Excavations at Bartow County's Leake Site

On the Level

How is a Peanut Butter Sandwich like an Archaeological Site?

Have you ever made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? How are a peanut butter sandwich and archaeology alike? Well, when you make the sandwich, you get a plate (1) and put a slice of bread on it (2). Then you may spread it with peanut butter (3). Then you might spread some jam on top of the peanut butter (4). Then, you put a slice of bread on top the jam (5). So, the plate comes first and is the oldest event in the sandwich-making series. The second slice of bread comes last, and is the most recent event in the process.

Now, not only do you have a sandwich, but you also have a great example of an archaeological site! Most sites have different layers underground. Archaeologists dig carefully and make drawings and photographs to record these layers because the layers hold important clues to what happened in the past. If an archaeologist cuts your peanut butter sandwich in half, he or she would see the different layers (or stratigraphy) of bread, peanut butter, jam, and bread. The archaeologist would call the view of the cut sandwich a profile (or side view). The archaeologist would know what you used to make your sandwich and the order that you made it. Of course, the order isn’t very important in a sandwich, but on an archaeological site, the order of who lived on the site during various time periods is very important! Try your hand at deciphering the layers of clues in this profile drawing. Use your sandwich making skills!