W1 Reflection Post

Prompt 1

When I first think of archaeology, I immediately jump to the country of Egypt. This country is known for having iconic landmarks that have stopped in time. People were mummified for preservation from the elements and the structures took little damage due to the dessert environment. From here I begin to think of the mummies found in crypt along with the treasure that was buried with them to bring wealth to the afterlife. Archaeologists spend months even years digging at sites trying to understand the life those before us lived. If they are lucky enough, they will understand the mindset of those who stood dozens of years ago where the archaeologists now kneel.

Prompt 2

The modern approach has evolved with societies desire to consider all individuals affected by what others did in the area. The Colorado River excavation was carefully thought out with each step planned. This was then taken to multiple tribes within the canyon with ties to the site to ensure there were no disturbances to sacred grounds and to have their blessing to dig. Those excavating the area are also able to provide information about the lives of those who lived there to the tribes affiliated with the site. Historic digs did not take into account how others would feel if areas were excavated and disturbed. They saw or discovered something that could lead to more information and they began digging with little thought about what would happen in the long run. Both processes were delicate in removing sediments from the location due to lack of machinery in the area. Large excavators present at construction sites today were not used historically and weren’t brought in to the Colorado site. The availability for the public to witness the process of archaeology is much greater today than in the past. The use of Internet, travel, and phones has greatly increased the knowledge of the public about what is occurring in nearby areas giving them the opportunity to travel out to the Grand Canyon. The public knows there is an excavation occurring somewhere in the miles of rock and want to learn about what is happening to the environment and the history. This is helping preserve the information that has been lost to the world and is being brought directly to the people instead of being put in books and shelved in libraries.

The modern approach for excavating in todays society vastly differs from what popular media broadcasts. Most people would think the process of this excavation, while educational and beneficial; it is not what would keep the interest for most. Today people want something exciting and thrilling in a matter of seconds or else their interest will move somewhere else. Archaeology is a delicate process where explosions and fast-paced action will destroy most of the delicate artifacts that can be found at the excavation sites. Media also want to make the archaeologists to be attractive men and women who don’t wear sensible clothing, do little digging, and have one main tool that will help them in their adventures. Archaeology is a delicate process that takes time and patience to find small intricate pieces from those who have passed and try to make sense of how they lived and thought.

4 thoughts on “W1 Reflection Post

  1. I fully agree with your statements about a vast majority of people wanting something exciting or thrilling in a short matter of time. Archaeology is sure the opposite of that. I was fortunate enough to be on an ancient Native American dig site. I was in a particular grid where we were excavating, essentially, a trash heap. We sifted and sifted dirt all day and in the end only found tiny bird bones (believed to be part of their diet) and shards of pottery. While I was excited at what we did find and what we could find within the next bucket of dirt, I can easily see how someone expecting major thrills every hour could be vastly disappointed.

  2. I totally agree with your idea about the modern approach taking more in consideration all the individuals affected by the project. I believe that by working tribes whose ancestors had lived in that area, the archaeologists took this project to a whole new level. Besides the fact of these tribes being able to help to understanding the site being studied, they were the people who would probably benefit the most from this study. I also agree with your statement about how modern archaeology makes the reasoning and results of projects like this more available to the public, which helps preserve those archaeological sites.

  3. Lauren, it is interesting that you first think of Egyptian landmarks when thinking of archaeology; I had forgotten about these famous discoveries but also would relate them to my initial thoughts about archaeology. I agree with your discussion about the contrast in consideration for long term effects. I also like your point about how technologies today increase the ability for the public to gain knowledge about the sites, and that hopefully can further the public awareness of these opportunities. As unfortunate as it is, your discussion about the media broadcasting false images is spot on; the general public will be far more likely to gain interest in something that is exciting and adventurous, rather than the true delicate processes that must be taken in actual archaeological digs.

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