Public interpretation of historic archaeology at historic sites in eastern United States

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Bailey, Charlene Anne Beaty
Glenn, Elizabeth J.
Issue Date
Thesis (M.S.)
Department of Anthropology
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Fourteen historic sites in the Eastern United States were evaluated for ways archaeological evidence was used in the development of living history, public education, and other interpretive programs. A wide range of sites, such as outdoor living history museum villages, active urban public archaeology programs, sites associated with well-known archaeologists, and sites where the author had personal experience, were studied.Techniques used to interpret archaeological resources to the public were identified to ascertain which were found to be the most effective in spreading the word about preservation and conservation. Technological advances have expanded interpretive possibilities and allowed innovations not thought possible ten years ago. These advances will continue, and archaeologists will need to stay abreast of innovative techniques in public interpretation in spite of excitement or trepidation. This study may serve as guidelines for museums wishing to establish innovative, but low-budget, interpretive programs.