Mesa Talk

Dig Historia!

Public Archaeological Project at Coronado Historic Site

As archaeologists, it is our responsibility to engage and educate the public about archaeology while demonstrating its relevance in the world today. Archaeological projects that include the public in a hands-on approach can be a successful means of doing this. However, some may be concerned that archaeological standards or data might be negatively affected by this approach. Dig Historia!, a public archaeological project located at Coronado Historic Site in Bernalillo, NM, sought to prove that immersive public archaeological projects provide a means of education that is engaging for the public and can safely contribute high-quality data. Dig Historia! occurred during the Fall semester of 2019 in which over 30 volunteers and graduate students worked together to try and answer the question, "does the rumored 17th-century Spanish hacienda lie buried beneath the railroad bed?" In this presentation, I examine the effectiveness of a public archaeology format in answering this archaeological question.