Cindy Stankowski of San Diego Archaeological Center
1) What are the most important messages that you can convey through the archaeological center?
The Center’s greatest contribution to the community is providing tangible history. We believe in the power of artifacts to affect people who interact with them. In all of our programs, we strive to expand knowledge about the individual, the community, and the world.
Artifacts are evidence of how people lived every day. Whilst oral histories and history books retell the epic events, even the most humble artifact can help date a site, tell us what people ate, and how hard they had to work for it, what season of the year they lived there, and even their gender. Taken together, we gain a greater understanding of human history throughout time.
2) What are the most important lessons that we can learn from the artifacts?
People who lived in the past weren’t “primitive” or less smart than we are today; they simply made tools using the materials and technology that were available to them at the time.
Today’s trash is tomorrow’s archaeology. In 8,000 BC, the world population was 5 million, today it’s 7 billion. And, we produce a lot more stuff that has to go somewhere. What will archaeologists think of us 5,000 years from now? Will they call this the “Plastic Age” or think we worshipped cell phones? Reduce, reuse and recycle!
Archaeology is a branch of Anthropology, the study of humans. Archaeology focuses on artifacts and sites to learn how people lived in the past. Archaeology reinforces the concept of a shared human heritage and provides modern people with perspectives on their own place and time in history.