Throughout the year, FOSA participates in various public events run by local historical societies and archaeology-
The Outreach Program's mission is to enhance the public's awareness of the importance of archaeology, as a way of understanding where we've come from, both historically and prehistorically, by examining and interpreting artifacts and records and then presenting them to the public.
In keeping with the event themes such as Native American, Historic, Marine, and Industrial archaeology, FOSA presents informative "hands on" displays, allowing the public to handle artifacts that are typically only viewable under closed glass cases.
Because archaeology encompasses a wide range of sciences and disciplines, FOSA exhibits appeal to people of all ages and with diverse interests.
Most of all, these events provide an opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences, and help spread our enthusiasm for archaeology.
Outreach not only involves presenting displays on our display table. It's also helping students and adults who are participating in the Student and Adult Field Schools, which are discussed in the Adult Field School and the Student Field School sections of the Digs: Site Activities page of this web site. A detailed knowledge archaeological techniques isn't needed. (Don't know how to excavate a site? Come out and we'll teach you!) Even if you only participate in the site-preparation and clean-up work, spending the rest of your time observing and learning, the time spent is both helpful and worthwhile to all involved.
For people interested in helping man our display tables, we emphasize that it's not necessary to volunteer to be present for the entire period. If it's an all-day event and you can only help out for an hour or so, that's fine. And if you're unfamiliar with a particular portion of the exhibit, there will always be someone there to help you out or to explain its background. Which makes it both a fun and an educational experience for everyone involved, on both sides of the display table!
And at times, FOSA members will be invited to events such as a recent "Geology Walk," which may or may not be open to the public but to which your friends are nevertheless invited. Events like these will generally include both the State Archaeologist and others (such as Retired Connecticut State Geologist Ralph Lewis, in this example) who are knowledgeable in the subject matter. Again, a fun and learning experience for all, in which FOSA and Connecticut archaeology are part of the story and event.
Note: At many events where Outreach exhibits are set up, there will be a segment devoted to the atlatl, an ancient spear-throwing device, which founding member Gary Nolf is a nationally renowned expert at. For additional information on the atlatl, please click Atlatl article for an article in wikipedia which gives a good introduction to the device, as well as background information and additional sites to check.
Below are photographs taken from a number of Outreach displays and events. Click any of them in order to see their larger images and to either "walk" through them or view a slideshow of them. Photos in this set were taken by John Spaulding and Ken & Bonnie Beatrice.