Communities and Stakeholders

In the HCPC project I think that the stakeholders is the Hidalgo county and the community. In the valley there are many communities and there are too many to list or even keep track of. If this deals with the cemetery itself then I would probably say the Hispanic and the Mexican communities but there could be more people who I don’t know about. I would say that it depends on the person and how well they connect with the people but I would say that we aren’t entirely part of the community because we haven’t been there long enough or have enough connections to be considered a true member of the community. I don’t have a clear opinion on whether investigations should be conducted without a cultural affiliation. I am mostly leaning towards no and that is mainly because the project or whatever it is part of their community and culture so they should have some say over it. When conducting an investigation someone will always be forgotten or neglected but there isn’t a certain structure on communities so we can’t exactly be sure that if we work with this certain community some other community won’t be payed attention to. One power dynamic that I think is part of this cemetery would probably be between the people of the community that actually have family in the cemetery and a personal connection to it and the people that don’t have a personal connection and just see it as a way to learn more about history without seeing that it is important to someone.


This is the first semester that I have taken ANTH 4385 and I really enjoyed this class if I had space in my schedule I would have taken this course again. One of the things that I liked best in this class was that we were outside of the classroom and doing work with our own hands. When I had first signed up for the class I wasn’t exactly certain what we were going to do but I did know that I needed it for my major. I did think that we would be working instead of just reading and classwork. When we had our first class meeting it was a little intimidating because there wasn’t much information on what we were going to be doing. One of the things that I can still remember is that someone said that we would get the hang of it and I must agree with that. The first time that we went to the cemetery was kind of intimidating, but it was a lot easier because we had ended up splitting into pairs and if we were both new we could talk to each other and figure things out and know that we weren’t alone in feeling lost. By the end of the semester it was easy to fall into an easy-going rhythm. This class was interesting because I’ve never really taken another course like this or another project like it. It was also very informative and educational especially with the reading that we had to read each week. The reading were kind of hard to understand but after reading them it was interesting to see how they connected back to the work that we were doing at the cemetery and to the readings before and after it. Another thing that I found interesting was the actual work that we were doing in the cemetery. I had never really thought that archaeology could be anywhere even in a cemetery. One thing that don’t really understand would be why we recorded the material that the headstone was made of. Was it to help identify the grave or was it to learn more about the person? Like I imagine that a person with a wooden marker might not have had as much money as someone with a limestone one but that’s just a guess. This class did have problems, but they weren’t that big of a deal or a huge inconvenience. One of them was the technology but I’m mostly talking about the website and app. Kobo toolbox wasn’t really the easiest to work with but I’m not sure if that has to do with my phone or the actual website. It sometimes didn’t let you upload picture and when it did that you would have to reload the grave that you were working on. Something else that was kind of an inconvenience was the weather but that’s just mainly because I never check the weather before going to the cemetery, so I end up getting surprised if it ends up drizzling or being too sunny.

The way that I think this class should change in the future would be to maybe do more to let the students of UTRGV know that we have this class. Before signing up for this class I never knew that we classes like it. When I told my sister what this class was about they didn’t know about it either, but they were interested in it. So, I think that if more students were aware of this class and classes like it they would be excited to register. Something else that I think should change with this class is the way that we connect with the community. The way the class is right now feels like we aren’t really connecting with the community and letting them know what we are doing and getting them involved or interested in the project. So, I think something about that should also change. Overall this class was amazing, and it taught me a lot about archaeology and archaeologists that I didn’t know about and it did it in a fun and interesting way.

What is Public Archaeology?

To me Public Archaeology is a type of archaeological work. Public archaeology is when archaeologists communicate and work with the public when they are working on projects. Another part of public archaeology is that the archaeologists are making data and their interpretations on that data known to the public. So, to me I think that Public Archaeology is a way to keep the public informed and interested in the type of work that archaeologists do. Like for example, information about projects can be more easily found and understood by people that are not part of the archaeological field. Our project aligns with my definition of Public Archaeology because it deals with being in contact and giving information to the public. In this class, there is a blog to keep people aware of some of the things that we are doing in the cemetery. It also helps that one of the main goals of this project is to make the information know to the public by having a website about the grave and their locations so that the people might be able to find relatives. This part of the project isn’t very worked on in this semester, but it is one of the end goals and it also might be worked on more in the next semester. The lines of investigating that I am interested in pursuing are professionalism and ethics. One of the main problem in public archaeology is that there aren’t many fulltime archaeologists that are working on it they might work on a project that involves the public but then they go back to their own research that doesn’t deal with the public by either communicating or sharing data. With not that many people working on it there isn’t much information and research into what it is and how to go about putting in into motion. The part of this that deals with ethics is worth investigating because it is a way to make sure that everyone understands each other’s point of view and so that the researchers don’t end up insulting or going against the wishes of the people. Some information that archaeology brings to light might not be well received by the people that it is from and other so it is something that must be addresses by the archaeologist and the people .

Engaging with Publics Online

In the article that Rocks-Macqueen wrote it mentions how you can narrow it down to a few social network platforms. So for the HCPC project I think it would be a good idea to have a combination of three different platform. It might be a little difficult because it would probably be very time-consuming and maybe a little difficult to make sure that the information in all three stay connected to each other. The three that I think would be good to use for this project would be Twitter, Facebook and WordPress. I think that they would work great together because they each can have a function to fulfill. Twitter has the way to make the project be more well-known since it is a very popular site but with it character limit it can’t have a lot of information but it would be a good way to connect people who are interested with the other social media platforms so that they can get more information on the project. Facebook is also a good platform since it is also well known and most people can join groups that catch their interest or even if they don’t join a group they will still look through the page to see if any of the post catch their interest and it also allows more information than twitter would. Also another point for Facebook would be that the group or page can be spread by flyers or word of mouth and that people who are interested in the class might know about it and apply in other semesters. WordPress is a little like facebook but more private since not many people have a WordPress blog unless it’s for a specific reason so it might be a little redundant but it would still be a good way to blog information and opinions.

Digital Techniques

The HCPC project is already part collaborative since they also mention that it is somewhat like a community/public archaeology project. So, it might need to be more open and accessible to the public but that mostly deals with getting information out there. The ways that this project can be more co-creative would be to get the people of the project more involved in the actual creation and planning of the activities of the project since everyone is supposed to be involved and helping. I think the project is already seeing way that it can move in that direction. For example, for the Día de los Muertos celebration the students of the class were volunteering ideas on what activities should be involved and if it does continue as is planned then the students are having ideas on who should be contacted to be part of it. For the project to move towards a more hosted method the public and school would have to be more involved than they are right now. A hosted method means that an institution must provide knowledge and planning on the project and then that it is worked on and completed by the public. Currently the project isn’t being worked on by the public, but it is being provided by an institution.