History and Archaeology

Gain insights into past societies and learn about the patterns of interaction between them. Become a detective, excavate and unlock the story in a box dig to solve the mystery of the site. Examine the mummified head of a young child. Deduce why he died and learn about mummification.

The Australian Institute of Archaeology in partnership with La Trobe University offers a series of workshops to foster interest in our past. These workshops offer access to the Institute’s significant collection of artefacts, archaeological material and mummified relics.

Workshops are available at Melbourne (Bundoora) and Shepparton campuses.

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Conducting a Box Dig

Curriculum: Year 7 Humanities

Dates and Locations:

  • Melbourne - Wed and Fri from March-December
  • Shepparton - TBC

Duration: 2 hours (Melbourne); 90 mins (Shepparton)

Cost: $8 per student (Melbourne); $6 per student (Shepparton) or free to schools with ICSEA <1000 + bus cost reimbursement

Capacity: 25 students

More info:

All excavations have a story to tell. It is the job of the archaeologist to find that story. In this workshop students become the detectives. In small groups students excavate to uncover the story within their dig box and solve the mystery of the site.

Select from: Ancient Egypt Box Dig, Ancient China Box Dig, or Ancient Rome Box Dig

Recording Artefacts

Curriculum: Year 7 Humanities

Dates and Locations:

  • Melbourne - Wed and Fri from March-December

Duration: 2 hours (Melbourne)

Cost: $8 per student or free to schools with ICSEA <1000 + bus cost reimbursement

Capacity: 25 students

More info:

Once artefacts are discovered they must be properly recorded. Learn some of these skills through drawing and photography. During this workshop students take their own photographs of artefacts and sketch drawings of bones and other artefacts that belong to the Institute's vast collection.

Note: Students bring their own camera or mobile device.

Reconstructing Papyrus, Murals or Mosaics

Dates and Locations:

  • Melbourne - Wed and Fri from March-December
  • Shepparton - TBC

Duration: 2 hours (Melbourne); 90 mins (Shepparton)

Cost: $8 per student (Melbourne); $6 per student (Shepparton) or free to schools with ICSEA <1000 + bus cost reimbursement

Capacity: 25 students

More info: Reconstructing Papyrus

Papyrus is a plant that grows along the Nile River. Egyptians used papyrus to make baskets, mats, rope and paper texts.

In this workshop, students take on the role of an archaeologist in a laboratory to piece together fragments of a papyrus discovered in the tomb of an ancient Egyptian. Once it is complete, the missing sections are reconstructed to decipher what is happening in the text.

Also available:

  • Reconstructing Ancient Chinese Murals
  • Reconstructing Ancient Roman Mosaics

Reconstructing Pottery

Dates and Locations:

  • Melbourne - Wed and Fri from March-December
  • Shepparton - TBC

Duration: 2 hours (Melbourne); 90 mins (Shepparton)

Cost: $8 per student (Melbourne); $6 per student (Shepparton) or free to schools with ICSEA <1000 + bus cost reimbursement

Capacity: 25 students

More info:

Pieces of pottery are found in ancient ruins all over the world. While most of it is broken, it can still tell archaeologists a great deal about the people who made and used it. In this workshop, students reconstruct pottery sherds discovered at a dig site to see what can be determined about the pottery itself, its use and the people of the civilisation that produced it.

The Mummy Experience

Dates and Locations:

  • Melbourne - Wed and Fri from March-December

Duration: 2 hours (Melbourne)

Cost: $8 per student (Melbourne); or free to schools with ICSEA <1000 + bus cost reimbursement

Capacity: 25 students

More info:

Why did Egyptians mummify cats? How did they do this? What happened to the mummified cats? Come and meet the Institute's mummified cat and play detective. What can be deduced from a close examination of the cat? What else did ancient Egyptians mummify? Also, examine the mummified head of the Institute's young child. Deduce why he died. This workshop also consists of a short explanation of mummification.

For enquiries please contact ASSC outreach or make a booking