Archaeology in the classroom

The end of 2013 saw the end of yet another project in Western Victoria. Whilst completing excavations at an Aboriginal site in the hamlet of Trawalla, Ben and Kris from our office were invited to share their archaeological experiences with the local primary school students.

The students were able to ask many questions relating to what archaeologists do and why we were working next door to their school. Over the course of two years, the students from the local primary school witnessed a number of archaeological surveys and excavations being conducted just metres from their classroom and the presentation offered a great opportunity to expand upon everyone’s existing knowledge of Trawalla.

Kris and Ben encouraged questions from the primary school students (and their teachers!) about archaeology in the region and about the lifestyles of Aboriginal people who had settled in the region in the past. The class was able to handle lithic artefacts which were excavated from trenches 50m down the road. Wathaurung Elder, Albert Fagan was kind enough to share his knowledge about how these artefacts would have been utilised by his ancestors. He also spoke about Wathaurung Country, its history and the meanings of various place names including Trawalla, which means “Much Rain” or “Wild Water”.

The school visit proved to be a very positive experience and there was at least one budding archaeologist in the front row who was (hopefully) further encouraged to follow her dream.

With thanks to our client John Holland for organising the school visit and to Albert Fagan for participating.

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