• Digging Up Interest in the Past: An Evaluation of Public Archaeology and Site Interpretation at Graeme Park

      Orr, David Gerald, 1942-; Bruggeman, Seth C., 1975- (Temple University. Libraries, 2014)
      Both academic and professional archaeologists have realized the need to include the public in their work, whether it be volunteers in the field and/or laboratory, or outreach programs that aim to engage the public in new and innovative ways. Ten excavations were conducted at Graeme Park from 1958 to 1997, yet none of the projects utilized a Public Archaeology approach in the methodology. Although some of the data was used to reconstruct outbuildings and features as well as supplement the way the site is presented to the public, no efforts were made to directly include the staff, volunteers, and/or visitors. There are three glaring reasons as to why the archaeology and site interpretation have lacked synergism over the last fifty years. The first issue is a dearth of academically driven research. The majority of excavations were under the management of the Pennsylvania Historical & Museums Commission; Public Archaeology was not a goal of the state department given limited time and finances. Secondly, the budget of the PHMC has been drastically cut and historic sites across the state have been shut down or forced to function on very limited budgets. This has resulted in the creation of anachronistic or irrelevant programming that brings in revenue, but veer from the mission statement of Graeme Park. Finally, as a result of the budget cuts, the historic site lacks a full-time staff member to oversee programs and archaeological projects. I propose a plan for future site interpretation that brings together archaeology and historic site interpretation, citing Stenton House as an example of successful integration between the two.