Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Archaeology Day 2015

Rebecca and Stephan at Archaeology Day
            On October 10th, a group of WMU students representing the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project headed out to Lansing for the 2015 Michigan Archaeology Day. We set up two display tables where we shared with the public some of our new finds from the 2015 field season. The public asked questions concerning French and Native American artifacts as well as the activities of the FSJAP and some general questions about archaeology itself. We also had on display a video made with a GoPro camera by field school student Austin George during the field season. Austin’s GoPro video gives a first person view of the activities performed by both field school students as well as participants in the annual camp program. It gives great insight into how public archaeology is done at Fort St. Joseph. Austin’s will present this video at the 2016 Society for Historical Archaeology conference in January.
            The event featured many speakers throughout the day. One of these speakers was Terry Martin from the Illinois State Museum. Terry has worked with FSJ students in the past, teaching them how to identify different animal bones found during the field season. Terry spoke about archaeological recovery of animal bones. During his presentation he highlighted many finds from Fort St. Joseph. Another presentation was the Ongoing Quest for the Wreck of the Griffon was presented by Dr. Dean Anderson, Michigan’s state archaeologist. His work showed many different false claims that were once thought to be factual claims of the Griffon wreck. Through the use of modern science such as dendrochronololgy, it was shown that these old claims were not the wreck of the Griffon.

Erika Loveland at Archaeology Day
          Overall, Michigan Archaeology Day was a great experience and opportunity to speak directly to the public about new finds and exciting updates on our activities. I had a chance to walk around the event and see the different archaeological projects going on in Michigan. I think it is important for us to continue sharing with the public that archaeology does go on, and it happens right in some of our backyards. It makes me proud to be a part of a project that is so strongly focused on working and integrating the public into their own history through archaeology. 

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