MKE Archaeology Fair to take visitors back in time

You don’t need a time machine to travel to distant lands, uncover ruins of ancient temples or witness epic battles, instead, you can explore the fifth annual Milwaukee Archaeology Fair Saturday and Sunday at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Produced by the museum and the Archaeological Institute of America – Milwaukee Chapter, the fair is free with museum admission and runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Lisa Ponto, MPM’s public programs coordinator, said the main purpose of the fair is to attract and educate the public about the topics within archaeology.

“We get people from all over the state and other states to come as presenters and to talk about their work,” Ponto said. “Visitors get to really see what archaeologists do and their careers and learn more about their topics they are doing research on.”

The fair includes discussion sessions with professional speakers in archaeology and other fields, including some Marquette professors and students. Lectures topics will range from medieval times to early Wisconsin history and interactive activities.

“We have a number of re-enactors, “ Ponto said. “They’re portraying ancient Greek, Romans and early settlers of the state.”

Since the fair has no set route, participants have the liberty to explore the museum and see whatever features interest them most.

“I think a lot of Marquette students are probably life-long learners and want to keep at it and pursue a graduate degree in some of these areas,” Ponto said. “So I think Marquette students would enjoy talking to people their own age who are doing research.”

In addition to students who are confident in their choice of major, Ponto suggested students who are unsure of what to study attend the fair for potential inspiration about a future career field.

“I just think it’s a really unique event,” she said, “so I’ve always enjoyed coordinating something that gets people excited about archaeology, history and seeing the guests do some hands-on activities. It’s such a unique thing for our museum to host every single year, and it’s only done once a year. It’s a unique opportunity to come here and see all these people in one place.”