Can 3000 schoolchildren make history? How to involve a community in exploring its late medieval roots; field report from an ongoing slow archaeology project

Anne Traaholt, Kjartan Fønsteilen


Many archaeological excavations leave behind great amounts of
unresearched cultural layers ready to be cleared when the bulldozers move in to start new construction at the site. This can be due to parts of site falling outside the main scientific focus or soil removed due to development without any prior proper excavation taking place. These soils, often rich in artefacts are later lost when new area use takes place. The project presented here shows how such cultural layers can provide valuable teaching grounds for young people even when they have been removed from the site. By creating a program where large numbers of schoolchildren from the region near to a particular site annually participate in excavations of a cultural layers rescued after the scientific researchers have left the site, we have put local history on the agenda. The children come with their teachers to a local museum and they all become ‘archaeologist for a day’ by participating in sifting through the soil, catalog the artefacts and add their understanding of their region’s history. All guided by archaeologists on the spot.
Involving schoolchildren in a long lasting excavation project gives a rare opportunity to develop a constructive relationship with a community.


Labo-project; Community Archaeology; Schoolchildren; Norwway

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Anne Traaholt, Kjartan Fønsteilen

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

ISSN: 2171-6315

Follow us on:

Journal edited by JAS Arqueología