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Lesson 2: Ancient Artifacts

Students put their archaeology skills to the test as they strive to identify ancient Mayan artifacts.

This lesson complements several puzzles from the Mayan Mysteries game, including Artifact ID, Digging, and Pyramid Chambers, as well as the companion apps Can U Dig It! and Loot Pursuit: Tulum. To learn more about the online game and apps, visit www.dig-itgames.com.

Objectives:

  • Understand what artifacts are
  • Identify Maya artifacts
  • Associate artifacts with aspects of Maya daily life

Materials: The Ancient Artifacts student activity sheet; computer for access to reference resources

Time Required: 30 minutes

Directions:

  1. In this activity, students will explore many of the ancient artifacts of Maya civilization. Students will match the artifacts with their use in Maya life.
  2. Distribute the activity sheet and review the page with students. Students may want to research the artifacts to match them with their descriptions.
  3. Once students are done, review the answers as a class.
  4. As a follow-up, have students play the Loot Pursuit: Tulum game app to learn more about ancient Maya artifacts and then research additional facts about the artifacts presented.

Answers:
Part 1

  1. E. — cacao pot: a vessel used to hold a sacred food 
  2. A. — metate: an instrument used to grind maize
  3. J. — arrowhead: a weapon made from obsidian, a volcanic glass
  4. G. — scepter: a staff used by a Maya king 
  5. H. — ballcourt marker: a circular feature that established a dividing line between teams in Maya ball games
  6. I. — stingray spines: instruments used for bloodletting
  7. C. — tooth inlays: dental fillings often made of jade and usually reserved for the Maya elite 
  8. F. — shell goggles: protective wear used by Maya warriors
  9. D. — incense burner: an item used to communicate with the gods
  10. B. — plumbate pot: highly decorated glazed pottery used for trade

Part 2
DAILY LIFE

  • cacao pot
  • arrowhead
  • plumbate pot
  • metate
  • shell goggles
ADORNMENT
  • tooth inlays

RECREATION

  • ballcourt marker

RITUAL/CEREMONY

  • incense burner
  • scepter
  • stingray spines

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