AIA Young Archaeologists Program

In the recent of volume of Archaeology, the publication of the Archaeological Institute of America, I read of a new programme starting in October that seems pretty awesome.

In the fall, the AIA will, and I quote from page 66, “allow young archaeology enthusiasts to be part of the AIA.” Kids and teens will get an ID card, a subscription to a newsletter and an archaeology publication… and get to do a bunch of other very cool things!

You can sign up for an email to find out when the program launches in the fall at archaeological.org/launchalert

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Lives in Ruins

You might think I have gone off on some weird tangent about ruins with this and my last post title, but no.  Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble is the title of a book by Marilyn Johnson, in which she delves into the lives of archaeologists. I saw the book as I browsed the book stalls at the AIA meeting in NOLA, took down the title and borrowed it from the public library when I got home.

The book is fun, witty and well written.  I have been giggling or laughing out loud since I picked up the volume and started reading it yesterday. I can totally related to the archaeologists she met and worked with for her book.  I just finished reading the chapter entitled Extreme Beverages, which I knew had to be about Patrick McGovern, the beer archaeologist.  Indeed, it was about Dr. Pat and the keynote lecture he gave at the AIA annual meeting held in Philadelphia (I believe that was in 2012).

Strangely enough, that was my first AIA conference and I attended that very lecture (it’s kind of weird to have attended an event mentioned in a book… the lecture was great fun). At the reception, I tried of one of his reversed-engineered extreme beverages created by studying residue in vessels found at archaeological digs around the world. I sampled the Honduran alcoholic cocoa drink Theobroma… although, as an Egyptologist, I should have tried the Egyptian beer, Ta Henket–even if I don’t like beer. (Don’t tell Dr. Pat!)  Ever since that lecture, I have in mind to bring the beer archaeologist to Raleigh… he’s at the top of my list of must-have speakers!  If he’s giving a talk in your neighbourhood, go! You’ll have a blast. Oh! And Johnson’s book is a fun and easy read.

My career is in ruins…

Last night I got back from 4 days in New Orleans where, in addition to having delicious beignets, chicory coffee, gumbo and a gator poorboy, I attended the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America.

Although I know nothing of archaeology in South-East Asia, I attended the keynote lecture on Angkor and the Khmer civilisation of Cambodia (Angkor Wat is on my bucket list). It was an excellent talk and I learned new things.  I also attended the reception, where I met up with friends.  Some of us crashed the U of T Classics alum party… but we knew nobody there (even though Emily and I are U of T grads).  The Egyptology programme at U of T is in the Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations department and we have little to do with Classics. I never actually took a class in that department

Most of the talks I attended were about the Roman Republic or Empire and Greek ceramics. However, being in charge of the collections of the ancient Americas at the NCMA, I also sat in on a session about New World archaeology where I learned stuff about the Maya civilisation and Easter Island.  I also browsed the kiosks of the book vendors and the AIA souvenir counter, where I saw hilarious magnets, some of which I bought for my fridge magnet collection.

There were the cute ones…

Magnets

 

 

 

 

and the ‘must-have’ one for the female archaeologists who happen to like 80s music…

MaterialCulture

 

 

 

 

However, my absolute favourite was this one:

Ruins

 

 

 

 

It made me laugh out loud. Obviously…

humerus

 

 

 

 

Very humorous, indeed!!!!!

International Archaeology Day

Did you know that today is International Archaeology Day? The day was declared back in 2011 by the Archaeological Institute of America and is held on the third Saturday of October.

It is fitting that today I ‘celebrated’ Archaeology Day by attending a symposium at the Georgia Museum of Art (at UGA), Rethinking the Parthenon: Color, Materiality and Aesthetics. Can it be more archaeological than that?

Yes, I was there...

Yes, I was there…

Miniature Pyramids of Sudan

There is a nice article in Archaeology, the AIA magazine, on the Miniature Pyramids of Sudan, about fieldwork at Sedeinga. Actually, during my first dig season in Sudan back in 2000, I worked at the site with the French mission for one month (after spending the previous month with the Canadian mission at Meroe–see the Day in the life of an archaeologist chronicle). That is where I met my friend Vincent Francigny, who is now co-director of the excavations. Enjoy the article!

Catching up on world archaeology

After a walk in the Museum Park, lunch at my neighbourhood deli, a few errands and laps at the gym pool, I came home to find the latest Archaeology magazine in my mailbox. (It is published by the AIA.) I spent the second half of the afternoon lounging on my balcony reading it, enjoying the unusually pleasant summer weather.

I learned about excavations under Mexico City and the renewed research on the Gokstad ship burial first excavated more than a century ago (Norway). I caught up with the work of my colleague Josef Wegner (not Wenger, as misspelled in the article) at Abydos (Egypt). There were several other articles about archaeological research going on at various places around the world—all very interesting! It kept me happily occupied until dinner time.

How can I find out about field school?

Here is a question for those interested about fieldwork experience!

How can I find out about field school?
There are several digs across the world that welcome volunteers each year. These are undoubtedly very expensive. Take a look at the Archaeological Institute of America website for their listing. Also check with archaeological associations or museums with archaeology collections nearest you as well as universities and colleges nearby that offer an archaeology programme. Some institutions may offer “Archaeology camps” for children. Otherwise check with universities that offer fieldwork opportunities for undergraduate students during the summer.