IAD Blog

November 17, 2014

International Archaeology Day with AIA Local Societies

The AIA-Cleveland Society Table at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History's Archaeology Fair.

Many AIA Local Societies celebrated International Archaeology Day in 2014 and several have sent in reports of their successful events! View the gallery above to see fun photos from the events.  Keep reading the IAD blog to learn more about other events as we hear back from organizers.

The AIA-Cleveland Society celebrated International Archaeology day at the Archaeology Fair hosted at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The Society shared information about our lecture program and field internship for a NE Ohio undergraduate and gave away free copies of ARCHAEOLOGY magazine. 1,068 museum visitors participated in this year’s Archaeology Fair.

The AIA-Philadelphia Society cooperated with the Penn Museum for a full afternoon program including events aimed at children (Indiana Jones obstacle course, mock dig, “What In the World” game based on a 1950s TV show, discussion of ancient weapons with reproductions, etc.), a lecture on a missing skeleton from Ur recently discovered this fall in the Museum basement that had a lot of press and interest, and small group tours (every 15 minutes) through their new teaching labs just opened last month presented by the professors in charge. The lab tour included ceramic petrology, conservation, animal and human skeletons, with an opportunity to see actual specimens and look through microscopes. The lab tours alone attracted 200 people, and museum attendance was over 500. A full range of audience from young children to retired engineers and MDs were reached during the course of the afternoon. The lectures and lab tours allowed people to see archaeologists explaining what they do and why to extremely interested audiences who asked many questions. A good time was had by all!

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History in association with the Office of the State Archaeologist and the AIA-Iowa City Society hosted a variety of community activities for all ages to celebrate International Archaeology Day. Visitors honed their spear-throwing skills with atlatls on the Museum’s front lawn and a flintknapper was on site to demonstrate the art of stone tool making. Student members of the University of Iowa Anthropology Club assisted with children’s activity stations, helping kids craft their own versions of Woodland Period vessels and learn about maize and Native agriculture. The events extended into the weekend with a special showing of the documentary, “Lost Nation: The Ioway, Parts 2 & 3”, to further expand upon the role of archaeology in learning about Iowa’s cultural history.

The Office of Archaeological Studies and AIA-Santa Fe Society’s celebration of International Archaeology Day provided the visiting public with the opportunity to experience New Mexico’s fascinating 12,000 year cultural heritage through hands-on activities and demonstrations.

The AIA-St. Louis Society shared the excitement of “Historic Archaeology in USA” with 265 individuals on International Archaeology Day at Ulysses S Grant National Historic Site. Multiple tables gave people the chance to handle buffalo skulls, broken china, Civil War bullets, etc. The Missouri Civil War Heritage Foundation and the NPS participated alongside the St. Louis Society. A diverse audience of all ages and backgrounds enjoyed talking with members of the St. Louis Society of the AIA and the weather was perfect!

The AIA-Gainesville Society celebrated International Archaeology Day with a table at the University of Florida’s College of Art and Art History’s Annual “Art Bash” on the evening of October 25, 2014. The Society worked on recruiting new members with a fun display along with membership brochures and ARCHAEOLOGY magazines.

The AIA-Central Missouri Society hosted an archaeology fair for International Archaeology Day in association with the University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archaeology in Columbia, Missouri. Short lectures were given on the museum’s Cast Gallery and other aspects of archaeology and attendees (especially children) were able to participate in excavation, mapping, and cave painting activities. The Department of Art History and Archaeology and the Museum of Art and Archaeology are currently working with the Capitoline Museum in Rome on a project entitled, “Hidden Treasures of Rome,” in which artifacts that have been stored in crates in the Capitoline Museums are being studied at the University of Missouri. 65 attendees at the fair were able to learn about this international project and see the material being researched at the museum.

The AIA-Milwaukee Society’s IAD event this year drew an older crowd than we’ve seen in years past, and this provided our chapter with an opportunity to highlight the role of local universities and their resources, especially through our ‘Work of Archaeologists’ presentations and tour of the Archaeological Research Laboratory at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Local high-school students (and parents) utilized this event as an unofficial ‘career day’, while friends of archaeology continued to support the society with passion and endless curiosity. Thanks to this year’s theme, many presenters were able to engage with experimental archaeology, producing stone tools, bellows, pinch pots, and even Neanderthal ochre palettes. Once again, this event brought together students, professionals and the community alike by learning and producing knowledge together.

The AIA-Rochester Society provided information tables and activities for kids at the Rochester Museum and Science Center (RMSC) on November 1st as part of the RMSC’s Science Saturday program, in celebration of International Archaeology Day. The society hosted small “digs” for souvenir plastic coins and small “artifacts,” Playmobil Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome sets, play-doh for kids to make their own “ceramics,” coloring pages, hieroglyphic pages, books and magazines. Many kids stopped to take part in the activities, and a number of grown-up visitors perused old issues of ARCHAEOLOGY magazine and the other materials on offer.

International Archaeology Day Blog