Open House Excitement

One visitor summed up the energy at the event: "You rock at Cotsen. It was great meeting the researchers and students. Your participation during Alumni Day was definitely one of the best. So interactive!"

Holding the annual Open House on Alumni day really contributed to the size of the crowd, according to Cotsen Director of Development Michelle Jacobson. "We were one of the top ten activities for pre-registration," she added.

The theme this year was "Tools and Technology: Ancient and Modern," with demonstrations of the  tools archaeologists use to study ancient technology. After an overview of the breadth of Cotsen research and a brief presentation by Cotsen Director Willeke Wendrich on what to expect during the tour, visitors were given a map of the labs. Each of the 20 open labs had exhibits and interactive displays. At every lab, attendees could collect a sticker, and those with stickers from all of the labs were given a prize when they finished their tour. There were 23 recipients, according to Jacobson.

The Hands-on Zone was particularly popular, she noted. Special enthusiasts were found at the virtual  reality demonstration (where there was a line all day), a simulated excavation run by graduate students, and the rock art activities, as well as at demonstrations of beading and weaving. Tours ran from 12:30 to 4 p.m., and people were actually turned away at the end of the day. In addition, a dozen graduate students gave presentations on their research. The average visit was about two hours, Jacobson estimated.

Another highlight was the launch of Teen Friends of Archaeology, founded by Sebastian Bader, 15, who has been involved with the Cotsen since the age of 11.

 For more information about the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology events or to be added to the mailing list, please contact Michelle Jacobson,