America for Bulgaria Foundation (ABF) Archaeological Program at the AIA-APA Conference in Seattle (January 2-6, 2013)

The team of the America for Bulgaria Foundation (ABF) Archaeological Program at the Anthropology Department of The Field Museum participated in the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America and the American Philological Association (AIA-APA) in Seattle from January 2-6. The team helps to administer a program at the museum called Archaeological and Anthropological Grant Opportunities in Bulgaria (AAGOB), and it works in partnership with staff at the American Research Center in Sofia. Together, both teams comprise the ABF Joint Archaeological Program.

The first event, organized by the Joint Archaeological Program, was the 4th Annual Archaeological Advisory Meeting. During the meeting, the members of the Advisory Committee discussed the proposals submitted for the 2013 ABF archaeological grant program, including the International Collaborative Archaeological and Bioarchaeological Research Program (ICAB), the Site Preservation, Collections, and Museum Enhancement Program (SPCME), the Collaborative High-Risk Archaeological Research Program (HRAR), and the ABF Postdoctoral Fellowship in Archaeology at the Field Museum (PF). The committee reviewed the high volume of requests for support in 2013 and made its funding recommendations on the applications. The committee’s decisions will be announced soon by way of notification letters sent to the applicants.

On January 4, the 2012-2013 ABF Postdoctoral Fellow in Archaeology at The Field Museum, Shannon Martino, gave her paper entitled, "Evidence of Eastern Balkan Material Culture at İkiztepe. Before the Early Bronze Age." She presented an in-depth examination of the material culture from İkiztepe, north-central Anatolia, and how this material culture illustrates the predominance of Balkan types by the beginning of the Early Bronze Age. The wealth of evidence presented in her paper shows that there was a movement of people, either en masse or little by little, from the Balkans to north-central Anatolia before the Early Bronze Age.

The team also presented the Joint Archaeological Program in the AIA-APA Exhibit Hall, with a table displaying promotional materials of the AAGOB and the American Research Center in Sofia. The materials on the exhibit table explained the variety of funded projects over the past three years and the existing grant opportunities in archaeology through the Joint Archaeological Program. It also promoted the archaeological field school and fellowship in Humanities developed by the American Research Center in Sofia.

The last event arranged by the Joint Archaeological Program team was an ABF Archaeological Program Reception, held in a local Seattle brewery called Gordon Biersch. The Reception was held on Saturday, January 6. It was well attended by representatives of The Field Museum, ARCS staff members and management, ARCS Board of Trustees members, and archaeologists from the USA, Canada, Hungary and Bulgaria. 

The goal of the event was to promote the America for Bulgaria Foundation’s ongoing and generous support of archaeology and the humanities in Bulgaria and the role of the foundation, the American Research Center in Sofia, and The Field Museum as mediums for the development of international collaboration in humanities, archaeological infrastructure, and local tourism in Bulgaria.