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From the Public Education Committee--

What's Happening in Seattle
Dorothy Krass and Teresa L. Hoffman

Education and Archaeology at the Seattle Meeting--This year's meeting in Seattle, Washington, offers many events that highlight archaeology education. For those planning ahead, the following is a brief preview of some of the sessions you will want to include in your schedule. Many are sponsored by the Public Education Committee (PEC), including two symposia, two workshops, a public session, and a poster contest. Details on dates and times are available in the preliminary program mailed in late December. The organizers identified below, as well as all PEC members, are listed (with their email addresses linked) on the SAAweb at Organization/ Committees/ public_edu.html. In addition to these events, the PEC will have its annual meeting all day on Wednesday, March 25, and the Network of State and Provincial Archaeology Education Coordinators will meet on Thursday evening, March 26.

The eighth annual public session, What Lies beyond the Shore? Underwater Archaeology of Prehistoric and World War II Sites, will be held March 28 at the Museum of Flight. Larry Murphy (A Fisheye View of WW II in the Pacific Theater) and Michael K. Faught (Underwater Archaeology: The Prehistoric Sites) are the featured speakers. Organizer: Carol Griffith.

Coordinating Information, Coordinating Funding-- How Can We Work Together to Educate the Public about Archaeology? This symposium features three recipients of SAA pilot grants for state archaeology education coordinators and three coordinators funded by other means who offer an assessment of what works and what we need to improve. Organizer: Dorothy Schlotthauer Krass.

Raising Public Awareness--This symposium reports on a variety of public projects, many by committee members. Organizer: S. Alan Skinner.

Presenting Archaeology to Children: Tools and Tips. Organizer: Jeanne Moe. Presenting Archaeology to Adults: Tips for Successful Programs. Organizer: Mary Kwas. These workshops offer complementary approaches to archaeology education for children and adults.

State Archaeology Week/Month Poster Exhibition and Contest--Posters from across the United States will be on display in the Exhibit Hall beginning Thursday morning, March 26. SAA members will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite poster (the polls will close at noon on Friday, March 27). Prizes for the top three will be presented at the SAA annual business meeting later that afternoon. Organizers: Ann Valdo Howard and Dan Haas.

1998 Excellence in Public Archaeology Education Award--This award will be presented at the SAA annual business meeting to an individual who has made substantial contributions to public education. Eligible candidates include teachers, museum educators, administrators, interpreters, and others. Nominations were due December 1.

In addition to the above PEC-sponsored programs, two independent education sessions also will be available. These include a poster session (Survey, Management, and Education) and a general session (Public Archaeology and Education). The latter is a collection of volunteered papers. Of particular interest is that this is the first time that the number of volunteered papers about public archaeology and education has warranted an independent dedicated session at the annual meeting.

For more information on PEC activities, please contact Edward Friedman, Bureau of Reclamation, P.O. Box 25007, D-5300, Denver, CO 80225, (303) 236-1061 ext. 239, email

Dorothy Krass is with SAA, and Teresa L. Hoffman is at Archaeological Consulting Services, Tempe, Ariz.

National Premiere of Searching for the Great Hopewell Road
James Liftin and Rebecca Hawkins

While many media present information about archaeology to the public, television offers one of the best opportunities to reach a large and diverse audience. Motivated in part by our desire to fulfill a personal public education mission, we embarked nearly two years ago on what has proved to be both an extremely challenging and rewarding journey: the production of a public television documentary about how people interpret the past. The documentary explores differences and similarities in the ways that two communities of people--archaeologists and Native Americans--examine and use the past by using a case study of the search for the remains of a possible 60-mile-long "road" built about 2,000 years ago by prehistoric Native Americans known as the Hopewell people. If the road--perhaps similar in function to the roads around Chaco or the Mayan sacbe--really existed, it would have connected two major geometric earthwork complexes in Ohio, one at Chillicothe and one at Newark; the latter is renowned for the incorporation of complex lunar alignments in its construction.

Not only has the documentary allowed us to examine a fascinating aspect of Ohio Valley archaeology, it also has provided us with a vehicle for showing the public the variety of techniques available to archaeologists and demonstrating that excavation is not archaeology's only tool. Because the Ohio Valley was arguably the birthplace of North American archaeology, the program also features some of the critical research of the 19th century. Perhaps most important for the members of the production team, this project was, from its inception, a collaborative effort with Native American leaders from tribes who once called the Ohio Valley home. What began as a seemingly simple effort to educate the lay public about archaeology evolved into a much richer and enlightening process throughout the course of the project.

Because of the documentary's public education mission, the SAA Public Education Committee is sponsoring the national premiere during the annual meeting in Seattle, on Thursday evening, March 26, at the Sheraton. (More details will appear in the final program.)

The documentary's coauthors, Rebecca Hawkins and James Litfin, also wish to take this opportunity to thank the producer, Thomas Law, who proposed the idea for the video and whose careful work and creative inspiration have made this project possible.

James Litfin and Rebecca Hawkins are at Northern Kentucky University and with Algonquin Consultants.

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