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 Fall 2003 News Minimize



Archaeology Films Receive Awards at Oregon Festival
Over a thousand ticket-holders filed through the entrance of the McDonald Theatre in Eugene, Oregon, July 16-19 to attend The Archaeology Channel International Film and Video Festival, organized by Archaeological Legacy Institute. Festival-goers were treated to 20 outstanding films selected from 64 official entrants submitted to this competition by film producers and distributors in 19 countries. Renowned archaeologists Jean Clottes from France and Brian Fagan from UC Santa Barbara delivered keynote addresses to the theater audience. A teacher workshop featured Bureau of Land Management instructors from Oregon and Colorado. Other activities included a film-maker symposium, archaeological tours to the Oregon coast and Cascade Range by Willamette National Forest archaeologists, and children’s activities at the University of Oregon Museum of Natural History.

The Best Film award, selected by the Festival jury, as well as the Audience Favorite Award, went to A Kalahari Family, Part 5: Death by Myth, produced by Kalfam Productions (John Marshall and Lorna Marshall) and distributed by Documentary Educational Resources (USA). Best Use of Animation honors went to Karen Aqua of Cambridge, Massachusetts, for her short animated film, Ground Zero/Sacred Ground, contrasting Mogollon rock art and the Trinity atomic bomb testing site in New Mexico. The Last Days of Zeugma by Gedeon Programmes of Paris, France, won a Jury Special Mention award. Audience response to this event, as recorded by a questionnaire, was overwhelmingly enthusiastic. The second installment of the Festival, currently scheduled for July 14-17, 2004, will be held at the same venue. More details about the Festival are available at www.archaeologychannel.org/content/TACfestival.shtm

High-School Students Do Archaeology in Quebec

Shawville, Quebec, Canada—Pontiac High School and archaeologists Andrea Bradley and Shawn Graham of Bristol Village Heritage started the Province of Quebec’s only High School Archaeology Program this summer. Over the first two weeks of July, eight Grade 9 and 10 students and their teacher participated in practical and theoretical training sessions, archival research, and field expeditions to archaeological sites in the Municipality of Bristol (45 minutes west of Ottawa, Ontario, along the north shore of the Ottawa River). After this training, the Pontiac High Archaeological Corps (PHAC) conducted test excavations on the site of a brickworks dating from the 1860s to the early 1900s at the location of a proposed Heritage Park, the Armstrong Heritage Farm, located on Highway 148 in the neighboring municipality of Shawville. PHAC was able to identify the clay processing area, the drying sheds, the kiln, and the waste pile, as well as a previously unknown domestic feature (perhaps a bunkhouse/cookhouse for the yard’s employees).

The brickworks used a steam-engine to process the clay and to mix it, but not to make the bricks themselves. These were molded by hand, and fired in a clamp kiln which was erected and dismantled with each firing. The brickworks therefore appears to be at the transition between full-scale industrialization and craft production. The excavation findings contribute to the planning and the development of the Heritage Park, while the students themselves received a full year course credit. Plans are now underway to extend the program to include more students, in a program of investigation of the economic impact of the brickworks. For more information on the program, please visit www.geocities.com/bristolvillage and click on School Program, or contact Dr. Shawn Graham or Andrea Bradley at 819-64....

Traveling Museum Program Serves Teachers of New York and Connecticut

For teachers in the area of Westchester County, New York, and Fairfield County, Connecticut, the Prehistoric People Program is an award-winning traveling museum program that enables students in their own classrooms to handle authentic prehistoric tools while learning about the progress of humankind from about 4 million to 5,000 years ago. Slides and artifacts stress ancient peoples’ adaptation to their changing environment. To schedule the program, contact the Education Department, Bruce Museum of Greenwich, Conn., at 203-869-6786.

Call for Nominations for Award for Excellence in Public Education

The Society for American Archaeology confers the Excellence in Public Education Award to recognize outstanding contributions by individuals or institutions in the sharing of archaeological knowledge with the public. SAA gives this award annually following a 3-year cycle of categories: archaeologist, educator, and institution. In 2004, eligible candidates will be educators who have contributed substantially to public education about archaeology through the development or presentation of educational programs, publishing, or the distribution of educational materials and other activities. An educator is an individual involved in education who is not a professional archaeologist, who writes, speaks, or otherwise presents information to the public or facilitates institutions and other individuals in their public education efforts. These individuals may include pre-collegiate educators, administrators, heritage interpreters, museum educators, and others. Candidates will be evaluated on the basis of their public impact, creativity in programming, leadership role, and promotion of archaeological ethics. The nominee does not need to be an SAA member.

Nominators will work with the Chair to assemble a nomination file that will include:

  •  A formal letter of nomination that identifies the nominee and summarizes their accomplishments. These accomplishments should be contextualized by addressing the following types of questions: Where does the nominee’s work fit within public education? What is the extent of the nominee’s work and impact on the field of archaeology? On students? On the general public? On other disciplines?
  • Supporting materials should demonstrate (not merely assert) the nominee’s qualifications and actions. In other words, supporting materials should not be expected to stand on their own but should demonstrate the case being made in the nomination letter. Examples of supporting evidence might document the impact of a specific program in terms of the numbers of the public involved, personnel qualifications and deployment, the frequency of programs offered, formal evaluation results, and feedback from the audience. Secondary nominator letters are welcomed as well.
  • Prior nomination does not exclude consideration of a nominee in subsequent years. Self nominations are accepted.

Deadline for nomination: January 5, 2004. The Chair of the committee will work closely with nominators in supplying the above items for completing a nomination file. Nominators are encouraged to contact the Chair by November 1 to begin this process. For further information or to submit a nomination, contact Patrice Jeppson at 215... or email pjeppson@kern.com.


rontiers in the Soil Returns to Charm New Readers
Back by popular demand, Frontiers in the Soil, conceived by archaeologist Roy Dickens and artist James McKinley, was originally published in 1979. An immediate success with educators and professionals, as well as the general public, the book sold out within a few years. Now, the Society for Georgia Archaeology has joined with the Univeristy of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government in publishing Frontiers in the Soil again for a new audience of readers.

The colorful cartoon book is an extremely accurate (and humorous) look at archaeology, including methods, preservation, and ethics. While it is geared to middle school, it has been used from elementary ages through adults. There is a teachers’ handbook available also. This has been updated to reflect changes in the field since 1979, including such things as CRM, underwater archaeology, pollen studies, African-American studies, etc. Revisions to the teachers’ manual also include a more user-friendly format, more classroom activities, and Quality Core Curriculum (QCC) standards for the state of Georgia. While examples are Georgia-oriented, Frontiers covers all the prehistory of the southeastern U.S. and is a very good tool for teaching general archaeology concepts in any geographic area. Frontiers sells for $16.95 and the Teaching Handbook for $6.95. Orders of 15 or more books get a 20% discount. For more info see the web site at www.cviog.uga.edu/catalog/frontiers.pdf.

New Book Examines People Before Big Game Hunters

Lost World: Rewriting Prehistory—How New Science is Tracing America’s Ice Age Mariners by Tom Koppel is one of the rare books that takes what we know and turns it all around. For decades, most of us were taught that the first settlers to reach North America were big game hunters who arrived from Asia at the end of the Ice Age 11,000 to 12,000 years ago, crossing a land bridge in the Bering Strait and migrating south through an ice-free passage between two great glaciers blanketing the continent. Tom Koppel has spent the last 10 years working alongside people who argued that this theory was no longer tenable.

Working in Alaskan caves, under the sea in British Columbia, and on offshore islands from Alaska to California, researchers applied new technologies of mapping the sea bottom, dating artifacts and stones, and analyzing the chemistry of human bones. Their results show that maritime people living on sea mammals, fish and shellfish more likely skirted the North Pacific rim by boat, using as stepping-stones a food-rich offshore network of ice-free refuges, probably 14,000 to 15,000 years ago. This book is a lively narrative that captures the adventure of doing science in such remote and exotic locales. It interweaves the scientific findings and fiercely fought controversies with Koppel’s own experiences and observations. Available from Atria Books for $26.00. For more information, check the web site at www.SimonSays.com.

Resources Available from SAA

The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) has produced a variety of educational resources that are available to help students, teachers, and the general public learn more about archaeology. Most of these resources are available free from the Society’s web site (see www.saa.org/pubedu/eduMat.html for a complete list). In addition to the web materials, the SAA offers brochures on careers and volunteer opportunities in archaeology, as well as publications for sale, such as History Beneath the Sea: Nautical Archaeology in the Classroom.

The SAA Manager, Education and Outreach, is another resource to consider when looking for information. The Manager is available to answer questions by email, snail mail, or phone, and has access to information about archaeology education resources from many sources. If you are having trouble finding appropriate resources for your classroom or for an outreach activity, the SAA office may be able to help, or find someone who can. For more information, contact Maureen Malloy, Manager, Education and Outreach, Society for American Archaeology, 900 Second Street NE, Suite 12, Washington, DC 20002-3557, phone: 202..., or email: maureen_malloy@saa.org.