I have two main goals in creating the site, both related to communication between professional archaeologists and the public.
First, I hope that the website will be a way to communicate a good example how field archaeology in this part of the world is actually done. While there are many non-professionals out there who have a fairly sophisticated understanding of how and why professional archaeologists go about collecting data in the field, there are many others that, I think, have a pretty inaccurate picture in their heads. Putting time and energy into writing about the field school and explaining what we're doing and why we're doing it that way is part of my ongoing effort to provide a realistic picture of what real archaeology is and how it's done.
Second, I think it's critically important to our future that students learn how to effectively communicate about archaeology with the public. It is my impression that our field has done a generally poor job representing ourselves in ways that are accessible to the general public. Without public support, much of the work we do would not exist, and interest in the preservation and management of cultural heritage resources (such as archaeological sites) would evaporate. It's important that we train the next generation of archaeologists to talk to the public.
For that reason, over the course of the semester each student in the field school will write several blog posts about his/her activities and experiences. I've assigned days to each student, so you should expect to see three new blog posts in the student blog section of the website each week. I hope you enjoy them.
I plan to add more content (photos, artifact pictures, etc.) as I have time and as things progress. I hope you'll stay tuned and check in to see how things are going as we work our way through the semester.