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Arkansas Archeology Month
- March 2004 -

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Theme: Containers Before Plastic

Painted JarSo many of our containers and packages today are made of plastic, but before plastic was available, people made containers out of wood, fiber, metal, hide, glass, and clay. There were glass bottles, ceramic tureens, splint baskets, leather bags, and wood boxes among the many different kinds of containers. Exhibits can explore the different shapes of containers and the different materials of which they were made, as well as exploring the great variety of items they held. Craft classes on making early containers offer activity possibilities.

Ideas for Archeology Month Activities

  • Make a display of different kinds of containers, including those made of wood, basketry, hide, clay, metal, gourds, etc. Examine how each was used.
  • Sponsor a hands-on activity to make containers from various materials. Use paper (origami), weaving, carving, clay modeling, etc.
  • Engraved BottleTeach a make-and-take class on pottery. Let participants make a coil or pinch pot, and decorate it using designs found on Native American pottery or patterns from historic plates.
  • Make a side-by-side comparison of ancient and modern containers. What are the similarities and differences in those used to hold food, water, make-up, cleaning supplies, etc.
  • Conduct a tour to a modern potter's shop. Explore the process of making pottery.


You can also review activity ideas from past Archeology Weeks and Months:


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