Knowledge is a systems of place and people, and that has no disciplinary boundaries
–Dr. Chip Colwell, 02/16/2017
The second workshop of the “Preserving the Past Together” seminar series had a guest key note speaker, Dr. Chip Colwell, senior curator of anthropology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. I walked in half way through the lecture and was glad to see the room was full of people because the types of the conversations that are occurring throughout this series need to be discussed more often. It shouldn’t just be for individuals in the archaeology field, but also among those in museums, history, cultural resource management and any discipline that is involved with some type of historical preservation, including tribal preservation.
One conversation that arose was the creation of knowledge and what to do with it. Sure, there is some public outreach to educate people about new discoveries. But more often than not, the information does not reach the community it should be reaching. Several of the panelists addressed the importance of sharing the knowledge with the community related to the space where the knowledge is produced. Academics shouldn’t share their knowledge just among themselves, but back with the community itself. This is probably one of the last, but equally important steps to take when working in a collaborative archaeology project, a main theme in the overall series.
Two other important aspect of collaborative archaeology that I took from this seminar were knowing how to listen and knowing when to step away from the collective. There are more workshops in the making that will be produced this academic year, but if there is one word that can sum up all of these themes and topics its respect.