Archaeological Activities Resource Pack – all sections

This is an excellent resource full of fantastic background information on how to do archaeology learning sessions, including very well-produced activity ideas.

Archaeology Scotland produced the Archaeological Activities Resource pack in 1997 for YAC groups in Scotland who needed Scottish-based resources on archaeology learning.  It is about 100 pages in total and existed in hard copy only – until now. Each section below contains archaeological activities ideas, background information, useful information/further reading, and some contain learners’ resources to print. Archaeological methods can be used for themes across time and there are several time-specific activities included, such as Viking heddle weaving, WWII drama and making replica Stone Age objects.

The pack’s sections are: 1. Investigating Local Archaeology 2. Using Archaeological Evidence 3. Finding Out About Time, 4. Textiles, 5. Making Replica Objects, 6. Drama and 7. Ancient Writing.

Click on each section heading in order to download all of the contents listed underneath.

1  Investigating Local Archaeology

  • 1.1a Planning a Project
  • 1.1b Producing a Report


Using Archaeological Evidence

  • 2.1 The Rubbish Game – activity

    The Rubbish Game image (c) Archaeology Scotland
    The Rubbish Game (c) Archaeology Scotland
  • 2.2 Examining Buildings
    • a Site preparation and research
    • b fieldwork – diagrams to date a building in Scotland; changes over time; building materials; Masons’ marks
    • c recording – sample worksheet for investigating a building


Finding Out About Time

  • 3.1 Making Timelines – activity
  • 3.2 The Time Game – activity
  • List of approximate dates to use during the activities



  • 4.1 Introduction to textiles
    • thinking about textiles, evidence for textiles, remains of, textile production equipment, illustrations and texts, making replicas
  • 4.2 Bobbin winding – activity
  • 4.3 Pin Board weaving – activity
  • 4.4 Rigid Heddle weaving (Roman and Viking period)- activity
  • 4.5 Tablet weaving (Roman to Medieval times)- activity


Making Replica Objects

  • 5.1 Make your own Stone Age Carved Stone balls – activity
  • 5.2 Make your own Stone Age Carved Stone Circle – activity
  • 5.3 Make your own Bronze Age Gold Lunula – activity
  • 5.4 Make your own Bronze Age Spacer Plate Bracelet – activity
  • 5.5 Make your Own Prehistoric Arrow – activity
  • 5.6 Making Replica Prehistoric Pottery – activity



  • 6.1 Introduction: Why use Drama?
    • Starting Ideas
  • 6.2 Drama Plans
    • Prehistoric (a Stone Age community, guilding shelter, hunting and farming; relying on others, interaction, emergence of leader)
    • Medieval (setting up a Medieval community, market place, guilds; group problem solving)
    • Recent History (WWII, the announcement of war, the Home Front)
    • Using Artefacts
  • 6.3 Methods
    • Leader in a Role
    • Same Method, Different Time – Transferable Ideas!
    • Drama on Site
Making a timeline (c) Archaeology Scotland
Making a timeline (c) Archaeology Scotland

Ancient Writing

examples of alphabets and scripts to print and copy can be found at the end of this section


  • 7.1 Introduction
    • what was used for/what did people to use to write with in the past?
    • A History of Writing


  • 7.2 Cuneiform Writing
    • Make a Cuneiform stylus and clay tablet – activity


  • 7.3 Ancient Egyptian Writing
    • Make a scribe’s writing kit – activity


  • 7.4 the Mediterranean connection


  • 7.5 Roman Writing
    • Make a replica wax tablet and stylus – activity
    • Make a birchbark tablet – activity
    • Make a replica Roman distance slab – activity


  • 7.6 Ogham Writing
    • Make a model symbol stone – activity
    • Inscribe an Ogham message – activity


  • 7.7 Viking Runic Writing
    • Make an inscribed comb – activity
    • Carve a Runic message – activity
    • Make a model Rune stone – activity


  • 7.8 Writing with a Quill Pen
    • Make a quill pen and ink, with writing activities – activity


  • 7.9 Alphabets for photocopying purposes


(the first four sections are also available in one download, here: Archaeological Activities Resource Pack sections 1-4 (c) Archaeology Scotland

All of the sections are (c) Archaeology Scotland: Suite 1A Stuart House, Eskmills, Musselburgh, EH21 7PB Registered Scottish Charity No. SC001723, Company Registered in Scotland No. 262056

For ‘CSA’ read Archaeology Scotland; RCAHMS read Historic Environment Scotland, YAC Network Scotland see Young Archaeologists’ Club Branches;  and here is the original  copyright and acknowledgement 1997

Why is this resource in need of some TLC?

We have listed this as ‘needs TLC’ in this case simply because some of the organisations’ names as listed are no longer current, and some of the ‘further reading’ and ‘useful sources of information’ resources are dated..but as only a hard copy of this pack exists, we can’t update them in the text. Trust us,  you’ll love it!!

Posted by Rebecca Boyde, Youth Engagement Officer, Archaeology Scotland

Archaeology Scotland 75 years (c) Archaeology Scotland

Archaeology Scotland

…… inspire the discovery, exploration, stewardship and enjoyment of Scotland’s past.

Archaeology Scotland, Suite 1a, Stuart House, Eskmills, Station Road, Musselburgh EH21 7PB
Registered Scottish Charity No. SC001723, Company Registered in Scotland No. 262056

Tel: 0300 012 9878



Post Author: r.boyde