Torn and filthy rags decorated with broad arrows? History books often describe horrific tales of the brutal punishment and agonising labour experienced by convicts in early colonial Sydney. In a hands-on way of learning about Australian history, Year 1 got to do some digging around in the past to learn what life was really like!
The Big Dig Archaeology Education Centre is part of Sydney Harbour YHA in The Rocks heritage precinct of Sydney. The centre facilitates hands-on archaeology educational experiences and opens the archaeological site to the public.
Students had an amazing time working as archaeologists to excavate artefacts from a simulated archaeological dig, then used their investigative skills to discover more than they expected about convicts and early settlers who lived in The Rocks during the 1800s.
My favourite part was when I was digging for precious artefacts in the sand. I learn that people had more children. I learnt that rats had a disease and people were catching it and dying. I wouldn’t want to live in the olden days. Charlie
My favourite part of the excursion was when we went to the Big Dig sandpit because I found some interesting artefacts. My favourite artefact was a big yellow block with one hole. I learnt that you wear your clothes one whole week because they had no water and that in the olden days the rats carried disease and killed some people. Chloe
My favourite part of the excursion was when I tried to find some artefacts and discover how people used to live. We found a horseshoe because there were no cars in the past. There were rats that carried diseases so they had to catch them and kill them. Mia-Lore
My favourite part of the excursion was when we dug in the sand to find artefacts. We also did teamwork together. When we finished we had to bury them again so 1H could have a turn. I learnt that in the old days they didn’t have toilets like us. They had chamber pots. I had a fun excursion! Sienna