#WhyArchMatters: What You’re Saying

Last week, we launched our first-ever online petition to send a message to US Representatives Eric Cantor and Lamar Smith to continue supporting publicly funded archaeology. This has been part of a month-long effort to raise awareness about their threats to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) support of social science research, in particular their opposition to archaeological research.

You can sign the petition here.

As of Sunday morning, we have reached our first goal of 500 signatures. The response from the archaeological community has been overwhelming. But we want more: we’ve set a new goal of 1,000 signatures. To reach this goal, we need more than your signature, we need your help to communicate the importance of publicy funded archaeology to people outside the archaeological community. Here are some ways you can help:

  1. Share the petition on social media with your friends and colleagues. Be sure to tell them why archaeology is important to you and our country.
  2. Share the petition with the other archaeological organizations that you belong to, large and small, and encourage them to share it with their membership.
  3. Include a link to the petition in your newsletters or emails to the members of the general public who support your museums, historical societies, avocational groups, or archaeological organization. Tell them why publicly funded archaeology is important to the work that your organization does, and request their support.
  4. Email this to your family members, asking them for their support. Let them know that publicly funded archaeology supports the museums they visit and provides jobs for archaeologists just like you.
  5. Share the petition with your co-workers. Let them know how publicly supported archaeology helps your business or place of employment. Encourage them to sign and share.

A number of you have left comments with your signatures, letting us know #WhyArchMatters to you, and why it should be publicly supported. We wanted to share a couple of those comments with you:

As an archaeologist, historian, preservationist, and history buff, I feel passionately about studying, stewarding, and educating people about our fragile historic resources. Our heritage is a vital part of who we are, it helps define us as people and as a nation, and it can help guide us into the future. To squander the past is like cutting our legs out from under us. – Thane, Virginia

As a former public outreach coordinator for an archaeological research facility for several years, it was my job to engage a wide range of people from age 7 to age 100 in the fascinating history of our nation. Archaeology provides tangible, physical evidence of how people, from the President to the share cropper, lived their lives, and encompasses all ethnicities and income groups. Please continue to fund this important way to make history relevant to our citizens. Thank you. – Regina, California

As an archaeologist that works closely with descendants, heritage organizations, and the general public and as an educator at a public university, I’ve seen firsthand that archaeology can have a significant impact on diverse communities, including improving “American’s quality of life” through civic engagement and community projects. We MUST continue to support the humanities through public funding!! These projects ENRICH our communities and serve as touchstones of communal memory – They give current generations a sense of historical perspective and rootedness. They remind us all of how our nation came to be and what is unique about our local communities!!! – Jason, Utah

I am an archaeologist and veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom. I have recently submitted a proposal to NSF to fund my research on the resilience of communities after the collapse of a political institution. This research directly relates to my experience in Afghanistan and can be very relevant to modern situations. – Ronald, Illinois

Thanks to all of your for continued support!

Quebec City Award/Bourse de Québec

The Quebec City Award is granted to assist French-speaking students to attend the annual meeting and to promote their participation in Society activities. The cash prize is for the amount of interest accrued annually on the initial endowment, and not to exceed $750.

To be considered for the prize, candidates must be a standing member of the SHA, be registered in a French-language university and preparing a thesis or a dissertation in French and they must present a substantive or theoretical paper at the annual meeting.

To apply, submit a letter including a confidential letter of reference from your research director, a copy of your pre-registration at the annual meeting, a 500-word abstract of the proposed paper and a copy of your resume to the Quebec City Award Secretary by June 30. Further information is available from the Quebec City Award Secretary at the following address: William Moss, Archéologue principal, Hôtel de Ville, C.P. 700 Haute-Ville, Québec (Québec), Canada G1R 4S9. Telephone: 418.641.6411 ext, 2149; Fax 418.641.6455; email: william.moss@ville.quebec.qc.ca. Please visit the Society for Historical Archaeology web site for full information. 

Bourse de Québec

Le Bourse de Québec est accordée afin de promouvoir la participation d’étudiants de langue française au colloque annuel et aux activités de la Society for Historical Archaeology. La bourse correspond au montant des intérêts accumulés sur le capital initial dans le courant de l’année, le tout n’excédant pas $750.

Pour être éligible, le candidat doit être membre en règle de la SHA, être inscrit dans une université francophone et y préparer une thèse ou un mémoire en français. Enfin, il doit présenter, dans le cadre du colloque annuel de la SHA, une communication substantielle ou théorique.

Pour poser votre candidature, faites parvenir une lettre au secrétaire du comité de la Bourse de Québec. Cette lettre doit être accompagnée des documents suivants : une lettre de recommandation confidentielle de votre directeur de recherche, une preuve d’inscription à l’université, une copie de votre inscription préliminaire au colloque annuel, un résumé de votre communication (maximum de 500 mots) et une copie de votre curriculum vitae. Pour de plus amples renseignements, veuillez contacter le secrétaire du comité de la Bourse de Québec à l’adresse suivante : William Moss, Archéologue principal, Hôtel de Ville, C.P. 700 Haute-Ville, Québec (Québec), Canada G1R 4S9. Téléphone: 418.641.6411, poste 2149; Télécopie 418.641.6455; courriel: william.moss@ville.quebec.qc.ca. De plus amples renseignements sont disponibles sur la page web de la Society for Historical Archaeology.