States and provinces were developing Archaeology Weeks/Months, with associated posters, a number of years prior to the first SAA Poster Contest. This 1990 poster from Colorado was an early favorite.
The SAA Public Education Committee (PEC) was established in 1990, and in 1992 the PEC developed a Strategic Plan with 10 initiatives or action items to be carried out by subcommittees. Action Item 9 was the Archaeology Week Subcommittee, whose task was to “encourage and assist the development of state- or province-sponsored Archaeology or Heritage Preservation Weeks.” The status of the task stated: “A growing number of U.S. states and Canadian provinces are establishing specific times for promoting archaeology and heritage preservation awareness, consisting of events, activities, and products that encourage public involvement. In association with the National Park Service, this subcommittee will assess these programs and generate materials or training to assist agencies and groups wishing to develop new programs or to better integrate existing programs into classrooms and other educational settings.”
In 1996 at the SAA annual meeting in New Orleans, the PEC’s Archaeology Week and Network Subcommittees, along with the SAA’s Council of Affiliated Societies, sponsored the first Archaeology Day, Week, or Month poster contest. Called Celebrate Archaeology 1995-96, it was held as part of the Public Session on April 13. Submitted posters had to date between June 1995 and May 1996. Conference and public session participants selected the winners, which were New Mexico, 1st place; Texas, 2nd place, and Wyoming, 3rd place.
The Archaeology Week/Month Poster Contest has continued every year since 1996. Winners are selected by popular vote of conference participants at each year’s SAA Annual Meeting. To see an Archive of poster winners from each year, click here...
1993 Archaeology & Public Education 4(1):1, 4, 9
1995-6 Archaeology & Public Education 6(1):11