Who: Kelly Cannon-Miller is executive director of the Deschutes Historical Museum, where the Archaeology Roadshow will visit from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The free event, organized by Portland State University, features hands-on activities, and bona fide archaeologists sharing their knowledge. Contact: 541-389-1813.
Q: How did Archaeology Roadshow end up coming to town?
A: Archaeology Roadshow ended up coming to town because I was on the Oregon Encyclopedia Board with the Public Information Officer from the state BLM office. He was talking about their involvement in Archaeology Roadshow in both Portland and then for three years it’s been in Burns. They’ve done the Harney County one. I said, “We need that in Central Oregon. Everyone in our part of the world would be interested in that.” That was two years ago, so it was too late to think about it that year. We put it on the calendar for 2019, and have been working on it for the last year and a half, thinking about, “How can we bring Archaeology Roadshow here?”
Q: What kind of things can people expect there?
A: (It’s) a project led by Portland State University and the anthropology department there, in partnership with most of the state agencies — BLM, Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife. So it’s a chance for a couple of things. One that’s really exciting to me is that it’s a chance for graduate students in archaeology to put up booths and talk about to the public about their research. So it’s a chance for people to actually meet archaeology students and find out what projects they’re working on around the state — real hands-on archaeology and the real learning that is happening with that. And so there are students who are working on language. There are students who are working on pottery. There’s a student who, of course, because it’s Oregon, is working on beer.
A: Yeah. So that’s the exciting thing to me. Archaeology is still a very living, thriving area of research and scientific inquiry. And so it’s a chance for people to interact with that. But then we also have a lot of really fun, hands-on kids’ activities to get people excited about that, too.
Q: It’s not going to be Indiana Jones-type stuff?
A: This is not, but you can throw an atlatl (ancient spear-throwing technology for greater distance and velocity). But not Indiana Jones-style archaeology.
Q: “It belongs in a museum.”
A: “This belongs in a museum.” Which, fortunately, we are a museum. So if anything comes in like that, they can just walk it in the door, and we can complete that circle.
Q: Is there anything else we should mention? It’s free, right?
A: It is free. We’re being funded generously with a grant from the Deschutes Cultural Coalition to bring the event here this year. Just knowing that there’s a really great kids’ scavenger hunt. The kids check in at the activity table and get their card and are able to go around to each of the booths and interact with it and then turn it back in for a prize. And it’s a wide range of archaeological topics. There’s historical archaeology through pre-history. It will be a really good time.
— David Jasper, The Bulletin