By Deborah L. Huntley, Preservation Archaeologist
Elizabeth Newcomb describes our second community outreach event:
I had expected that I’d be doing a lot of different things at the Preservation Archaeology field school, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that our assignments included two outreach events. My background experience includes outreach and public education about archaeology, so I was especially excited to have opportunities to share this passion with others. I have always loved talking about the work I do and my experiences in the field.
One of my fellow students has already written about the event we hosted for kids two weeks ago. In this post, I’ll describe the event we held for adults last Saturday evening.
After we all showered and put clean clothes on—it was a regular fieldwork day, after all—we drove down to the senior center in nearby Gila, New Mexico. By the time we had everything set up, a crowd had formed. I staffed the indoor show-and-tell table, where I had many engaging conversations with community members. Outside, we had interactive learning stations, including a flint-knapping (stone tool-making) demonstration, a yucca bracelet-making activity, and atlatl target practice. (Atlatls are shafts used to throw spear points or dart points.)
Everyone seemed to be having a great time, and there were lots of great questions and plenty of interest in our work. We all left feeling energized and appreciative that participants spent this time with us. Part of an archaeologist’s job is to share what he or she is learning with the public, and to convey archaeology’s importance as a discipline. I look forward to my next chance to share.