Outreach through Archaeology…
This past Saturday was a cold and rainy day. We celebrated Michigan State football as our team beat Wisconsin in a great Big Ten battle. But while some were celebrating in the rain and cold, others celebrated different aspect of Michigan State, at the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing. Yes, this past Saturday was a perfect day for the museum, and even more so because it was Michigan Archaeology Day. Visitors to the museum were invited to celebrate Michigan’s history through its archaeology.
CAP was on hand to present aspects of their research as well as to display artifacts from past excavations including this past summer’s field school, as well as to provide information about the program and our experiences. It was wonderfully successful, and many were amazed that the artifacts they were admiring at CAP’s display came from MSU’s campus. This last point is exactly why CAP places such a strong emphasis on outreach and community engagement, and is what makes my job so gratifying.
I was personally very excited to be presenting for the first time on Campus Archaeology and what we do. In my presentation, I emphasized the process of doing research on campus, and how rewarding it is to work with the community and collaborate with so many people. It is through such great outlets as Twitter, Facebook, this website and this blog, we help get the word out to many people about how important our research is. By doing this we help present a very unique history of a very unique space. It is a history for all to enjoy, and is something that can be shared through the ages.
By uncovering, protecting and presenting the archaeology and the history on MSU’s campus, CAP provides a means for alumni, staff, faculty and students to share a common bond, a common history. It is by celebrating this shared intellectual heritage, this shared history that we strengthen our community and make MSU a great and successful place for education.
So what’s next for CAP? Well, we are in the process of entering data and doing analysis on the artifacts from this past summer’s archaeological field school. When the data process is done, we are going to be able to present publications, reports, and give talks about our findings. This is a very exciting time for CAP, and we hope that you continue to follow us and support us in discovering and protecting MSU’s past!
Chris Stawski, Campus Archaeologist