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Dig History and Archaeology Magazine for Kids and Children

Dig History and Archaeology Magazine for Kids and Children May/June 2019

Budding archaeologists are off to new adventures at archaeological sites around the world, where they look over the shoulders of professional archaeologists working in the field to unearth important finds. DIG also brings readers right into working laboratories and museums to learn about cutting-edge conservation techniques. Interviews with onsite archaeologists give children a well-rounded view what archaeology is really all about. Grades 5-9

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United States
Cricket Media, Inc.

in this issue

2 min.
what a decade!

A couple of years ago, I focused an issue of DIG on the “Year One.” Well, to be exact, the theme was “Year One Along the Silk Road,” and I had the Roman Empire in the West and China's Han dynasty in the East as my bookends to events in between that occurred around the Year One. The topic had been suggested to me by Elizabeth ten Grotenhuis — a member of DIG's Advisory Board. I found the concept fascinating — looking at the world at one specific time period. I found the concept so fascinating, in fact, that I then incorporated into the next year’s themes “A Look at the World in the year 800 C.E.” So, when it came time to plan the 2018-2019 themes, I wanted to…

3 min.
innovations & ideas

Mention the 1860s and everyone immediately thinks “The United States Civil War” (see pages 26–30). But let’s step back from that and look at a few other events and inventions of that period. Traffic Control Long before the invention of motor vehicles (usually said to be in the 1880s), British roads were becoming a challenge. London’s crossroads were a real problem as horses, carriages, and pedestrians all tried to dodge one another. In the 19th century, British engineer and inventor John Peake Knight had the idea to use a system of traffic control similar to the one used on the railways. His plan had police officers juggling stop and go signs during the day, and then using gas lamps at night. These first traffic lights were a great success, until a gas…

4 min.
the second opium war ends

» What Had Happened? The plundering and burning of the Yuanmingyuan was the most devastating of a series of incidents between China and the “West.” The friction between the two areas had started when European countries extended their powers across the world. An early imperialistic adventure was carried out by the Portuguese, who in 1557 became the first Europeans to establish direct maritime trade in China. Aware of the huge demand in the West for Chinese goods, other European countries sought to follow the Portuguese example. They, too, tried to establish official trade relations with China, but their efforts were in vain. China opened only one port to foreign trade. This was the city of Canton. Yet, even there, trade was strictly regulated by the Chinese imperial court. The Europeans became very…

1 min.
florence nightingale

When we watch tragic news about wars and natural catastrophes, we hear of people from the Red Cross risking their lives to help those in need. This organization would probably not exist without the work of English social reformer Florence Nightingale. Nightingale began devoting her life to the service of others as a young adult. While serving as the manager of a nursing home during the Crimean War in 1854, she was confronted with horrific conditions. The wounded soldiers were poorly treated, their hygiene was neglected, and mass infections were common. With her team of volunteer nurses, Nightingale reduced the death rate by almost half. Her methods were sometimes very simple — wash your hands inside the hospital, for example. Nightingale looked after the wounded at night as well — a…

4 min.
emancipation of the serfs

It was Tsar Alexander II who emancipated the serfs in February 1861 — the sixth anniversary of his coronation. The declaration was not unexpected or sudden. As early as 1856 the Tsar had warned the landed gentry that “the existing order cannot remain unchanged. It is better to begin to abolish serfdom from above than to wait for the time when it will begin to abolish itself spontaneously from below.” Who Were the Serfs? Numbering 23 million, the serfs represented more than 30 percent of the Russian population. They were the peasants who worked the land that belonged to the landed gentry. They lived in villages on the estates and had to meet certain obligations to their landowners. Either they labored for him three days a week, a practice known as barshchina,…

1 min.
thomas crapper

Thomas Crapper is one of the least understood inventors of the 1860s, simply because he is remembered for the wrong reasons. Born in Yorkshire, England, this public health official started his plumbing business in 1861. In 1866, he opened the first plumbing showrooms, selling toilets and baths to the public. Apparently, some passers-by were openly embarrassed to see such items displayed to public view! (At right is an ad for one of his products.) Crapper held patents for street manhole covers, pipe jointing, and plumbing and drainage improvements. His advanced approach to promoting sanitation and the quality of his products won him several orders to upgrade English royal homes. However — and here’s where the misunderstandings start — he did not invent the toilet water closet (that dates to the 16th…