Learning resources

Our online resources are designed to help educators use archaeology with their learning groups. They cover different aspects of archaeology, such as surveying and interpreting evidence. In addition, there are short hands-on activity ideas which can be used to introduce learners to the principles of archaeology.

The resources available here have been categorised as being suitable for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced groups. However, we do recommend that you browse through all of them and choose whichever would be suitable for your group.

For Beginners

Dustbin Detectives* - How can we find out about the past through the rubbish people leave behind?

Rot or Not *- What material survives the test of time and does it matter which environment it is in?

Who would lie in a grave like this?* - What can we tell about people in the past through their grave goods?

Archaeology Layer Cake* - A fun and edible introduction to stratigraphy and excavation techniques!

Music Archaeology - This resource helps you to explore how musical instruments were made and how to create your own prehistoric sounds!  Record sheets for this resource can be found here.

Roman Writing *NEW*- This activity leads learners in creating and using a replica birch bark tablet, like those found at Vindolanda on Hadrian's Wall. Start your activity by reading the Info Booklet here.  Why not borrow our Roman Writing Kit and get access to three more activities and 10 replica Roman wax tablets and styli?

Viking Runes - introduces learners to ancient writing, focusing on Viking Runes.  Learners will create their own Viking Rune pendant and do an activity on Viking graffiti at Maeshowe. Start your activity by reading the Info Booklet here.

Exploring Your High StreetThis resource is for learners from P4 to S6 and celebrates aspects of life and architecture that are common throughout the EU: that of the main street.  It includes an in depth section about exploring churches as a case study for looking more in depth at buildings.  Using the process archaeologists use to understand the past – questioning, researching and sharing – learners will create a timeline of their high street.  They will explore their high street by looking at maps and photographs as well as heading out to spot the visual clues about what it was like in the past.  The resource pack includes everything you and your learners will need to use this resource, including instructions image and fantastic fact cards, discussion questions, themes and clues for the sorts of things your learners can look for while visiting the high street; and Where to Find Out More and More Activity Ideas sections to get even more out of this resource, for example exploring abbeys and monasteries.

For Intermediates

These resources take learners through some basic archaeology skills which will help them look more closely at a site and understand it better.  These all require a mixture of skills, from measuring to drawing.    

*New*  Sporting Heritage Guide - An educators guide to discovering the history of sport and sports grounds in your area.

*New* Scots Language Resource was created to celebrate Dig It! 2015 and is about the archaeology of language.  It is a Scots language framework for group leaders and learners to explore the different people who have lived in Scotland through looking at the legacy they have left on the Scots language, names and place names.

How to draw a sketch - Archaeologists often begin by drawing a quick sketch of a site to try and understand its layout

How to draw a plan - Archaeologists use plans to record the layout of a site.  This resource provides a guide to this skill

How to take photographs - Part of recording a site is to make sure that important features are recorded through photographs

How to draw an elevation - This guide shows how to draw any standing remains on site

Archaeology Detectives


For Advanced

ArchaeoacousticsThis resource explores how the behaviour of sound changes depending on space and how sound behaves in different sites from the past.  Record sheets for this resource can be found here

* These are "quick activities" and state the learning outcome at the top of the resource.