Georgia Archaeology Month


Joshua Foster, Compliance Review Archaeologist


Happy Georgia Archaeology Month! That’s right, in addition to May being Preservation Month here and across the nation, May is also Archaeology Month in Georgia. The Society for Georgia Archaeology (SGA) promotes Georgia Archaeology Month and highlights archaeological events across Georgia on their website. These events include classes such as artifact identification, pottery making demonstrations, and tours of archaeological sites.

The popular media plays an important role in how archaeology is viewed. Archaeologists in the movies are often portrayed as working in exotic locales, such as jungles and deserts, and engaging is exciting adventures that require brandishing a whip or running from a huge boulder or falling into a pit of snakes. While archaeologists do work in faraway places and do encounter rocks and snakes, many archaeologists are local and work right here in Georgia.  The work of archaeologists helps us learn more about where and when people lived here and how people who called Georgia home over thousands of years went about their day-to-day lives.

Public archaeology helps dispel many myths and misconceptions about what archaeologists do and emphasizes the important role archaeology plays in telling the story of a place.  It includes public resource management; engaging the public in archaeological research by communicating about archaeology with community groups and public audiences; and fostering awareness of our shared heritage. Public archaeology also helps connect people to their own people and culture.

There are many opportunities for members of the archaeology community to support public engagement.  Opportunities include joining a professional society that actively engages the public.  The Society for Georgia Archaeology, a statewide organization, and The Society for American Archaeology, a national organization, are two examples of professional societies that can be professionally beneficial to archaeologists and provide archaeologists with opportunities to actively engage in public archaeology. 

Archaeologists can actively engage with their communities individually by volunteering to speak at a Career Day at a local school, getting involved with a scouting troop to assisting them in earning their archaeology badge, or volunteering at local events to help the public gain a greater understanding of the discipline and the archaeological history of their community.

There are a myriad ways archaeologists can engage with the public and great opportunities for the public to engage archaeology.  Visit the Society for Georgia Archaeology’s website for more details on Archaeology Month activities in Georgia, including classes on artifact identification and pottery making, and tours of archaeological sites.