What is Public Archaeology to Me

I never thought that I would be given the chance to work in an area that was so closely related to my personal self. When I was going to work in the cemetery the name of the place just flew over my head. Later on, when the names of the cemetery were mentioned again I realized that my grandparents were buried there, and so many other people that I knew had known of people that were buried their as well. The list just kept on expanding where my family, and family friends would tell me, “I remember when so and so was buried there. They died around this age around that year. But I don’t remember where exactly.” This way of talking would continue on for some time and I soon realized that there were some concerns regarding with what we were planned on doing. Many family members and friends including complete strangers some that I met at the cemetery others from different channels were concerned that we were going to be excavating the sight. This seemed to be the main concern mainly because the local news channel had once done several reports about Anthropology students from Texas State excavating remains from diseased immigrants in order to identify them.


People often have no idea what Anthropology is and sometime often confused with Paleontology which is the study “Dinosaurs,” but it’s so much more than that. Anthropology isn’t about digging up someone’s grave. Its about preserving the sight for future generations to marvel at and remind themselves of where they come from and how people lived back then. We don’t just traps around somebody’s grave, nor do we remove the items that were place there. We are careful not to disturb these resting grounds as we are fully aware that removing anything is destroying the past that once there. Sometimes this is a necessity as was explained in the local news channel, for people to find the closer they are looking for.

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