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Fossil Day

In celebration of International Archaeology Day and National Fossil Day, the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture, UT, and the Archaeological Institute of America’s East Tennessee Society will host Can You Dig It?, a free and family friendly event with activities about archaeology and fossils. The event will be held from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday, October 15, at the museum.

UT archaeologists, paleontologists, geologists, and graduate students will host displays about their local and global projects. They will talk with visitors about their work and offer hands-on activities. Visitors also can bring artifacts, rocks, and fossils to the museum for identification by experts.

The event also will have activities for children, including make-and-take Roman-style shield decorating, writing names in Egyptian hieroglyphs, creating clay fossil molds, and matching animal bones.

All activities are free and open to the public, and reservations are not required. The event is sponsored in part by the Tennessee Valley Authority, Publix, the Archaeological Research Laboratory, UT’s School of Art, and the following UT departments: anthropology, earth and planetary sciences, classics, religious studies, and history.

International Archaeology Day is a project of the Archaeological Institute of America, and the East Tennessee chapter in Knoxville is participating in Can You Dig It? The organization sponsors local activities about archaeological projects around the world. National Fossil Day was begun by the National Park Service to encourage interest in the field of paleontology and the study of fossils.

The McClung Museum will also host a panel of local female scientists at 3 p.m. Sunday, October 15, in the museum’s auditorium. The panel is part of the state-wide Tennessee STEAM Festival, a celebration of science, technology, engineering, art, and math. The objective is to engage high school seniors and undergraduate women considering advancing their academic paths. The panel will promote the diversity of career options within the STEAM branches and will highlight the support available to women through mentorships and professional networks.

The museum is at 1327 Circle Park Drive on UT’s campus. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1–5 p.m. Sundays. Parking passes are not needed on the weekends.

Free public transportation to the museum is also available via the Knoxville Trolley Vol Line.

Media coverage: News Sentinel, Oct. 6; WBIR, Rachel Downs, Oct. 10; The Daily Times, Oct. 13


Leslie Chang Jantz (865-974-2144,

Callie Bennett (865-974-2144,