I know there is a curriculum out there where groups of kids imagine an early humans group (based on what they have learned) and create appropriate artifacts and bury them, and then other groups dig up each others artifacts and draw conclusions. Can anyone point me to this?
If you are able to take a field trip, you can take kids to any river bank or road cut (that is safe, of course) as the cross section of layers of soil and rock are already exposed, and they can practice using archaeologists tools (or simulations of them) and you can coach them what to look for. The bonus is that they might find an actual artifact instead of a planted one if you choose sites more likely to have them.
I've also read that you can simulate stratigraphy and seriation by using different layers of jello and gummy worms, bears, etc. Here's a link:
I've also used big plastic tubs and a mixture of dirt and sand in which I buried a variety of objects.
As a member of the Archaeological Institute of America for 20 years. the website located in post #3 is an invaluable tool for educators of archaeology. To add further insight I also suggest a peek at The Theban Mapping Project headed by Dr. Kent Weeks at:
The site includes several virtual tours through their expeditions, and although it is not an early modern human dig site, it is neolithic in that it is an ancient Egyptian archaeological site. Regardless, the site provides tremendous insight into the world of archaeology.
I hope this was helpful
I did a quick search and found this site for you:
It is full of lesson plans from the Archaeological Institute of America. It even has a mystery cemetery project that looks very interesting.
Or you could purchase the textbook and CD Virtual Dig: A Simulated Archaeological Excavation of a Middle Paleolithic Site in France, with Student CD-ROM from amazon.com for $57.
I hope this helps. Good luck!
I've done that when I taught 7th grade World Geography.
Try these links: