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Now, here is your chance to do the research behind the archaeology. Follow along with this true story about a bottle from Iowa and try to guess which route to go next. After each section of the story you’ll be given two options to choose from. If you choose correctly, your story will continue and lead you to the final discovery of how and why a bottle from Scottsville was found in the middle of our country: in Iowa! On your mark, get set, go!


Our story begins in a little town in Iowa with a team of archaeologists from the state university nearby. The team is excavating (=digging) in a town which was occupied from the years 1860-1890. The team director, Cindy, came across three broken pieces of glass that had some sort of writing on them. She sent the pieces up to conservation, where cleaning and assembly of broken pieces is done in a very careful manner, and they uncovered the wording. The words on the bottle read:

“Little’s White Oil, Scottsville, VA”

What in the world was a bottle from Scottsville, VA, buried under 150 years of dirt, doing in Jones County, Iowa? She headed straight for her reference books and could not find anything concerning these bottles. She then tried the internet and was equally disappointed. What should Cindy do next?

1) Should she go ahead and worry about some of the other artifacts found? After all, if she could not find the information on the internet, there was no way she was going to figure out what these bottles were doing there.


2) Should she try other avenues of research, such as looking into primary resources or asking someone else for help in her research?



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