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Background For Teachers:
Because the rivers entering the lake flow over a long, gradual slope, the sediments deposited in the meanders of the lakeside marshes contain only fine silt. Heavier particles such as rocks and pebbles drop out higher up in the stream near canyons as the water velocity begins to decrease. Rocks used for fire pits, pottery shards, bones, and other artifacts are easily seen on this fine-grained surface. Any pottery pieces that have been soaked in salty water will crumble when handled because the salt crystals, which form inside the shards, loosen the bonds between the layers of clay.
Removal of artifacts from a site can make analysis difficult or incorrect and can destroy the scientific value of the site. This lesson introduces students to the ethics of archaeology as well as to the types of discoveries that lead to more extensive surveys and excavations.
This lesson plan was provided by the Utah Museum of Natural History.
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