REPORT ON OHIO'S FIRST ARCHAEOLOGY WEEK
Sandra Lee Yee
Site Anthropologist/Site Manager
SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park
At the OAC Annual Meeting in November 1999, Dr. William S. Dancey, as the newly elected president of the OAC, announced as one of his hopes for the coming year that the Education Committee of the OAC would look into establishing a state archaeology week for Ohio. Dr. David Bush was chair of this committee, and Sandy Yee had just been one of the new committee members elected. Therefore this challenge was passed to them.
In January 2000, Mark Meister, newly hired Director of the Dayton Society of Natural History, and as such, supervisor to Sandy Yee, Site Anthropologist for SunWatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park, tasked Sandy to look into establishing a state archaeology week for Ohio, based on examples from SAA and elsewhere. Finally, William Patterson, Sr. of Patterson Graphics and William Pflaum of Mazer Corp., both of Dayton, in discussion with Mark Meister, offered their companies' talents to design and print posters for an archaeology week, if so desired.
Therefore, the stage was set, and Sandy began dialog with Dr. Dancey, requesting information and direction on how the OAC wished to proceed, as well as submitting request for grant from OAC Grants committee to help with funding of such a task. OAC Board voted to make a direct contribution of $1000 to the Dayton Society of Natural History for Sandy and SunWatch to cover some of the costs of preparing the first ever "Ohio Archaeology Week."
The Society and OAC partnered in this endeavor, with Sandy Yee and Dr. Bush as the coordinators. They designed the letters and applications that were mailed to all of OAC members, as well as oversaw the design and production of the posters and flyers distributed statewide advertising the events. The week of June that included the Summer Solstice (in 2000 this fell on June 19-25) was chosen for Ohio's archaeology week. It was thought that the Summer Solstice will provide a memorable link for state archaeologists and historians in all upcoming years (as the Summer Solstice was recognized historically as well as prehistorically). Additionally, this week is very favorable to families on vacation, for schools are out by then. Furthermore, various sites have opened their summer field work/schools and can incorporate tours or workshops at the sites as one of their Ohio Archaeology Week educational activities for the public.
Although letters requesting collaboration, support, partnering, etc. were sent to OHPO, OHS, and Governor Taft in February 2000, due to the short time frame the named organizations could not join the effort. However, if approached much earlier (very early fall 2000) for the Ohio Archaeology Week of 2001, they may be able to partner, thus lending more resources to the effort.
Posters and brochures listing statewide activities were ready (albeit later than desired) and shipped in early June to all participants who had contributed activities, as well as to all Contact People, and requesting organizations or individuals. The poster was a beautiful depiction of the state of Ohio as an excavated feature/square with inset photos and text highlighting the sites and events offered during week.
Sandy sent request to presenters and Contact People for all and any Evaluations they received or prepared, so that evaluation and improvement of the program could begin for next year.
Coordinators: Dr. David Bush, Chairman of Education Committee, Ohio Archaeological Council,Center for Historic and Military Archaeology, Heidelberg College
Sandra Lee Yee, member of Education Committee, Ohio Archaeological Council, SunWatch Indian Village/Arch-aeological Park, Dayton, Ohio
Contributing Organizations: Ohio Archaeological Council, Dayton Society of Natural History (through SunWatch), Patterson Graphics, Mazer Corp., and C&O Printing.