The third Saturday in October is International Archaeology Day. Groups all across the world participate in the celebration of archaeology and its contributions to those communities. Here in the US both national organization like the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), Society for American Archaeology (SAA), and the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and small organization such as the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, and the IUP Anthropology Department host event in honor if this holiday. This year, IAD falls on Saturday, October 19th.
Archaeology Day was first celebrated in 2011. This firs IAD had 115 programs including 38 US states who celebrated National Archaeology Day. Since then the program has grown immensely. In 2017 there were over 900 events and 600 participating organization. Of those the United States hosted 500 events. Also in 2011, the US Congress passed that the entire month of October is to celebrate archaeology and specifically October 22, 2011 will be National Archaeology Day.
“Mr. CAPUNANO [Hon. Michael E. Capuano of Massachusetts]. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to support the designation of October 22, 2011 as National Archaeology Day. Throughout the month of October, but particularly on the 22nd, archaeological societies across the country will celebrate the thousands of years of history that have been unlocked through artifacts and discoveries” (Source: AIA website, For full text click here).
IUP is hosting out annual Archaeology Day Open House on October 19th from 12:00-3:00 in honor of International Archaeology Day. There are many activities for the whole family. We have a Kidz room with pottery puzzles, cave painting, and wampum beading. Students from IUP’s Anthropology Department will also be teaching the public about human evolution, animal bones, and how to be a good archaeological citizen. Representatives from the Westmoreland chapter of SPA will be discussing their excavations and identifying artifacts. If you have an artifact at home you want to know more about bring it and see if you can stump our experts. Outside we will have a mock excavation, atlatl demonstrations, and flint knapping demonstrations (although she will be using chert).
The event is free, open to everyone who wants to learn about archaeology, and Insomnia Cookies has donated cookies for visitors. Hope to see you there!