Celebrate Louisiana’s rich cultural heritage during Archaeology Month

by Maegan A. Smith, Louisiana Division of Archaeology Education and Outreach Coordinator

This story appeared in the October issue of PRC’s Preservation in Print magazine. Interested in getting more preservation stories like this delivered to your door? Become a member of the PRC for a subscription!

October is Louisiana Archaeology Month, an exciting time filled with statewide programs to encourage residents and visitors to learn more about the archaeology and history of the state and to protect, preserve and enjoy these important resources of our rich cultural heritage. Each year, Louisiana celebrates archaeology throughout October, which also coincides with International Archaeology Day on the third Saturday of the month.

The state officially began celebrating Louisiana archaeology with a week-long program in 1988; that expanded in 2008 to the full month to accommodate the many programs and participating communities across the state. Today, Louisiana is one of 43 states to have an Archaeology Month celebration.

Last year, programs included the unveiling of the 2021 Archaeology Month poster, presentations for all ages, and archaeology trivia nights across the state. This year, Louisiana Archaeology Month welcomes new and returning hosts for programs that range from archaeology days, special presentations, and artifact identification to trivia nights and craft activities, such as a Poverty Point Object Craft Day at Calcasieu Parish Public Library: Carnegie Memorial Branch. Visit the 2022 Archaeology Month interactive map and calendar to find programs across the state on the Archaeology Month page of the Division of Archaeology’s website, crt.state.la.us/cultural-development/archaeology, under Discover Archaeology. To send an event for inclusion on the calendar, fill out the form located on the Archaeology Month page.

Some of the Louisiana Archaeology Month programs include #ArchAtcha, which signify a collaboration with the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area. Along with Louisiana Archaeology Month, October also is Atchafalaya Month, and the #ArchAtcha programs promote our cultural heritage in and around the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area. To learn more about the ANHA, visit atchafalaya.org.

Along with coordinating programs and events across the state, the Louisiana Archaeology Month celebration features a poster highlighting an aspect of the state’s rich cultural heritage. The 2022 poster design by Megan Barras was in collaboration with the United Houma Nation and the Houma Language Project. The poster includes artifacts from the Uma’ damáha’ tcetu’ (Grand Houmas Village) collection housed at the Louisiana Division of Archaeology Curation Facility. Located in current-day Ascension Parish, this recorded archaeological site is one of several known historic settlements of the United Houma Nation of Louisiana. Historic maps and documents, as well as the artifacts themselves, date this site to the 1700s. Learn more about the United Houma Nation and its efforts to preserve and promote cultural heritage at unitedhoumanation.org.

Follow the Division of Archaeology on social media @LouisianaArchaeology and
@LouisianaOfficeofCulturalDevelopment for #LouisianaArchaeology and
#LouisianaArchaeologyMonth updates during October and through the
rest of the year. Welcome to 2022 Louisiana Archaeology Month.