This semester has been amazing, I have learned so much ,not just from professor Rowe ,but about my community around me. I hadn’t really ever paid attention to the history around me before, I always seem to focus on the history everywhere else but here. But now I realize that I don’t have to travel far for me to find a rich and culture filled history. Collecting data at the Hidalgo public cemetery has been a great experience. I go to do hands on work with actual tools that archaeologist use on field excavations, I made new friends and got close to old ones. My professor has opened new doors for my future ,which is something I’m very excited about. I’ve also kind learned to understand life and death . The deceased buried at the cemetery all had stories ,some of them could’ve been happy or sad, but at some point of their life they must’ve had someone that loved them,because if they didn’t then they wouldn’t have had some many grave offerings. My eyes this past semester have somehow been trained to look at things differently even more than they already were before. I can now see different details in the ground , I can now tell what a grave slump looks like and am able to tell what it means , I can see the walking trails in grass that have occurred over time from students taking shortcuts. The Utrgv symposium is something I thought that I would’ve never be apart of, I never thought we would ever win a team award for it either, but we did, which was an amazing moment. That moment meant that our work was also important not only to ourselves but to other people in the public and that this project intrigues people and makes them think about the history of the community they’ve lived in all their life. This project is also a great experience for myself and my fellow students, those of us who are studying anthropology, know how expensive field schools can be , so I know that we all really appreciate the hands on work we get to do with the equipment, such as the total mapping station, which is what we used to map the cemetery that way in the future we can upload the map online and it can allow people searching for their loved ones ,see images of the headstones and know there location. Overall this semester has been an amazing experience and it has opened more doors for my future and I am very excited to see where those doors will take me.
Blogging this semester has been very interesting ,to be honest I wasn’t very excited about it, I felt like the blogs weren’t going to keep me interested enough or be very exciting for other people to read.But I was wrong ,I actually liked blogging , it reminded me of writing in a journal or a memory book since ,here online I would be able to talk about my experiences with this project and think about different ways how this project not only effects me as a student but how it affects the community. I think social media has a big impact no matter what you talk about,it can be anything form a political opinion, and opinion about fashion,movies,music or even just gossip. Social media can be a very positive or negative thing at times,but I think our type of project needs to be seen by the public since we do need the public’s help with figuring out just how many people are buried at the cemetery and if they have any surviving relatives who are looking for them. I think it would be interesting to have live streams of what were doing at the cemetery and we could do that be either using Facebook or Instagram.We could have videos of what were doing on our phones and then upload them separately on the Instagram page or Facebook page. An example of an Instagram page for archaeology can be the “Institute of field Research”, also known as IFR, its a page that provides archaeological field study programs for students and individuals all around the world. Everyday the page uploads images or videos of the different sites that students are participating at. So for our Instagram page we could add pictures or videos of us working either at the cemetery with the total mapping station or in the classroom working on the data analysis. We could even have QA live streams were people can ask questions about what were doing with this project. Now I know what your’re thinking ‘how in the world are we going to get people to even know about project,for them to even know about the Instagram’? We can do this by asking the news channels to see the progress done with the project or have the UTRGV TV Newscast talk about the project and mention the social media site. Next semester, if the class decides to compete in the symposium again, we could add that social media site to the poster, along with the link to the blog posts.Over all I think that with no matter what social media site we use ,it could be very beneficial to our project.
I think this project is a great way not only for students to gain experience but a great way to interact with the community and with their help I think this project would be able to be more beneficial not only to the county, but to the families who don’t know where some of their loved one s are buried. I think some collaborative ways to get the community involved could be getting more news stations to talk about the project or have someone of importance in the community come out and see what were doing and then spread the word. Maybe having events out at the cemetery ,such as having musicians come and play for people visiting loved ones on the day of the dead or maybe buying bags of marigold petals and leaving a trail of them on the graves to the main street.It could be a way to get peoples attention and remind them that we need to preserve this historic cemetery. Other methods could be interviewing people and we could use the oral histories to research more background on the cemetery. Its also a way for people to know what exactly were doing at the cemetery and a way to also show them that their loved ones haven’t been forgotten about. Our overall goal is to make an interactive map that will allow the public to search for graves that might belong to their loved ones.All they would have to do is click on a grave,that looks like the area where there loved one wold be and it would show a picture of it and have information about it such as, how long it is and whats its made out of, which way its facing and as much information that we were able to collect from that grave.
I think there could be a lot of benefits to 3D technology, for sure it would help us understand just how many people are buried in the cemetery since were going off incomplete records form Hill crest cemetery, which inst their fault of course but it would be a big help if we had an idea of just how many people were researching. I think one of the major pitfalls to 3D scanning could be time, since the data is a a lot of work to go through and it would take most likely more than one semester for all the data to be looked at since we only meet once a week. One way we should integrate this technology into our project is by using some options our professor gave. We could have a group of people at the cemetery with professor Rowe on Fridays ,who would do the 3D scans and then have people on campus working on the scans or the data that needs to be combed through and analyzed. Overall I think this project it going to take a lot of time and work as well as a lot of patience since the equipment we use may take a while to set up and if we only have one machine then it will take a bit longer.But its an experience that not only helps us as students but helps the community as well.
Public Archaeology to me is where archaeologist use the help of the public in order to make connections with their findings in the field and with those findings we are able to learn about the area around us and also learn about the people as well. I don’t know what to expect going into this Fieldwork project as it is I never thought I would have an opportunity to work on fieldwork so close to home. I thought it would be a while before I got to do some fieldwork because you usually have to travel far to attend a field school and there usually very expensive, so I’m anxious to get started and I’m excited to see what I’m going to learn during this project.I think this opportunity is going to help aspiring archaeologists and anthropologists get some experience as well as give back to the community,which is basically the whole point of this project ,were encouraging the community to help us,because we need their help. There are people buried at this cemetery that seemed to have been forgotten about.Not to say that they’ve been forgotten on purpose, but I think with the help of the community this project could do a lot of good. With this project we are going to be able to at least help the city with burial document incident and we could help people find their loved ones.Overall I think this Public Archaeology project is going to allow the public to have more of an insight on what archaeologists do,that they don’t just go dig for bones, pottery, or the misconception that archaeologist dig up dinosaurs. I also think that this project could also lead to more projects that will allow not only more experience to Anthropology students but will also allow the public to have more interaction with Archaeology,because people are generally curious about what archaeologist and what anthropologists do, an example of this could be the past archaeology fair that happened this past October.Lots of people came out to the fair and they were very curious about learning about the items we had and what bones we were cleaning, so I think that if we can get this out more to the public I think we could get a lot more information on the graves that don’t have any markers and help find their family members. With this project I’m mostly interested in investigating people’s stories, I’ve always been curious about people pasts.I’m interested in the stories they have,the things they’ve seen and learned, of how things were different during their lifetime. I’m also interested in investigating the cemetery itself, I think from how people were buried were going to be able to learn a lot about society and how it possibly changed from back then to now. I’m looking forward to this project, I am nervous ,excited , and anxious, I just don’t know what to expect but what I do know is that this is an amazing opportunity that’s not only going to help me and my fellow classmates in our careers but also going to help the community.