You may possess the skills needed to contribute to the study of the past, whether in your own neighborhood or in other regions of interest to you! Across the country, amateur archaeologists, historians, and paleontologists bring a wide range of skills to professional programs. Geologists, carpenters, engineers, computer specialists, architects, historians, and artists are only a few of the countless types of volunteers who can make invaluable contributions.
For avocationists, every project offers a unique opportunity to share knowledge and experience with other enthusiasts from different walks of life and different parts of the nation. Here are some of the ways avocationists contribute --
- They work directly with professional archaeologists, historians, and paleontologists to excavate sites to determine their ages, how they were used, and how those sites might relate to others in the surrounding area. Avocationists may also search historic records to determine more recent site use.
- They join Site Steward programs in their communities to guard local sites from destructive relic hunters illegally digging for artifacts or fossils.
- They promote archaeological preservation ethics in their community through such efforts as presentations in schools and publication of news articles, or work with local government to create an atmosphere of conservation.
Interested? Well then, these organizations are a good place to start your exploration...
NATIONAL AND REGIONAL AVOCATIONAL GROUPS
STATE AND LOCAL AVOCATIONAL GROUPS
- Fairfax County Parks Authority Archaeology program
- NPS Midwest Archaeological Center
- Voyageurs National Park
- College of William & Mary
- Maryland Historical Trust
- University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (MVAC)
- Mississippi State University
- Friends of Jupiter Inlet
- Idaho Archaeological Society
- Archaeological Society of New Mexico—contact Pat Beckett at 505-524-8471.
- Taos Archaeological Society—contact Robert Peel, PO Box 143 Taos, NM 87571.
- Dona Ana Archaeological Society
- Albuquerque Archaeological Society
- El Paso Archaeological Society--contact Mary Russell, PO Box 4345 El Paso, TX 79914.
- Oregon Archaeological Society
- Archaeological Society of Central Oregon