About International Archaeology Day
International Archaeology Day is held each year on the third Saturday of October.
International Archaeology Day is a celebration of archaeology and the thrill of discovery. Every October the AIA and archaeological organizations across the United States, Canada, and abroad present archaeological programs and activities for people of all ages and interests. Whether it is a family-friendly archaeology fair, a guided tour of a local archaeological site, a simulated dig, a lecture or a classroom visit from an archaeologist, the interactive, hands-on International Archaeology Day programs provide the chance to indulge your inner Indiana Jones.
The first Archaeology Day was celebrated around the world in 2011 as National Archaeology Day. Despite a late start in organizing the event in 2011 and fairly limited resources, over 115 programs were associated with the first Archaeology Day. Fourteen groups officially joined as Supporting Organizations. These ranged from large national organizations like the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA), and the American Anthropological Association (AAA) to small county museums and local libraries. Over eighty AIA Local Societies joined the celebration. In all, almost 15,000 people participated in the inaugural event.
Participation in the first National Archaeology Day covered 38 U.S. states, 4 Canadian Provinces, and included an event in the United Kingdom.
The event grew significantly in its second year, due in part to an earlier start on organizing. In 2012, over 60,000 people participated in approximately 275 events and we had 125 Collaborating Organizations.
In 2012, participation spread to include events in 49 U.S. States, eight Canadian Provinces, Australia, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, and the United Arab Emirates.
By 2013, the name of the event was changed to International Archaeology Day to better reflect the worldwide participation than in previous years. 375 events were planned and our list of Collaborating Organizations swelled to 188. Despite a few larger events being canceled due to a sixteen day shutdown of the U.S. government, approximately 75,000 people participated in events in 2013.
In 2013, eight new countries were added to the growing number of places around the world celebrating Archaeology Day.
Growing by 100 events worldwide, the 2014 International Archaeology Day quadrupled the number of events since its first year. Our 398 Collaborating Organizations brought 100,000 people to their 475 events.
In 2014, two additional countries and 44 states joined in celebration of International Archaeology Day.
Spreading across the world at an exponential rate, International Archaeology Day grew to 27 countries in 2015. With 500 events and 410 Collaborating Organizations, IAD saw over 100,000 people enjoying the festivities of the day.
IAD events were held in 46 U.S. States and became more accessible to people worldwide.
Events skyrocketed to over 700 worldwide events organized by 530 Collaborating Organizations for International Archaeology Day in 2016. Events were held in at least two dozen countries including: Argentina, Belize, Canada, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Georgia, Greece, Guyana, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Kosovo, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Myanmar, the Netherlands, Peru, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, and the United States.
The largest numbers of events were concentrated in the United States (550), the Czech Republic (70), and the Netherlands (60).