Digital Cultural Heritage

Introduction to Archaeology Teaching Twine

This interactive story is designed as a teaching tool to introduce audiences basic archaeological knowledge and skills using the Twine storytelling tool. As you click through this program you find two major sections:

Introduction to Archaeology
Archaeology Example Using Saints’ Rest

Feel free to explore as you wish, but you may want to begin with the Introduction part first!

Public outreach and pedagogy is a huge emphasis of our work at MSU’s Campus Archaeology Program (CAP), as many of you may know from our biweekly blog series, our artifact of the week series, our annual and virtual Archaeology and Apparitions Tour, and our annual MSU SciFest involvement. This teaching twine is another great outreach tool and one we hope you will enjoy and learn lots from!!

So let’s dive in and learn more about Archaeology!

Choose your own adventure: Spartan Village Archaeology

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an archaeologist? Well, now you can! The Campus Archaeology Program (CAP) has created a choose-your-own-adventure where, as the lead archaeologist, you have the power to choose your crew’s next move! With that said, you get a call from the local construction crew informing you that they may have hit an archaeological feature at Spartan Village. What do you do?

Choose your adventure here:

Adventure Lab: Digging Up Dirt on MSU Student History

Take a walking tour of MSU to explore how students lived on campus throughout our rich history. MSU students have gone from student laborers in the early years of campus life to creating tent communities along the river to express their freedom. Learn about the evolution of these interesting lifestyles through artifacts discovered on MSU’s campus and archived photographs. *All historic photos are courtesy of MSU Archives and Historical Collections. Photos and 3D models of artifacts are owned by Campus Archaeology.

CAP Greatest Hits: An Anniversary Tour

Since 2005, archaeologists associated with Michigan State University have been working to protect and recover the cultural heritage of MSU’s historic campus. In 2007, this role was formalized with the creation of the Campus Archaeology Program. Every summer since, archaeological survey and excavation have been conducted on campus, especially in areas to be impacted by construction. Celebrate 15 years of research and advocacy by taking a look back at 15 of the greatest archaeological finds from MSU’s campus.

CAP Greatest Hits

Apparitions and Archaeology: A Virtual Haunted Tour

This year our Apparitions and Archaeology Tour is hosted on Twine – a user-friendly and open-sourced tool with a “choose your own adventure” format. And because of the new digital interface, we are, for the first time ever, able to include ALL of the sites!

To navigate our Twine Tour, click on each site to first learn a bit about its history as a part of MSU’s campus. Then choose to either learn more about the archaeology of that site – all excavated by CAP – or learn more about the chilling stories that have been passed down throughout the years! But that’s not all! As you scroll through our Twine, click on any word that is colored orange – each of these words will lead you to new pages with more information on the particulars of that site, related buildings, archaeological terms, and much more!

Capturing Campus Cuisine

This project uses food remains excavated from a historic privy at Michigan State University (MSU) to explore and recreate the food environment of the campus during its Early Period (1855-1870). Archaeological analysis and archival research were used together to investigate historic food production, acquisition, processing/preparation, and consumption, culminating in the recreation of a meal that may have been served on campus in the 1860s.

Capturing Campus Cuisine StoryMap

Screen capture of the Capturing Campus Cuisine StoryMap featuring the 'Fishing' on campus page. Shows an overview map of the stops on the virtual tour on the left, and an image of a canoe on the Red Cedar River and information about fishing on the right.

Explore the early food environment of campus through an interactive story map! This was created based on research conducted by Susan Kooiman and Autumn Painter for their Capturing Campus Cuisine project.

Campus as Laboratory: An Oral History of the Campus Archaeology Program

By the time Professor Lynne Goldstein retired from MSU’s Department of Anthropology in 2018, she had gathered twenty-two years’ worth of stories and experience. Among those stories are the origins and development of the Campus Archaeology Program (CAP), an initiative she founded in 2007 and directed until 2018. Campus as Laboratory: An Oral History of MSU’s Campus Archaeology Program documents institutional knowledge at MSU. It is a joint public archaeology project of researchers in CAP and the Lab for Education and Advancement in Digital Research (LEADR).

Tour of MSU’s Historic Faculty Row

Explore an interactive StoryMap that shares the history of the neighborhood that served as a home for the permanent faculty and staff, before the development of East Lansing. While it was a home for faculty, Faculty Row was also a central hub of activity on the early campus, as there were few other diversions for students in those days.

Tour of MSU’s Historic Laboratories

Explore an interactive StoryMap that takes you through the historic laboratories of MSU. This StoryMap acts as a virtual tour and allows you to click through the different laboratory spaces and see where they are located on a map of today’s MSU campus! We hope this provides you with a better idea of where these laboratories were located in comparison to one another and how the campus expanded over time.

Campus Archaeology Twine Tour

screen show from twine tour - shows introduction of tour and a black and white photograph of students standings around the Sparty Statue.

This is an interactive, “choose your own adventure” digital walking-tour of important historical and archaeological sites on the Michigan State University Campus. It allows users to investigate different places based on their interests, and can always restart the game to take a different path.

On this walking tour, you will visit many of the important sites on campus. There are many paths you can take, extending your tour or just covering the highlights of the historic campus. The Campus Archaeology Program has dug beneath the surface to investigate many of these sites.

Campus Archaeology Activity Book



The Campus Archaeology Program has begun digitizing artifacts uncovered from campus to serve as educational tools and a new way to bring archaeology and MSU’s history to the public. Below is a sample of our models. You can visit our Sketchfab account to view the full collection