January 1, 2014
By all accounts, International Archaeology Day was a resounding success! Each year this unique celebration of archaeology grows larger and more global. As of October 19, 2013, International Archaeology Day had 180 Collaborating Organizations and more than 375 events planned in 17 countries and 46 U.S. states. We are currently collecting reports from program organizers, and, as of this writing, more than 31,000 people have participated in 118 events around the world. Once all the reports are received and numbers tallied, we predict that participation in International Archaeology Day 2013 will easily surpass the 60,000 that we had last year. We are very excited by the tremendous growth of the program, especially internationally. Reports of events in Belize, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iran, Malta, New Zealand, South Africa, and other places around the world are a testament to the global fascination with the world of archaeological discovery and to the amazing people involved in archaeological outreach. The ubiquity of social media outlets allowed thousands of people from around the world to follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and hundreds also participated in our online scavenger hunt.
Read more about the celebration at www.archaeologyday.org. Reports are being added to the International Archaeology Day blog each day. The next International Archaeology Day is October 18, 2014. We hope you will be able to join us for this annual celebration of archaeology.
The third annual AIA Online Photo Contest was held in October 2013. Nearly 150 archaeologically-themed photos from almost 20 countries were submitted in the following categories: Monuments, Excavation, Field Life, Fun Finds, Tools of the Trade, and Archaeological Landscapes. During a weeklong voting period, members of the AIA and the general public cast more than 12,000 votes for their favorite photos. Winners, chosen from each category, received a complementary year’s membership to the AIA, and the top photos will be featured in the Institute’s 2015 calendar. We want to thank all of our participants for sharing their experiences and their amazing photographs!
Winning entries from the categories Monuments, Tools of the Trade, and Archaeological Landscapes are presented here. To see all winners and entries, visit www.archaeological.org/outreach/contest
Each year the AIA distributes close to $30,000 to its Local Societies to support outreach programming. The grants are given out twice a year. So far, in 2013, six AIA Local Societies have received grants for the following programs:
The AIA Denver Local Society in Boulder planned an International Archaeology Day Student Classics Symposium in conjunction with the University of Colorado, Department of Classics and the AIA Boulder Local Society. The statewide event brought undergraduate and graduate students from universities across Colorado to discuss the classical and ancient world in a challenging, stimulating, and encouraging environment.
The AIA Iowa City Local Society organized Iowa Archaeology 2013, a program that encouraged greater awareness, understanding, and protection of Iowa’s cultural history by allowing the experiences of students and professionals to be brought to larger communities through traveling exhibits, open houses, presentations, and tours.
The AIA Lubbock Local Society’s Archaeology Day included an archaeology fair, presentations on Roman graffiti, and a program on preparing Roman food. Attendees had the opportunity to handle artifacts, make stone tools, and discuss archaeology with professional archaeologists.
The AIA Minneapolis/St. Paul Local Society offered, in collaboration with the University of St. Thomas, the fourth annual University of St. Thomas Art History Graduate Student Research Symposium. It featured Jason Felch, award-winning investigative reporter at the Los Angeles Times and coauthor of Chasing Aphrodite. The event culminated with a student poster presentation and reception that allowed for informal discussion among professionals, students, and the general public.
The AIA Philadelphia Local Society presented a hands-on workshop by amateur hair archaeologist Janet Stephens, who dressed lucky participants’ hair in typical Roman fashion. Stephens has presented her work at the AIA Annual Meeting and has made prominent contributions to the field of ancient hair studies, discovering that hairstyling for elite Roman women did not rely on wigs, but rather on a labor-intensive stitching technique practiced by slaves. The program was supplemented by a lecture, slides, and a display of relevant sculpture and artifacts.
The AIA Southwest Texas Local Society, in collaboration with several regional archaeology groups and museums, organized an event focused on ancient languages including Mayan, Linear B, Ogham, and Egyptian. The child-friendly event used posters, handouts, clay, paper, wood, and other craft material to let children experience writing in these ancient scripts.
The AIA 2014 calendar “A Year of Archaeology” featuring photos from the 2012 AIA Online Photo Contest is now available for purchase from the AIA Online Store (http://bit.ly/1cRvNMP). All proceeds from the sale of this calendar will directly benefit the AIA Site Preservation Program and will be used to protect and preserve archaeological sites around the world. Buy this very special AIA calendar today and enjoy the beauty of archaeology all year long while supporting the preservation of archaeological sites.