Spreading The Wonder Of Archaeology

In Mitch Allen’s article he talks about the “Hidden Audience” in Archaeological writing who are not so much fellow colleague’s or students but regular people who have at least some interest in Archaeological work. There are casual Archaeologist who buy and read Archaeology magazines who have money to spend and choose to spend it supporting Archaeologist. With our Cemetery project our “Hidden Audience” would be the community and family members of the deceased we identify. Both Allen’s and the Cemetery project’s hidden audience are similar in the sense that there is wonder amongst the community. Many of the people who come by the cemetery are relatives of one of the deceased we have identified and are seeking information on their ancestors who lived and died here as far back as a century ago. All kinds of people from different parts of the world have been here throughout the centuries and the chance that someone of German decent is buried in this cemetery would pique the interest of many people not just scholars and student and it’s this kind of work that makes this project and Archaeology in general so important. Allen’s 10 rules for Archaeological writers can be seen in many articles and books not just by Archaeology, Peter A. Youngs article The Archaeologist as Storyteller incorporates these rules by hooking us with the hype of Archaeology being spread through various outlets like T.V., telling the stories of the Archaeologist who wrote for the Left Coast Press and making it personal by adding his own experiences there and continues to incorporate every other rule.

For the Cemetery project I believe we should be telling the stories of what we have found. All the graves with intricate, basic, and lack of headstones we found are amazing because each one was a person who has walk this earth and had a story. In this project we found more than grave, we found mystical items all around the site that gives us a glimpse into a little bit of the darker side of the Borderland culture. Everything we find is so exciting and by sharing the experience through our own words and emotion will help spread these feeling of wonder, amazement, and curiosity to the readers.

0 thoughts on “Spreading The Wonder Of Archaeology

  1. I very much agree with this post, the wonder of archaeology is arguably the most important outreach tool that archaeologists have available to them. In this project, the fact that we live in such a unique area with a diverse history of occupation makes the stories we find incredibly valuable. They are a lens into a past that many people are not even aware existed, and they can highlight the struggles and obstacles that members of this community still have to deal with. People who are new to the community as well as people whose family have lived here for generations will find the stories we tell valuable. People who live in communities that are not Hispanic will find this cemetery fascinating as well, because the variety, vibrancy and care of the handmade decorated gravestones is so different from cemeteries in other communities.

  2. This stance does allow public archaeology projects become more interesting to the public and connects the community with the project. Allowing community members to speak up about their personal experience gives them the ability to work with the project instead of from afar. The audience to this project may even get to analyze the interpretations made, debates, and the community members stories. To this specific project, we must find ways to grow with others.

  3. Having this public archaeology project with the community has been very insightful to the history of the RGV. The community’s oral histories of some of the relatives buried here help paint a picture of what life was like just a few decades ago in the RGV.

  4. It’s great to be able to know the history and the stories that come along with the cemetery and graves. I strongly believe giving a more personal feel to this project makes it that much more intriguing for us, and the community. Since most of us students, this is our community and it feels nice to be able to understand the individuals who were buried here by their families.

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