Heinlenville was one of six San José Chinatowns. Archaeologists from the Anthropological Studies Center, Sonoma State University and local San José historians are working with the Redevelopment Agency, City of San José to unearth selected areas of Heinlenville and early Japantown. The test excavation took place from the 11th to 17th March 2008, and data recovery excavation was conducted from the 14th to 23rd of April 2009. Work continues now back at the ASC lab, as we process artifacts and soil samples recovered from the site.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Reflections on Public Day

Hello, My Dear Friends, we are your bloggers for the evening. We had a busy day in the hot sun and now we are lounging poolside together discussing the festivities of yet another successful public day. Let us share some our thoughts with you...

Carrie: I was one of the hard working people in the trenches. It might come as a surprise, but archaeology is pretty grueling work! It was warm out today and my fingers are still regaining sensation back from troweling for four hours straight. Having said that, seeing the public’s enthusiasm witnessing us in action made all the sunburned necks and farmer’s tans worth while.

Mike: This year more of the open area exposures were in process of being cleared rather than tested. The crew will have to finish about four features a day for the rest of the project.

Anna: As always it was entertaining hearing Adrian give his spiel about ceramics during the tour. He even received a round of applause at the end.

Bryan Much: It is always a humbling experience working on a site while the visitors ask questions about where their ancestors once lived…the intrinsic experience that defines why we are archaeologists.

Sandra: Working the front entrance gate was surprisingly fun, since it gave me the opportunity to find out why our visitors came to the site - about their interests in archaeology, their communities, and the history of their city.

Kate: As the photographer, I had the unique perspective of taking many tours with different groups. I feel that I got to see what the visitors saw – the big picture. I was so proud of my fellow archaeologists who were working so hard in the heat to make sure everyone had a good time and the site was well interpreted.

AnnaMarie: As one of the tour guides, it was amazing to see not only how interested but how invested the public was in what we were doing. Sometimes as archaeologists, we get lost in the science and often forget that without the actual people, archaeology itself would not exist. Archaeology is after all, first and foremost, about people, a fact that sometimes even archaeologists themselves forget.

Elaine-Maryse: As the oral historian I had the opportunity to interview Ed and Moffet, two old-timers that I had interviewed last year. They told great stories from their childhood and reminiscent about their life experiences in the same area that we are now excavating. It brought the cold asphalt alive.

Bryan Mischke: Hello from trench 11; we had a great day figuring out our feature but I’ll let you see all that at a later date…

And with that, we wish you a hearty goodnight – ‘cause we’re beat!

A. Guerrero, C. Reichardt, and K. Erickson;
(Grad students and grad student/photographer)
S. Massey, M. Meyer, B. Much, and B. Mischke;
(staff archaeologists)
E-M Solari (oral historian )
and A. Much (volunteer/wife.)