Virtual archaeology events set to bring Living Archaeology Weekend to wider public

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Forest Service
Photo Courtesy: MGN Online

WINCHESTER, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – The Living Archaeology Weekend (LAW) steering committee will unveil the first of their virtual LAW offerings on Saturday, Sept. 18 as part of the first Virtual Living Archaeology Weekend.

These two videos are the first in several digital resources the LAW steering committee plans to provide as a way to fulfill its mission to educate and inform in a socially-distanced environment.

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For over 30 years, the U.S. Forest Service has partnered with the Kentucky Organization of Professional Archaeologists and the Kentucky Archaeological Survey to bring Kentucky’s rich cultural past to life.

Normally, the September event takes place at the Gladie Visitor Center in the Red River Gorge. Artisans, tribal members, historians, and specialists provide high-quality, interactive demonstrations on American Indian and pioneer technologies to thousands of students and their families.

When the 2020 event was cancelled, the LAW steering committee decided to devote the event funds to creating a series of digital resources that would bring the LAW experience to students across Kentucky without the risks of an in-person event.

“We had been talking about ways to expand the event and make the entire experience more accessible for a while now,” said Daniel Boone National Forest Heritage Program Manager and LAW committee member Wayna (Roach) Adams. “With the cancellation of the in-person event, the committee just had added incentive and capacity to explore a virtual Living Archaeology Weekend.”

The first of these virtual offerings is a video series created in consultation with Voyageur Media Group, Inc. of Cincinnati, OH.  The series consists of short videos presenting the background, process, and importance of ancient and historic technologies as demonstrated by LAW scholars and experts.

The series also features a companion website with informational links, demonstrator profiles, and educational materials designed for use in classrooms and other instructional contexts.

The first two videos in this series, “American Indian Textiles” and ‘Pioneer Textiles,” will be released at a live discussion on Saturday 18, 2021. The public is invited to join the 10 a.m. or 5:00 p.m. virtual LAW events and learn from veteran LAW demonstrators like Christina Pappas, an archaeologist and textiles specialist; Choogie Kingfisher, a storyteller and member of the Cherokee Nation; and JoAnn Oborski, a spinner and weaver.

“We hope that this video series isn’t the last of our virtual offerings,” said Adams. “While the hands-on aspect of the event can’t be replaced, the in-person event was always limited to schools or families that could make the trip to the Red River Gorge. Even as times change there will always be a need for virtual resources, like the video series or information hosted on the website, that make our heritage accessible across the region.”

To attend the virtual Living Archaeology Weekend event, see https://fb.me/e/192RKjV5d

You can access additional information and learning resources from LAW at https://www.livingarchaeologyweekend.org/