Archaeology Day 2018

This past Saturday, in the middle of midterms, we hosted our annual International Archaeology Day Open House.  For once in Indiana, PA the weather decided to surprise us in a kind manner.  For what was supposed to be a day of rain turned into a rather nice day even if it was a little chilly.    It made for a spectacular Archaeology Day.  The weather was good enough for our largest attraction to be set up, the atlatl range!  You don’t even need to know the word atlatl to know that throwing spears is incredibly fun.  Though I will clarify, an atlatl is a tool that extends your reach and lets you throw a spear harder and farther than you could without.

Andy the atlatl guy talking a guest through how to use an atlatl.

She hit the target.

After being drawn in by the tempting offer of spear throwing, there was a whole floor of McElhaney dedicated to archaeology in various forms.  From historic and pre-contact artifacts to flotation, zooarchaeology, archaeology in the media and more.  Frankly it would be more fun to just show you so take a little look below.

Chris showing off a bow he made.

Tyler shows folks the ropes (and how they are made)

Chris showing off his knowledge of pre-contact tech.

Jessie handling the pre-contact table.

Janee running the zooarchaeology table.

A nice gathering of folks around the atlatls and pre-contact technologies.

Mace shows what a real archaeologist looks like. *SPOILER: There’s a mirror in the center*

Is it trash or treasure? Well, Angela’s reluctance to be in a photo definitely created a treasure.

Carlos and Heather bustin’ myths about archaeology.

Jared does his thing with the 3D printer.

Brianna talks shop about hominin and hominid skulls

I would like to share a few final thoughts and I encourage replies in the comment section below. We had a smaller turnout this year than years past.  That was partly advertising, partly weather, and partly timing as this year’s Archaeology Day did not fall along homecoming.  I’m nowhere near disappointed though.  Actually, it’s the opposite, I’m ecstatic because those who showed up took interest in what we had to offer.  Quite a few people hung around for a good hour or so (a third of the events length) and asked questions.  There’s a part of me that wants to reach out to as many people as possible but if overall numbers drop while engagement is increased, I’m fine with that.  I wonder if people were more willing and eager to engage because the turnout was smaller, there wasn’t a feeling that you needed to rush along.

I would like to give a special thanks to Andy and Lori Majorsky for giving their awesome atlatl demonstrations, Susanna Haney for the flint knapping demo, and last, but certainly not least, everyone that came together to make Archaeology Day a success!

IUP Anthropology Department

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