Investigate 14,000 years of history at Archaeology Day, October 19

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Exterior of the Michigan Library and Historical Center building

Investigate 14,000 Years of Michigan History at 2019 Archaeology Day!

A man points out a fossil to a little girl and her dad.

Have you ever wondered what it's like to be an archaeologist? Here's your chance to talk to archaeologists about investigations and buried artifacts that tell the stories of Michigan!

Join us for the 2019 Archaeology Day, a FREE event for all ages, on Saturday, October 19. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Michigan History Museum in Lansing. This popular annual event features demonstrations, presentations and artifact displays. Popular hands-on activities include:

  • Mock Archaeological Dig - Kids 10 and under can look for pieces of the past and learn how archaeologists document sites.
  • Archaeology Petting Zoo - Touch artifacts and learn about the cultural resources program at the Natural Resources Conservation Service. 
  • Scavenger Hunt - Pick up a carabiner and visit scavenger hunt stops to collect pieces of your own mini archaeology tool kit.
  • Archaeology Roadshow - Bring in an artifact you've found, and experts in archaeology, geology and paleontology will assess your finds and teach you how to report sites.
A smiling boy holds a large animal skull up for the camera.

At 1 p.m., stop by the auditorium to hear retired state archaeologist Dean Anderson explore Michigan's "history mysteries," like the "stone circle" on Beaver Island and the Michigan relics. He'll share tips on how to think critically about the evidence behind claims made about the past.

Almost 30 archaeologists working on more than 15 projects across Michigan will be stationed throughout the museum, where they will tell you about their research, show you some of the artifacts they have found and answer your questions. Projects include:

  • Camp Au Train Archaeology: Everyday Life of CCC Boys And German POWs, by Michigan Technological University.
  • ROVs and Shipwrecks, by Grand Valley State University.
  • Archaeology vs. Paleontology: What’s The Difference? by Cranbrook Institute of Science.
  • Archaeology and Preservation in Hamtramck, by Wayne State University and Hamtramck Historical Society.

Archaeology Day is sponsored by the Michigan History Center, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan State Historic Preservation Office and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

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The Michigan History Center fosters curiosity, enjoyment and inspiration rooted in Michigan’s stories. Our 12 museums and historic sites across the state provide family-friendly places where people of all ages can have fun actively learning about their heritage and the history of Michigan seven days a week through exhibits, special events and diverse programming. For more information, visit