Museum at Home is a weekly blog series offering fun and educational hands-on activities for children to do at home over the summer. Each week throughout July and August, the St. Catharines Museum will post a new history-inspired activity aimed to spark curiousity and learning.
Become a Bedroom Archaeologist!
This is Part II of our summertime Bedroom Archaeology activity. Before you go further, make sure you’ve completed the first Bedroom Archaeology activity, inventorying your STUFF.
- Your Inventory Sheet (see Bedroom Archaeology Part I)
- Pen or pencil
Museums collect and care for old STUFF called artifacts. An artifact isn’t just any old stuff, it is an object that carries meaning and value. An artifact helps to tell a story about the past and helps us understand what life was like at a certain moment in history.
The story behind an artifact is part of its intangible value, meaning it’s something we cannot see with our own eyes but rather have to dig deeper to understand what the object can tell us about history. The story of an artifact is what makes an artifact so special.
The physical qualities of an artifact, what it looks and feels like as well as its shape and size, make up the tangible value of the artifact. Tangible refers to what we can see with our own eyes and feel with our hands.
Museum professionals, and archaeologists in the field, catalogue both the tangible and intangible qualities of each artifact and finding. This means that we research and record as much information as we can about an artifact so that future generations will understand its meaning and the stories it can tell us about the past. All of this information is entered into a database for easy searching.
Activity: Part II – Catalogue your Findings
As a bedroom archaeologist, it is important that you catalogue the details and stories behind the findings in your inventory so you can have a record of why these objects matter to you.
Let’s add to your inventory and catalogue your findings!
- Take your inventory of the ten objects selected from your bedroom. If you haven’d done so already, number them 1 through 10.
- Make your inventory into a three-column table. The first column lists the objects in your inventory. Title the second column “Tangible Information” and the third column “Intangible Information”.
- In the “Tangible Information” column, go through each object in your inventory and identify the following:
- Physical description: what does the object look like? Are they are any special markings or details?
- Material: what is the object made out of?
- Size: what are the measurements of the object?
- In the “Intangible Information” column, identyify the story behind each object in your inventory. This task is personal. Consider where you got each object and what each means to you? If someone 100 years from now were to find that object, what would you want them to know?
Remember that it is important for archaeologists to record as many details as they can about their findings to help them better understand the past! The more detail you include in your Bedroom Archaeology catalogue, the better for our Part III activity! Stay tuned!
We’d love for you to share what you’ve learned with us! Share your bedroom archaeology catalogue on social media, and tag us on Twitter or Instagram at @stcmuseum #stcmuseum or find us on Facebook! Your story is part of St. Catharines’ story!