What Public Archaeology is to Me

Public Archaeology is a complex field, where there is no one right definition that can encompass all that it stands for and all that it stands to accomplish. Due to this intricate nature, the only answer to the question what is Public Archaeology to me is also complex and intricate in nature. The simplest way in which I can define this is, public archaeology is archaeology done within a community, as well as archaeology that is done outside of a community. What I mean by this is, like most archaeology’s, public archaeology is done with the intent of learning more about any given community and/or environment. Once the excavating, surveying, and learning is done, all the knowledge that was gathered during this time is then spread around in articles, journals, books, etc. The difference between the way public archaeology and other more scholarly types of archaeology spread their data around is that, one is meant to be understood by a general public as well as other scholars, and the other is meant to be read by scholars. This to me is a key example of what separates public archaeology from other forms of archaeology. The project that is beginning in ¬†Hidalgo County’s Pauper Cemetery is a prime example of showing how the data from this will made easily accessible for the general public. What I am hoping to learn more about is how exactly will our data be seen and interpreted by the public, as well as how learning to gather all the data and putting it together to make a cohesive public study.

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