Communicating Archaeology

Communicating archaeology is key when it comes to dealing with archaeology over all. Archaeology, even more so Public Archaeology is not possible without the people/community. In Mitch Allen’s article “In Public Benefits of Archaeology”, it is discussed how the public assists archaeology and the researchers within the project to make it strive.

The writings for archaeologists is different that what I am use to, exhibit A it is recommended to use I. My whole life of writing it has always been forbidden to write in my own point of view, and now it’s recommended which does take awhile to adjust to. However, it sends out a nice message that the writing is personal. I believe writing on a personal level definitely attracts readers. Writing on a personal level could be the hook that Allen writes about. Allen writes there are 10 ways to attract the audience, “1. Find a hook. 2. Tell a story. 3. Include yourself. 4. Write in plain English (or Spanish or Hopi). 5. Talk to a single reader. 6. Create memorable identifiers. 7. Use only the data you need. 8. Present data visually. 9. Emphasize theory and method. 10. Always think of your audience.” (Allen, 2002, p.248). Following these steps assures you will attract an audience into your writings.

First, one will always need to report the important information like the findings, before discussing the details. That way, the readers know everything you are discussing actually leads up to important findings. Explain the history behind your findings, and discuss why it is important to you as an author. This makes it more personal and real which attracts readers. This also ties into including yourself, which can also mean writing in first person. Writing in first person is something I have been told is something one must never do. Yet, here I am using the term I and it feels great to be able to make my writings on a more personal level. Even though Allen recommends writing in English or Spanish, I believe for our particular project it is important we release information in Spanish since the community is heavily Mexican, or Mexican-American. Also, most of the graves are of Mexican descent. As a writer we need to be able to reach out to a single reader, making them feel as our writings are specifically for them, because they are. We want to connect to each reader on a personal level. Adding photos to your writings, and especially blogs is a major bonus as well. I personally love to see one’s personal findings through images, it creates a more personal feel and helps the reader understand exactly what one is discussing.

The purpose of communicating all these ideas is to attract the readers and allowing them to engage in your writings. A major concept in Archaeology is attracting the public/ community. With the HCPCP with the help of the community we will be able to go further into our project as they can give us important information needed. Whether it is identifying unmarked graves, and even give us their history with the cemetery and their loved ones. We as future archaeologists will be able to understand on a more personal level as well, the history of the Hidalgo County Public Cemetery and the individuals buried there.

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