Oct. 13 Public Archaeology Event at History San Jose

This past Saturday Oct. 13 2012, Stanford undergraduates and graduate students from a variety of different departments and volunteers from San Jose State came together for the first Public Archaeology Day of the year at History Park in History San Jose. Coinciding with the Filipino American History Day celebrations at History Park, our Public Archaeology program drew plenty of attention from kids, their parents and various other revelers in attendance!

The whole family is getting into pottery reconstruction!

Within range of the tempting aromas of the Filipino food trucks and music from the main stage in History Park, our Public Archaeology program consisted of 5 different stations providing a comprehensive “tour” of the methods archaeologists use to dig, identify, reconstruct and interpret artifacts. All of the stations incorporated some of the real artifacts from the Market Street Chinatown collection. The presence of these artifacts proved an important detail that helped facilitate discussions about the artifacts themselves (leading to such questions as: what are they made of? where did they come from? how are they made? if they are so old, why are they still intact?). In addition, the artifacts prompted discussion of their uses and roles in the daily lives of the inhabitants of the Market Street Chinatown, including questions about what were they used for, why were they thrown away, who was using them? etc.

     That plate looks like it’s almost complete!

As expected, the excavation activity was a big hit among the visiting kids…and the Stanford archaeologists, who (clearly!) have yet to outgrow their love of playing digging in the dirt!

Never too early to learn proper excavation technique!

Thanks to all the participants, volunteers and our hosts at History San Jose for a successful and incredibly fun day at History Park!

Stay tuned for our next Public Archaeology event in November:

Dig Up San Jose’s Past
November 4th, 2012 – History San Jose, 11-3pm

Don’t forget to check out History San Jose’s website for more info on these and other great events: (http://www.historysanjose.org/)

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