Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Open House Preparation

Hello! My name is Sara King and I am a student at the University of Michigan Dearborn, visiting as a guest student this semester at Western Michigan University for the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Field School. 
I knew from a young age that I wanted to get into archaeology and learn about the history of Michigan. I started out digging for “treasure” as a kid in my sandbox, then graduated to reading every book I could get my hands on as a teen about archaeology and Michigan’s history. As an adult (and college student) I have taken many courses in anthropology and archaeology, and I was really excited to get some field experience this summer. 
I started the field school in the field with my classmates, learning the methods of archaeology and getting to practice some of them as well. Unfortunately, an issue with my back sidelined me, and I was unable to participate in the daily physical grind that is archaeology in the field.
This photo was taken of me while I spent time researching artifacts.
This setback turned out to be a blessing in disguise for me though, as I was quickly assigned to work on two projects for our Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Open House (August 5-6). With the help of my partner Claire, we have been able to come up with a detailed checklist of information for the guides of the Site Tours we plan on offering at the open house. We visited the library on many occasions to research information and revise our list, even testing out its practicality by doing a mock tour ourselves. We visited the Fort St. Joseph Commemorative Rock, Father Allouez’ cross and the Fort St. Joseph excavation site itself. After successfully completing a tour, we did more research and were able to also come up with some amazing photographs for visual aids to pass around during the tours. 
The recent finds artifact case from last summer
is pictured above. 
The other project we are currently working on is designing the artifact cases for the open house. There will be two display cases with one featuring some of the finds we have made this season, and the other matching our theme for the open house, “Community Partnerships.” To make this idea a reality, we have compiled lists of artifacts that we think represent some of the groups that the Project collaborates with. We are representing groups like the religious community and living history re-enactors, with artifacts that they might find specifically relevant or interesting. I don’t want to spoil the surprise and tell you what we plan on featuring, but I can say that the artifact case will have something for just about everyone.  

It has been a great experience in and out of the field learning the ropes of archaeology, and I can’t wait for everyone to see what everyone’s hard work has accomplished at our Open House. Hope to see you there!   

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