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Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) WarmUp Activity: Groundwater and Archaeology

Laura Guertin, Penn State University Delaware County
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1) What is causing the groundwater to rise to the foundations of Egypt's archaeological structures? What damage is the groundwater doing?

2) Describe at least two different solutions that have been proposed to combat the problem of the rising water table damaging the monuments. Which do you think is the better one, and why?

3) In your opinion... do we even need to save these monuments? Why? I mean, what are they really worth - are they worth anything?

Student Responses:

See the Just-in-Time Teaching page on assessment for information and ideas on how to evaluate student responses.

Students may become confused about groundwater systems and how they work if this has not been introduced in class. Students will ask for additional details on the techniques used and how technology is being implemented to save the Egyptian monuments. Overall, students agree that the monuments should be saved, but the level of significance of these monuments to students' lives will vary.

References and Notes:

Articles that students may be assigned to read for this set of questions include (but are not limited to):

Can the Sphinx Keep Its Feet Dry? UC Davis , July 2002.

Rising Water Table Threatens Egypt's Monuments, National Geographic News (more info) , May 31, 2002.

Soggy Soil Sours Egyptian Sandstone, Geotimes (more info) , September 2002.

The use of Just-in-Time Teaching is discussed in detail on the JiTT Starting Point page.

Additional information on JiTT is available in the book:


Geoscience:Hydrology:Ground Water

Resource Type

Activities:Classroom Activity:Just in Time Teaching

Grade Level

College Lower (13-14):Introductory Level

Ready for Use

Ready to Use

Earth System Topics

Hydrology:Ground Water, Hydrology


Time/Earth History, Hydrosphere/Cryosphere:Groundwater


Teach the Earth:Teaching Environments:Intro Geoscience, Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Hydrology/Hydrogeology, Teach the Earth:Teaching Topics:Water