International Archaeology Day and Young Archaeologists’ Day 2013 Recap

DSC_0146 copy

This past Saturday, the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology & the Ancient World at Brown University opened its doors in celebration of International Archaeology Day.  AIA Narragansett organized a range of events and activities, including a stratigraphy station; an artifact lab featuring pottery, coins, glass, and figures; and a bone lab with human and animal skeletons. We also welcomed young archaeologists in grades 7-12 (and some much younger!) for Young Archaeologists’ Day. Outside, the Archaeology of College Hill class was excavating the home of Brown’s first president and accepting volunteers; we also set up an area where visitors could take part in reconstructing the footprint of ancient homes.  And of course, the Haffenreffer Museum also had a full day of events.

Here are some of our favorite photos from the day.


DSC_0153 copy 2
Graduate students Alba and Lexi prepare the stratigraphy station-an essential first stop for understanding archaeology!

Artifact Lab

DSC_0151 copy
Postdoctoral fellow and AIA Narragansett co-president Fotini shows pottery to a young archaeologist.
Graduate student Emily is preparing to handle some Ancient Egyptian figurines.


Bone Lab

Postdoctoral fellow and AIA Narragansett co-president Suzanne and undergraduate senior Simon show animal bones to visitors.
Graduate students Alyce and Fernando talk human osteology.

Archaeology of College Hill

Students and volunteers dig the Archaeology of College Hill!

Of course, none of the great activities above would have been possible without the help of our volunteers-who came from the departments in Archaeology, Anthropology, History of Art, Classics, and Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian Studies. If you attended and enjoyed the day and would like to be notified of future upcoming events, please consider supporting your local AIA chapter by joining the AIA and selecting “AIA Narragansett“.

Thanks for a great day everyone-hope to see you next year!


International Archaeology Day at the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology

In addition to all the events AIA Narragansett has planned for International Archaeology Day, our friends at the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology also have some great activities scheduled. They’re just a few buildings down from our events at the Joukowsky Institute (based in Rhode Island Hall), so we encourage you to make a day of it and visit the museum as well.  Check individual events for time and location, beginning at 10AM on International Archaeology Day, Saturday, October 19, 2013. For more information on International Archaeology Day itself, please visit the AIA website.

New Perspectives on the Pueblo Revolt of 1680
When & Where: 10AM, List Arts Center, room 120  / 64 College Street

The Pueblo Revolt era was a transformative period in the history of the American Southwest. Political alliances, population movements and warfare took place on a scale never before seen as Pueblo Indian peoples joined together to resist the Spanish empire.  Join the Haffenreffer Museum’s director, Robert Preucel, as he discusses recent archaeological research that is shedding new light on the complex social dynamics of this period.  Significantly, this research is being conducted with the participation of the Pueblo communities themselves.

Digital Magic in Ancient Egypt
When & Where: 11:30 AM, Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology / 21 Prospect Street

Watch as Jen Thum, an Egyptologist and graduate student at the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, performs Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) on an Old Kingdom limestone relief. RTI is a method of photographic analysis that allows us to see minute features on an object through changes in vectors of light. RTI works by capturing data from a series of pictures with different lighting situations, and combining them in a viewing software (provided by Cultural Heritage Imaging). When photos of an object are inputted into this software, the user can move the light around–as if shining a flashlight anywhere he or she wants on the object–in order to see details of depth, surface texture, and even layers of paint. For a video showing this process with a Medieval manuscript, see here ( The relief block Jen is examining is badly damaged, but figures of men carrying goods, as well as some text, can already be seen here and there with the naked eye.

Curator’s Tour of “The Spririt of the Thing Given”
When & Where: 1:00 PM, Haffereffer Museum of Anthropology

“The Spirit of the Thing Given” celebrates the many gifts of Dwight B. Heath, emeritus professor of anthropology, and his wife, Anna Cooper-Heath, to the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology over the course of more than half a century.  Describing themselves more as hunters and gatherers of the material world than as “collectors,” the Heaths have added collections to the museum that reflect their lifetime of research together, document their passion for museums, celebrate their joy in the presence of things, and reveal their diligent pursuit of pieces that add depth and breadth to the Museum’s holdings.  Bringing together pieces from Bolivia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Africa, and elsewhere, “The Spirit of the Thing Given” examines the ways in which collections are built and used in the university museum, the research and projects through which they are generated, and the ways those legacies – material and intellectual – serve the University and the community as sources of inspiration for generations to come.  Curator Thierry Gentis will lead a tour of this exhibit.