Monday, January 11, 2016

Laboratory Work Continues

Despite the summer being over, work for the Project hasn’t ended. This past semester, four students from this summer’s field school along with the staff have been working on things in the lab back at WMU. We have cataloged our artifacts from this past summer, entering them into a digital database, as well as updated the Project’s fliers, brochures and public outreach opportunities.  We also have had several opportunities to attend public outreach events.
Rebecca Stoddard works with Michael Nassaney in the lab.
Starting in September, Dr. Nassaney worked with students to catalog new artifacts. We learned more about the characteristics of our artifacts, helping us to identify each one. Once the artifacts are initially cataloged we then entered them into an online database, called PastPerfect.  This program allows us to look back and easily locate each of our artifacts, rather than digging through a box to find them. Along with working with the artifacts we have updated the Project’s summer camp and teacher fliers. The Project was present at multiple public events this fall. In October a group of us went to Michigan Archaeology Day in Lansing, as well as MHAC in Minneapolis. These were great opportunities to engage with the public and promote the Project. In January we are also sending a group to attend the SHA conference Washington D.C.

As we wrap up our projects for this semester and start thinking of our projects for next semester we will be working more towards public outreach. We will be doing this so that we can hopefully get the word out to more people and a younger group of people on what archaeology is and what the Fort St. Joseph project is. One of the projects will be a teaching program which we will be visiting different middle school and elementary school locations in Kalamazoo county to spend the day sharing information about archaeology with students and teachers. The project is still in its draft stages but we hope to include details on how archaeologists conduct their field work and to include information about the coming 2016 Fort St. Joseph Archaeological field season.

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