Do you know about the archaeology in your neighborhood? Town? County? State? Have you ever wondered if there are archaeological projects going on near where you live? The archaeological heritage in many states is celebrated each year during Archeology Week or Month by proclamation of the Governor. These celebrations are designed to generate understanding and interest in archaeology. Professional archaeologists, avocational archaeologists, and volunteers organize the activities, often with local sponsorships.
What can I do during a state archaeology celebration?
Archaeology celebration events include educational experiences for the public and increasingly for schools that promote the preservation of archaeological resources and illustrate the scientific process of the discipline. Typical Archaeology Week/Month activities include archaeological site tours, archaeological laboratory tours, lectures, flintknapping and mapping demonstrations, and sample excavation experiences. Learn more about archaeology celebrations in your state (listed by state).
How can I develop an archaeology celebration in my state?
State Archeology Weeks/Months are designed to generate understanding and support for archeology. The associated events generally involve educational experiences for the public and schools that promote the preservation of archaeological resources and illustrate the scientific process of the discipline. This annual event represents a major investment of archaeology's resources for targeting the public. Professionals, avocationalists, and volunteers organize these celebrations, expending considerable effort and planning. Local sponsorships are often critical to the success of such undertakings.
An informative summary of Georgia's Archaeology Month operations [PDF 171 KB] was written by Betsy Shirk, Past President of the Society for Georgia Archaeology. It includes synopses on funding, planning, poster printing, distribution, and publicity. For more information on the coordination of Archaeology Week/Month activities see State Archaeology Weeks: Interpreting Archaeology for the Public (National Park Service Technical Brief #15).
State Archaeology Celebration Posters
The State Archaeology Celebration Poster is the central promotional device for publicizing State Archeology Week/Month programs. The poster forms a main means of inviting citizens to participate in and learn about archaeology, helping to promote archaeological stewardship. The poster can be mailed along with other information on State Archeology Celebrations to schools, businesses, agencies, museums, and libraries. As part of this program of activities, poster images might be used as bookmarks, as postcards, as fliers and brochures, as advertisements in magazines, as banners for billboards, and as T-shirt designs.
State Archaeology Celebration Posters are developed through various means. Some are the result of art contests, others are designed through invitation. Some are created in response to a solicitation for contributions on a particular topic while other times CRM firms, avocationalists, or archaeology practitioners will approach the State Archaeology Celebration organizers with an idea for a poster.
Funding a State Archaeology Celebration Poster
Archaeologists, avocational societies, volunteers, federal agencies, universities, museums, and private businesses have all supported Archaeology Week/Month posters and activities through direct financing or in-kind contributions. Cultural Resources Management firms and public companies involved in the compliance process also regularly contribute to State Archaeology Celebration poster production (i.e., poster creation and/or development costs). Such contributions generate considerable publicity and help them earn goodwill. Private foundations, private business, and small grants can be viable sources for covering poster costs. To recover costs or to generate funding for future state archaeology celebration activities, the posters can also be offered for sale in various venues such as bookstores, teacher stores, museum gift shops, and at archaeological society tables in conference book rooms.