Public archaeology to me is uncovering history whether forgotten, abandoned, or lost. It means even that much more when it comes straight from the region one was born and raised. Public archaeology is something the community can take part in because it involves their life, and their own history. That’s what makes public archaeology even more intriguing! When one thinks of archaeology the thoughts of Egypt, or famous ruins come to mind. However, there’s history on the exact land we live our day to day lives. Being a part of this amazing project is so exciting to me! As my colleagues and I gain hands on experience, there is also a sense of giving back to our community. What is possibly better than doing something you enjoy, while helping others in the process?
Our project aligns perfectly with public archaeology. The purpose of the Hidalgo County Public Cemetery Project is to engage in archaeological techniques, and to help our community of Hidalgo while gaining knowledge at the same time. As students, we will be able to practice techniques used in archaeology in our own region. As the experience is a major bonus, so is the idea of helping families who have loved ones buried in this public cemetery.
When I first began in UTRGV, I was stuck between what majors to pursue in. After deciding that Anthropology was what I enjoyed learning, and wanted to pursue my career in it was set. I entered anthropology leaning towards the cultural and linguistic aspects. After my first semester with Dr. Rowe in Intro to Archaeology I knew that archaeology would be a field I would love to gain more knowledge and experience in. I am positive participating in this course of Public Archaeology will push me to want to also pursue a lead into the forensic aspect of anthropology as well. Through this project I want to understand how to operate the devices offered to help us identify what we are looking for. Whether it be data collection, identifying unmarked graves, and etc.
I am the type of individual who learns best by hands on work. The knowledge gained during this course will help my colleagues and I use these techniques for our careers. In many courses one just learns by listening, and reading. In this course we have the opportunity to learn by listening to directions and instructions, reading pieces that pertain to our work, and by actually engaging in these techniques archaeologists use in their careers. I am a first timer in this course, but many are veterans. I hope too that I will be able to grow along with this project and share my experience as they are. I am excited to see what this wonderful project brings to our community of the Rio Grande Valley and to our university of UTRGV!