Where in the hell am I?

March 19, 2010

Adverse impacts

Filed under: archaeology, archeology, Texas — Tags: , , , , , , — John @ 11:06 am

Yesterday, I went over to the French Legation Museum here in Austin, to see some bands (although it was more to kill time). The French Legation is the oldest standing structure in Austin (or at least one of the oldest), and it’s now a museum run by The Daughters of the Republic of Texas. The grounds are really pretty, and it’s one of those places that you wouldn’t guess it was there when you were a couple blocks away walking along IH-35 or East 6th Street.

The shows were on the grounds, not in the structure itself. And the place was packed. I heard it got even more crowded after I left. Anyway, while I was there I couldn’t help but think about what kind of impacts this type of event was having on what is essentially an archaeological site. I suppose that any important areas were protected, and since it’s been a functional museum since the mid 1950s I imagine it’s been well-studied. Still, thousands and thousands of people are going to be trampling the ground pretty hard.

At the same time, I realized that hosting events like this probably pay the bills for the rest of the year. I went to the museum 16 years ago, when I first moved to Austin, and it doesn’t get a lot of visitors. I’d bet that a lot of the locals who go there this weekend would never have seen the place otherwise. So while I still can’t help but feel like there is some potential for damage, I can also understand the reasoning behind opening the grounds for this kind of event monetarily, and from an outreach perspective. I was really happy to see people reading the historic marker to their kids.


1 Comment »

  1. juanito,
    Me and Julie will be working with the legation this summer to do some volunteer work. The site has already been surveyed but I’m gonna be working with them to try and do some extra work and research. Its a personal side project. If you interested let me know.

    Comment by Acuna — March 20, 2010 @ 6:37 pm

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