Unfortunately, this is the last week for the Campus Archaeology 2015 Field School. Where did the time go? I can’t believe how fast these five weeks have flown by! It seems like it was just yesterday that we were learning how to draw sketch maps and now we are mapping the final levels of our pits!
I first learned about the field school through the Campus Archaeology Facebook page. I decided to apply for a couple of reasons. One, I have always been interested in archaeology and I plan on making a career out of it. Two, to do this I knew I would need to actually learn how archaeology is done, so going to a field school or having some type of field experience is necessary and usually mandatory. Three, I also applied because this summer was going to be my first semester at Michigan State University. This field school complimented the other courses I was taking and allowed me to cover some of the requirements for my major.
Over the course of the field school I have learned a lot about Michigan State’s history. I do not know if I would have learned as much about this university if I had not participated in this program. That is one of the unique features of digging on a campus. You get to learn about how such a huge, world renowned university was first formed and how it has changed over the years. It helps put what we find in context. It is a very special opportunity because we are learning about MSU’s heritage while adding to it. Everything we find gives us and the community a better picture into the area’s past and what life was like for the people that inhabited it.
In my opinion this field school was very unique. For example, our site is located in a pedestrian-heavy area of the campus. Every day we see students, professors, families, tour groups, and all kinds of people walk by. They will often stop and ask us about what we are doing. This gives us the chance to actually speak to the public about archaeology. We explain to people what we are doing, how we are doing it, and why. It is awesome to see the interest people have and how excited they are about what we are finding. Sharing what we are doing through blogging is great, but being able to talk to people about archaeology in person is even better. Besides the public we are also visited by the media. I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by the State News and by a local radio station. I’ve never been interviewed by the press before so this was a new experience for me. I think it is awesome that I was able to represent campus archaeology and share the things I have been learning.
I am so glad that I was able to have this experience. I can’t wait to learn more about archaeology in the future. I am super excited to use the skills I have acquired over these last five weeks to one day add to our understanding of the past. I hope everyone has a fun and safe Independence Day!