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Study Tour of Archeological Interpretation > 3. Self-Guided Tour >

Be a visitor

[photo] Rectangular pieces of turquoise and orange argillite.

Visit Chaco Culture NHP's website to see how their collections are interpreted online. NPS photo.

For this exercise, conduct a self-guided tour of a park, museum, or a website that interprets archeology. You may wish to do an in-person and an on-line tour, to compare and contrast the interpretive environments.

If possible, coordinate your tours with other archeologists and interpreters.

For on-site visits

Visit a place in person, perhaps through a walking tour, a specific exhibit or a ranger talk. Visiting a place in person helps you to understand a place the way visitors do: physically, emotionally, mentally, and intellectually.

Download and print a record sheet to take with you. It lists questions to consider before, during, and after your visit. They will help you both to get inside a visitor's mindset and to think through questions that interpretive products can and should address.

Places to visit in-person include:

For virtual visits

Explore an online exhibit for another way to think about interpreting archeology. Websites are themselves interpretive products. Some of the websites reconstruct what visitors see onsite when they tour a particular exhibit or the entire property. Others reconstruct particular exhibits or have always been intended for online exploration. As you tour a website, take the medium into consideration and think about the differences between a virtual and in-person experience.

Download and print a virtual visit record sheet (.doc file) to use.

Examples of online media to "visit" include:

Examples of websites include:

For your consideration