Another momentous and violently suppressed protest occurred ten days before the opening of the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. The world, however, has hardly any memories of what happened during the brutal and cowardly massacre of an unknown number of students at Tlatelolco, the open market where Conquistador Pedro de Alvarado massacred Aztecs in 1521.
For attendees of the AAA Annual Meeting in San José, the reference to smoke is apropos. We all saw and felt the cloud of nearby disaster. Smoke is a cloud, dimming vision and making it hard to breathe deeply. How was it possible to pass from venue to venue, and session to business meeting to roundtable with that cloud hanging over us all?
The Archaeology Division of the AAA received a Community Engagement grant from the AAA Section Assembly Executive Committee to help support a two-part event that will take place at the Annual Meeting and at the adjacent Tech Museum of Innovation.
The revolution in information and communications technologies, which had so much promise for broadening access and participation in scholarship, certainly seems much darker and more ominous now. Social media platforms have been weaponized to subvert democracies and weirdly globalize local nationalisms.
Most people associate archaeology with the past: learning about what happened in the past, preserving remains of the past, and keeping both the knowledge and artifacts safe for future generations.