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In celebration of International Archaeology Day and National Fossil Day, the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will host a family-friendly event, “Can You Dig It?” on Sunday, October 13.

The event, from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m., will feature activities about archaeology and fossils. It is co-sponsored by the East Tennessee Society of the Archaeological Institute of America.

It is free and open to the public and reservations are not required.

UT archaeologists and paleontologists and their graduate students will present displays about their projects in Greece, Jordan, Virginia, and Tennessee and talk about their work. Visitors also can bring artifacts, rocks, and fossils for identification.

Activities for children will include a make-and-take Roman-style shield, writing names in Egyptian hieroglyphs, designing Native American Pueblo pottery using stamps, and writing on clay tablets in cuneiform (ancient Mesopotamian writing). Games include identifying plant remains in sandboxes, matching animal bones, putting together ceramic vessels, and building a model Roman fort with Legos.

The museum is located at 1327 Circle Park Drive. It is open Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Free two-hour museum parking passes are available from the parking information building at the entrance to Circle Park Drive on weekdays. Parking passes are not needed on weekends.

International Archaeology Day is a project of the Archaeological Institute of America, an organization that sponsors activities about archaeological projects around the world.

The National Park Service began National Fossil Day to encourage interest in the field of paleontology, the study of fossils.

For more information about the McClung Museum and its collections and exhibits, visit the website.

To learn more about the East Tennessee Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, visit the website.


Erin Darby (865-974-6977,

Catherine Shteynberg (865-974-6921,