The program was planned and ably conducted by Carrie Oakley, an archaeology student at The University of South Dakota, assisted by her professor, Dr. Larry Bradley.
On Monday, they were introduced to archaeology and artifacts through the museum collections, watched a video, participated in an exhibit scavenger hunt, played games and made their own artifacts. On Tuesday, they learned about the prehistoric people of South Dakota, examined the bones of a variety of animals, and drew targets of giant prehistoric animals on cardboard. They also examined different types of pottery and tried their hand at making a pot.
On Wednesday, they went hunting and shot at their previously made targets with the atl-atl, an ancient spear thrower. They learned about the houses of prehistoric people of South Dakota and made a wall of a waddle and daub house by weaving branches and applying a mixture of mud and straw to the hut wall.
On Thursday, they learned about primitive art through video and photographs, then made their own rock art on giant newsprint. They discussed dating techniques including stratigraphy (older cultures are usually deeper in the ground than more recent ones) and dendrochronology (dating through the study of tree rings). They made their own peanut butter, jelly and bread stratigraphy with hidden goodies for features, which they ate after examining each others' structures. In addition, they planned a time capsule to fill with their own artifacts and information. Group photos were also taken.
On Friday, there was a simulated archaeological dig where they learned about excavation and mapping. After cleaning up from that, they buried their time capsule and celebrated with "Make Your Own Stratified Ice Cream Sundaes." A great time was had by all the enthusiastic participants! The museum extends thanks to Carrie Oakley and Larry Bradley for a job well done!