This paper explores how the municipal archaeology programs found in Alexandria, Virginia; St. Augustine, Florida; and Phoenix, Arizona have played a prominent role in developing unique, place-based amenities that integrate local history with other community needs. These cities are unusual in that they maintain archaeologists on city staff and that those archaeologists have used their positions to develop local environments that are extremely supportive of public engagement with history. Using interviews as well as archival and documentary sources, this paper demonstrates how the public's resulting familiarity with archaeology has allowed the interpretation of local history to take a variety of unexpected forms, including public and private open spaces, urban walking and cycling trails, museums, and public art, among many others.
- © 2012 by The Regents of the University of California and the National Council on Public History. All rights reserved.