Jordan Ralph and Andrew Wilkinson
The Seventh World Archaeological Congress was held in the Middle East recently to great success. Around 900 delegates attended this international meeting in Jordan, 400 of which were sponsored by the WAC organisation itself. In addition to those that were physically present, another 600 had digital access to the presentations due to the ArchSoc/WAC initiative: WAC-7 Online. Two hundred people were granted sponsored access to WAC-7 Online from the funds raised through the Pozible crowd-funding initiative, which achieved over AU$17,000.
The Flinders Archaeological Society played a major role in the running of the conference, as well as pre- and post-conference planning, organisation and logistics. The 25 Flinders Archaeology and Flinders ArchSoc volunteers worked side-by-side with the volunteers from the WAC Student Committee and Jordanian students. This volunteer work, while stressful to say the least, allowed many of us to forge new friendships and become a greater, global family of archaeology students. On a personal note, we want to thank the volunteers from Flinders. Without them (armed with their bright red ArchSoc/WAC-7 t-shirts), the conference would not have run so smoothly.
Of course there are many stories to come out of WAC-7, so we won’t relay them here. Instead, to highlight the intensity and camaraderie of the work the team did, it must be said that we worked around the clock. We were meeting people at the airport with our fellow volunteers 24 hours a day for the three days before the conference. We had people that refused to sleep because more work had to be done and there were others that refused to stop working because some had not slept in 39 hours. Collectively we would have only seen a handful of conference papers and not much sleep every night, but no one was bitter; it didn’t matter, there was work to be done and we all had a great time!
There is something about Flinders Archaeology that, from our point of view, no other university has; its students are part of a community that is family-like in many ways and they unite to solve problems and sacrifice their own needs and wishes without complaint to ensure tasks are carried out properly and efficiently. We get the job done. There is no doubt that the Flinders Archaeological Society plays a major role in this phenomenon, and the work that we do epitomises what ArchSoc is all about.
Finally, a huge thank you to the Flinders Archaeology/Flinders ArchSoc volunteers:
A special thank you must go to Neale Draper and Australian Cultural Heritage Management for helping us get to the conference.