Have you ever thought you and your family could go to an archaeological dig site for your vacation? Several areas offer not only the stark beauty of your surroundings, but the great history of the area. Imagine finding a piece of history while on vacation, how cool would that be! As with everything there is a downside, you will get dirty, you may live in a tent for a couple days and who really cares when you will have the chance to experience what few people ever will. You will learn the proper way to handle artifacts, how to excavate them, and learn how to preserve them for future generations.
If you are visiting Japan and you like to scuba dive you can still explore a dig site. The Earth Watch Internationals Truk Lagoon Dive has been allowed to monitor 50 ships and 300 aircraft that are lying on the sea floor of the Imperial Japanese Navy base. These ships and aircraft were either sank or shot down when Americans ran a mission there in 1944. Divers are permitted to go out twice a day seven days a week. So if this sounds exciting enough for you grab your gear and head on out.
Are you heading to Arizona for your vacation? The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center out of Mesa Verde, Arizona has many dig sites available June through September. For those who relish the idea of finding an artifact that can date back thousands of years, this is your opportunity to get dirty and enjoy it. The Crow Canyon Archaeological Center has been working on a village site that is believed to date back to 1200 A.D. Volunteers are welcome to lend a hand.
In Hot Springs, South Dakota your chances of helping to uncover a wooly mammoth indeed shoot up as this area is known as a hotbed of activity for the wooly mammoth. The Mammoth Site is where you want to go if you are intrigued and itching to help find one of these massive creatures, no time like the present. From what has already been discovered at this site it looks like a group of young male wooly mammoths made a mistake on where to stop for dinner 26,000 years ago and ended up in a sink hole.
If you are interested in learning the techniques used by archaeologist the Texas Archeological Society sponsors a program that gives guests the opportunity to learn the techniques that are used by archaeologists in the field. You will learn not only the excavation techniques, but the procedures for recording your findings and how best to preserve what you find.
There are many other locations that are just waiting to be found so new opportunities to take a “dig vacation” are getting dug up all the time. If you already have your vacation planned but are interested in going on a dig site contact the visitor’s center in the area where you have planned your vacation and see what they have to offer. Enjoy the experience!
“Diving WWII Wrecks of Truk Lagoon,” EarthWatch Institute
“Discover the Past, Share the Adventure,” Crow Canyon Archaeology Center
“International Treasure,” The Mammoth Site