Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources

Resources for Teachers and Students

The African American Archaeological Resource Kit or ARK: This kit of teacher resource materials was assembled by Dr. Barbara Heath under the sponsorship of the Council of Virginia Archaeologists (COVA). It is organized around three actual archaeological sites in Virginia and contains artifacts; artifact identification flash cards; maps and site plans; a card game based on foodways; and explanatory material on each site. The kit circulates at no cost and is now available to be checked out by teachers, museums, and educational organizations. Contact Andrew Foster, Collections Assistant, State Archaeology Division.

The Virginia Indian Archaeological Resource Kit or ARK: The ARK contains books, drawings, videos, replicas, and a computer game that will give students a variety of ways to explore archaeology and the Indians of Virginia. The kit circulates on loan at no cost. Museums, teachers, and educational organizations may make a reservation to borrow the kit by contacting Andrew Foster, Collections Assistant, State Archaeology Division.

First People: The Early Indians of Virginia: Find out about the ancient history of the native people of Virginia. Although the unit’s webpages span the entire spectrum of native cultural history, they barely scratch the surface of what archaeologists and other scholars are learning about native Virginians.

AnthroNotes Digital Repository: The entire collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Department of Anthropology publication AnthroNotes (1979-2012) and 262 individual AnthroNotes articles can be downloaded in three formats (PDF, mobi, ePub) from the Smithsonian Libraries digital database. The database is searchable by author, title, year and subject. Searches may be conducted in over 40 topics, including geographic regions, contemporary issues, and education. AnthroNotes includes research-based articles by leading scholars in the field as well as classroom-tested activities.

How do we know about the Native Americans who were here when Europeans arrived? One source is the artwork of John White, who was governor of the “Lost Colony” that settled in present-day North Carolina in 1585.

White’s colorful eyewitness depictions of Indian life provide a compelling means for learning about the clothing, rituals, activities, food, and houses of Native Americans of the mid-Atlantic coastal region. Enter the Indian world of White’s paintings through an interactive education module developed by the Department of Historic Resources.

Based on three of White’s watercolors, this module is a good online resource and springboard for learning about Indian life, especially for elementary school students. It combines history, archaeological artifacts, and the oral traditions of Native Americans today.

Updated May 24, 2019