Sunday, February 23, 2014
During this snowy winter, exciting things related to Fort St. Joseph (FSJ) have been occurring. Dr. Michael Nassaney has been collaborating with the Kalamazoo Valley Museum and Joseph Hines, a designer with Project Arts and Ideas. The last few months these plans have started to take shape and now we are ready to share the exciting news with all of you. In January 2015, an exhibit called “Evidence Found” will open at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. The exhibit is designed to communicate in an interactive format what archaeology is, what archaeologists do, and the presence as well as the importance of archaeological sites in southwest Michigan. The primary archaeological site presented in the exhibit is Fort St. Joseph. Artifacts uncovered at FSJ and photos of the site will be on display. One section of the exhibit will include the presentation of information and artifacts from five other sites in Southwest Michigan. Those five sites are the Native American mound in Bronson Park, the Warren B. Shepard homestead site, Ramptown an Underground Railroad site, Dieffenderfer a Late-Woodland site, and Schilling a pre-contact sweat lodge. In accompaniment to the photos and artifacts, archaeological procedures and tools will be on display and interpreted for the visitors.
I participated in the 2012 Archaeological Field School at Fort St. Joseph and I worked in the lab the following Fall semester. I am collaborating with Dr. Nassaney and Mr. Hines on the preparation for this exhibit. One of my responsibilities is to conduct background research on all the sites. For each of these sites, I am also suggesting a way that the sites can be interpreted in order to connect the purpose of the activities at each site to present people and activities. Another task assigned to me is to assist in obtaining and selecting photos and artifacts from the sites. I am selecting a sample of photos taken during field seasons at Fort St. Joseph.
Participation in this project is part of my thesis for the Lee Honors College. For my thesis, I am conducting the research on the sites and I am selecting artifacts and photos associated with them. This project fits with my future career plans, as I hope to someday work in a museum. This project is beneficial to my future career as I am learning more about the research and planning that goes into the design of an exhibit in a museum. When I work in a museum in the future, I will have a better idea of how to plan and design exhibits because I worked on this project. Keep checking back for more information on the Project and details on the museum display!-Tabitha Hubbard