While we sat in the museum for a long, but fruitful, seven hours, there were many interesting things I learned. One of those things that Peter and a few others touched on and that I was reminded of throughout the trip was the amount of work and effort put into archeology, preserving artifacts, and essentially being the safekeeper of history/culture. It was fascinating to understand more fully the amount of work as well as gain a deeper appreciation for the things that archeologists and historians do. Archeology had always seemed to be somewhat of a dying field to me and I could not have been further from the truth. Another thing that was interesting to see was the amount of paperwork done to release reports on all types of things and how each agency had to read through a book full of reports before responding. I’m sure there is a massive amount of legal documents archeologists have to deal with just to mark a site for excavation or discovery, and that’s just the beginning.
Repatriation is another thing I got to see at a personal level, I had heard about the importance of it in locating artifacts but to see it adding to the history and being a key in preserving O’odham ways was fascinating. When Peter told us there was something coming in from Princeton and how many O’odham artifacts were scattered due to colonialism I couldn’t help but wonder how many artifacts were still in hiding or lost and how finally the O’odham were claiming their history back. Although by the end of the seven hours I was just straight up not having a good time, the information was very pertinent and all of it was worth it.