Friday, June 10, 2011

Colonial Week 3

Hey everybody! Its looks like everyone is having a wonderful times at the park and I'm glad. I actually got a chance to see some of you all at the training sessions and that was phenomenal. I cannot wait until the whole group reunites. That time is steadily approaching. Week 3 at Colonial was a very good one that involved me taking in an archaeological dig with the cultural resource specialist Jonathan Connolly and meeting David Briggs and Melanie Pereira, who are the Curators of the park. This week served as a finale to my experiences with the interpretive division of the National Park Service, and really helped to tie everything together. Firstly, I took part in a dig with cultural resource specialist Jonathan Connolly. This dig had to take place in order to determine if the ground in front of the ranger office was of historical significance. In working with Jonathan, we found a vast amount of old brick, mortar, an oyster shell, and some hand-made nails. I had the chance to personally get down in the hole and take part in some digging, and also sifting through the dirt for artifacts. This dig with Jonathan was a much needed experience, because it prepared me for my meeting with the curators of the park.
Sifting through dirt

Digging to reach the 2nd level
Upon uncovering artifacts they have to be stored in the proper facilities, and be accounted for by park Curators. During my time spent with both Curators I had used the opportunity to ask key questions involving how they sort through the inventory of artifacts, keep track of the artifacts, and handle certain problems that may arise when keeping artifacts such as damage or incorrect documentation. From this I was told the information that those issues are key problems which they both attempt to avoid with thorough documentation in both written forms and also using an online data system to record artifacts. The difficulties arise very quickly in this portion due to the vast amount of artifacts the park has compared to the amount of space to house them. Additionally, the problems of natural disasters such as hurricanes and flooding to destroy artifacts are cause for concern. Myself and David Briggs at one point took a look at a report written about artifacts, and were checking the folders to make sure the data inside matched with the listed table of contents. The measures taken by Briggs and Pereira in their everyday work life to maintain the correct documentation and these artifacts amazed me. For without correct documentation and not knowing where an artifact came from makes it lose its value. For its historical significance cannot be determined when things of this nature occur combined with damage and other factors. These visits with Melanie and Dave led me to post the two photos which one can see below. In these pictures one can see just a tiny portion of the vast amount of artifacts and data at their disposal to which they are responsible for.
Folders Me and Dave were checking

Dave Searching through files for a binder.
The hand and hand importance of Jonathan with Dave and Melanie are essential to the Park and the interpretive division. Without the presence of Jonathan in his position as Cultural Resource Specialist, digs could not be accomplished in order to determine to potential historical significance of a site that may be targeted by potential businesses who would like to set something up in the park, or even a service such as an underground waterline. Dave and Melanie without their position as Curators is needed to maintain effective record keeping of artifacts and ensuring they remain in a good state and historically significant. Without these two pieces there could not be as many exhibits to display some of the beautiful artifact collections the Park Service presents by its interpreters. This reminded me of how each person in a team has their own specific role, but the goal is the same. In order to achieve it, we all must work together, effectively, efficiently, and to the best of our ability to reach great heights of success. Through hard-work, extensive research, sweat, and time put in it can be achieved. And the great mind of the interpretation division are ensuring that takes place not only for the love they have for what they do, but for the preservation that those of future generations can continue to take part in standing in places where history happened. It is something that I would personally like to thank this division for.

No comments:

Post a Comment