To whom we communicate to

Mitch Allen’s article introduced me into a better understanding of the type of audience archaeologists speak to and how those words are communicated to a much bigger audience. I’m sure this applies to all fields, because really, only we are the masters of our specialized field. Much of what we say can sound like jargon to the general population. As Allen says, “the general reading public forms the vast bulk of those casually interested in archaeological information.” Yet, the rest are from a “hidden” audience much more engaged in our commitment to express our scholarly knowledge. How we balance the two and reach our intended audience, is how Allen suggests his ten rules.

The audience described by Allen and to those we speak out to regarding the cemetery project are very similar. In a way I feel that we may get more interest from the general public, especially to those whom have been effected by our presence at the cemetery. They wonder what we are doing and why we are there. Why does each grave have a flag marker and a number. Why is the focus solely in one part of the entire cemetery and not the rest. These are some of the highlights that can hook a reader into wondering what exactly is the Hidalgo County Public Cemetery Project.

We should be explaining an introduction to the history of the cemetery, its previous name & meaning, location on the map, when it was built, how active it is and the range of people buried there (1800-1900’s). The history and purpose of utrgv students engaging with the community to help restore, is really the insight of the story. People can watch from afar and wonder what it is what we do on our phones, the pictures we take, measurements…

In the end we hope to have data restored and organized with a detailed 3D map, but really the beauty comes in all the hard work that it takes to get there and ultimately present a nicer picture to others. Often we see the end result but don’t take in the process and I think its interesting to share the ongoing work and commitment that represents the project. By providing facts, pictures,  blogs with a students voice and point of view, we can “talk in plain english”, and “to a single reader”. Others can be just as engaged and informed while leaving an open door to share their thoughts.
Pictures speak a thousand words and I think we can portray a lot with even pictures alone. Perhaps some unique graves, or interesting finds. Of course without disturbing or disrespecting anyone. The format we should be portraying is knowledgeable, ethical and reflective. For those who may not be far deep into archaeological interest can still read and be captured by our many means of communication and information that keeps them coming back for more. What I believe we hope to achieve as a group, is to get more people involved and informed through out the entire process so that we each may learn and grow for the benefit of the community/project. Image may contain: plant, outdoor and nature

Image may contain: one or more people, hat, grass, child, outdoor and nature

0 thoughts on “To whom we communicate to

  1. Hi, what do you mean ‘we are the masters of our specialized field’? I don’t really understand that because you can be interested or good at something but not be a master at it. I hadn’t really thought about people being interested in the work we do in the cemetery because they see us there but I can see how that would be true. I also think it’s an amazing idea to have an explanation or introduction to the work that we do at the cemetery like you were talking about. Where would it be though, would it be something that we tell people who talk to us at the cemetery maybe a post online or maybe like a pamphlet that they would have at the cemetery?

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