With perhaps the exception of the high school teacher, no figure from the world of academics is as popular as the archaeologist. From 1 p.m. until 4 p.m., visitors to Lowe Mill at 2211 Seminole Drive will have the opportunity to see first hand just what archaeology is all about. October 19th is International Archaeology Day and Lowe Mill has as series of free events to celebrate.
International Archaeology Day is a celebration of the quest to find the answers about the distant, and sometimes not so distant, past. Local archaeological societies, like the North Alabama chapter of the Alabama Archaeological Society, host community events designed to give the public the opportunity to go behind the scenes and watch the hard work that is excavation. But archaeology is fun too! According to the event announcement on Lowe Mill's site, today's events will include "tours of the Tennessee Valley Archaeological Research lab facilities, artifact identification, flintknapping demos, [and] atl-atl (spearthrower) competitions." Amateur archaeologists are encouraged to bring their finds to the event for identification by professional archaeologists from the Tennessee Valley Authority and Redstone Arsenal. Oakville Indian Mounds Museum will also be on hand to discuss the lives of the Creek, Shawnee, Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Yuchi peoples who lived in this region. There will be a variety of activities for children, including those offered by Huntsville City Schools Earthscope. Should you wish to continue the learning, Jeannine Windham of New South Associates, Inc. will speak about the diets of ancient Tennessee Valley residents at 7 p.m. at Wilson Hall Theatre on the University of Alabama in Huntsville campus. Windham is a registered professional archaeologist who earned her Master of Arts degree in Archaeology from the University of Tennessee -- Knoxville.
Pop culture's love of archaeology can likely be dated to the discovery of the tomb of Egyptian King Tutankhamun in 1922 by Howard Carter. For adventurers with archaeological leanings, we have Dr. Henry Jones, Jr., Daniel Jackson, and Flynn Carsen. Real life archaeologists like Zahi Hawass and William M. Kelso keep archaeology in the news and in the public eye.