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Culture Contest
Every one of us has a cultural history, a collection of links to our past. In the Culture Contest, you can explore why we study the past and then share with others about your own culture. Get creative! Three winners from our Culture Contest will be featured on this Web site and will win prizes! To enter the contest, first explore the importance of historical artifacts, and then submit your own creations that tell the story of your culture.

Words Used

  • Archaeological site: a place where human activity occurred and material remains were left.
  • Archaeology: a method for studying past human cultures and analyzing material evidence (artifacts and sites).
  • Artifact: any object made or used by humans.
Exploring the Past
Places and things such as artifacts can be messengers from the past. If you know how to read their messages, artifacts can tell you about the people who made and used them and then left them behind. Although the owners of the artifacts and the inhabitants of the sites may have lived hundreds or even thousands of years ago, they had many of the same needs and concerns, hopes and fears, joys and sorrows that we have today.

The link to the past is provided through scientific research as well as through the importance placed on archaeological sites and artifacts. The sites visited in our Field Trips to the Bering Land Bridge National Preserve provide links to the ancient travels and settlement of the people who first came to North America from Asia across the Bering Land Bridge, and they are important for that reason. By looking at the preserve's artifacts and settlement sites, archaeologists provide scientific information about the lives of the people who lived there and continue to live there.

Cultural Connections
While the early settlers of Beringia are an important group to study, you don't have to live on a National Preserve to have a cultural history. Think about the culture of your own family and community. Do some brainstorming on what is important about your culture. Share with your class, your friends or your family an object (artifact) or photograph from home that tells about your own or your family's past. Tell each other what your objects say about your past. Why are these objects important to your families? What lessons do they hold? Is it important for you to know about your past? Why or why not? What can we learn from the past?

If archaeologists were to excavate your house or classroom, would they find artifacts there that they might not recognize? What would the artifacts say about you, your classroom, or your family?

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Culture Contest
introduction | get creative | contest rules

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