About International Archaeology Day
International Archaeology Day is held each year on the third Saturday of October.
International Archaeology Day is a celebration of archaeology and the thrill of discovery. Every October the AIA and archaeological organizations across the United States, Canada, and abroad present archaeological programs and activities for people of all ages and interests. Whether it is a family-friendly archaeology fair, a guided tour of a local archaeological site, a simulated dig, a lecture or a classroom visit from an archaeologist, the interactive, hands-on International Archaeology Day programs provide the chance to indulge your inner Indiana Jones.
The first Archaeology Day was celebrated around the world in 2011 as National Archaeology Day. Despite a late start in organizing the event in 2011 and fairly limited resources, over 115 programs were associated with the first Archaeology Day. Fourteen groups officially joined as Supporting Organizations. These ranged from large national organizations like the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA), and the American Anthropological Association (AAA) to small county museums and local libraries. Over eighty AIA Local Societies joined the celebration. In all, almost 15,000 people participated in the inaugural event.
Participation in the first National Archaeology Day covered 37 U.S. states, 4 Canadian Provinces, and included an event in the United Kingdom.
The event grew significantly in its second year, due in part to an earlier start on organizing. In 2012, over 60,000 people participated in approximately 275 events and we had 125 Collaborating Organizations.
In 2012, participation spread to include events in 49 U.S. States, eight Canadian Provinces, Australia, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, and the United Arab Emirates.
By 2013, the name of the event was changed to International Archaeology Day to better reflect the worldwide participation than in previous years. 375 events were planned and our list of Collaborating Organizations swelled to 188. Despite a few larger events being canceled due to a sixteen day shutdown of the U.S. government, approximately 75,000 people participated in events in 2013.
In 2013, nine new countries were added to the growing number of places around the world celebrating Archaeology Day.