Best AIA Local Society Program Submissions 2014

Congratulations to the Rochester Society! Learn more about the winning progam

AIA members were asked to vote for their favorite Society program or event that took place between May 1, 2013, and April 30, 2014. The winning entry receives $200 for its Society!

"Alex the Archaeologist"

The Rochester Society paired with the University of Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery to sponsor an archaeology-in-the-classroom program to supplement a museum visit. “Alex the Archaeologist” (Alex Smith, Brown University Ph.D. candidate) and his team visited 44 area middle and high school classrooms for an interactive discussion of tools, terms and techniques, illustrated by pictures from Alex’s work in the field. After a demonstration “excavation” in a clear container, students handled and examined real artifacts from the Gallery’s study collection. Teachers noted students’ improved observational and analytical skills, and Gallery docents toured groups of excited and engaged proto-archaeologists!

Submitted by: Sydney Greaves

Audience: K-12

Estimated number of people reached: 900

An Ancient Roman Concrete and Mosaic Demonstration

Over two dozen individuals lent a hand in the construction of a "Roman" birdbath. While one student read directly from Vitruvius, instructors mixed lime, sand, volcanic ash, and aggregate to create Roman concrete. After pouring the concrete into a mold, participants experimented with direct and indirect methods of laying stone tesserae on a second birdbath mold. As instructed by Vitruvius, volunteers used simple techniques to realize the project. Our efforts introduced attendants to experimental archaeology and to the disparities that can occur between textual sources and archaeological evidence.

Submitted by: Alvaro Ibarra

Audience: Local society, college/university, general public

Estimated number of people reached: 30

Ancient Egypt at Princeton University

The Princeton Society of the AIA and the Princeton University Art Museum co-sponsored an event for International Archaeology Day on Saturday October 19. In “Mummy Match-up” children explored the appearance and contents of an Egyptian mummy. In the afternoon Kate Liszka of Princeton University spoke about “Egyptian Pyramids at Princeton.” Following her lecture, tours of the museum’s ancient collections featured a fragment of a pyramid at Lisht, Egypt, on special display for the occasion. The fragment is just one of may reused fragments of Old Kingdom pyramids found inside the pyramid of the Middle Kingdom pharaoh Amenemhet I.

Submitted by: Joanna S. Smith

Audience: Local society, K-12, college/university, general public, tourists, educators, archaeological professionals

Estimated number of people reached: 100

Archaeology Day in conjunction with International Archaeology Day

Archaeology Day at the College of Wooster is organized by students and faculty in the Program in Archaeology. It includes flintknapping demonstrations, exhibits by the local historical society with artifacts from prehistoric and historic sites in Wayne County, Ohio; maps and information by the Wayne County Cemetery Preservation Society; descriptions of student research; and activities for young children ("cave painting", mending pottery, etc.). There are displays of fossil human skulls, and artifacts from the College's excavation at Pella in Jordan. We also set up targets for atlatl throws that are open to all participants.

Submitted by: P. Nick Kardulias

Audience: Local society, K-12, college/university, general public, archaeological professionals

Estimated number of people reached: 120

Celebration of International Archaeology Day Fair

We held our archaeology fair at an arts center that was a former textile mill. The event ran concurrently with their open studios, drawing over 200 people. Tennessee Valley Archaeological Research offered lab tours. Archaeologists from Redstone Arsenal did artifact identifications and accepted donated artifacts. We had hands-on ceramics activities and flint-knapping demonstrations. Oakville Indian Mounds Museum staff showed how to throw an atl-atl at life-sized cardboard bison (painted by kids earlier!). People played the Indian game chunkey. AIA, Alabama Archaeological Society, and others hosted tables. 70 attended the talk: "Eating in the Valley: Woodland Foodways along the Tennessee River."

Submitted by: Lillian Joyce

Audience: Local society, K-12, college/university, general public, tourists, educators, archaeological professionals

Estimated number of people reached: 275

International Archaeology Day 2013

Last October, AIA Narragansett organized a range of outreach activities at the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World at Brown University to celebrate International Archaeology Day. These included a stratigraphy station; an artifact lab featuring pottery, coins, glass, and figures; and a bone lab with human and animal skeletons. We also welcomed young archaeologists in grades 7-12 for Young Archaeologists’ Day. Outside, Brown’s ‘Archaeology of College Hill’ class accepted volunteers to help excavate the home of Brown’s first president, and we also set up an area where visitors could take part in reconstructing the footprint of ancient homes.

Submitted by: Suzanne Pilaar Birch

Audience: Local society, K-12, college/university, general public, educators

Estimated number of people reached: 100+

Making Ancient Greek and Roman Pottery

The Central Arizona Chapter of the AIA collaborated with faculty from classics, art history, and studio art from Arizona State University to provide a hands-on workshop demonstrating techniques of hand-built pottery forms produced by ancient ceramists. The event was included in the university’s “Night of the Open Door,” a festival of the humanities and the arts, culture, engineering, and the sciences that was held on March 1st. Mounds of clay, tools, and instructions provided by faculty and graduate and undergraduate students allowed several hundred community members to try their hand at fashioning ancient pottery with fun results!

Submitted by: Nancy Serwint

Audience: K-12, college/university, general public, educators, archaeological professionals

Estimated number of people reached: 250

Student Outreach

The AIA Niagara chapter offers a local outreach program aimed at educating high schools students on the discipline and practice of archaeology. This includes both information and hands-on experience in the form of a mock excavation using bins full of soil and "artifacts." The program is run by Classics students at Brock University. These students share their own experiences with archaeology in the classroom and in field school. They offer a unique student perspective to high school students who are considering post-secondary education. This year, the AIA Niagara visited a grade 11 class at Holy Trinity High School in Grimsby

Submitted by: Eric Tincombe

Audience: K-12, educators

Estimated number of people reached: 35

Students in Archaeology: Poster Presentation of Recent Fieldwork and Archaeological Research

We celebrated International Archaeology Day with a poster session featuring the archaeological work of from five Minnesota colleges and universities on topics ranging from fieldwork in Minnesota to tombs in Central Asia. By collaborating with the University of St. Thomas Art History Department’s Graduate Student Research Symposium, we reached a wide audience. We displayed posters for two days and, thanks to an AIA Outreach Grant, held a reception that allowed social time and informal discussion among students, professionals, AIA members and the public. It was eye-opening for everyone to see the variety of projects that students are working on!

Submitted by: Vanessa Rousseau

Audience: Local society, college/university, general public, educators, archaeological professionals

Estimated number of people reached: 100

Taste of Ancient Greece and Rome

For our society outreach event we recreated one of their most distinctive institutions, the symposion or convivium, and enjoyed tastes and experiences that we associate with Greek and Roman dining practices. Thus, the menu was based on ingredients and recipes current in ancient Mediterranean, and the edutainment program included short presentations on Greek and Roman dining practices, and the philosophical legacy of the Symposion (Plato’s Symposion), as well as an epiphany of the god Dionysos. The event concluded with a very popular silent auction of classically-inspired original artwork.

Submitted by: Evi Gorogianni

Audience: Local society, college/university

Estimated number of people reached: 50

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