April 25, 2011
Over the years the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) has worked hand-in-hand with numerous like-minded organizations around the U.S. These partnerships and collaborations allow the AIA to reach diverse audiences efficiently and effectively. Some of the more recent initiatives have allowed the AIA to take the message of archaeology and the need for the protection and preservation of the past to people of all ages and interests—from school kids in NYC to military troops about to be deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Recent AIA initiatives include:
AIA partners with Society for American Archaeology (SAA) and Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA)
In 2007 the AIA, SAA, and SHA decided to join forces and promote the institutes’ educator resources at the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) conferences. Working under the title Archaeology Education Clearinghouse (AEC) (www.archaeologyeducationclearinghouse.org), we have attended the last four NCSS meetings in San Diego, Houston, Atlanta, and Denver. By creating a partnership the AIA, SAA, and SHA are able to present a more comprehensive list of resources that highlight the three organizations’ strengths.
AIA co-sponsors conferences
In 2011 and 2009 the AIA co-sponsored conferences organized by the Center for Heritage and policy at UMASS Amherst. The 2011 conference entitled “Why Does the Past Matter?” is scheduled for May 4-7.
Since 2008, the AIA has assisted the organizers of the Maya at the Playa conference in Florida and in 2011 also supported their new initiative, Maya at the Lago, in North Carolina (April 14-17, 2011).
AIA and the National Arts Club
The AIA is working with the Archaeology Committee of the National Arts Club (NAC) in New York City on a series of initiatives geared towards children at schools in New York City. Read more about a recent event at the NAC at:
AIA at SAA, ASOR, WAC, and EAA
Since 2007, AIA has attended the SAA meetings maintaining a presence in the exhibit hall and presenting papers in academic sessions. Most recently, at the 2011 meeting in Sacramento, representatives of the AIA Site Preservation program presented a paper entitled “Sustainable Site Preservation: Beyond Bricks and Mortar.”
The AIA has also had a presence at the American School for Oriental Research (ASOR) meetings in 2009 and 2010. In 2008, AIA representatives attended the meeting of the World Archaeological Congress (WAC-6) in Dublin and had a presence in the exhibit hall. AIA will attend the 2012 WAC Conference and representatives from WAC will join the AIA in Philadelphia at our 113th Annual Meeting.
In 2011, the AIA will, for the first time, be represented at the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) meeting in Oslo. We hope our presence at the meeting will lead to stronger relations and more cooperation between the two organizations.
AIA and the Military
Under past President C. Brian Rose, the AIA initiated a program of Troop Lectures. Scholars spoke to troops being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan about the cultures of the region and the archaeological materials they would encounter. The emphasis of the lectures was on minimizing impact on cultural heritage in the two countries. To date the AIA has presented about 50 lectures to thousands of troops.
Recently, the AIA joined several groups to create CHAMP—Cultural Heritage by AIA-Military Panel. CHAMP is a forum for military personnel and archaeologists to discuss issues that affect both groups and is intended to promote a strong working relationship between them.
AIA is also a partner with the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield and supports their mission to provide an emergency response to cultural property at risk from armed conflict.