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Investigate Past @ Expo

October 15, 2016  Hidden Valley Nature Center, Riverside

Investigate mysteries of the past at the International Archaeology Day Expo at the Hidden Valley Nature Center on Saturday October 15, from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. with exhibits from government, business, museums and non profit groups that will challenge and inform adults and children to discover how archaeologists and law enforcement forensic investigators work to understand the past. Hidden Valley Nature Center is located 11401 Arlington Ave, in Riverside.

At the Expo you can throw an atlatl dart, like ancient people hunting mammoths; find out if you can map an archaeological site better than a 5th grader; analyze an archaeological assemblage; use an inferred electronic total station and learn about making stone tools. Archaeological research happens around the world. Expo exhibits will include information on research in California, the Near East and Mezzo America.

Members of the Riverside County Sheriffs Crime Lab and Forensic Science Academy will have hands on demonstrations of how archaeologists and law enforcement forensic scientists use similar techniques to discover the past.

Children will receive a “passport” to be stamped at each exhibit. When filled they will and receive a small prize. You are invited to bring a picnic lunch or but a lunch at the Expo.

The Expo is sponsored by the Riverside County Parks Department and Inland Southern California Society of the Archeology Institute of America (AIA) and. The Society a made up the general public interested in understanding and preserving the past as well as students and professional archaeologists and holds and number of speakers and an events each year. The AIA is North America’s oldest and largest organization devoted to the world of archaeology. The Institute is a nonprofit group founded in 1879 and chartered by the United States Congress in 1906. Today, the AIA has nearly 210,000 members and more than 100 local societies in the United States, Canada, and overseas.


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2015-’16 School Year Report


We had 790 students attend Archaeology Adventure Programs at La Sierra University in Riverside, California and an additional 180 attend school site programs.

Schools participating

Celebration Education: Home School Assoc.

Crossroads School:  Corona

Dear Canyon Elementary School: Rancho Cucamonga,

Fairmont Elementary: Yorba Linda

Home School Assoc.

Laurel Hall: Los Angeles

Or HaChaim Academy: North Hollywood

REACH Leadership STEM Academy: Riverside

Rosewood Ave Elementary School, Los Angeles

Redlands Adventist Academy: Redlands

Terrace View Elementary School: Grand Terrace

Travis Ranch School: Yorba Linda

Van Avery Prep: Temecula

Think Together Schools

Badger Springs Middle School: Moreno Valley

            California Military Institute: Perris

            Lakeside High School: Lake Elsinore

            Landmark: Moreno Valley

            March Middle School: Moreno Valley 

            Middle School: Moreno Valley

            Mountain Shadows Middle School, Nuevo

            Mountain View Middle School: Moreno Valley

            Nuevo Pinacate Middle School: Perris

            Palm Middle School: Moreno Valley

            Sunnymead Elementary School: Moreno Valley

            Tomas Rivera Middle School: Perris

            Verde Middle School:  Moreno Valley

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Help Archaeology Education/Outreach Now

March 18th at 7:30 AM, My front yard: A half a dozen robins are scratching the duff in search of food; Gray Squirrels are running through the oleanders and trees and morning traffic is going through, on the way to school and work. I am reading the Redlands Facts newspaper Opinion page.  There is a piece advocating the use of classic motion pictures in classrooms to teach about the importance of the movie industry in the State Social Science/ History Education Frameworks. This is the time to push for it because the State School Board is revising the History/Social Science Frameworks.

Wow! What about Archaeology?Frame

California is now in the process of revising the 1998 History/Social Science Frameworks, (with an “adjustment 2005.”) This is an opportunity for us who care about promoting the understanding of archaeology and protecting archaeological resources, to influence students for next 20 years.


“Frameworks are blueprints for implementing the content standards adopted by the California State Board of Education and are developed by the Curriculum Development and Supplemental Materials Commission.” (California Department of Education

Frameworks are more expansive than the Education Standards, and will be used for future text books adoptions.

Currently the Framework mentions “Historical resources, Historical analysis” in several places and “Pre Columbus settlement” but archaeology is only specifically in the 6th grade Frameworks and StandardsStudents describe what is known through archaeological studies of the early physical and cultural development of humankind from the Paleolithic era to the agricultural revolution)” (California Department of Education, 2000,2005). Students should understand that archeological research gains knowledge far beyond this.

In contrast Arizona Education Standards explicitly has archaeology in several grade levels; asking students to.

“Describe how archaeological research adds to our understanding of the past.” (

This is a rare opportunity to promote the understanding of archaeology and protecting archaeological resources.

What can you do?

Contact the State Education Department

Who do you know?

Are you a teacher or know a teacher who can speak out?

Can you help a professional organization speak out?  SCA, AIA, AHA, ROPA

Are you a member for of a local archaeology society, academic institution or concerned government agency (State Parks, BLM, USFS, National Parks, Office of Historic Information)  that can speak out?


California Department of Education

Mailing Address

1430 N Street Sacramento, CA 95814-5901

Phone Number


Curriculum Frameworks and Instructional Resources Division |


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Archaeology Adventure Students improve in five areas. 24 percent increase their ability to understand coordinate pairs

728 students participated in our Archaeology Adventure program in 2015

We are conducting a short pre and post test to find the effectiveness of our Archaeology Adventure Program in five key areas.  The tests were completed by 4th to 6th grade students attending the program. This represents testing conducted in October to December 2015

All percentages are rounded off.

Testing Results,

The ability of students to ability to correctly identify the location of a point on a graph using x & y coordinates increased from 57% to 81%

The percentage of students who could correctly identity that archaeologists “study material cultural to learn about the past” increased from 41% to 59% and the number who thought archaeologists study “fossilized remains of past life on earth” decreased from 42% to 31%.


Students who believed that archaeologists spend more than twenty percent of their time excavating went from 39% to 76 %.


Understanding archaeological context is a somewhat more complex concept, but this increased from 31% to 57%.

3 context

Coming into the program, 70% already understood the basic concept of stratigraphy. Our post test showed the understanding increased 80%.


Clearly, there has been learning in the areas we measured, and there are areas for improvements.

We will continue to conduct the tests through the rest of the school year.

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Cannons ready to fire @ the Chalmette Battlefield

Cannons ready to fire @ the Chalmette Battlefield

There is a renewed enthusiasm for the “archaeology community” reaching out to schools.  It seems, at least in part, to be fueled by the new Common Core Education Standards that allows educators to use archaeology to teach lessons across the curriculum, since archaeology uses science, history, math, art and writing.

The Archaeology Institute of America (AIA) held an Educational Outreach Conference at during their annual meeting. Forty archaeologists and educators, from the United States and Canada met for the two day conference January 9th and 10th , in New Orleans. Heritage Education Programs’ Craig Lesh and Liese Harris were among the Conference participants.

The AIA meeting started with a bang.  January 8th, was the bicentennial of the Battle of New Orleans. Ceremonies and reenactments where held at Chalmette Battlefield celebrating the victory US forces over those of Great Britain. That night a music program was held in Jackson Square and fireworks lit the skies over the Mississippi.  Through the weekend one would encounter reenactors costumed in period uniforms (US and British) and civilian dress around the French Quarter.

The Conference sessions were:

  • “Teaching with Archaeology: Infiltrating Subjects beyond Social Studies”

    Liese Harris working with other  heritage educators

    Liese Harris worlking with other educators @ the AIA Conference

  • “Providing Ethical Guidelines for Outreach  and Heritage Education”
  • “High School Archaeology Courses and Field Schools”
  • “ State and Regional Approaches to Outreach and Archaeology Educations”
  • “Archaeology and Critical Thinking in Your History/Social Studies Classroom.”
  • “Metrics, Research and Publication”
  • “Promoting Archeological  Outreach: Marketing Distribution and Sustainability”

In addition to the great opportunity to meet and talk to colleagues: We came away with some new tools to enhance our Heritage Education Programs.

As a group, we started a process to create a simple statement of standards for Archaeological Literacy for non archaeology majors, pre college students, teachers and the general public. Most national and state and regional archaeology societies have outreach and education as part of their mission. Each

Craig Lesh and Liese Harris at the AIA's  Working Conference for Education

Craig Lesh and Liese Harris at the AIA’s Working Conference for Education

has its own approach and area of interest, but  if such a uniform statement was to be  adopted by these organizations, it would go a long way to strengthen the message of conservation of heritage resources ant the recognition of archaeology as a scientific practice.

Another element discussion during the Conference was how to get increased recognition of heritage education as a vital and necessary part of the archaeological process, by the rest of the archaeological profession.  To this end there is a new effort to craft appropriate articles/papers for scholarly archaeology journals and promote more heritage education sessions at associations’’ annual meetings.

The AIA will hold a one day follow-up conference at their 2016 meeting in San Francisco, with other related session integrated into the regular meeting.

Outside the official agenda there was talk about a forming an organization of “Heritage Educators.” It has lots of potential.  Another exciting development is that the AIA will be launching a new program for school age children; Possibly sometime latter this year.   The Council for British Archaeology ( ) has a “Young Archaeologists’ Club program.  ( ) It is exciting that AIA is planning a program to support Pre College students American (and Canadian?) out side of classroom education.

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February 7, 2015 · 11:54 pm

Heritage Education Programs at Archaeolgy Fair: October 18, 2014

This October, the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), Local Society – Riverside and Inland Southern California is joining over 100 archaeological organization in the U.S., Canada, and abroad to celebrate International Archaeology Day. In cooperation with Statistical Research, Inc., the AIA Local Society is pleased to announce its second annual Archaeology Fair, which will take place on Saturday, October 18, 10am-2pm, at the offices of Statistical Research, Inc., at 21 W. Stuart Ave., Redlands, CA.

Participants will illustrate the past, present, and future of archaeology, with emphasis on current projects conducted by professionals and scholars in the inland region, including: Department of Anthropology, Cal Poly-Pomona; Department of Anthropology, University of Redlands; Robert and Frances Fullerton Museum of Art, CSU-San Bernardino; Statistical Research, Inc.; Past to Present Programs & Trading Post, LLC; Yucaipa Valley Forge; Heritage Education Programs; Antiquities Illuminating the Past; ECORP;  The Chambers Group, Calico Archaeology Site; AIA Local Society – Riverside and Inland Southern California; and the Center for Near Eastern Archaeology, La Sierra University. The event is family friendly, free of charge, and open to the public; all ages welcome.

There will hands on activities will include; making and writing on ancient Roman style tablets, indentifying late 19th and early 20th century artifacts, and make ancient style clay pots. There will be also demonstrations of stone tool making and blacksmithing.  In additions  there will be talks of Archaeology along Hadrian’s Wall by Floyd K. Ferguson, Cultural Resource Management and the Energy Industry: Challenges of a Green (and not so Green) Energy Boomby Donn Grenda and Calico Archaeology Site. Boy Scouts will be able to work on their Archaeology Merit Badge, at the event

International Archaeology Day, being held on October 18 in 2014 but fêted throughout the month of October, is a celebration or archaeology and the thrill of discovery. Every October the Archaeological Institute of America and collaborating archaeological organizations across the United States, Canada, and abroad present archaeological programs and activities for people of all ages and interests. Interactive, hands-on International Archaeology Day programs provide the chance to indulge your inner Indiana Jones and be an archaeologist for the day.

Untitled-1The AIA Local Society – Riverside and Inland Southern California strives to implement the mission of the AIA in Riverside and San Bernardino counties by: supporting archaeological research and fieldwork; educating peers, students, and the interested public about archaeology; and advocating for the preservation of archaeological sites around the world as part of our shared cultural heritage.

For more information about the event, visit the AIA Local Society website ( or facebook page (, or contact AIA Local Society organizers: Denver Graninger, Assistant Professor of History, UCR ( and Craig Lesh, Heritage Education Programs, CEO (

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New Video on our Progams

Take a look at it on You Tube

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