Activity Page: Archaeology

Activity Page: Archaeology

Welcome to our activity page inspired by ARCHAEOLOGY in the University of Aberdeen Collections.

Rediscovering museum collections: from the Great Pyramid to Aberdeen - Dr Abeer Eladany

In this talk for Current Archaeology, travel from Egypt to Aberdeen, learn about early investigations of the Great Pyramid and how a long-lost artefact was recently rediscovered. Dr Abeer Eladany, University of Aberdeen, has the full story! WATCH NOW

Bone Detectives: Britain's Buried Secrets

The fascinating story of people who lived in the North and North-east of Scotland around 4,000 years ago was the feature of Channel 4's The Bone Detectives on Saturday 3rd October, 2020.The episode included items from the University of Aberdeen’s museum collection, which has what has been described as Europe’s best curated collection relating to these people, including some 80 skeletons and objects with which they were buried. The Bone Detectives

Life in Aberdeenshire 4000 years ago

A conversation with Chris Croly, Public Engagement Manager with Neil Curtis, Head of Museums and Special Collections. This episode looks at research which has been done on aspects of the rich museum collections held by the University of Aberdeen. Recent research projects have engaged with pre-historic beakers, skeletal evidence and more to offer tantalising glimpses into life in the north east of Scotland 4000 years ago.

Online Archaeology Week Guest Speakers

These talks are co-hosted with the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

    With thanks to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland for co-hosting these talks.

Mystery Objects!

Archaeologists can't always explain everything about the objects they find. The University of Aberdeen has a collection of carved stone balls dating from 3500 to 1500 BC. There are over 425 known, almost all from Scotland, particularly the North East. Their purpose is unknown. We recently asked people for their suggestions as to what they might have been use for on Twitter. Have you got any ideas? 


Search the Collections: carved stone balls

Games & Activity Sheets

Online Jigsaw

How fast can you piece together this picture of an excavation at Pompeii? HAVE A TRY!

'The excavation of the Temple of Isis in Pompeii' from Sir William Hamilton's Campi Phlegraei 

This image is from the UoA Collections. Sir William Hamilton's Campi Phlegraei or 'Flaming Fields' (1776) documents the late 18th Century eruptions of Mount Vesuvius. Hamilton was Britain's envoy to the Spanish Court at Naples. His book contains 54 hand-coloured plates by the artist Peter Fabris. Excavation of the Roman towns of Herculaneum and Pompeii which were destroyed in 79AD were funded by King Ferdinand I and became popular tourist attractions for wealthy travellers.

Online Exhibition: Ta-Kheru

In 2018 a major exhibition investigating the University's Egyptian mummy, Ta-Kheru, was held in the Sir Duncan Rice Library Gallery. It is now possible to "visit" this exhibition as part of the UoA Collections initiative to provide online exhibitions which never close. VISIT

This online exhibition shows images of Ta-Kheru’s mummified body in its original wrappings, and CT scans of the interior of her body.



Can you dig it?

Come and dig for archaeological objects in our Human Culture Collections online.

The UoA Collections include many objects uncovered in the North East region. We've picked out just a few to show you. 15 LOCAL FINDS

Search our collections online to discover many more.

Search the Collections



The King's Dig - Remembered

Take a look back at the dig that took place in 2017 as part of the University's MayFest. 

A Heritage Lottery Fund award enabled Dr Gordon Noble and his team to embark on the dig at the heart of historic King’s College. The hope was to uncover evidence of a 16th Century grammar school for students wanting to enter King’s College, thought to have stood on a site close to the front of King’s College Chapel. Visitors to the festival were invited to get involved in excavation work alongside the professionals.

Watch what happened over the 7 days of the dig.

(Look out for a special guest appearance by Tony Robinson on Day 5!)

UoA Archaeology Best Video Picks

Scottish Archaeology Month is about promoting and celebrating the invaluable work of Scottish heritage organisations, big and small, and that is what you will see this September. find out about a packed programme by visiting ARCHAEOLOGY SCOTLAND.

UOA Collections