2008 AIA Annual Meeting in Chicago

The 109th annual meeting of the AIA (held jointly with the American Philological Association) took place in Chicago from January 3rd-6th, 2008.  San Diego Society of the AIA President Elizabeth Pollard and VP/Program Chair Brad Kirkegaard attended as representatives of the San Diego Society.  As usual, the annual meeting was three straight days packed full of exciting sessions and productive meetings.

Two session highlights give a taste of the meetings.  Particularly interesting to our society, given Eugene Borza’s presentation to our society in Fall 2005 and Prof. Brad Cook’s in 2006, was the colloquium entitled “Chronology of the Royal Macedonian Tombs at Vergina.”  At this session, an international assemblage of Alexander scholars, including Borza, Elizabeth Carney, Antonis Bartsiokas, Susan Rotroff, and Olga Palagia discussed respectively the royal paraphernalia, marital relationships, skeletal remains, pottery and wall paintings in order to argue once and for all that Tomb II at Vergina is that of Philip III (Alexander the Great’s brother) and his warrior-princess wife Adea-Eurydike, and not that of Philip II and one of his ill-fated brides, as Manolis Andronicus claimed when the tombs were originally excavated several decades ago.  Another exciting session was the colloquium entitled “Agency and the Individual: Exploring Women in the Material Record of the Roman World.”  Stephanie Pryor, Mary Boatwright, Elizabeth Green, Susan Wood, and Sarah Bond presented papers about Queen Dynamis of the Bosporus, the Aedicula Faustinae at Rome, women at the Hadrian’s Wall fort of Vindolanda, the imagery of empress Sabina, and women patronesses in Roman North Africa, respectively.  This session of papers analyzed the  material record that documents a much more active role for women in Greco-Roman antiquity than is often assumed.

The annual meeting was not just an opportunity for learning new interpretations of old and new archaeological discoveries, but also a forum for accomplishing the important business of the society.  At the annual meeting of Council, reports were delivered by President Brian Rose, Executive Director Bonnie Clendenning, and Treasurer, B. Heidtke.  One intriguing action included a vote on the AIA’s Code of Professional Standards.  A vote on this code had been tabled last year due to a hotly debated clause dealing with archaeologists digging sites for professional gain.  Another vote made Harrison Ford (of Indiana Jones fame) an honorary trustee of the society.  Executive Director Clendenning shared with the council the national AIA’s goals for 2007-2013, including efforts to extend the impact of the AIA’s publications and of the annual meeting, to expand on-line educator lesson plans, to do more to help preserve archaeological sites, and to increase membership (in part by helping to strengthen local societies).   Our VP, Brad Kirkegaard, attended a meeting of the AIA Societies and Membership Committee.  This subcommittee discussed details of the national lecture program and outreach efforts of the national society (including reaching out to retirement communities).

The next annual meeting of the AIA will take place on January 8-11, 2009, in Philadelphia, PA.  If you cannot make it to that meeting, the national meeting will be back on the West Coast in 2010, at the Anaheim Marriott from January 7-10, 2010.

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