What's Happening in Seattle
Education and Archaeology at the Seattle
Meeting--This year's meeting in Seattle, Washington, offers many events
that highlight archaeology education. For those planning ahead, the following
is a brief preview of some of the sessions you will want to include in your
schedule. Many are sponsored by the Public Education Committee (PEC), including
two symposia, two workshops, a public session, and a poster contest. Details on
dates and times are available in the preliminary program mailed in late
December. The organizers identified below, as well as all PEC members, are
listed (with their email addresses linked) on the SAAweb at
http://www.saa.org/ Organization/ Committees/ public_edu.html. In addition to
these events, the PEC will have its annual meeting all day on Wednesday, March
25, and the Network of State and Provincial Archaeology Education Coordinators
will meet on Thursday evening, March 26.
Dorothy Krass and Teresa L. Hoffman
The eighth annual public session, What Lies beyond the Shore? Underwater
Archaeology of Prehistoric and World War II Sites, will be held March 28 at the
Museum of Flight. Larry Murphy (A Fisheye View of WW II in the Pacific
Theater) and Michael K. Faught (Underwater Archaeology: The Prehistoric
Sites) are the featured speakers. Organizer: Carol Griffith.
Coordinating Information, Coordinating Funding-- How Can We Work
Together to Educate the Public about Archaeology? This symposium features three
recipients of SAA pilot grants for state archaeology education coordinators and
three coordinators funded by other means who offer an assessment of what works
and what we need to improve. Organizer: Dorothy Schlotthauer Krass.
Raising Public Awareness--This symposium reports on a variety of public
projects, many by committee members. Organizer: S. Alan Skinner.
Presenting Archaeology to Children: Tools and Tips. Organizer: Jeanne
Moe. Presenting Archaeology to Adults: Tips for Successful Programs.
Organizer: Mary Kwas. These workshops offer complementary approaches to
archaeology education for children and adults.
State Archaeology Week/Month Poster Exhibition and Contest--Posters from
across the United States will be on display in the Exhibit Hall beginning
Thursday morning, March 26. SAA members will have the opportunity to vote for
their favorite poster (the polls will close at noon on Friday, March 27).
Prizes for the top three will be presented at the SAA annual business meeting
later that afternoon. Organizers: Ann Valdo Howard and Dan Haas.
1998 Excellence in Public Archaeology Education Award--This award will
be presented at the SAA annual business meeting to an individual who has made
substantial contributions to public education. Eligible candidates include
teachers, museum educators, administrators, interpreters, and others.
Nominations were due December 1.
In addition to the above PEC-sponsored programs, two independent education
sessions also will be available. These include a poster session (Survey,
Management, and Education) and a general session (Public Archaeology and
Education). The latter is a collection of volunteered papers. Of particular
interest is that this is the first time that the number of volunteered papers
about public archaeology and education has warranted an independent dedicated
session at the annual meeting.
For more information on PEC activities, please contact Edward Friedman, Bureau
of Reclamation, P.O. Box 25007, D-5300, Denver, CO 80225, (303) 236-1061 ext.
239, email email@example.com.
Dorothy Krass is with SAA, and Teresa L. Hoffman is at Archaeological
Consulting Services, Tempe, Ariz.
National Premiere of Searching for the Great Hopewell Road
While many media present information about archaeology to
the public, television offers one of the best opportunities to reach a large
and diverse audience. Motivated in part by our desire to fulfill a personal
public education mission, we embarked nearly two years ago on what has proved
to be both an extremely challenging and rewarding journey: the production of a
public television documentary about how people interpret the past. The
documentary explores differences and similarities in the ways that two
communities of people--archaeologists and Native Americans--examine and use the
past by using a case study of the search for the remains of a possible
60-mile-long "road" built about 2,000 years ago by prehistoric Native Americans
known as the Hopewell people. If the road--perhaps similar in function to the
roads around Chaco or the Mayan sacbe--really existed, it would have
connected two major geometric earthwork complexes in Ohio, one at Chillicothe
and one at Newark; the latter is renowned for the incorporation of complex
lunar alignments in its construction.
James Liftin and Rebecca Hawkins
Not only has the documentary allowed us to examine a fascinating aspect of Ohio
Valley archaeology, it also has provided us with a vehicle for showing the
public the variety of techniques available to archaeologists and demonstrating
that excavation is not archaeology's only tool. Because the Ohio Valley was
arguably the birthplace of North American archaeology, the program also
features some of the critical research of the 19th century. Perhaps most
important for the members of the production team, this project was, from its
inception, a collaborative effort with Native American leaders from tribes who
once called the Ohio Valley home. What began as a seemingly simple effort to
educate the lay public about archaeology evolved into a much richer and
enlightening process throughout the course of the project.
Because of the documentary's public education mission, the SAA Public Education
Committee is sponsoring the national premiere during the annual meeting in
Seattle, on Thursday evening, March 26, at the Sheraton. (More details will
appear in the final program.)
The documentary's coauthors, Rebecca Hawkins and James Litfin, also wish to
take this opportunity to thank the producer, Thomas Law, who proposed the idea
for the video and whose careful work and creative inspiration have made this
James Litfin and Rebecca Hawkins are at Northern Kentucky University and with