A new exhibit at the Art Institute of Boston inspires curiosity and pays homage to the origins of collecting.
A soccer game in Lowell brought many smiling faces together. Watch the audio slideshow here.
Archaeology Day began in Boston three years ago, through the imagination of Ben Thomas, from the Archaeological Institute of America. It started small, as something in Boston. It developed into a collaborative project between 180 organizations and 16 countries.
“We wanted an event that was a celebration of archaeology,” Thomas said.
So the AIA created an event called the Archaeology Fair. It is hosted by the Museum of Science and is scheduled on Archaeology Day every year.
Street construction seems like a normal part of urban life nowadays. Sometimes you get the idea in your head that ‘construction season is almost over’! But it never really ever seems to end.
This morning, paving interrupted people’s commutes once again.
My name is Dee Fuller and I am an Archaeology and Journalism student at Boston University. I have spent time excavating Hohokam ruins in Tucson, AZ and dedicated time at an archaeobotanical lab here in Boston. I am an insanely curious and adventurous person, which is perfect for an archaeologist. Not everyone enjoys digging through mud and dirt and then meticulously recording scientific notes, though– just as I don’t enjoy trudging through numbers and figuring out the economics behind capitalism. We each have our own place in this world!
This brings me to the point of this blog: there is a long human narrative preceding our current state! And it is this human narrative that continues to connect us all. It begins with our earliest ancestors (dating approximately 10 million years before present) and hurdles us through tumultuous cultural transitions and human migrations. The timeline is con-fus-ing. I am not here to bore you with the details though. Instead, I am here to bring you the highlights- the finds that will connect your life now to someone else’s life in the past!
As archaeologists continue excavations and investigations, it is growing more and more evident that there is modern relevance to these ancient discoveries. As a community, we are continuously striving to draw connections between our ancient past and the way we know and live today. After all, our society today had to evolve from something else. It just turns out that it took 10,000 years of earlier civilizations for our society to emerge as it has today.
Some of the parallels between your modern lifestyle and ancient life-ways will blow your mind! Here are some modern things that archaeologists are connecting to ancient origins:
1. Cultural Traditions
4. Societal Organization
6. Foods (specifically plants)
7. Artistic Motifs
Not only are our traditions, technologies, and lifestyles deriving from 10,000 years of progress, but these connections are becoming more and more useful in advancing our knowledge of interdisciplinary topics: medicine, manufacturing, irrigation, astronomy, and diversified crop output. The potential that archaeological discoveries can hold for our future is unlimited!
As the archaeological community searches for greater discoveries, our work takes them into remote places. As scientists, and as people, our goal is not to overtake someone else’s property and steal their cultural goods, their heritage, and their history. Instead, archaeological investigations are intended to work with modern indigenous peoples in order to construct a more accurate and more justified discovery of our past. Unfortunately, this often results in international conflict over the rights of cultural property. I will introduce you to some recent human conflicts involving the complexity of cultural properties- in the hopes that a greater understanding can be gained of indigenous struggles instigated by our own curiosity.
Mostly, however, the journey of archaeology is full of mysteries and hilarious stories. Over the years, archaeology has been associated with brute adventure. There are a slew of movies on the market that deserve reviewing and critiquing for the sole purpose of laughing at how incorrect they are!
I invite you to adventure with me through the modern relevance of our ancient relatives. And to the readers from Boston: I promise to keep you up to date on the archaeological exhibits on display, so that you can get a first-hand look at all the fun!