NORWELL – Alex Rogovoy, 3, was using a magnifying glass to examine his collection of seashells, “dinosaur bones,” marbles and burlap. With a small brush, he rid his treasures of excess sand.

“I just found all of this stuff in the sand,” Alex explained as he pored over the things he’d put in a small bucket. “There was part of a Tyrannosaurus in there.”

Alex, of Hingham, was one of dozens of young children who attended the South Shore Natural Science Center’s Archaeology Discovery Day on Monday. They dug treasure, discovered artifacts on a mock sunken ship, and played games related to archaeology.

“I’m trying to get him to learn while he plays, and he seems to be enjoying it so far,” said Alex’s mom, Zhanna Kushkhova.

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The daylong event was moved inside because of the wet weather, and the science center’s main room was abuzz as kids zipped around to the various activity stations.

Archaeology Discovery Day was held to celebrate Massachusetts Archaeology Month.

“Archaeology is a lot about discovering history by what we find in the land,” the science center’s Ben Hyland said. “We try to apply that to a younger audience with these basic activities, and we want to convey that you’re solving a mystery: Who were the people here before us, and how did they live?”

The children searched for artifacts on a “shipwreck” on the floor, made clay artifacts using leaves to create imprints, created Native American-style cords, and dug in sand to find small objects.

“The idea is to act like an archaeologist – to sift through sand and see what you find, clean it off, measure it, record it and all of that,” said Tricia DeGiulio, the science center’s education director.

Grace, 4, and Charlee Moynihan, 2, donned snorkeling masks to search for coins, plates, silverware and other relics from a ship made of butcher paper. They used a checklist to complete their “underwater” scavenger hunt.

Their mother, Colleen Moynihan, said, “Honestly, we come here all the time. They have great activities for this age; it’s super hands-on and it keeps their attention.”

The science center also created a display that included a dugout canoe, arrowheads, quartz and other items and materials found locally.

“This area is rich with artifacts because so many people lived here at such different times, especially along the North River,” DeGiulio said.

Hyland said he also hoped to teach the participants the difference between archaeology and paleontology, and to get the next generation interesting is unearthing history.

“A lot of people think archaeology and think dinosaurs or something like that, but archaeology is about learning about people by what we find, especially with the Native American populations that were so prevalent in this area,” he said.