Erika LOVELAND | George AUSTIN
(Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, USA)
Keywords: Historical Archaeology, Public Archaeology, Go-Pro
The public seldom understands the complexity of archaeology and the many activities that archaeologists conduct in the course of site investigations. Our research aims to provide a first person perspective into how archaeologists, community members, and online viewers experience the site of Fort St. Joseph, an eighteenth-century mission, garrison, and trading post in present-day Niles, Michigan. Throughout the 2016 field season, we filmed hours of point-of-view footage using two Go-Pro cameras to show the ways in which we work and involve the community. The raw footage captured excavations at the site and the Project’s public outreach programs from the perspective of the field school students and summer campers of all ages. We compiled a brief and fast paced three minute video and shared it on YouTube and social media websites to promote and educate viewers on public archaeology and the site by grabbing their attention in new and exciting ways. As the primary goals of the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project are to examine the site in ways that ensure the community’s education and involvement, our research works to expand these goals by testing the Go-Pro film’s ability to attract younger audiences. To gain insight on the public’s reaction a short survey was attached asking about the effectiveness of the video in demonstrating archaeological processes, placing the viewers’ in the archaeologists’ shoes, and attracting the future involvement of our viewers in the Project or archaeology in general. This research is significant because it uses the Go-Pro technology to observe the site and public outreach programs through the eyes of the Project participates in addition to sharing this view with the public in hopes of providing a brief, but meaningful experience to its viewers.