Interpretation for Archeologists   5. Personal and Professional Responsibilities   Distance Learning

Finding the –ologist in the Archeologist

Archeologists have a trick that interpreters don't: the public is often fascinated by who they are and what they do. The way you present yourself and your passion for archeology can enhance its interpretation and make archeology more accessible to laypeople.

You can be an amazing interpretive medium, but keep in mind:

  • You represent your bureau, division, or organization. Your job is to deliver interpretations that align with its mission and goals.
  • You represent the profession of archeology. The way you present yourself will carry into conversations that visitors have with others and shape their perception - for good or bad - of the field.
  • Beware of inserting personal beliefs or opinions.
  • Be sure that your interpretations are evidenced by data.
  • Take the opportunity to talk about how you became interested in archeology, what brought you to the park, and discuss what keeps you there.
  • Consider your stage and your costume. Make use of excavation sites or labs for interpretive devices. Working within your park's policies, wear field clothes, a lab coat or a uniform to play your part.
  • Under most circumstances, it is inappropriate to touch a visitor or ask visitors to separate from the group.
  • Visitors may want to know about fieldwork jobs, internships, or volunteer opportunities. Have answers ready in case a visitor asks.

Case Study

Why did you become an archeologist? What inspired you?