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Archaeology - China

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China is a powerhouse in the economy and society of the modern world. How did it get that way? What are the roots of Chinese culture that it has become what it manifestly is? This year's dig, to be held at Farnsworth Middle School from Monday August 26 to Friday the 30th will provide an archaeological perspective on this question. The wellsprings of Chinese tradition involve ancestor worship, magic in the form of oracles and divination, an authoritarian leadership structure and careful land use practices designed to extract a living at the family level of subsistence. China can be seen as a long term cultural and social experiment in the adjustment of these practices (with various outcomes) over a vast timeframe. Archaeologists look at individual sites to garner clues about what this experiment consisted of, how it turned out, and what its implications are, or were. The site we excavate comes from the heart of the Shang Dynasty at Anyang, a city near the southern edge of the North China plain by the beginning of the lower reaches of the Yellow River. Students will learn how to find, preserve, interpret and value their finds while gaining insight into the surprising evidence for unique aspects of Chinese culture as enumerated above. The goal of the dig is to inculcate skills of critical discernment in the minds of the diggers, who can then wield their analytical, fact-based prowess in understanding relevant social and economic questions at large in the world today. The artifacts are stunning, their context revealing and their meaning mysterious. Do you have the patience, skill and talent to unlock their secrets? Find out this Spring! Enrollment is limited. Don't miss your chance to hone investigative talents, expand experience and learn what it's like to excavate a site dating to the near-mythical Shang.

General Information
  • Campers should arrive dressed for the weather, with appropriate footwear and a cap or hat.
  • Sunblock and kid-friendly bug dope may also be needed.
  • All campers should pack a hearty lunch, labeled drink and a snack.
  • Space is limited; please sign up early if you wish to have your children attend.
  • Head Instructor: Geoffrey Purcell
  • Bus Transportation: NOT AVAILABLE
  • Aftercare: M-Th only, $30 until 5:15 pm. No early care available, drop off from 8:30 am. Contact the instructor, geofpurcell@gmail.com.
  • Please note a location change - the FMS Community Gardens are located in the front of Farnsworth Middle School (6072 State Farm Rd, Guilderland, NY 12084). The program will also have a classroom inside of the school to utilize.


* Adjustments and discounts will be applied during checkout if applicable. *

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