Little Archaeologist Digging Game "Ostrakon" - Fun Kids Activity!
Immediately after their victory over the Persians at the battle of Marathon in 490 B.C., the Athenians began practicing ostracism, a form of election designed to curb the power of any rising tyrant.
They were probably inspired at least in part by the fact that their old tyrant Hippias, who had been thrown out years before, accompanied the Persian fleet to Marathon, hoping to be reinstalled in power in Athens once again.
The procedure of ostracism was simple. Once a year the people would meet in the Agora and take a vote to determine if anyone was becoming too powerful and was in a position to establish a tyranny. If a simple majority voted yes, they met again in the Agora two months later.
At this second meeting each citizen carried with him an ostrakon (potsherd) on which he had scratched the name of the person he wished ostracized. If at least 6,000 votes were cast, the man with the most votes lost and was exiled for ten years.
Your task, as an upcoming archaeologist is to dig and carefully unearth two ostraca with names scratched on them. Inside the digging kit you will find a hardwood scalpel, a mask, a toothbrush and a guide that will help you dig easier!