The University Record, February 13, 1996

Elementary, middle school students craft artifacts for Kelsey

By Joanne Nesbit
News and Information Services

Masks, papier-mache pots, letters and cloth dolls were sent to the Kelsey Museum of Archaelology. These were not ancient aritfacts dug from the sands of some long-gone civilization but "modern" artifacts crafted by elementary and middle school students from southeast Michigan-the result of imaginations set free by a tour of the Museum's "Nubia" exhibit displayed a couple of months before.

Tours of the Museum's exhibits and follow-up classroom activities are one of several outreach programs designed by the Museum's education department that counts among its community services trunks filled with educational kits, activities, and treacher' s or presenter's guidelines. The trunks are available to citizens of all ages across Michigan, the country and the world.

"This response, inspired by the Nubia exhibit, includes items from a wider geographical area than we expected," says Becky Loomis, educational officer. "Some of the items sent took us more appropriately represented sub-Saharan Africa. We are deligh ted that the youngsters were inspired by what they saw here."

One letter from a fourth grader from Huntertown, Mich., read: "I really liked Agent(sic) Nubia. It was cool!!! And the sculptures in the Greek and Roman part. I really, really liked the sandles (sic). I can't believe how old the bread is!!!!!! But what I liked the most was the daggers and arrowheads, especially the back bone with the arrowhead in it."

Masks, dolls and pots came from Detroit's Bates Academy. The vivid greens, blues and gold used to decorate these imaginative pieces joined with hieroglyphics done in black.

A student from Ann Arbor's Burns Park Elementary School wrote that he "loved the toys! The green thumb ring for royal people and archer I think I liked the most. I also liked the other stuff too (sic)."

The Museum also reaches out to the com munity through its award-winning World-Wide Web home page with photos of pieces in its permanent collectin, including some items not on display to the general public. Just a click and the viewer can visit U-M's excavation site in Karanis, Egypt, and enjo y and upclose and personal contact with the findings there. The Kelsey's Web site can be accessed at http://www.umich.edu/~kelseydb/Exhibits/Exhibits/html.