Search NOVA Teachers

Back to Teachers Home

Ancient Refuge in the Holy Land

Viewing Ideas


Before Watching

  1. Ask students to imagine that they are living in 2055. If they were excavating an American dwelling unchanged from 2005, what types of objects would they be likely to find that might provide evidence about the culture of the time? (E.g., cars, appliances, TVs, DVDs.) What would they expect to find at a site where a culture existed without running water, electricity, or automobiles?

  2. Ask students what types of items they would need to bring into a cave if they were planning to hide there for a long time. What would be the best way to store food? How would they dispose of waste products? What would they do for entertainment?

  3. Organize students into two groups. As students watch, have one group record the technologies used to explore the cave and the other group record the items found.

After Watching

  1. Have a volunteer from each group share its group's list. What were the technologies used to explore the cave? (Ground-penetrating radar, endoscopy, electrical resistivity tomography.) How does each technology work? What items did archeologists find in the cave? Which items were found with which technologies? Which items were found through non-technical means?

  2. Scientists used carbon-14 dating to analyze the age of a piece of rope found in the cave. Have students research how carbon-14 dating works and write a one-page summary of the process. Ask students to include the maximum age that can be determined using this technique.

Teacher's Guide
Ancient Refuge in the Holy Land

Support provided by