As many of you know, we’ve been inviting the public to the dig site every Friday and Saturday during July. This public portion of the dig is sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources, who have committed resources for organizing and advertising the tours. I would like to thank the staff of Thomas Raddall Provincial Park for their exceptional work, which has ensured that everything has run smoothly.
The goal of the public archaeology program is to introduce local communities to the process of scientific archaeology, to discuss the dangers of unprofessional collecting, and to provide direct access to the results of the research as it is being conducted. Public archaeology is time consuming and logistically challenging, but is more than rewarded by the immediate reaction you get by showing artifacts and animals bones that you just unearthed minutes ago, or presenting your interpretations of the features and deposits of the site as they are being excavated.
To date we’ve had over 150 visitors tour the site, including local residents, park campers, summer vacationers, community organizations, Mi’kmaw groups, and provincial and federal staff. Some have come from as far away as New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. We’ve also had some good media coverage, which can be found here (find the July 21st news cast and forward to 54:30 to find our segment). With only two public days left, we hope to see over two hundred visitors at the site this season.