Friday, October 4, 2013

October 19th is International Archaeology Day

Is there an archaeology site in Newfoundland and Labrador that you have always been curious about?  Perhaps there's an artifact in a museum display that you'd like to know the history of?   Have you ever found a rock on the beach that you think might be an artifact? Mark your calendar, because International Archaeology Day is coming to The Rooms in St. John's on October 19th and the place is going to be crawling with archaeologists who'd love to answer your questions.

 International Archaeology Day is the brainchild of the Archaeological Institute of America and they have organized events across North America and around the world with scores of collaborating organizations all with the aim of increasing the public profile of archaeology and the fun side of discovery.  From the AIA's media package:

"International Archaeology Day, being held on October 19 in 2013 but fêted throughout the month of October, is a celebration of archaeology and the thrill of discovery. Every October the Archaeological Institute of America and collaborating archaeological organizations across the United States, Canada, and abroad present archaeological programs and activities for people of all ages and interests."

Storyboards for The Rooms Sandbox
Archaeology Program.
In St. John's, The Rooms stepped forward as a collaborating organization and reached out to archaeologists and archaeological enthusiasts in the community to come together on the afternoon of Saturday, October 19th, for an archaeology fair at The Rooms.  The fair is open to the public and there are events and displays planned for all ages.  The Rooms staff and volunteers will be running sandbox archaeology digs for kids and bringing some cool artifacts up from the vaults - the sorts of things that aren't usually out on display.  Folks from the Provincial Archaeology Office will be there to hear about your discoveries and help identify artifacts that you might have picked up over the years.  I'll be there along with other volunteers from the Newfoundland and Labrador Archaeological Society demonstrating flintknapping and talking about the role that the Society will play in the province and how you can become a member.  I'm sure that I'll have a healthy number of artifact reproductions that you can handle and use.  The Shipwreck Preservation Society of Newfoundland and Labrador will be in attendance to make an important announcement on the identity of the three Conception Harbour whaling shipwrecks.  A faculty member from Memorial University of Newfoundland's Archaeology Department will be there to take you on a tour through a collection of archaeological remains so tiny that you'll need a microscope to see them.  Literally - you get to look through a microscope at stuff - how often do you get to do that?

I'm really looking forward to it.  I hope you can make.  Bring your kids and whatever treasurers you might have in that cigar box in your closet.

Photo Credits:
1: Archaeological Institute of America
2: Tim Rast

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