Home Feature ARCHAIC revitalized after COVID-19, connects those interested in archaeology, anthropology

ARCHAIC revitalized after COVID-19, connects those interested in archaeology, anthropology

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The Anthropology and Archaeology Interest Club (ARCHAIC) is a Registered Student Organization (RSO) at the University of Indianapolis for students that have an interest in archaeology, anthropology, history, culture and more, said junior history major and club Vice President Abigail Gratzol. 

The club was originally founded in 2001 and has been active since. However, Interim Faculty Sponsor of ARCHAIC and Chair of the Department of Anthropology Christopher Schmidt said that ARCHAIC is in its beginning stages of resurgence for the 2022-2023 school year. Schmidt said the club faced a period of dormancy with being forced to have virtual meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re sort of coming out of a lull period, as I suspect some [other RSOs] are as well,” Schmidt said. “We really are trying to get a number of events set up for the remainder of the year.”

ARCHAIC elected a new board recently and had their first meeting on Oct. 12. The club plans to have their meetings be casual and engaging with lots of fun activities, Gratzol said. 

ARCHAIC’s next meeting, where they will be breaking plates and piecing them back together, is planned for Nov. 16 at 6:00 p.m., according to a post by the club’s Instagram account from Nov. 1. The process of piecing together pottery is a prominent practice in archaeology, and this activity will help members have an experience similar to one they may have in a professional lab, Gratzol said. Students in the anthropology classes ANTH 375 and ANTH 382 will be able earn lab hours for attending the meeting along with ANTH 110 students having the opportunity to earn extra credit, according to the club’s post. 

 ARCHAIC is also looking to have a “Taste the World” activity during a future meeting where members can try foods from around the globe and connect with different cultures, Gratzol said. They are also thinking about hosting club field trips outside of the university, much like the club did in the past, Schmidt said

“I’m going to try to help them coordinate trips to archaeological sites,” Schmidt said. “One site that I’m hoping we can get to before the semester is over is Cahokia in east St. Louis, MO. We’re also looking at a trip to the Field Museum in Chicago.”

Gratzol said there is a possibility for both interdisciplinary connections and personal relationships through ARCHAIC and the interest in anthropology. 

 “I want more people to think about how interconnected all of the different fields of study that we have are, because anthropology is the study of humans, basically,” Gratzol said. “And everything that we do here at school is studying humans… I’d [also] like for [ARCHAIC] to create another way for people who have the same interests to get together and have support academically and socially. It’s like a support system.”

Schmidt said he hopes that ARCHAIC can act as a bridge between anthropology and archaeology students and the rest of UIndy’s campus. He said that the club could bring opportunities for students to connect to each other through personal narratives. 

“I really do think [campus connection is] an important thing for an institution like UIndy,” Schmidt said. “… Sharing our story, and then hearing other people’s stories… anthropology is about people. And so, everybody contributes… Every story is important. Every personal history is important.”Any UIndy student is welcome to join the club, said Gratzol. To find information regarding ARCHAIC, Gratzol said to follow the club’s Instagram account, @uindyarchaic, for up-to-date meeting schedule information and current happenings in the fields of archaeology and anthropology. Meetings currently take place and are expected to stay in the Material Culture Lab in the basement of Good Hall, according to Gratzol.

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