Education News

April 1, 2010

Milwaukee Archaeology Fair 2010

Photos from the 2010 Milwaukee Archaeology Fair
The 2010 Milwaukee Archaeology Fair (Photo by Jane Waldbaum and Steve Morse).

Thousands Attend Archaeology Fair Organized by AIA-Milwaukee Society and Milwaukee Public Museum

On March 5 and 6, 2010, the Milwaukee Society, in partnership with the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM), became the first AIA Local Society to organize and host an Archaeology Fair. The event, funded in part by an AIA Society Outreach Grant, was a resounding success—more than 2,000 students, teachers, and families attended the Fair over the two-day period. Visitors were treated to a variety of creative and informative hands-on programs that highlighted various aspects of archaeology and the past. Attendees were encouraged to create cave art; unearth, wash, and sort pottery in simulated digs; write their names in Greek, Latin, and Cuneiform; learn Celtic fighting techniques; and travel through time with Greek hoplites, Roman legionnaires and Renaissance knights. Visitors craving real action were treated to the spectacle of Celtic warriors battling each other and the Romans in the museum’s exhibit halls.

Co-organizers, Jane Waldbaum (President of the Milwaukee Society) and Jocelyn Boor (MPM Educator and Milwaukee Society VP for Education and Outreach), ably assisted by MPM staff and volunteers put on a superb, well-organized event that was enjoyed by both attendees and presenters. Representatives from AIA’s National Headquarters had the privilege of attending the Fair and presenting several site preservation themed activities that discussed the fragile nature of archaeological sites and the need for preservation and protection of our cultural heritage. Congratulations to the organizers of this superb event. We hope that this does, indeed, become an annual event at the MPM.

For more information about the Milwaukee Society and their upcoming events, please visit their website at


14th Roman Legion

‘ROMA VICTA’: Ancient Roman Military Life

See first century ancient Roman equipment and items of daily use, including weapons, and shields. Demonstrations of their use. Make a paperweight or key ring with the 14th Legion brick stamp.

Carlo Tuzzio, Independent Scholar

A Knight to Remember

Demonstration and exploration of Renaissance armor. Replica armor as well as genuine artifacts from the period on hand for patrons to experience.

Archaeological Institute of America

Honk! For Site Preservation

Site preservation is an important issue in archaeological ethics. Learn why and spread the word by making your own bumper sticker!


Archaeological Institute of America

Context Corner

Why is archaeological context so important? Discover information about artifacts based on where they were found–information that could never be discovered if they looted.

Tribes of the Blue Rose

Celtic Peoples Come to Life

Learn about the items of everyday life used by the Celtic peoples of Europe and the British Isles. Demonstrations of how leather, wood and metals items were crafted. See the weapons and fighting styles of the Celtic tribes.

Carthage College—Dan Schowalter

Roman Ballista Target Practice

Learn how a Roman ballista works, by using a small scale model (using ping pong balls) and aiming at the “target.”

Day Star Research, AIA-Milwaukee Society

Message to the Future: Create Your Own Cave Art

Learn about cave art, and then draw your own to symbolize something important in your life. Add it to our cave walls!

Discovery World

Diving Into Milwaukee’s Past

Explore the exciting science of underwater archaeology by learning the techniques used to document local Lake Michigan shipwrecks. Go farther back in time and find where in urban Milwaukee ancient people once built earthen mounds around 1000 years ago.

Friends of Aztalan State Park

What is Aztalan?

Learn about the Mississippian culture established in this Jefferson County location over 900 years ago. A society complete with earthen pyramids and protective stockades with guard towers. So why is it called Aztalan?


Historical Group of Rome

The Roman Art of Life

An educational display of replica ancient Roman items, including art, murals, coins, books & our group in Roman army & civilian costumes.

Kenosha County Archaeological Society

Rediscovering the Jambeau Trail

Discover how the Jambeau Trail – a Potawatomi trail in Kenosha County – was found and how it was preserved.

Kenosha Public Museum

Hunting Elephants in Kenosha

Learn about the woolly mammoths that have been discovered in Kenosha County. Touch a real mammoth tooth and compare your foot to that of a mammoth.

Marquette University—Jane Peterson and Michael Gregory

Charmed Lives: Human and Animal Figurines in the Past

Examine examples of figurines from around the world. Make observations about the items and discuss the possible uses and meanings. Then make your own figurine to take home!

Marquette University Anthropology Club

Picking Potsherds and the Archaeological Process

Participants will follow the archaeological process from excavation to washing and ultimately drawing conclusions based on material culture (potsherds) found in the sandbox at our display. Kids will be given tools to dig in the sandbox to find potsherds. The sherds will then sift and clean the objects in water. With the help of our table volunteers, kids will create a hypothesis concerning the origin of the artifacts and will classify these according to type, geographical region, etc.

Milwaukee Art Museum

The Old Shell Game

For centuries shells have been used to make tools and ornaments for everything from buttons to grottos. We will explore some of these in our hands-on workshop.

Milwaukee Public Museum

Explain the Mayan numerical and calendrical systems. Math problems will be converted into Mayan symbols. The Mayan calendar and the “long count” will be discussed as a tool in establishing chronologies and understanding Mayan culture.

Milwaukee Public Museum—Anthropology

Fakes and Forgeries

See fake and forged archaeological items from the Museum’s collections. Find out why this is such a “hot” topic in archaeology.


Milwaukee Public Museum—Anthropology

Meet Billy Bones (Friday only)

See what you look like underneath your skin! Mr. Bones helps researchers identify specific human bones when working with the anthropology Department’s osteology collection.

Milwaukee Public Museum—Anthropology

What in the World? (Friday only)

Test your knowledge of archaeological artifacts from the Museum’s anthropology collection.

Museum Studies—MPM-UWM

Creatures of Myth and Legend (Saturday only)

Help create a new exhibit by providing feedback on objects and titles.

Octonto Archaic Copper Museum

Bones are Not Scary

Hands-on artifacts and materials that show kids what bones in the ground teach us and why archaeologists no longer dig them up.

University of Wisconsin-Green Bay—Greg Aldrete

Classical Kevlar: Reconstructing Greek Linen Body Armor

See reconstructed examples of the linothorax, a type of body armor made of laminated linen and worn by Alexander the Great. We will bring examples of this armor, as wells as information and samples of experiments including shooting the armor with arrows to test its effectiveness.


University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Ancient & Medieval History Club

It’s All Greek Pots to Me

A display of ancient Greek pottery, including descriptions, images, and replicas, along with hands-on examples. Kids can decorate their own “pottery” – use stencils and graphics to decorate a cup or bowl in the style of the ancient Greeks.

University of Wisconsin-La Crosse—Mark Chavalas

Getting a Word in Wedgewise (Saturday only)

Want a challenge? Try a dead language! The Babylonian (or Akkadian) language of ancient Syria and Iraq has not been spoken for over 2,000 years. The writing system, cuneiform, has also fallen out of use. Learn how to write your name in cuneiform, using clay and a stylus, like the ancients.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee—Carlos Galvao-Sobrinho

In a Roman Tomb: Visit the Dead, Learn About Life in Ancient Rome (Friday only)

How much can you learn about life from the material culture of death in ancient Rome? Learn about different types of tombs and funerary rituals and get to pour libations for the dead.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee—Peter Grimm

Animals in Archaeology (Saturday only)

Uncovering how animal remains can be used to recreate the lives of past Wisconsin peoples.

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee—Katie Iselin

Ancient Languages

Greek? Latin? Learn about these languages and try writing your name!

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee—Ying Wang and Yuan Lu

The Future Tellers and the Oracle Bones of Ancient China (Friday only)

Look at oracle bone inscriptions of the late Shang Dynasty (15th-11th century BCE), and hear the stories of the bones and the future tellers. Learn how to write Chinese words using the brush pen and ink.

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