Archaeology at the Galilee Cemetery

Archaeology at Galilee Cemetery

for Elementary School Students

by Chelsea Montgomery


archaeology – the study of people who lived before us. Archaeologists study people through the things they left behind.

reflection – when you stop and think about something

respect – treating others how you would want to be treated

survey – a type of archaeology where you record only what you can see.  There is no digging.

teamwork -  working with other people to get a job done 

Archaeology at Galilee Cemetery

Archaeology can help us learn about Galilee Cemetery. Archaeology is the study of people who lived before us. Archaeologists are people who study archaeology. They study people through the things they left behind.  At Galilee Cemetery, archaeologists can study people through the graves that they have left behind.  They can learn something about the people buried at Galilee Cemetery and about the community that those people lived in.

Archaeologists are busy at Galilee recording everything. They are taking pictures of all of the graves.  They are writing down everyone’s name and birthday. At Galilee Cemetery, there is no digging. This type of archaeology is called a survey. Surveys need good observation skills but not shovels.  The survey will tell us who is buried at Galilee and where they are buried.

Archaeology – Not Just Digging

Archaeology is not just digging.  Do you know Indiana Jones?  He is an archaeologist, too.  Yet archaeologists at Galilee Cemetery are not like Indiana Jones.  They do not look for treasure or study people from long ago.  There are many types of archaeology.  Some archeologists study people who lived 500 years ago and others study people who lived 5 years ago or even 1 month ago.   

What is archaeology about?

All types of archaeology have four things in common.  They are all about understanding, teamwork, respect, and reflection.  All archaeologists want to understand the past better. They can excavate, or dig, or do surveys so that they can learn about the past from the things people left behind.

Archaeology is about teamwork, too. Teamwork means working with other people to get a job done. You can work together to win a soccer match or you can work together to do an archaeological survey. You need to work together to do a survey because it is too much work to do alone.

Archaeology is also about respect. To respect someone means to treat them how you would want to be treated.  It is important to respect the people buried at Galilee. The survey helps us to respect the people of the past.  Not bothering burials is one way of showing respect. To do that, we need to learn where everyone is buried so that no one is ever moved or disturbed. By learning about the past, we can learn to respect the people who lived before us. Understanding is the first step to respect. 

Archaeology is about reflection. Reflection is when you stop and think about something. It is important to stop and think when you are doing archaeology. Sometimes how you feel is the same way that others feel. By thinking about how you feel, you may learn how people of the past felt.  Other times, you feel differently from other people. You can also learn about the people of the past by thinking about how your feelings may be different from their feelings. Thinking about peoples’ feelings is important. Our feelings make us human.

Stop and think about what you have learned about Sarasota history. Stop and think about what you have learned about archaeology. What was the most interesting? What were you surprised about?

What can I do?

Archaeologists are not the only ones who can help. You can, too!  Come out to visit the cemetery.  Try to understand the lives of the people buried at Galilee. You can help keep take care of the cemetery, too!  Plant some flowers or trees there.  Ask friends or family if they knew someone buried in Galilee. If so, learn about that person’s life. Do you think their life was very different from yours? Why or why not?

Think about it!

1. What else do you know about archaeology? Where else have you learned about it? From movies, books, or television? From someone you know?

2. Why does the past matter?