With the editor currently delayed in Tibet, I've been given the
opportunity to take over his corner this issue. I've just returned from
a survey season in Germany with 16 students and volunteers from the United
States and Japan, and my mind is still preoccupied with the experience.
In particular, and perhaps relevant to the Bulletin's focus on
the role of archaeology in society, I am struck once again by the strong
position of archaeology in Germany.
My views are derived from the small corner of southern
Germany where I work, but the trends there seem to be generally applicable
to other areas as well. First of all, state-sponsored fieldwork appears
to be thriving (see the Web page at www.bawue.de/~wmwerner/english/lda.html),
in contrast to a few years ago, when many government funds were diverted
during the early days of reunification. This summer I witnessed excavations
of sites from the Middle Paleolithic through the Iron Age, and later periods
receive even more attention and funding. In a rather new development,
many archaeologists have turned as well to private corporations to supplement
Museums also are active, with a number of traveling and
special exhibits on display. The small museum of prehistory in the town
of Bad Buchau has received money from the European Union to help construct
full-sized replicas of Neolithic and Bronze Age houses. European funds
also are assisting in the construction of an "archaeological trail"
to link sites across many kilometers and mark each with explanatory placards,
photos, and, in some cases, partial reconstructions. These projects reflect
the great public interest in local archaeology, an interest that begins
in elementary schools and is documented by numerous visits of school classes
to the museum. One village is building a hostel to house visiting classes
who come from afar to learn about prehistory and natural history.
This awareness of, and interest in, archaeology among
the local population is admirable, and certainly aids me in my own fieldwork,
as local farmers and landowners have been generally quite receptive to
my requests to dig on their property. It seems logical to assume a connection
between this receptivity and early education. ·
Mike Jochim is a professor at UC-Santa Barbara.
Mark J. Lynott
In September 1999, federal archaeologists will
have the opportunity to make charitable contributions through the Combined
Federal Campaign for the year 2000. The Combined Federal Campaign includes
a large number and wide variety of charitable organizations, and federal
employees have the opportunity to make single direct payments to organizations,
or arrange for payments through payroll deductions. The Society for American
Archaeology has been approved by the Combined Federal Campaign (Organization
#1022) and is eligible for contributions beginning this fall.
This is an excellent and convenient opportunity for federal
archaeologists to make a financial contribution to SAA. Readers of the
Bulletin are certainly familiar with all of the programs of the
Society, and every one of us benefits from one or more of SAA's activities.
The Combined Federal Campaign is an opportunity for each of us to make
a contribution that will benefit archaeology and the programs of SAA.
If every federal archaeologist were to contribute as little as $2 per
pay period, together we could raise thousands of dollars. With a contribution
of $5 per pay period, you can personally donate $130 to SAA in the year
2000. You don't have to be a member of SAA or even an archaeologist to
contribute to SAA through the Combined Federal Campaign. All federal employees
are eligible to contribute.
When the Combined Federal Campaign literature arrives
in your office, please take the time to seriously consider a contribution
to SAA (Organization #1022). Almost everyone can afford to make a small
contribution, and together, we can make a major contribution to the Society
and help expand its programs and activities. ·
Mark J. Lynott, a vice-chair of SAA's Fund Raising Committee, is manager
of the Midwest Archeological Center in Lincoln, Nebraska.