Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Unlocking Hidden Worlds through Archaeology and Archives


  • Title: Unlocking Hidden Worlds through Archaeology and Archives
  • Air Date: March 14, 2019
  • Series: Smithsonian Science How webcasts, which are designed to connect natural history science and research to upper-elementary and middle-school students.

This video features Project Archivist and Archaeological Collections Technician Molly Kamph. Molly introduces students to the collection of the famed archaeologist couple Rose and Ralph Solecki, whose Neanderthal discoveries and contributions to archaeology continue to be studied by scientists all over the world. Sharing unique objects and artifacts from archaeological dig sites (such as Shanidar Cave) where Neanderthal and early human settlements were discovered, Molly helps students understand how museum and archival work unlocks hidden worlds and untold stories.

The video supports standards of learning in science and social studies. See the complete list of standards alignment.

Teaching Resources

Use these resources to support pre/post activities:

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

3rd Grade

  • 3-LS4-1: Analyze and interpret data from fossil to provide evidence of the organisms and the environments in which they lived long ago.

4th Grade

  • 4-ESS1-1: Identify evidence from patterns in rock formations and fossils in rock layers to support an explanation for changes in a landscape over time.

6-8th Grade

Life Science

MS-LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

  • MS-LS4-1: Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past.

Earth Science

MS-ESS1 Earth's Place in the Universe

  • MS-ESS1-4: Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geological time scale is used to organize Earth’s 4.6 billion-year-old history.

National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies (NCSS)

People, Places, and Environments

  • The study of people, places, and environments enables us to understand the relationship between human populations and the physical world.
  • During their studies, learners develop an understanding of spatial perspectives, and examine changes in the relationship between peoples, places and environments.

Resource Type
Videos and Webcasts
Grade Level
3-5, 6-8
Learning Standards
National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies, Next Generation Science Standards
Earth Science, Life Science, Anthropology and Social Studies