The AIA Puget Sound Society is an affiliated society of the Archaeological Institute of America, North America's oldest and largest organization devoted to promoting archaeological inquiry and preserving the world's archaeological resources. Established in 1956 as the AIA Seattle Society, the Puget Sound Society serves both professional archaeologists and interested members of the Puget Sound area public. In cooperation with the Departments of Classics at the University of Washington and the University of Puget Sound, the Puget Sound Society co-sponsors an annual lecture series that introduces audiences to the latest archaeological research and discoveries. Lectures, which are free and open to the public, are supported in part by the annual dues paid by Puget Sound Society members. To join the Puget Sound Society, or to learn more about the benefits of AIA membership, click here.

AIA Statement on Archaeology and Social Justice

On June 3, 2020, the Archaeological Institute of America published a statement recognizing the role our discipline has played and still plays in perpetuating injustice and urging all of us to consider how the field must change in order to "achieve an archaeology that broadens our vision, deepens our understanding, and expands our humanity." The full statement can be found here:


The Puget Sound Society fully endorses this statement. Look for updates through the society email list as we plan relevant local programming in this area, and get in touch if you would like to be added to the email list.

Upcoming lectures

Click on the talk title or the photo for a PDF of the lecture poster, if one is available

Saturday, February 20 2021

2pm via Zoom (click for meeting link)

Passcode (if prompted): pugetsound

Deborah Kamen, University of Washington (Annual Faculty Lecture)

In ancient Greece, as today, insults ranged from playful mockery to serious affronts. This talk explores the various social and cultural roles played by insults in classical Athens, including obscene banter at festivals, satire on the comic stage, invective in the courtroom, forbidden slanderous speech, and violent attacks on other people’s honor.

Image credit: Debbie Berne Design

Friday, April 9 2021

7:30pm via Zoom (link to be posted in March)

Jeffrey Hurwit, University of Oregon

"The Archaic Smile: It’s No Laughing Matter"

Undoubtedly the most familiar and recognizable feature on the faces of figures carved in the round or in relief during the Greek Archaic period (c. 750-480 BCE) is a shallow, inscrutable smile that, like the Mona Lisa’s, has defied explanation. The lecture surveys the origin and history of the “Archaic Smile” as well as the history of its interpretation. It is often thought a stylistic “import” from the sculpture of Egypt or the Near East, and it has been variously considered a sign of life, or happiness, or status, or divinity, or even an “optical refinement.” But although certain theories can be eliminated from the discussion and others added, there may in fact be no single, universal explanation for the Smile at all.

Image credit: Museum of Classical Archaeology, Cambridge

For the full schedule of lectures this academic year, see our Schedule of Lectures

Puget Sound Society officers

Aislin Melchior, President (amelchior@ups.edu)

Sarah Levin-Richardson, Vice-President (sarahlr@uw.edu)

Randall Souza, Secretary (souzara@seattleu.edu)

Laura Matz, Treasurer (lmatz@aol.com)

For more information about this society and about the Archaeological Institute of America, see our collection of Information and Resources

International Archaeology Day was Saturday, October 17, 4-5:30pm!

We had an exciting afternoon of lightning talks for our first-ever virtual Archaeology Day celebration! Area scholars Stephanie Selover, Ulrike Krotscheck, Ian Randall, Aislinn Melchior, and Dale Croes shared their archaeological research and answered questions. You can download the program by clicking this link:

AIA Puget Sound International Archaeology Day 2020 Program

Support the society's work!

A form with instructions for making a donation of any size can be downloaded for printing here.

If you don't have access to a printer, simply write out your information on a blank piece of paper.

Thank you!

Temple at Assos: Archaeology/Mark Rose


Department of Classics, University of Washington

262 Denny Hall, Box 353110

Seattle, WA 98195-3110

Phone: (206) 543-2266 | Fax: (206) 543-2267


Questions? Comments? Please direct your inquiries to aiapugetsound@gmail.com