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Fossil Day

In celebration of International Archaeology Day and National Fossil Day, UT’s McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture will host Can You Dig It?, a free family-friendly event with activities about archaeology and fossils. The event will be held from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday, October 28, 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 can bring artifacts, rocks, and fossils to the museum for identification by experts.

The event will have activities for children including pottery making, interactive volcano displays, and artifact sorting and matching.

All activities are free and open to the public, and reservations are not required. The event is sponsored in part by the Archaeological Institute of America, East Tennessee chapter; the Tennessee Valley Authority; and UT’s School of Art and Departments of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Anthropology, Classics, Religious Studies, and History.

International Archaeology Day is a project of the Archaeological Institute of America, an organization that sponsors activities about archaeological projects around the world. National Fossil Day was started by the National Park Service to encourage interest in the field of paleontology and the study of fossils.

The museum also will exhibit a special augmented reality sandbox courtesy of the Tennessee Geographic Alliance. This hands-on display will be led by Kurt Butefish, coordinator of TGA.

“The Tennessee Geographic Alliance and UT’s Department of Geography are excited to participate in Can You Dig it? because the event allows us to introduce a large number of young people and their parents to geospatial technologies and the fact that geography is one of the fastest-growing areas in terms of job creation in the high tech sector,” Butefish said.

Children and adults are invited to try out this exciting tool, which teaches geographic and geologic concepts using 3D visualization with real sand. The AR sandbox is an integral part of TGA’s mission to advance geographic literacy in K–12 education throughout Tennessee.

UT’s McClung Museum, located at 1327 Circle Park Drive, is open 9 a.m.–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 available Monday through Saturday on the Knoxville Trolley Orange Line.


Leslie Chang Jantz (865-974-2144,

Callie Bennett (865-974-2144,