America for Bulgaria Foundation (ABF) Archaeological Program at the AIA-APA Conference in Chicago (January 2-5, 2014)
From January 2nd till January 5th this year Chicago hosted the annual joint meeting of the American Philological Association and the Archaeological Institute of America. This forum is a major event on the calendar of the international scientific community and is a place where the latest research in the field of archaeology is presented at lectures, workshops, seminars, and roundtable discussion sessions. More than 2,600 people attended the 115th AIA-APA conference despite the record cold temperatures and other weather-related challenges.
For a third year the joint archaeological program of the America for Bulgaria Foundation (ABF) and American Research Center in Sofia (ARCS), based at the Field museum, held the meeting of its Advisory Committee during this time. The members of the committee gathered together in Chicago to discuss the projects, submitted for the three funded areas: International Collaborative Archaeological and Bioarchaeological Research Program (ICAB), Site Preservation, Collections, and Museum Enhancement Program (SPCME) and the ABF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Archaeology at the Field Museum (PF). All ABF Advisory Committee members agreed that the quality of the proposals this year was particularly high and expressed their opinion that this was the result of both ARCS and ABF program staff’s efforts in advertising and developing the program.
The Field Museum – ARCS team advertised the program with a table at the AIA – APA Exhibit Hall at the Hyatte hotel. The various promotional materials focused on the success of this initiative, showcasing the projects funded in the 5 years, since the program came into existence. The information that was presented drew attention to the different archaeological and anthropological opportunities currently available through the program, developed by the Field Museum and the American Research Center in Sofia and supported by the America for Bulgaria Foundation. The ABF postdoctoral fellow, Petranka Nedlecheva-Megalla and Mina Megalla, volunteer at the program, provided the public with a lot of useful information and resources regarding its different events and activities.
The Archaeological Program was also promoted at a reception, which was held at the Field Museum. The new AAGOB’s program assistant, Dr. Zlatina Kostov and the new administrator of the US ARCS office, Dr. Dilyana Ivanova welcomed guests from the USA, Canada, Brazil, Greece, Hungary, Turkey, Croatia and Bulgaria, as well as representatives of The Field Museum, members of ARCS Board of Trustees, staff and management in the magnificent Founders’ Room. The Director of the ABF Archaeological Program, Dr. William Parkinson and the Director of ARCS, Eric de Sena greeted the archaeologists from all over the world who gathered together to acknowledge the success of the program. The members of the ABF – ARCS team celebrated what they have accomplished in such a short time: supporting archaeological research in Bulgaria, working on the preservation of Bulgarian cultural heritage, reaching out to the Bulgarian community in Chicago, and stimulating cultural tourism in Bulgaria.