Campus Martius Museum introduces kids to history at Archaeology Day

MARIETTA – Children of all ages experienced history as they participated in the Kid’s Archaeology Day at Campus Martius Museum on Second Street on Saturday.

“We want to impress upon kids there is more to archaeology than arrowheads,” said Glenna Hoff, education and program director at Campus Martius.

This was the second year for the event and Hoff said she and the Friends of the Museums hoped for about 200 attendees.

“We had about 200 attend the event last year and we would like to see as many people this year,” she said Saturday. “We are hoping the rain brings people in.”

Elizabeth Deem, of Parkersburg, brought her grandson Kennedy Jeter, 9, to the museum as a way to get him out of the house and doing something.

“He’s never been to this museum and I was here all of the time growing up,” Deem said. “Here there are other kids and he can find treasure.

“I think this is great,” she added.

During Saturday’s event, children learned how to make arrowheads and spear points from a flintknapper as well as how to tell the difference between an artifact and weathered rock with the help of the Marietta College Geology Department.

The kids also were able to “dig” for artifacts and how to learn from those items. They also talked about the artifacts found and what is considered an artifact and how the items were used.

“One thing that strikes me and I want to pass on to today’s kids is that our garbage today is tomorrow’s artifact,” Hoff said. “I wonder what many of the items we will leave behind will be thought of in the future and I want kids to find that wonder.”

Campus Martius historian Bill Reynolds talked to attendees about a recent archaeological dig and the items considered artifacts and why.

“A lot of the time people look at a piece of seashell or pottery and don’t realize that they are holding an artifact, something that was used and had a purpose,” he said.

Museum volunteer Bruce Abbott worked with the archaeological dig set up and helped the children find items in the sand.

“This gives the kids the opportunity to do a bit of the work and feel what it can be like to be an archaeologist,” Abbott said.

While the museum holds a number of special events each year, the archaeology day program is special because the majority of the activities were hands-on.

“By having them be a part of the event, we are showing them how important history is,” Hoff said. “Really, with this event we want kids to learn how important history is through a better understanding and appreciation for what they left behind.”