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What’s the difference between Archeology and Paleontology?

Listening to the audio files of the Dinosaur Adventure activity set, we find out that the main difference between these two disciplines is well established. Paleontology studies the history of life on earth and is based on the study of fossils (of life forms such as plants, animals, microorganisms, fungi, etc.). Archeology, on the other hand, is the study of past human societies. Archeologists will consequently study artifacts, tools, ancient ruins and other remains that are evidence of those past societies.

rock paint

A cave-painting - being a form of artistic expression in past human societies - is therefore studied by archeologist, whereas dinosaur fossils are studied by paleontologists. To deepen this concept, I took advantage of my husband’s amazing artistic skills to organize a morning of rock-art painting with our daughter.

All you need is:

- Slate rock (we found ours at a garden center) or any rock with a flat surface

- Oil paint or any paint you have handy, as long you can apply it quite watery

- Pictures of some famous rock paints for inspiration and information (just google “cave painting images” and you will find hundreds of examples!)

cave paint style art

Try to plan your design on paper first before you start painting on the rock. This will help you to conceptualize the piece of art and also gives you the opportunity to chat with your child about the subject. Why do you think ancient people painted these images? What pigments did they use? Etc etc.

Do not obsess about the end-result, just encourage them to try to imitate the style of painting.

dinosaurs and rock painting

Hope you enjoy this “return to the past” activity as much as we did. Do not forget to leave your comments below and let me know how it goes… Happy painting!

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