Free through June 2021 for Groups of Ten or More Students (Reservations Resume February 1, 2021)

Program Description

What is archaeology? Why is it important to know the past and the methods used to interpret it? What questions are answered by archaeology? How do you become an archaeologist?

Invite a Harvard archaeology student to your class to discuss how they study the human past and what they are learning. Each student speaker will share a short video in advance about their work and respond to student questions via video call. Interview an archaeologist and bring your social studies to life.

How to Reserve a Free Virtual Classroom Visit with a Harvard Student Archaeologist

  • Teacher selects a Harvard student archaeologist presenter
  • Teacher completes a form which will be available starting February 1, 2021 with a choice of dates and times
  • The museum contacts the teacher to discuss details
  • The museum sends a confirmation email and the video link for student viewing
  • A day in advance, the Harvard student calls the teacher to introduce themselves
  • On the reserved day, the Harvard student responds to the teacher’s video call

Harvard Student Archaeologists and Their Topics

kate rose.

Kate Rose: Drones, 3D Models, and the Ancient African Kingdom of Kush (Sudan)

Voyage into the air with Kate as she demonstrates the use of drones at the Nubian pyramid site of El-Kurru on the Nile (850–650 BCE). Watch how aerial views of royal burials become 3D models that may reveal insights into this African culture.

Andrew Bair with ground-penetrating radar at excavation.

Andrew Bair: Castles and Ground-Penetrating Radar (Ireland)

Discover a fourteenth-century Anglo-Norman castle in Ballintober, County Roscommon, Ireland. Andrew explains how he uses high-tech field equipment at the site, including ground-penetrating radar, magnetometry, global positioning systems and more.

sara zaia at an excavation.

Reservations No Longer Accepted: Sara Zaia: Trading with Ancient Egypt

Travel to an ancient port city and learn about ancient trade in the Red Sea region, including Egypt. Sarah is interested in virtual reality and 3D models, and will demonstrate what a model of an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus reveals.

paul tamburro at harvard yard excavation.

Paul Tamburro: Colonial College Life (United States)

See how old trash becomes a modern treasure. Paul explains how archaeology in Cambridge, Massachusetts reveals college student experiences for both Indigenous and Anglo students during the colonial period. There are many additional online resources for this topic.

sarah loomis.

Sarah Loomis: Offerings in Ancient Tombs (Mexico)

Descend down a Mexican shaft tomb with Sarah. She focuses on the site of Los Guachimontones in Jalisco, Mexico between 200-900 CE. Sarah analyzes cemetery and household goods to learn about the roles of women and men, and discusses humans who became "gifts" to the gods—human sacrifices.

Fee

The program is free to all groups of ten or more at schools nationwide through June 25, 2021. You will be asked to complete a brief online evaluation after your program.

Duration

Harvard student videos to be screened before the live virtual discussion vary in length. Live virtual classroom visits are thirty minutes.

About the Harvard Student Archaeologists

These students model curiosity, approachability, and enthusiasm for archaeology topics and careers. All have worked with the public at annual Amazing Archaeology at Harvard fairs and enjoy meeting families and others to talk about their work. Most teach sections of archaeology classes to college students and many have been interested in archaeology since elementary school. Most have undergraduate coursework or degrees in anthropology, and most are advanced in their graduate studies with several seasons of fieldwork experience. Typically, an archaeology student spends 5–7 years (post BA) getting their doctorate.

Benefit for Harvard Students

Speaking to your students is also an opportunity for Harvard students. Many teach college classes using college-level language. But in the field, to the media, and in grant proposals, they need to use everyday language to explain what they are trying to learn, how they will undertake their work, and how it may help the community at the research site. Developing these professional skills with your students improves their own career prospects.

About Archaeology

Archaeology is the scientific study of human cultures, based on their material remains. It is both a process that follows the scientific method and a source for knowledge. Like linguistics, biological anthropology, and cultural anthropology, archaeology is a subdiscipline of anthropology, which is the comparative study of humankind and human behavior.

Harvard has two museums devoted to archaeology: The Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology and the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East. Founded in 1866, the Peabody Museum is of the oldest and largest museums in the world focusing on anthropological material from the Americas. The Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East erected in 1903 holds collections from Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Cyprus, Israel, and Tunisia. Harvard students may use the collections in both museums for their own research.

See information on Harvard Museums of Science & Culture educational programs for K–12 schools.