The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) is proud to present the fifth annual Digging into Archaeology: A Hands-on Family Fair. This event, initiated in San Diego in 2001, will be presented in Boston on Sunday, January 9, 2005 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Republic Ballroom of the Sheraton Hotel.
The AIA Archaeology Fair is the perfect place for children (and adults) to learn about the past by participating in over two dozen, hands-on exhibits, meeting real field archaeologists, and asking questions of experts about ancient civilizations. Archaeologists and field experts from around the country, as well as local Boston archaeologists and museum educators, will be hosting various educational, hands-on activities for visitors to enjoy. There will be ceramic pots to reconstruct, ancient board games to play, mini-digs, contests, prizes and much more Archaeology from around the world and from various cultures and centuries will be represented.
“You can’t start too young,” says Professor Jane C. Waldbaum, President of the AIA.“Archaeology is an exciting field with new discoveries being made all the time. It appeals to children’s imaginations. Our children’s archaeology fair is part of the AIA’s educational outreach effort to bring the thrill of scientific archaeological discovery, interpretation, and decipherment to the younger generation.” Waldbaum also said that the Fair is an important aspect of the Institute’s outreach mission to bring the latest information about archaeology to the interested general public.
Archaeologists and field experts from around the country, as well as local New England archaeologists and museum educators, will be hosting various educational, hands-on activities for the children to enjoy. Parents just might be surprised at what they could learn, too! Excavate the Red Sox Nation with the Institute of History, Archaeology, and Education, visit a shipwreck from 300 BC, reconstruct ancient pottery, erect an obelisk, learn to make ancient tools, and much more.games, contests and prizes included! Archaeology from around the world and from various cultures and centuries will be represented.
Visitors can even build their own ancient vessels with the Captain of the Kyrenia Liberty ship from Cyprus.
For the first time, this year’s Fair will also feature the Plimoth Plantation, home to the experts on 17th century living in New England. Karin Goldstein, Curator of Original Collections at the Plantation, said “Archaeology is one of the many sources, as well as recreated technologies, that we use all the time in recreating daily life in the 17th century. Kids can study the broken reproduction pot shards to learn about the many kinds of cooking and eating pots that the Pilgrims and Wampanoag used almost 400 years ago.”
SUNY Buffalo students will bring the ancient world of Assyrians to life: fair visitors will be able to explore the palace of the king through a virtual computer reconstruction. Other local museums and institutions slated to participate include Old Sturbridge Village, the Museums of Harvard, the Golden Ball Tavern Keepers of Weston, the Flintknappers Club of Boston University, the Strawbery Banke Museum of New Hampshire and many more!
On-site entrance fees are $4 per child, $6 per adult or $12 per family of three, which must include at least one child. Children 3 and under are admitted free. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult.
The AIA Annual Meeting is a four-day conference at which scholarly papers are presented to the academic members of the Institute. Several outreach programs, of which the Archaeology Fair is one, are designed to appeal to a broader audience and are open to the public. This year marks the 106th meeting and showcases over 200 presentations during almost 50 paper sessions.
The AIA, the oldest nonprofit archaeological organization in the United States, was founded in 1879 in Boston and was incorporated by an act of Congress in 1906. With over 8,000 professional and nonprofessional members, it has over 100 local societies in the United States, Canada, and Europe. The primary mission of the Institute is to educate the public about archaeology through information derived from the sound professional practice of archaeology. As part of this mission, the AIA sponsors a wide range of educational programs including publications, lectures, and educational travel.