On the French Frontier 1700-1800

Living in the present, how can we reconstruct a picture of the past?

One way is through the work of archaeologists. Archaeologists are time detectives. They dig through earth as if they were digging through layers of time. At each layer, they look for evidence of human culture in the remains of objects left behind by the people who made and used them.

Certain questions help archaeologists to identify and understand the importance of these objects. Some questions take a long time to answer and require the help of historians who study the written materials of past cultures. As they find the answers they are looking for, archaeologists can begin to reconstruct a picture of the past.

History: When and where was the object made?
Material: What is the object made of: wood, fiber, ceramics, metals, glass, or plastic?
Construction: How was the object made? Is it hand made or machine made?
Design: What is the structure, form, style, ornamentation, and iconography of the object?
Function: How was the object used in its culture?

Activity 1
Use the questions archaeologists ask about objects
to compare three bottles from different time periods.
Activity 2
You are a curator who needs to solve a problem...

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