PUBLIC ARCHAEOLOGY IN MONTANA: A SAMPLE OF UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA STUDENTS' PERCEPTIONS OF ARCHAEOLOGY AND KNOWLEDGE OF LOCAL SITES
Archaeologists have an obligation to disseminate publicly their research and theories. To do this effectively, they need to know how each public perceives archaeology. A voluntary Institutional Review Board certified questionnaire was given to 606 University of Montana undergraduates and graduates. It included topics on the basics of archaeology and sites in Montana. After the results were tabulated, a website was created to show the overall results. Its location is at www.umt.edu/publicarchaeology. This online resource includes the questionnaire, the total raw results of all classes responses, and a discussion section. (See Appendix E for screenshot images of the website.) This project is a pilot program to see how archaeology is understood by non-professionals. Their input will help researchers communicate better their data.
Two hypotheses are tested with this sample. First, individuals who attended high school in Montana have more knowledge and interest in local archaeology. Second, non-anthropology majors have less knowledge and interest in archaeology than anthropology majors. Overall, the responses produced mixed results for both hypotheses. One cannot predict always that where someone was educated in high school, he or she will be aware more and have a strong curiosity for local archaeology. Though individuals who are specializing in anthropology may be more knowledgeable, they may not be aware or care about all aspects of the topic. Overall this sample had a basic understanding of archaeology and little knowledge of Montana archaeological sites.
Advisor:CHANGWON YOO; JOHN DOUGLAS; RANDALL SKELTON
School:The University of Montana
School Location:USA - Montana
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:09/19/2007