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Celebrate Oregon Archaeology in October!

October 11, 2012

By John Pouley

The Oregon Archaeology Celebration is off and running this month! The annual event provides opportunities for academic, professional and avocational archaeologists to present on a number of research topics that relate to the discipline. Anyone is welcome to attend any of the events scheduled across the state.

The Oregon Archaeology Celebration inaugurated with a signed Proclamation by the Governor and the release of a poster and calendar of events. In the past, the Oregon poster has placed nationally at the Society for American Archaeology annual award ceremony (2nd in 2011 and 3rd in 2008). The theme for this year’s celebration is “Commemorating the Homestead Act of 1862.” The poster depicts an archaeological excavation in progress at the Robert Newell Homestead. A traveling exhibit of Oregon Archaeology Celebration posters from 1994 will tour the state as part of the celebration.   The locations and dates of the traveling poster exhibit are provided in the calendar of events available from Oregon Heritage.

Each year the list of events comprises a broad mix of Oregon archaeology. Archaeology itself is in part based on the study of the past from the physical record that is left behind.  While that is true, archaeologists also study historic records, tribal oral traditions and culture, soils, environmental data, geology, prehistoric and historic technology and animal or faunal remains to name a few. General topics covered in 2012 include presentations and research from around the world by Oregon archaeologists and invited lecturers about:

  • Early archaeological evidence for human occupation in Oregon
  • Tribal oral traditions
  • Historic exploration
  • Forensic studies
  • Historic archaeology
  • Tribal traditions
  • Past environmental conditions
  • Traditional technology
  • Current traditional cultural practitioners
  • Art
  • Prehistoric archaeology

If you’d like to learn more about archaeology, please take some time to view the calendar of events and find an archaeological event of interest to attend.

John Pouley is the Assistant State Archaeologist at the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office, part of Oregon Heritage.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 11, 2012 4:26 pm

    When Oregon Heritage established this blog earlier this year, we did it to “improve communications with all who care about Oregon’s heritage.” We also said we would not publish “rude, abusive or offensive” comments. (See the “Terms of Use” for this blog.) Unfortunately, we have received one comment to this blog post that was “rude, abusive or offensive.”

    While we won’t publish the comment, it brought up an important issue related to efforts to promote Oregon Archaeology Month and the 150th anniversary of the Homestead Act. Were these promotions covering up contentious periods of history? Were these two promotions showing disrespect for some Oregonians? We don’t think so.

    Organizers of Oregon Archaeology Month and Homesteading Day in Oregon discussed what they were doing and why. Governor John Kitzhaber’s proclamations about each event reflect organizers’ concerns. In proclaiming Homesteading Day, Governor Kitzhaber noted that homesteading “forever changed the environment and culture of the state.” The governor’s statement isn’t whitewashing anything.

    In his Oregon Archaeology Month proclamation, Governor John Kitzhaber observed that “numerous professional and avocational archaeologists, Indian Tribes and other citizens volunteer their time and efforts to preserve and protect Oregon’s unique archaeological heritage.” He also noted that “public appreciation and understanding is the foundation of archaeological preservation and respecting Oregon’s heritage.” That sounds respectful of heritage and the people involved with it.

    Oregon Heritage wants to improve communication about heritage in Oregon, including having discussions about contentious issues. We won’t publish unidentified or inflammatory comments that are “rude, abusive or offensive.” If you have concerns, ideas, information and viewpoints about contentious issues, present them in a way that respects those who will be reading them.

  2. Hazel Leuthauser permalink
    January 9, 2013 7:28 am

    archaelogy is really an interesting subject, it enables us to learn about our past.

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