The Anthropology Department at Appalachian State University is committed to public education through involvement of the avocational community and school groups in its archaeological field and laboratory projects. Hundreds of local citizens, ages five through ninety-five, have enjoyed the process of archaeology and the excitement of its discoveries.
Dr. Thomas R. Whyte regularly gives presentations on archaeology and local prehistory to schools and other public groups. He also organizes regular meetings of the Appalachian Archaeological Society where people share their discoveries and enjoy presentations by professional archaeologists. Recent programs have included stone tool-making demonstrations and presentations on archaeological research at the Pre-Clovis Cactus Hill site in Virginia (Joseph A. McAvoy), the Biltmore Mound site in Asheville, North Carolina (M. Scott Shumate), Weasel Cave in Russia (Larry R. Kimball), and the Berry site, probable location of the Sixteenth-century Fort San Juan in Burke County, North Carolina (David G. Moore).
The immediate future of ASU's Public Archaeology program will involve the public in field and laboratory work associated with Dr. Whyte's investigation into the relationship between climatic variation and human settlement in the Appalachian Summit between A.D. 800 and 1600. This investigation will emphasize excavation of stratified rockshelter sites in the Valle Crucis area of Watauga County, North Carolina.
Visit the NC Office of State Archaeology: