Old Hickory Council - Hanging Rock District

Troop 444: Archaeology Merit Badge






  1. Tell what archaeology is and explain how it differs from anthropology, geology, paleontology, and history.
  2. Describe each of the following steps of the archaeological process: site location, site excavation, artifact identification and examination, interpretation, preservation, and information sharing.
  3. Describe at least two ways in which archaeologists determine the age of sites, structures, or artifacts. Explain what relative dating is.
  4. Do TWO of the following:
        A. Learn about three archaeological sites located outside the United States.
        B. Learn about three archaeological sites located within the United States.
        C. Visit an archaeological site and learn about it.

    For EACH site you research for options a, b, or c, point it out on a map and explain how it was discovered. Describe some of the information about the past that has been found at each site. Explain how the information gained from the study of these sites answers questions that archaeologists are asking and how the information may be important to modern people. Compare the relative ages of the sites you research.
  5. Choose ONE of the sites you completed for Requirement 4 and give a short presentation about your findings to a Cub Scout pack, your Scout troop, your school class, or another group.
  6. Do the following:
        A. Explain why it is important to protect archaeological sites.
        B. Explain what people should do if they think they have found an artifact.
        C. Describe the ways in which you can be a protector of the past.
  7. Do ONE of the following:
        A. Make a list of items you would include in a time capsule. Discuss with your merit badge counselor
            what archaeologists a thousand years from now might learn from the contents of your capsule about
            you and the culture in which you live.
        B. Make a list of the trash your family throws out during one week. Discuss with your counselor what
            archaeologists finding that trash a thousand years from now might learn from it about you and your
  8. Do ONE of the following:
        A. Under the supervision of a qualified archaeologist, spend at least eight hours helping to excavate an
            archaeological site.
        B. Under the supervision of a qualified archaeologist, spend at least eight hours in an archaeological
            laboratory helping to prepare artifacts for analysis, storage, or display.
        C. If you are unable to work in the field or in a laboratory under the supervision of a qualified
            archaeologist, you may substitute a mock dig. To find out how to make a mock dig, talk with a
            professional archaeologist, trained a vocational archaeologist, museum school instructor, junior high
            or high school science teacher, adviser from a local archaeology society, or other qualified instructor.
            Plan what you will bury in your artificial site to show use of your "site" during two time periods.
  9. Under the supervision of a qualified archaeologist or instructor, do ONE of the following:
        A. Help prepare an archaeological exhibit for display in a museum, visitor center, school, or other public
        B. Use the methods of experimental archaeology to re-create an item or to practice a skill from the
            past. Write a brief report explaining the experiment and its results.
  10. Do ONE of the following:
        A. Research American Indians who live or once lived in your area. Find out about traditional lifeways,
            dwellings, clothing styles, arts and crafts, and methods of food gathering, preparation, and storage.
            Describe what you would expect to find at an archaeological site for these people.
        B. Research settlers or soldiers who were in your area at least one hundred years ago. Find out about
            the houses or forts, ways of life, clothing styles, arts and crafts, and dietary habits of the early
            settlers, farmers, ranchers, soldiers, or townspeople who once lived in the area where your
            community now stands. Describe what you would expect to find at an archaeological site for these

Archaeology Worksheets for use in working on these requirements

Boy Scout Oath

On my honor, I will do my best

To do my duty to God and my Country and to obey the Scout Law;

To help other people at all times;

To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.

Boy Scout Law

A Scout Is...

A Scout tells the truth.
He keeps his promises.
Honesty is part of his code of conduct.
People can depend on him.
A Scout is true to his family, Scout leaders, friends, school, and nation.LOYAL
A Scout is concerned about other people. He does things willingly for others without pay or reward.HELPFUL
A Scout is a friend to all.
He is a brother to other Scouts.
He seeks to understand others.
He respects those with ideas and customs other than his own.
A Scout is polite to everyone regardless of age or position.
He knows good manners make it easier for people to get along together.
A Scout understands there is strength in being gentle.
He treats others as he wants to be treated.
He does not hurt or kill harmless things without reason.
A Scout follows the rules of his family, school, and troop.
He obeys the laws of his community and country.
If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.
A Scout looks for the bright side of things.
He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.
A Scout works to pay his way and to help others.
He saves for unforeseen needs.
He protects and conserves natural resources.
He carefully uses time and property.
A Scout can face danger even if he is afraid.
He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at or threaten him.
A Scout keeps his body and mind fit and clean.
He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals.
He helps keep his home and community clean.
A Scout is reverent toward God.
He is faithful in his religious duties.
He respects the beliefs of others.