Kansas Kaleidoscope - April/May 2000
(Volume 3, Number 5)
A fun magazine for kids!
Digging into Kansas History
Archeology uncovers the story of our past!
People of Our Past
Archeologists have determined that people first came to the area that is now Kansas about 11,000 to 12,000 years ago. To study the people who have lived since then, scientists have divided the years into time periods.
Dinosaurs for Dinner? You Figure it Out!
Dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago. Humans have existed for about 100,000 years, and they have occupied Kansas for about 12,000 years. So it is clear that early people in this area did not hunt dinosaurs. They did hunt megafauna (big animals), such as mammoths and mastodons.
Archeology is the scientific study of ancient cultures and people.
What do a fragment of bone, a broken piece of pottery and tiny seeds have in common? They are all clues used by archeologists.
Thou Shalt Not Be a Pot Hunter
Don't even think about it! Pot hunters are people who dig for artifacts without regard for the sites where they were found.
Pawnee Indian Museum State Historic Site
Prehistoric Pawnees were among the first people in this area to build earth-covered houses. Several archeological sites show these early Americans lived in small villages along creeks and rivers in north-central Kansas. You can visit this Pawnee Indian Village State Historic Site in Republic and see an excavated earth lodge inside the museum.
Our Recent Past
Artifacts from ancient cultures are not the only things uncovered by archeologists. We also use their skills to tell us about how people lived more recently. One such site is the John and Mary Ritchie House near downtown Topeka. They moved into the two-story, limestone house in 1856.
Before horses were introduced to Native Americans in the mid-1600s, early people relied on dogs as pack animals.
The Father of Kansas Archeology
Born in North Newton in 1908, Waldo R. Wedel was fascinated by archeology at a young age. He grew up to become one of the most respected archeologists in America.
A Kansas Kid Digs into History
Susan Lee of Lawrence exclaimed, "Ooo! I think I've got something!" as she dug with a trowel at the 1998 Kansas Archeology Training Program (KATP) field school near Fowler in Meade County. At 11, Susan was one of the youngest participants at the dig. . .and maybe one of the most enthusiastic.
The Big Picture
Do you think you have an archeologist's sharp eye for detail? Find clues throughout the magazine by looking very closely at the pictures.
Dig In and Find These Words!
Using some clues, find and circle 10 archeology words and complete 10 sentences.