Digging for Gold!
Explore an Australian Excavation


A Classroom Activity Kit

Code B3

Introduce younger students to the use of historical and archaeological evidence using an actual Australian excavation.

In July 2000 archaeologists began investigations into the site of Ballaratís old Government Camp in an excavation known as the ĎCamp Street digí. Now located in the historic heart of Ballarat, the site was once the home of men whose duty it was to bring law and order to Ballarat sprawling goldfields during the 1850s.

Digging for Gold! is designed to take students on the same journey taken by the archaeologists themselves. At first they learn how archaeologists date the deposits they are digging and what they learn from the various artefacts they retrieve. Next the site is researched through historical documents, written accounts and maps. Finally it is time to excavate and students are shown what the Camp Street site has told us about life in Ballarat during the goldrushes.

Using an actual Australian case-study with a history reaching back to the Eureka Rebellion, this kit helps introduce junior students to the use of historical and archaeological evidence.

The kitís format follows our other popular Classroom Activity Kits where a Student Booklet provides all the information your students require in order to answer the activities contained in the Teacherís Booklet.

The Digging for Gold! kit contains:

  • 10 x Student Booklets (20 pages in full colour). Sufficient for a class of 20 if students work in pairs.
  • 1 x Teacher's Booklet (32 pages). The teacher's booklet contains background information, instructions and 23 pages of photocopy masters for all student activities.
  • Suitable ages 10+

This kit is ideal for the following:

  • Illustrating an Australian case study for use in school curricula studying Gold!
  • Evaluating and using historical and archaeological sources;
  • Developing a range of skills related to the study of history including: report writing; mapping skills; historical empathy and even mathematics;
  • Understanding how archaeological excavations add to our knowledge about a particular time period; 
  • Examining the life and times of one of the worldís richest goldfields.

Booklet Examples

  • To view a sample of the Teacherís Booklet (191k): Click Here.
  • To view a sample of the Student Booklet (439k): Click Here.

To view these samples you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer.


This kit has been developed by Godden Mackay Logan, Heritage Consultants and Astarte Resources. The Authors are Maddy Atkinson and Ben Churcher. Funding and additional assistance came from La Trobe University, Heritage Victoria and Godden Mackay Logan.

For prices, see our catalogue ArrowOnly