Tuesday, November 18, 2008

SEAC 2008

Last week I attended the annual Southeastern Archaeology Conference annual meeting.  I attended every cemetery paper/presentation I could, and I learned quite a bit.  I was happy to see that there were several papers on African American cemeteries, so it's a topic that is finding its way into current archaeological research.  This blog really isn't about the nitty-gritty details of archaeology, so I'll jump ahead to and summarize a few points. 

The key point that was brought home in several papers was the need for community involvement.  The form of this involvement ranged from finding local geneologists who could provide more information on the cemetery to involving a local Boy Scout troop in the clean up and maintenance of a cemetery.  Community involvement is really important, and an area I may be lacking in on my own project.  I will have to consider that!

Following up on that point, is the involvement of young people.  Cemetery preservation is a great way to learn about history, historic preservation, anthropology and archaeology, as well as a host of other topics.  It gives students a break from the tired old sit-in-class/take-test-in-class/repeat routine, and offers them the chance to consider careers they may not have considered before.  

I will probably be expanding on this later, but for now I'd like to pose the question:  What are you doing in your own projects and how can you involve the community?  
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