Have you ever thought about what is in the air you breathe? How important is it to your health and the health of our planet? Here at Ancient Dust Busters that’s all we think about!
We’re a group of scientists and archaeologists who are researching the environment, and what we breathe in, to help us understand the importance of air quality, environmental health and oral hygiene. We are doing this using Experimental Archaeology and by looking at skeletons and mummies of people in the past, including their teeth.
Yes, that’s right, teeth!
For examples, did you know that, using science, we can study something called dental calculus? Dental calculus is the plaque left on your teeth which hardens if you don’t brush it off. In the past, people weren’t as good at looking after their teeth as they are today and so, we find a lot of dental calculus on skeletons hundreds, thousands – and even millions! – of years old.
Things such as dust from pottery and woodworking, smoke, as well as lots of other things in the air, can enter your mouth and become trapped in dental plaque or calculus when accidentally ingested or inhaled. The dust from such activities can be bad for your health if there is too much of it in the air you breathe.
Can you think of anything which may be found trapped in your teeth? How might that be different to people in the past? What might that tell us about our health and our planet today? How might dust that enters in the mouth and lungs be different for people in different jobs?
Now, with the climate and environmental crisis happening, it’s very important for us to think about these questions and how we can make our beautiful planet, and the air we breathe, healthier.
You can explore our website and resources to help you learn more about health inequality, the environment and science through archaeology and natural history.
We are just getting started! Visit us often for updates!
Explore the website with the links below or with the Menu at the top of the page.
LEARN WITH US
You can begin here and explore our Ancient Dust Busters resources, including stories, games, quizzes, colouring books and fact sheets. They’re all free to download!
Why not check out our Fairy Tales Under the Microscope and see what’s up Cinderella’s nose? Or explore our A-Z of Teeth?
You can also find other open access resources relating to science, human health and the planet collected from across the web.
If you really want to dive deep into the research behind Ancient Dust Busters, you can find more on that here.
READ WITH US
Do you love to read as much as we do?!
Here you’ll find book reviews about children’s fiction and non-fiction books exploring archaeology, science and the environment. Take a look and see which you might like to read first!
You’ll also find book reviews for your parents and teachers too!
JOIN US AT WORK
Have you ever thought about being a scientist? You can follow real archaeologists and scientists on sites and in their labs with our blog and videos.
You can also get inspired by reading our interviews with experts, including archaeologists, scientists, physicists, museum curators and more. Learn about what they do and how they became who they wanted to be!
Did you know we run talks, open days and hands-on activities about all things Ancient Dust Busters?! We are also in the process of developing two exhibitions which you can find out more about here.
MEET THE TEAM
MEET OUR DOLLS IN LABS
We use age-appropriate dolls that we have also adapted to our project, inspired by real children, archaeologists and museum curators. Find out more about our little Ancient Dust Busters, what inspired them – and what they get up to!
A wonderful colouring book – free to download – in many languages, and written by a great team of Archaeological Scientists at the The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History
A short review of a great non-fiction book about what you can learn from ancient skeletons. Published few years ago, still remains an excellent start for a child interest in this subject.