Archaeology and Its Mysteries

On Tuesday, 6th February, our budding archaeologists went on yet another expedition to dig deeper into the the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. Deccan College of of Archaeology holds a rare collection of ancient and rare artefacts which reveal stories about life in the past. On our arrival, we were greeted by a passionate PHD student of this college, Ms. Aparna Joshi.

Ms. Aparna very enthusiastically showed us a range of artefacts and explained how archaeologists can predict the historical era/period these historic objects belonged to, based on how deep below the ground these items were buried. Our students were fascinated to discover artefacts dating right back to the Stone Age, and our keen observers even noticed and shared how crude the tools were back then.

We explored several galleries, but the one that we were most excited to explore was the Indus Valley Civilization, as we have been learning so many interesting things about this culture and we were curious to see these authentic artefacts. This gallery certainly didn’t disappoint us, as we saw several  reconstructed clay pots, toys, jewellery, tools, and storage containers. We were informed by Ms Aparna how archaeologists find pieces and follow a special system which helps them preserve the artefact and put them back together as a whole reconstructed piece. Students understood how these artefacts serve as evidence of how knowledgeable and intelligent people were back then. Students also noticed how the tools improved and became more refined with time. They also realised how some items are still used, albeit in a different form today. This experience helped students to develop their conceptual understanding of continuity and progression .

The trip ended with a slideshow of pictures and a Q&A session with Ms Aparna, where the students asked pertinent and relevant questions, such as ‘How do archaeologists know where to start digging?’ and ‘How do they know how to put together the pieces they find to reconstruct an artifact?’

The whole experience of seeing real artefacts first hand, as well as learning from an expert made many students enthusiastic about becoming an archaeologist when they grew up!

Here are some Student reflections after the trip:

“This was a really fun experience for us because we saw many cool things like real life skeletons, weapons and armor that the stone-age people used, to kill and eat animals and we also saw how the ancient people made villages. Before we went on this field trip I didn’t think it would be this amazing to see these stunning artifacts, I thought it would be boring listening about these nice artifacts but then it turned out to be fun! I had always wondered what life must have been in the olden days because those people must have worked so hard building those civilizations and then one day those people died and all their hard work went to waste. The most interesting part of this field trip was seeing the real life skeletons because at first I thought they were fake but then I saw really old teeth and broken bones which looked like they were not touched in a million years and then the teacher who was owning the Deccan college said that it was real and by the look on her face I knew she wasn’t lying. I learned that civilizations are not easy to compare but when you really know about a civilization you can bring out the similarities and differences.I also learned that many things can be similar between civilizations like writings like the Egyptian writing and the Indus writing look similar.”

Pranjal Mukherjee, PYP 3A

“On the 6th of Feb,2018, PYP3 went on a field trip to Deccan College Of Archeology. As soon as we got there, we saw a wall of ancient artefacts, few ancient papers about some famous people,(archeologists I guessed). In the next galleries we saw burials with 1,000,000 year old skeletons,100,000 year old stone weapons,from the cavemen times when man used to live in caves,and more.

But the most exciting part for me was the powerpoint about Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. It was about some seals that had been found in Harappa.Then later some were found in Mohenjo-Daro. I think that those seals were used as some kind of currency or money.I loved this field trip because I learned more about the past and I’ve always wanted to see a real skeleton. I would like to come back so that I can learn how to to be an archeologist.”

Aditya Vishwananthan, PYP 3B