November 1, 2016
by Meredith Langlitz
In October, the sixth annual International Archaeology Day was celebrated with over 700 events across the world, growing by about 200 events since last year. 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.
For the third year in a row, the AIA started off the countdown to International Archaeology Day in September with ArchaeoMadness. Inspired by March Madness, ArchaeoMadness is a head-to-head bracket competition between archaeological sites and participants are invited to submit a bracket with predicted winners ahead of time. This year, in honor of the National Park Service Centennial, all 32 sites in the completion were U.S. national parks with archaeological significance. The field of 32 sites was eventually narrowed to just one—Tuzigoot National Monument. Tuzigoot is located on a hilltop in Arizona’s Verde Valley between Phoenix and Flagstaff and the ruins include a three story pueblo and 110 rooms. The pueblo was built and inhabited by the Sinagua people between 1000 and 1400 AD. Thousands of archaeology enthusiasts participated in ArchaeoMadness by submitting brackets and by voting in daily site matchups.
International Archaeology Day events kicked off in October. While a majority of the events are held on October 15, there were many archaeology events occurring throughout the month. The largest numbers of events were concentrated in the United States (550), the Czech Republic (70), and the Netherlands (60). We learned that in Czech, International Archaeology Day translates to “Mezinárodní den archeologie” and in Dutch, “Archaeologie Dagen” means Archaeology Day!
There were too many diverse events to give a proper sampling in a brief article, but a few highlights include:
While we have had a virtual event or two in the past, there was certainly an uptick this year. 2016 virtual events included a podcast, an on-site Q & A session with archaeologists from the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, an online photo contest with the Center for Digital Archaeology with the theme “My Love Story with Archaeology,” and a series of blogs posted throughout the month by staff members at Archaeology Southwest.
International Archaeology Day 2016 was an amazing success, and the Archaeological Institute of America would like to thank the National Park Service for sponsoring this year’s celebrations as well as the hundreds of Collaborating Organizations who signed on to promote Archaeology Day and organize events. International Archaeology Day truly showcases the amazing feats that the global archaeological community can accomplish when we work together and we look forward to continued partnerships and expansion for many years to come!International Archaeology Day Blog