archaeology dig

Photo by Mercie Ghimire

Family Programs

Archaeology Dig

Regular schedule: Saturday–Sunday (except December 15)
Winter schedule: Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, December 26–January 12
Drop in anytime during regular Museum hours; last entry at 4:15 pm

About the Program

Calling all aspiring archaeologists to the Skirball’s dig site! With the help of the archaeological staff in an outdoor field laboratory, discover what we have in common with people who lived centuries ago.

Slip on an archaeologist’s vest, sift and sort to find ancient artifacts buried beneath the sand, weigh and examine your findings, and analyze clues to piece together the story of an ancient Iron Age town.

Archaeology-inspired activities may be moved indoors due to weather.

Archaeology Month at the Skirball

Saturdays and Sundays, October 5–27
12:00 and 2:00 pm

Each weekend in October, celebrate California Archaeology Month! The Near East meets the West as we look at traditions from both ancient Israel and California. Through demonstrations and drop-in activities, discover how people of the past interacted with their surrounding resources. 

  • Saturday, October 5: Make a yucca cordage bracelet and learn more about the history and uses of basketry with Rose Ann Hamilton, basket weaver, cultural arts instructor, and tribal member of the Cahuilla Band of Indians.
  • Sunday, October 6:  Archaeologist Dr. Brandon Lewis will present stone artifacts of California, the American Southwest, and the American Midwest from Santa Monica College’s collections.
  • Saturday–Sunday, October 12–13: Taste olive oil and explore the history of this ancient culinary staple with Skirball educators.
  • Saturday, October 19: International Archaeology Day! Make a soapstone amulet carving and learn about Native American lifeways centered on the steatite stonework of the Gabrielino-Tongva Tribe with anthropologist Lazaro Arvizu.
  • Sunday, October 20: Take a closer look at the Skirball’s beautiful replica of the Hammath Tiberias mosaic in the exhibition Vision and Values before making your own mosaic.
  • Saturday, October 26: Learn how people of the ancient world used metal to make tools, weapons, jewelry, coins, and art. Then make your own metal impression design with Skirball educators.
  • Sunday, October 27: Participate in an artifact preservation activity with anthropologist Dr. Felicia Beardsley and historian Anne Collier of the University of La Verne Cultural and Natural Collections. They will present Californian artifacts from the Miocene age and through the late nineteenth century.

Designed for ages 5 and up.