Young Archaeologists Become Palaeontologists for the Day

Members of the Beacon Museum’s Young Archaeologists Club (Whitehaven, Cumbria) got the chance to put their archaeology skills to the test when team members from Everything Dinosaur led a special session exploring dinosaur fossils.

The club, known as the YAC meets on the last Saturday of every month, to take part in activities with the Beacon Museum’s trained staff who can utilise the large collection of objects and artefacts within the Beacon’s impressive collection.  However, with the museum showing the Walking with Dinosaurs exhibition for the summer, special dispensation was arranged to bring forward the August meeting so that club members could get to grips with being a palaeontologist for the afternoon.

Team members at Everything Dinosaur, led the session and gave the YAC members the chance to cast their very own museum replica fossils including Velociraptor claws, teeth from a giant shark, duck-billed dinosaur toe bones and part of the nose horn from a Late Cretaceous horned dinosaur.

Young Archaeologists handling an Ammonite Fossil

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The picture shows Alan Gillon, the Learing Officer at the Beacon museum examining a 180 million year old Jurassic ammonite fossil with two, enthusiastic YAC members.

When asked to explain the difference between archaeology and palaeontology, Mike Walley of Everything Dinosaur said:

“Put simply, archaeologists get the dirt and we get the rocks.  Archaeologists are mainly concerned with the study of human history and prehistory through the excavation of sites related to human settlements, palaeontologists on the other hand are interested in the study of ancient life and our excavations are concerned with finding traces of ancient creatures and plants that lived many millions of years ago.”

The Whitehaven branch of the Young Archaeologists’ Club usually meets on the last Saturday of each month from 2-4pm.  The club provides archaeology and history based activities for 8-14 year olds.  Members go on trips and take part in hands-on workshops, exploring all aspects of archaeology and history, both ancient and modern.  They even get the chance to take part in dinosaur workshops in schools.

To learn more about the Beacon museum and its Young Archaeologists Club: The Beacon Museum

YAC Members at the Beacon Museum with the Right Dentary of a Tyrannosaurus rex

Young Archaeologists meeting with Everything Dinosaur

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Team members at Everything Dinosaur will be paying one last visit to the Beacon Museum’s Walking with Dinosaurs event, over the weekend of August the 13th and 14th.  If you want to get the chance to handle some cool fossils or indeed to ask the experts any questions relating to dinosaurs – here’s your chance, after all, not everyone gets the chance to take part in a dinosaur workshop.

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