My time at the State Museum of Pennsylvania’s Section of Archaeology has been extremely rewarding. However, I see now that my career aspiration of being an archaeologist is more involved than I had imagined. It is not all the glories of sitting in the desert with huge piles of suddenly discovered long-lost gold at my feet. I often find myself at the mercy of a computer and Microsoft Access. This holds an archaeologist’s true treasures. A trowel is important, but artifacts are not if you don’t know what they are or where they came from. Data are the keys to organization which is essential to archaeology. Computers, along with various other facets of technology, have helped to advance archaeology and make it sustainable.
Little did I know what adventures awaited me when I signed up through my Cooperation Education at Central Dauphin High School. My opportunities were endless-databases for artifacts, inventorying Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology journals, copying, and even a hands-on excavation at Fort Hunter- an archaeological gem just minutes from my house. This experience, digging everyday and sifting through buckets of dirt for that special artifact, is my favorite memory. It combined the outdoors, public outreach, and real scientific practices into a one month-long celebration of archaeology.
My days were definitely not always the same. Some days were a relaxing session of labeling artifacts in the lab or fixing light bulbs in the museum galleries. Even if I don’t know it, I am always learning. That is the key to a good teacher. I want to sincerely thank everyone at the State Museum of Pennsylvania Archaeology Section, Mrs. Janet Johnson, Dr. Kurt Carr, Liz Wagner, Dave Burke, Andrea Johnson, and Jim Herbstritt. I appreciate your time and decision to invest in my future!