Meeting the Challenge of Public Archaeology

Who knew that the meeting Kary and I would have with the folks at the Capitol City Museum in downtown Frankfort, Kentucky on Day of Archaeology 2012 would be such a pregnant one! and actually, as our picture shows, Kary IS pregnant…

 

Kary Stackelbeck and Gwynn Henderson just before we left for our incredible Day of Archaeology 2012 meeting

Our meeting was about planning an education project for school students to be held on National Archaeology Day in October at the site of an historic dairy atop Fort Hill in Frankfort. But by the time our meeting was over, 2.5 hours later, all of us in attendance (Kary, me, John, and Mike) had laid the foundation for a much longer-term project. It included a survey for all prehistoric and historic sites on the city park; and the development of a long-term research, education, interpretation, and management program for the sites.

For 2012, there will be visits to the local schools with artifacts already recovered from historic sites on the park to show students tangible remains of their local history; and tours will be held at the park, to engage the public and to kick-off the project.

WOO HOO!!!! This is what public archaeology is all about!! Archaeolgists and community members collaborating for the benefit of everyone and for the resource, too.

It just goes to show you, that in ANY aspect of archaeology, in the field or out of it, you don’t always know what you’ll find, and you need to be prepared for anything!!!

Hope everyone’s Day of Archaeology 2012 was as productive as Kary’s and mine!

 

Hello World!!! From the University of Kentucky’s Summer Fieldschool in Archaeology

Hello Everybody!!

The last day of our eight-week field school was July 29th: Day of Archaeology Day!!!  And as everyone knows, sites always ALWAYS throw you a curve on the last day.

Excavating the last level in a 1 x 2 meter unit we had excavated at this site in 1984 did, indeed, throw us a curve (we should have just let sleeping dogs lie), but our REAL problem this year was that we had bitten off a little more than we could chew the week before: about four 2 x 2 meter units’ worth!

We couldn’t help it. This summer is the last, the very very LAST in a three-year excavation program at a very challenging, very interesting, and very complex prehistoric site where village farming peoples lived on and off from about A.D. 1200  to the early A.D. 1600s.

Our eight University of Kentucky undergraduate students, three instructors, and several devoted volunteers were at the site on July 29th, and all of us could have gotten into the act.  But we reserved our Day of Archaeology contribution for the students.

We asked each of them to tell us (to tell YOU), in a word or a sentence, what field school meant to them. The video you are about to see, courtesy of Nick Laracuente, says it all: about why we do archaeology and why we HAVE fieldschools.

So… here is our Day Of Archaeology posting.

Three cheers for archaeology! Hip Hip Hoo-RAY!!

Gwynn Henderson