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Philadelphia 2000

Anthony J. Ranere

It's been 20 years since Philadelphia last hosted a SAA Annual Meeting, so some reintroduction to the membership seems in order. The city is, of course, accustomed to hosting gatherings, including the First Continental Congress (1774), the Second Continental Congress (which adopted the Declaration of Independence), and the Constitutional Convention (1787). The tradition lives on as we enter the new millennium with Philadelphia not only hosting the SAA Annual Meeting in the year 2000, but the Republican National Convention (even though 80 percent of the registered voters in Philadelphia are Democrats). Through a combination of careful planning and good fortune, there is still a great deal to see in the city which reflects the glory years of the late 18th century when Philadelphia was the second largest city in the British Empire (London was the largest) and then for a time the largest city and first capital of the United States. The buildings, museums, streets, and alleyways in and around Independence National Historical Park, just a few blocks from the Philadelphia Marriott Hotel, the SAA conference hotel, are not to be missed.

But, to paraphrase a popular car ad, today's city is not your forefathers' Philadelphia; it is not even the city some of you might have visited for the 45th Annual Meeting in 1980. The city has added a skyline (before 1984, no building could be higher than the bronze statue of William Penn which sits atop City Hall), rejuvenated the "Center City" area (with expanded shopping, a new convention center, and new hotelsincluding our conference hotel), established an "Avenue of the Arts" (which combines venerable institutions like the Academy of Music with new musical and theatrical venues), witnessed a spectacular restaurant renaissance, and developed a lively nightlife. Falling within the SAA meeting dates is "First Friday" (of the month) when art galleries in the Old City section of Philadelphia (within walking distance of the Philadelphia Marriott) are open at night and host crowds of people who sometimes buy art, but mostly look at the galleries and showrooms. Many stay on to dine, drink, and be entertained at the neighborhood establishments.

Some factoids about Philadelphia:

  • It is the second largest city on the East Coast and fifth largest in the United States, with a metropolitan population of nearly 6 million.
  • It is located 100 miles south of New York, 133 miles north of Washington, D.C., and 55 miles west of Atlantic City.
  • The Philadelphia region is second to Boston in having the largest number of colleges and universities (49) in the United States.
  • The city has both the first botanical garden (Bartram's Garden, opened 1872) and the first zoo (the Philadelphia Zoo, chartered in 1859 and opened in 1874) founded in America. Both are still open to the public and worth the visit. ·
Anthony J. Ranere, chair of the Annual Meeting 2000 Local Advisory Committee, is chair of the Department of Anthropology at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Where Will You Be in the Year 2000?

Winifred Creamer

No matter where you spend New Year's Eve, plan on spending April 5­9 in Philadelphia, at the 65th SAA Annual Meeting! In addition to a fine meeting hotel, the schedule will have the variety of presentations on all regions of the world, theories, methods, and tools that archaeologists work with. The number of abstracts submitted for the 2000 meeting is similar to what we have seen in recent years, and we are hoping for record-breaking attendance at this east coast meeting in Philadelphia. All of our members in the Boston-to-Washington corridor will have a direct route to the meeting.There are both familiar features and a few new ones planned for the upcoming meeting. Generous sponsorship of the roundtable luncheon will make the cost reasonable for all participants. Topics range from rock art to owning your own consulting business. Meeting sessions will include contributed papers, symposia, and forums. New to the program is a session of papers that will be circulated electronically before the meeting. SAA members will be able to read the presentations in advance on a website. At the meeting, papers will not be presented, but after opening remarks, a floor microphone will allow audience members to discuss the session's theme with the presenters. We hope this will provide more time for discussion and question-and-answer. The Annual Meeting is a great time to see friends and keep up your contacts, and even make some new ones. Encourage your students to participate in the meeting by presenting a paper, volunteering (which will keep their costs down), and listening to what their future colleagues are doing. Let's make this meeting the best yet. ·

Winifred Creamer, chair of the Annual Meeting 2000 Program Committee, is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.


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