January 1, 2018

Dispatches From The AIA – January 2018

Northeastern U.S. heritage educators convene at a summit organized by the AIA and the Museum of Science, Boston
Attendees at the AIA-MOS Fair in Boston speak to Roman soldiers, participate in simulated digs, and use a bow drill.
Archaeomadness 2017
AIA 2018 Calendar Now Available

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AIA-MOS Fair Continues to Attract Thousands of Participants

On a rainy Saturday in October 2017, the AIA and the Museum of Science in Boston (MOS) celebrated IAD by welcoming more than 2,500 people to the Eleventh Annual AIAMOS Archaeology Fair. With more than 15 presenters and activities, the fair was a one-day archaeological extravaganza that had something for people of all ages and interest levels. Attendees had a chance to meet Roman soldiers, excavate shipwrecks, grind corn, reconstruct pottery, and learn how archaeologists interpret the artifacts they find.

Archaeology fairs are attended by thousands of people each year, and are a wonderful opportunity for the public to participate in engaging and informative activities led by professional archaeologists and educators. Fairs are also a great forum for archaeological organizations to showcase what they do. More than 90 archaeology fairs are held each year in the U.S. and around the world. These events range in size from small programs that last a few hours to large multiday events that feature more than a dozen presenters. If you are interested in organizing your own fair, the AIA has step-by-step instructions online at archaeological.org/fairs.

Aia Takes the Lead in Organizing Conferences for Heritage Educators

On October 13, 2017, the AIA and the Museum of Science in Boston hosted a conference for heritage educators in New England titled Converging Paths and Common Goals: Archaeology, History, Science, Interpretation, and Education. More than 30 participants from around the northeast attended. These included representatives of state and federal agencies, museums, academic organizations, and avocational groups. The main goal was to convene a variety of heritage educators from diverse organizations to discuss the issues and challenges they face in creating and implementing outreach programs to their many audiences.

This conference is the first of its kind for the New England area and builds on a series of similar meetings that the AIA has organized at the Institute’s last three annual meetings. Through this and similar meetings, the AIA is working to create a strong support network of like-minded individuals around the world to share their diverse experiences and provide advice and assistance to one another. At earlier meetings, attendees drafted a statement of ethics, encouraged the creation of a new nonprofit organization, The Heritage Educators Network (THEN), and inspired a special issue of Advances in Archaeological Practice. Program evaluation has also been an important topic of discussion. The conversation will continue in Boston in January at the AIA Annual Meeting, where the agenda will include writing for the public, grant proposal writing, and incorporating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in heritage activities and programs. For more information, contact AIA director of programs, Ben Thomas, at bthomas@archaeological.org.

AIA 2018 Calendar Now Available

The 2018 AIA calendar is here. The calendar features pictures of archaeological sites from around the world taken by archaeology enthusiasts like you. The proceeds support AIA programs, including the Site Preservation Grant Program, and other grants and fellowships. To purchase your calendar today, go to archaeological.org.

International Archaeology Day Enjoys Impressive Growth

More than 900 events were organized to celebrate International Archaeology Day (IAD) in October 2017, up from 700 in 2016. More than 500 Collaborating Organizations participated, and as reports come in to the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), total event attendance is expected to exceed 200,000. The number of countries that host IAD events also continues to grow. More than two dozen countries actively participate in IAD, and several countries, including the Netherlands and Hungary, are organizing their own national archaeology days modeled after IAD.

To read more about 2017’s IAD, go to archaeologyday.org. The AIA invites all of you to join the celebration next year. Find an event near you, organize your own event, or encourage your favorite local archaeological or historical society to organize an IAD event in 2018. While IAD is officially celebrated on the third Saturday in October, which will be October 20, 2018, Collaborating Organizations hold events throughout the month.

Archaeomadness! And the Winner is…

Each year, as part of IAD celebrations and activities, ArchaeoMadness pits 32 archaeological sites against each other in a head-to-head competition decided by popular vote. The theme for 2017 was densely populated ancient settlements, and included Xi’an, Herculaneum, Persepolis, Timbuktu, Tikal, and Cahokia. A profile of each site includes historical background, archaeological information, and an image. The competition begins with regional battles, and winners go on to compete in a global head-to-head. The 2017 winner? Machu Picchu. Each year ArchaeoMadness offers a lighthearted way of bringing 32 ancient sites to public awareness. The true winners? Everyone who participates.

AIA Spring Grants

The AIA Site Preservation Program is accepting grant applications. These grants support conservation and preservation projects that are combined with outreach, education, and community engagement. Over the last eight years, the AIA has awarded grants to more than 20 projects on five continents. The grant application is a two-step process. Initial inquiries are accepted on a rolling basis. Those that are accepted will be invited to submit a full application by February 15, 2018. To read more about the program, go to archaeological.org/sitepreservation.

Undergraduate and graduate archaeology students who are interested in participating in their first field project are encouraged to apply for the Jane C. Waldbaum Archaeological Field School Scholarship. Multiple $1,000 grants will be awarded to assist with the expenses associated with attending a field school. Applications are due on March 1, 2018.

For those pursuing a career in museum studies, the Elizabeth Bartman Museum Internship Program assists graduate students (or those who have recently completed a master’s degree) with the expenses associated with participating in a museum internship either in the U.S. or abroad. The application deadline is April 1, 2018.

Visit archaeological.org/grants for information about these and other programs.

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The AIA is North America's largest and oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to archaeology. The Institute advances awareness, education, fieldwork, preservation, publication, and research of archaeological sites and cultural heritage throughout the world. Your contribution makes a difference.