Source: Indys Child Parenting Magazine

Experience the World of Archaeology at The Children's Museum
Dig into the Past in National Geographic Treasures of the Earth

by Jaclyn Falkenstein

June 01, 2011

This summer, explorers of all ages will get a chance to dig into the past in the newest permanent exhibit opening at The Children’s Museum: National Geographic Treasures of the Earth! In this exhibit your family will experience the world of archaeology and learn how it helps us piece together stories of the past by uncovering, investigating, interpreting and preserving what people leave behind.

Your little Indiana Jones-in-training will enjoy exploring re-creations of three real-life archaeological sites including the tomb of Seti I in Egypt, the Terra Cotta warriors in China, and the underwater excavation of the shipwreck of Capt. Kidd in the Dominican Republic. These immersive environments set the stage for a unique and engaging family learning experience.

Under the Sand

In Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, the tomb of Seti I is the longest, deepest, and most complete tomb discovered and has walls covered with exquisite decoration. In this section of the exhibit, families can solve the puzzle to learn whose tomb this is, climb inside the mysterious tunnel to learn where it leads, and help determine if this is a pharaoh’s tomb.

Under the Earth

At the time of their discovery, no one knew the purpose of the Terra Cotta Warriors or who had created them, but archaeologists very quickly suspected that the warriors were part of the burial complex of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi. Today, this vast excavation site has yielded nearly 8,000 figures. At The Children’s Museum, visitors can help excavate re-created warriors in the Dig Pit, work together to put one of three different figures back together, and virtually repaint a warrior themselves.

Under the Sea

Lost for 300 years, convicted pirate Capt. William Kidd’s ship – the Cara Merchant – was lost in the waters of the Caribbean. In wasn’t until 2007 that researchers from IU’s Office of Underwater Science discovered the wreckage in less than 10 feet of water off the coast of the Dominican Republic. In Treasures of the Earth, families can help discover how the Cara Merchant might have ended up where it did, look for clues in the cannon pile, and use a dredge to suck up sand to reveal the precious artifacts buried underneath the sea.

Archaeology Lab

Much like the Paleo Prep Lab in Dinosphere, in Treasures of the Earth the Archaeology Lab will feature ongoing scientific investigations and archaeological research. Children and families will have the opportunity to talk to archaeological experts as they are conducting investigations on artifacts recovered from archaeological sites. Created specifically for the exhibit, a special wet lab will feature the only cannon recovered from the Cara Merchant site as a conservation treatment works to remove encrustations and stabilize the iron.

This summer, your budding archaeologist will have a blast discovering for themselves the world of archaeology at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis!