Making the Inaccessible Accessible: Public Archaeology at a 19th-Century Bathhouse in Alexandria, Virginia
Author(s): Catherine M Cartwright
This paper examines Alexandria Archaeology’s foray into broadcasting archaeological excavations and findings through videos and social media. When excavations began at a well discovered by chance in the basement of a private residence, city archaeologists took a social media approach to reach and educatate the public about a site otherwise be inaccessible to them. Video updates of the excavation posted online allowed followers to witness the process of archaeological discovery and interpretation, thereby meeting Alexandria Archaeology’s mission of engaging the public.
The decision to venture into social media outreach was made with little forethought; as such the results fell short of the initial vision. The experience still demonstrates the nearly unlimited possibilities for bringing Alexandria’s archaeological past to a wider audience. Public archaeology has an ethical duty to provide greater transparency and access to the archaeological process and social media serves as an effective way to fulfill this obligation.
Cite this Record
Making the Inaccessible Accessible: Public Archaeology at a 19th-Century Bathhouse in Alexandria, Virginia. Catherine M Cartwright. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 435080)
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min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;
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Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology