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Celebrating 25 Years of LAW

Updated: Jul 7, 2019

Friday, September 20, 2013

11:30 am EST

Gladie Cultural-Environmental Learning Center

The LAW Steering Committee invited government officials, school administrators, and others to celebrate our 25th Anniversary. Several individuals joined us to take a special tour, watch school children interact with demonstrators, and enjoy the cultural and natural wonders of the Gorge.

Tim Eling of the US Forest Service (far left) and Living Archaeology Weekend Steering Committee member Gwynn Henderson (green vest) welcomed guests to the 2013 event on Friday. Serena Bowen (left) is Executive Director of the Powell County Tourism Commission. Also representing Powell County was Judge Executive James Anderson (center). Helen Danser (right) is the Chairperson of the Kentucky Native American Heritage Commission, a LAW sponsor.

Kentucky Heritage Council Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Officer Craig Potts (center) lent a hand at the Gladie Cabin during his visit to Living Archaeology Weekend 2013. On Friday he assisted Jill Howe (left) in demonstrating pioneer techniques for making roof shingles, such as those topping Gladie Cabin, for a group of school children. The Kentucky Heritage Council is a long-time supporter of Living Archaeology Weekend.

Introducing Living Archaeology Weekend

David Dearing instructed students in hand-powered pioneer corn shelling and grinding technology at LAW 2013.

Living Archaeology Weekend is a free, annual, two-day public outreach event held at Gladie in the Red River Gorge of eastern Kentucky. One of few public archaeology education programs of its magnitude in Kentucky, LAW offers school children and the general public a variety of educational activities in American Indian and pioneer lifeways, archaeological interpretation, and site preservation.

This nationally recognized program was honored in 2007 with the USFS Southern Region Forest Service Interpreter/Conservation Educator of the Year Award for Johnny Faulkner. In 2014 LAW won the Edith S. Bingham Award for Excellence in Preservation Education, and in 2015 the LAW Steering Committee won the Ida B. Willis Service to Preservation award..

Over its 25-year history, LAW has served about 35,000 visitors. The Friday program is reserved for 800-1400 local school children, teachers, aides, and chaperones from Bath, Breathitt, Estill, Menifee, Magoffin, Powell, Rowan, Wolfe, and other counties. The Saturday program is open to the general public, with about 1000 to 1500 people from Kentucky, other states, and other countries attending annually. Educational materials developed by the LAW Steering Committee extend the event's reach to a larger audience throughout the year.

LAW's Educational Goals

Fishing tackle displayed at LAW 2013.

Living Archaeology Weekend's activities are guided by three educational goals. After attending Living Archaeology Weekend, students, teachers, and the general public will understand that ...

  • Native peoples who lived in the Red River Gorge had needs similar to ours: food, clothing, and shelter, as well as families, government, trade, art, and beliefs. They accomplished great things!

  • Historic period settlers used new but parallel technologies to address similar needs, as they developed farms, industries, and communities in the Red River Gorge.

  • We all have a responsibility to preserve the places in the Red River Gorge where these past people left behind the traces of their ways of life.

Anniversary Celebration Schedule

Roberta Burnes demonstrates making cordage and weaving cordage into foot gear at LAW 2013.

Guests of the LAW 25th Anniversary Celebration arrived to a beautiful day and an event full of engaged fifth-graders at Living Archaeology Weekend. After a brief introduction to the event, guests enjoyed pioneer foods that are featured in the LAW demonstrations. Members of the LAW Steering Committee led guests on a guided tour of the native and pioneer demonstration areas. They tried the hands-on activities at many of the demonstration booths and to interacted with the demonstrators, teachers, school children, and event volunteers. The group discussed the history and mission of the event, the audiences targeted, educational materials developed to support the event, collaborations and partnerships, sponsors, logistics, and volunteers. The guests shared great ideas for improving the event.

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