Updated: Apr 9
April 3rd 2023
Written by: Seniha Inceoz
We woke up on day 5 to pack up and hit the road. We ate the last of our Voodoo doughnuts, checked out of our room, and said our goodbyes. Levi stayed an extra few hours to attend a symposium on The Life and Death in Medieval Poland, then returned later with a couple of other SFU folks. They mentioned that while the symposium itself was great, they were surprised to see how many people weren’t there for the last day.
We spent our drive back to Vancouver sharing the highs and lows of our time at the SAAs. The hours went by quicker than we expected with the chats, and the border was a breeze.
Here are some of the highlights:
Connecting with and getting to know students with different interests (we learned about archaeomusicology from our new friend Juan! (@jargotti29 on Insta))
Getting the opportunity to talk to and learn from people in the field!
Meeting some of the scholars whose work we’ve read about through our degrees.
Collecting swag and contact information at the CRM expo.
Buying books at sweet discounted prices!
Meeting & petting archaeologist sniffer dogs!
Some lows worth mentioning:
Most of the food options around the convention centre were just fast food which wasn’t ideal.
Many of the events and presentations we really wanted to go to were scheduled at the same time, so we ended up running around quite a bit.
It got quite rainy in Portland, but if you’re from Vancouver that is less intimidating.
There was less on European archaeology than some of us would have expected.
All in all, we had a great time at the 88th SAA conference. It helped us shape our academic and career plans for the future and gave us a chance to connect with people who could support us in achieving them. We made friends, connections, and memories throughout the days.
The best advice I could give a first-time attendee would be to make a plan, but not commit to it too strictly. There are a lot of cool and interesting symposiums, forums, and presentations, some of which you will inevitably end up missing. Pack snacks, water, and a notebook in a backpack, and try your best to take breaks to rest in between!
Finally, a quick shout-out to a couple places:
Tasuki: a Japanese company that had set up a table selling high-quality trowels, calipers, measuring instruments, and Munsell charts.
Olé Olé Taqueria: one of the few places that was delicious, nutritious, and affordable.