June 14, 2023
The Spokane Society of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) celebrated its 75th Anniversary on May 6 with a gala including dinner and a lecture!
The dinner, which the Society called “The Feast of King Midas,” was a reconstruction of a 2,700 year-old funerary meal that King Midas served his guests at a feast honoring his late father Gordius. Recipes were based on analyzed organic residue found on pottery from a vast tomb excavated in 1957 at the “Great Tumulus” or “Midas Mound” of Gordion. In addition to the dinner, the Society held a tasting of an ale made by Mystic Mead/Bardic Brewing and Cider (Spokane), recreated from the Great Tumulus.
Following the dinner, the Society presented a lecture by Dr. Richard Liebart, “Great Tumulus of Gordion Excavation.” Dr. Liebhart is professor emeritus of Art History at Elon University and author of “Tumulus MM: Fit for a King.” He is an expert on the tomb, its construction, and its contents, as well as a friend of outgoing AIA Spokane Society president Dr. Andrew Goldman.
Funding for the 75th Anniversary advertisement that was designed by and featured in The Pacific Northwest Inlander was donated in memory of Society members John & Catherine Morrow. The event was also a featured story on the front page of The Spokesman-Review. It was a huge success! Nearly 100 people attended, reflecting a revitalization of the Society since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the lecture after the dinner, the Society presented long-time supporters and board members with copies of The Golden Age of King Midas, the UPenn catalogue from the 2016 exhibition on ancient Phrygia edited by former AIA President C. Brian Rose and Gareth Darbyshire.
Mrs. Suzanne Fleming, a long-time supporter of the Spokane Society of the AIA, wrote “What a fabulous, fun, and interesting evening! The food, the lecture, the people! Our stunning book, The Golden Age of King Midas, is now on our coffee table and it is a lasting memory of the evening.”
Outgoing AIA Spokane Society President, Dr. Andrew Goldman, was also thanked for his service and given an award in recognition of his many contributions and outstanding leadership during his tenure as Society President. Of the event, Dr. Goldman says “One of the most remarkable aspects of our Midas Gala Dinner was how deeply involved all of our board members were in producing and creating (or re-creating) this amazing feast. Although the event was spear-headed by Cindy Bell, who did a tremendous job with the venue and menu, pretty much everyone on the board pitched in, creating posters and advertisements, decorating the tables, checking in our guests, taking photographs, etc. I feel very privileged to work with this group, which included Dr. Marian Ackerman, Cindy Bell, Dr. Brian Buchanan, Mark Hand, Dr. Rachel Horowitz, Skip Kuck, Victoria Lawrence, and Dr. Catherine Roth. I hope that all of my fellow Society presidents are lucky enough to work with a board of volunteers who are so energized by our mission of public advocacy and education.”
Congratulations to the AIA Spokane Society on hosting such a fantastic event, and thank you to Dr. Goldman for his many years at the helm of the Society!