Wyoming Archaeology Awareness Month (WAAM) is celebrated annually in September. WAAM consists of a series of statewide activities and programs devoted to discussing archaeological issues and to educating the public about the importance of preserving and protecting Wyoming’s archaeological heritage. The keystones of WAAM include the Wyoming Archaeology Fair, the George C. Frison Institute Speaker, and the Wyoming Archaeology Month Poster.
The Wyoming Archaeology Fair is hosted by Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources in partnership with the the George C. Frison Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Wyoming Association of Professional Archaeologists, the Wyoming Archaeological Society, the Wyoming Army National Guard, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, TRC Environmental Services, and the University of Wyoming Department of Anthropology.
The event takes place in early September at the Wyoming Territorial Prison State Historic Site in Laramie. The Fair aims to educate the public about Wyoming’s historic and prehistoric past as well as to raise awareness about issues related to the preservation and stewardship of the state’s archaeological resources all while providing a fun and educational experience. Throughout the day, attendees have the opportunity to meet local archaeologists, ask questions, find answers, and get “hands-on” with these experts. The event is free and open to the public.
Performances at the Fair have included the Wind River Dancers, a Native American storyteller, Buffalo Bill Boycott, and traditional 19th century blacksmithing demonstrations by David Osmundsen. We also have dozens of archaeologists from across Wyoming in attendance. These experts introduce the public to a range of activities including flint knapping, atlatl throwing, pottery making, hide painting, cordage making, soapstone carving activities, and more.
Every September the George C. Frison Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology in partnership with the Wyoming Association of Professional Archaeologists, and the State Historic Preservation Office sponsor a public lecture at the University of Wyoming. The lecture is held near the end of September and features a prominent archaeologist discussing their recent archaeological research. Lecture topics are geared towards a general audience and free and open to the public.
For more information on the Frison Institute or the Lecture series click here.
The University of Wyoming Archaeological Repository (UWAR) constructs an exhibit for the public during Archaeology Awareness Month using items from its collections. The display highlights and demonstrates the site, theme, or topic on the Archaeology Awareness Month poster. Located in Cheyenne in the lobby of the Barrett Building outside the entryway to the State Museum, the UWAR exhibit is available for viewing for an entire year
The annual WAAM poster is produced by Judy Wolf of the State Historic Preservation Office and distributed statewide, nationally, and internationally to more than 5,000 people and organizations to announce Wyoming Archaeology Awareness Month. Wyoming posters have been honored with numerous awards in the State Archaeology Week Poster Contest sponsored by the Society for American Archaeology’s Public Education Committee and Council of Affiliated Societies.
Wyoming Archaeology Awareness Month posters are available free of charge and may be picked up at:
State Historic Preservation Office Barrett Building, 3rd floor
2301 Central Ave. In Cheyenne
Anthropology Building 12th and Lewis
Limit one poster per person. Posters produced between 2007 through 2015 are available.
If you would like a poster mailed to you, a $12.00 charge is necessary to cover mailing costs. Please add $2.00 for each additional poster requested. For example, if you wish to receive the 2015 and 2014 posters, the mailing charge is $14.00.
Send your request along with a check or money order payable to “Wyoming Archaeology Month” and your name and mailing address to:
ATTN: Judy Wolf
State Historic Preservation Office
Dept. 3431, 1000 E. University Ave.
Laramie, WY 82071