Free Creative Writing Prompts #63: Archaeology

I'll admit that my knowledge of archaeology extends to an introductory class in college and Indiana Jones movies. That of course, does not make it any less important for me to write about. The study of ancient civilizations and cultures is an unlimited source of writing ideas. These free creative writing prompts are limited to only ten, but there are thousands of possibilities based on the history of so many interesting civilizations. Go to a library (or a dig site) with these prompts and go to town. Enjoy! 

Free Creative Writing Prompts: Archaeology

1. You are a half action hero, half archaeologist like Indiana Jones. What quests do you take on and what kind of ancient civilizations do you attempt to unearth secrets from?

2. What do you feel is the most interesting and varied ancient culture? Which one would you choose if you could only study one people and one language? Now imagine a day in the life of a normal person in this culture far in the past. What would be the typical daily activities for this person?

3. You are in class with one of the most important scholars of archaeology in the whole world. Lucky you! What do you believe this person would tell you about archaeology and why it is such an integral study for you to understand the world?

4. What part of ancient cultures do you find the most interesting? The literature? The music? What do you feel it is you can understand from these civilizations by getting a feel for this part of the culture?

5. Craft a story about a team of archaeologists making a great discovery at a dig site. Not only is it an important discovery but it becomes a majorly big deal throughout the world and tells us something integral about our current way of life. What is it and what is it like touring the discovery all over the planet.

6. You are an archaeologist at a dig site and you find what must be the ancient version of you in an old uncovered house. All the things of this person's life seems to overlap with your own. You enjoy parallel leisure activities, have the same ways of going about problems, and the same goals. What can you learn from yourself by learning from this person?

7. One thousand years in the future your house has been excavated by archaologists. What do they find out about your life and how do they interpret you in comparison to the rest of humanity that was living during your era?

8. Look around you wherever you are. Plot back over the course of thousands of years, listing what you believe was in your current location every hundred years or so. Create a series of stories based on the people who lived there during those previous generations.

9. Talk about some things that you've learned about ancient cultures from trips to other countries (or other parts of your country). Turn these pieces of knowledge into a Dan Brown-esque adventure story where people must discover clues throughout history to solve a major world crisis.

10. In your basement you have discovered an ancient scroll that pretty much reveals the meaning of life. Who created this scroll and how did they come up with such an answer? What do you do with the scroll thereafter? 

One of my favorite books of all time is James Michener's The Source. In the story, a dig site in Israel is examined, finding specimens from many different layers of history. A story is told that centers on how such an object came to be found at that time and how the culture dealt with religion at the time. It's extremely interesting and I can't recommend it more highly. These free creative writing prompts will hopefully help you to tell your stories based on ancient times and to compare it to the simpler/more complicated times of today :). Happy writing! 

Bonus Prompt - You have become the leader of the ancient civilization of your choice. Which civilization do you choose and what do you do during your reign that will stand the test of time? 

Related Articles to Free Creative Writing Prompts about Archaeology
Free Creative Writing Prompts from the Heart, Part 1
Free Creative Writing Prompts #2: Love
Creative Writing Exercises #2: Relaxation

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Written by Bryan Cohen

Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on and Facebook.
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