Archaeological Society offers week full of pictographs, Senet, lectures

Courtesy Photo / Ashley Taylor
Student reconstruct pottery during an Archeology Week event

Courtesy Photo / Ashley Taylor Student reconstruct pottery during an Archeology Week event

Maya Soter

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Students and faculty — prepare to go back in time this week with the Archaeological Society of Grand Valley State University.

The second-annual Archaeology Week will take place from today through Friday.

Multiple lectures and demonstrations will be given by professors within the interdisciplinary program of the Archaeology minor on campus. Activities and events to add entertainment will also be held through the week.

“I hope that the university in general are aware of the events and what’s going on with this group as well as the faculty and students involved in Archaeology,” said Archaeological Society adviser Melissa Morison.

Morison has been the advisor for the two years the club has been active. In preparing for Archaeology week, Morison has been available for the students for encouragement and extra help on everything from planning events to helping students to take part with the research presentations.

“The planning of a whole week of events speaks to the dedication of these students,” she said.

Archaeology Society President Ashley Taylor and her fellow members have been planning the week-long event since the beginning of last semester.

“It’s been a big project,” she said. “I wanted to get all of the departments from the Archaeological minor involved, including faculty and students. Even my family has been helping me build parts for the Paleo-Olympics.”

The Paleo-Olympics will be held on Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Kirkhof Center lawn. As the biggest event of the week, the Olympics will be the culmination of all week’s festivities.

They will involve numerous activities and games. Some of the activities include pictograph making with a professor, a Mesoamerican ball game that GVSU President Thomas J. Haas participated in last year, a Hunter-Gatherer relay race, an Ancient Egyptian game Senet, as well as basket weaving, cave wall signing, presentations and readings.

Taylor said she excited for the Mesoamerican ball game.

“You can only use your hips to hit the ball and you have to keep the ball in play the entire time while trying to shoot it into about nine-foot high hoops,” she said.

Adjunct Anthropology professor Angela Reed is heading the cave wall signing for the Paleo-Olympics. The cave art is a hands-on project in which people can participate by dipping their hands in paint and placing the print on the wall.

“We’re doing the cave wall painting in the relief style, the most common kind of art for cave painting,” she said. “I will be handling this demonstration as well as distributing information sheets to participants.”

Planners behind the event said they hope the Paleo-Olympics on Friday and the other events for Archaeological week will prove to be fun, interesting, different and educational for students not familiar with archaeology.

“I want other students to gain from the Paleo-Olympics experience that they’re not used to, as well as become more aware of our society on campus and the historical aspects of it,” Taylor said.

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