1. Tell what archaeology is and explain to your counselor how it differs or relates to other fields of study such as anthropology, geology, paleontology, and history. Explain how archaeology is different than artifact collecting or treasure hunting.
Scouts should use the merit badge pamphlet to review and research these terms. It is recommended to use a Merit Badge Workbook to record your findings for easier reference and sharing in the class.
2. Describe each of the following steps of the archaeological process: site location, development of background research and a research design, site survey and fieldwork, artifact identification and examination, interpretation, preservation, and information sharing.
Scouts will find explanation for these practices and terms in the merit badge pamphlet. Scouts may also find it beneficial to make notes in a Merit Badge Workbook to help organize their findings and so that the merit badge counselor can see an effort of preparation for sharing these findings during the class.
3. Describe at least two ways in which archaeologists determine the age of sites, structures, or artifacts. Explain what absolute dating and relative dating are.
Scouts should be prepared to share their findings with the counselor and class for this requirement. Use of the merit badge pamphlet for this information is highly suggested.
4. Learn about a combined total of five archaeological sites located both within and outside the United States.
a. For EACH site you research, point it out on a map and explain how it was discovered. Describe some of the information about the past that has been found at each site. Explain how the information gained from the study of these sites answers questions that archaeologists are asking and how the information may be important to modern people. Compare the relative ages of the sites you research.
With permission from your parent or guardian, Scouts may choose to use the internet to research information to complete this component of the requirement or they may also reference the Archaeology Merit Badge Pamphlet for ideas as well. Scouts will need to be prepared with data and information to share with the counselor and class for consideration of sign off on this requirement component.
b. Choose ONE of the sites you picked and give a short presentation about your findings to a Cub Scout pack, your Scout troop, your school class, or another group.
Choose one of the sites from Requirement 4a and prepare a short presentation. Pictures are always helpful if you are able to add those to your research data for sharing. Ample time will be given during the class for all Scouts to share their findings and presentation during the class. The counselor will likely have additional insight to the sites presented as well as some from their own experiences.
5. Do the following:
a. Learn about the federal laws and international conventions that protect archaeological sites. Find out if your state, county, or local government has regulations that apply to archaeological or historic sites.
b. Identify a national, international, or local organization that helps to protect archaeological sites.
Scouts will find the use of the Archaeology Merit Badge
pamphlet to be a great resource to reference for finding information that will allow them to complete this requirement. Utilizing, with your parent's permission, internet resources will also be very helpful in preparing for the class discussion on this requirement. Scouts will need to come to the class with some prepared knowledge or notes to assist them in the completion of this requirement. Scouts not showing they have properly prepared for this requirement may find it difficult to obtain credit for completion of this requirement.
6. Do the following:
a. Explain why it is important to protect archaeological sites.
b. Explain what people should do if they think they have found an artifact.
c. Describe the ways in which you can be a protector of the past.
Scouts should make notes to assist them with the explanation components of this requirement. It is strongly recommended that Scouts bring any notes or supporting documents they may have to help show the counselor that they have prepared for discussion of this requirement.
7. Do ONE of the following and discuss your findings with your counselor:
a. Visit a museum to observe how artifacts aid in conveying history.
b. Present to your counselor a significant family artifact/heirloom and discuss its history.
c. Make a list of the trash your family throws out during one week. Discuss with your counselor what archaeologists might learn about you and your family if they found your trash a thousand years from now.
Scouts should choose one of the options in this requirement to work on prior to the class and bring their completed work to the class ready to share. It is strongly recommended Scouts bring any notes or other supporting documentation to help demonstrate to the Counselor that time and effort has gone into preparing for the delivery of this requirement on the day of the class.
Time during the class will be allotted for group discussion on this requirement.
8. Do either A or B of the following:
a. With your parent's and counselor's permission, assist a qualified archaeologist for at least eight hours with a project being worked on. Projects may include surveying, site monitoring, site stabilization, excavation, laboratory analysis, use of digital archaeological technology, or public outreach. Describe your involvement in the project, what you learned about archaeology, and the steps of archaeological inquiry.
Note: Visiting an archaeological site will require advance planning. An archaeological site during study can be a dangerous place. While there, you will need to closely follow the archaeologist's directions and comply with all the safety procedures. Be aware of the changing conditions at the site.
b. With your counselor's approval, take part in a simulated archaeological project designed by a qualified archaeologist. The project must include the use of a simulated archaeological site including artifacts and features for the site. Using the steps of archaeological inquiry, analyze the "artifacts and features" and document the spatial relationships of the "artifacts and features" at the simulated site. Explain how the environment and time can affect the interpretation of an artifact and the overall archaeological site. Tell how you would share the results of your analysis with other researchers and the public
Note: To find out how to make a simulated archaeological site, talk with a professional archaeologist, trained avocational archaeologist, museum school instructor, junior high or high school science teacher, advisor from a local archaeology society, or other qualified instructor.
While this requirement will likely be covered in the class (option b), it cannot be guaranteed that the arranged counselor will complete this requirement in the class. Every effort will be made to support as much of this requirement as possible during the class. Scouts should review their merit badge pamphlet and come with an understanding for discussion in the class. It is highly recommended to utilize a Merit Badge Workbook to make notes of their thoughts and ideas. If Scouts have been a part of an archaeological dig, they should bring evidence of this participation and notes to share with the counselor and class for consideration on option a of this requirement.
9. Under the supervision of a qualified archaeologist or instructor, do ONE of the following:
a. Help prepare an archaeological exhibit for display in a museum, visitor center, school, or other public area.
b. Use the methods of experimental archaeology to re-create an item or to practice a skill from the past. Write a brief report explaining the experiment and its results.
Option b will be covered during the class with the assistance of the merit badge counselor. Scouts are still expected to have reviewed the merit badge pamphlet and other sources for an understanding prior to the class of the methods and practices that could and should be utilized for successful completion of this requirement.
10. Research a group of people who lived in your area more than 100 years ago. Find out about their ways of life, including housing, clothing, arts and crafts, tools, trade and markets, rituals and religions, and diets, and their relationships with other groups of people in the area. Describe what you would expect to find at an archaeological site where these people lived. Explain how these people influenced your current community.
Scouts should work on this requirement prior to the class and bring their completed work to the class ready to share with the counselor and class. Utilization of an Archaeology Merit Badge Workbook to organize findings may prove helpful to Scouts to help easily share their findings during class. Time will be allotted during the class for all Scouts to share their work.
11. Identify three career opportunities in archaeology. Pick one and explain how to prepare for such a career. Discuss with your counselor what education and training are required, and explain why this profession might interest you.
Scouts should review this requirement and its components and be prepared to discuss. It is strongly recommended that Scouts bring any notes or supporting documents they may have to help show the counselor that they have prepared for completion of this requirement.