CRM in SFBay

Although the majority of archaeology conducted in the States is Cultural Resource Management, it’s not the largest topic within the academic sector. As such, I was interested by the “Archaeology of a San Francisco Neighborhood” website, run by Sonoma State University. The site describes the methods and results of CRM work done in the Bay Area during construction and remodel of the SF-80 highway and the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge. Caltrans, the California Department of Transportation, funded the development of the website to share information about and results of the excavations.

Although at first glance the website seems a bit underwhelming and slightly outdated (the use of comic sans as the heading font does not help), I found it overall to be very informative and easy to navigate. Whether you’re interested in artefacts, the site map, or methods of excavation, the site is well laid out to help you figure it out. They have a cute page about artifacts with pictures of different objects found in historic archaeological sites with hyperlinks to more information. Although I was expecting to see examples of artefacts found in the SF-80 or Bay Bridge sites, the general info of “these are the lighting fixtures we often find!” was still educational.

Overall, the focus of the website seems less on the specific excavations and more on methods and general information about archaeology. Even so, I’m not sure if I think that’s a large detracting feature of the website. The positionality of Caltrans is not to get people siked on the people of the past, it’s to educate the public about how aware they are of potential history destruction and give them the resources they need to understand the mechanics of how archaeology is applied to these large projects.

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