The Archaeology of Cactus Ruin

The Archaeology of Cactus Ruin: A Paper Excavation is a lesson designed to teach students how archaeologists use sampling strategies to learn about past cultures.

Cactus Ruin is modeled after the ancestral Puebloan site, Roy’s Ruin. The site was excavated in 1988 by Crow Canyon Archaeological Center as part of the Sand Canyon Archaeological Project Site Testing Program. The artifact data is derived from Roy’s Ruin and other tested sites. This lesson was designed for middle school through adult learners.

While this is an older module, we see that it is still effective and engaging. The learning experience typically takes about 1 week in the classroom. It includes:

    • slideshows
    • timelines
    • pages of related content