Madisen Dancer, Preservation Archaeology Field School Student
When I was accepted into the Archaeology Southwest/University of Arizona field school this past March, I was delighted. I was also ready to tackle a problem I had been considering since deciding to change my major to geography: how might archaeology and geography complement each other? Before coming to this field school, I already felt that the two disciplines were similar in many ways; in fact, I considered them sister programs. How could I combine my passion for geography with my fixation on archaeology?
I knew that Mule Creek would be an ideal environment for exploring my directional dilemma. I would be surrounded by experts who not only loved their job, but would also help me find my way. By learning more about all the facets of field archaeology, including excavation, experimental work, and survey, I am learning to connect to the hands-on type of work I hope to do in urban planning and cultural resource management.
Talking with Sarah Herr after her recent lecture on the professional field of cultural resource management was particularly inspiring for me, especially hearing about the developing interest geographers and city planners have in the preservation of heritage sites and working with archaeological excavations, as opposed to around them. This combination of urban planning and preservation offers a way to combine my long-standing interests. By learning more about preservation archaeology through fieldwork and time spent with the Preservation Archaeology field school staff, I feel like I have found the right channels for beginning my professional career.