Project Archaeology

Developed by the Bureau of Land Management and Montana State University



“Project Archaeology reminds us that public archaeology is not just about archaeologists presenting their work to non-archaeologists, but about putting people first and showing how archaeology can improve people’s lives. The physical products and network of amazing people connect the past and present to facilitate deeper understandings of culture, economics, climatology, and the environment in hopes of creating a brighter future.”
- Rebecca Simon, Assistant State Archaeologist

Project Archaeology is a program for primary and secondary students and teachers developed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and Montana State University. It originated in Utah during the 1990s to use education to promote stewardship and combat looting of archaeological resources.


Project Archaeology provides teachers with lessons that focus on questions grounded in the social sciences. These lessons lead students to answers using hands-on archaeological activities that teach about science, technology, engineering, and math. Project Archaeology also supports teachers through educational workshops offered in 27 states by regional Project Archaeology affiliates –including Colorado.


One hands-on activity is simulated excavation, which teaches students to get the practical skills of field archaeology as they excavate and map site replicas. Using the scientific method, students develop their own research questions and draw conclusions based on what they find as they excavate.


“As a teacher of over 30 years, I can confidently state that the Project Archaeology curriculum is among the best designed, most engaging investigative curriculums I have ever implemented in the classroom. Besides its clear learning outcomes, one of the aspects I appreciate most about Project Archaeology is its inclusive and approachable design. All of my middle school students are able to grasp the concepts presented and contribute in group activities independent of their literary skills.”
-Rachel Smith, Retired Mesa County Middle School Teacher