The ArcheOlympics were back this year and we were so excited to get to host them at Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park! Seven teams competed for the ultimate prize: bragging rights and this amazing 3D printed trophy. This year’s ArcheOlympics consisted of 3 games: Atlatl spear throwing, UNESCO World Heritage Site trivia, and an Excavation to Curation obstacle course.
Atlatl spear throwing consisted of two parts: Accuracy and Distance. Archeoletes from each team had two throws for each event. The accuracy event proved difficult with only 6 out of 31 archeoletes hitting the deer target. The distance event was more impressive with the longest throw of the day measuring 60.47 m (198.39 ft) and everyone able to get two solid throws in.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site trivia game may have been the most challenging task of the day. Teams had to work together to identify the name and location of a World Heritage Site based on a photograph of the site presented to them. They then had to answer a trivia question about the site.
In the final event, each team had to choose two members to run the Excavation to Curation obstacle course. Each player had to navigate through alligator-infested waters with their surveying backpack, get their excavation soil into a wheelbarrow and successfully navigate it to the screening area, screen their soil to find an artifact, and identify and correctly answer a question about said artifact. Following that, players had to label an “eggifact” and successfully curate it, produce an archeological report, have the report accepted, and run to the finish line. There were some outstanding finishing times, with 4:10.54 (The Dirty Diggers from Lyon College) being the fastest run of the day.
Prizes (hand-made by Dr. Beahm) were given out to the top three players/teams in each event.
Atlatl spear throwing (accuracy): 3rd place – Monroe Archeologists, 2nd place – UCA Team 2, 1st place – ATAC
Atlatl spear throwing (distance): 3rd place – Don Bragg (50.55m), 2nd place – Stephen Bragg (55.18m), 1st place – Ian Weathers (60.47m)
UNESCO Trivia: 3rd place – ATAC, 2nd place – UCA Team 2, 1st place – Monticello Muddlers
Excavation to Curation: 3rd place – UCA Team 1, 2nd place – Lyon College, 1st place – UALR
Overall Champions: UCA Team 2!!! (2nd place – Monticello Muddlers, 3rd place – ATAC)
Thank you to Stewart Carlton, Toltec Superintendent; Amy Griffin, Toltec Park Interpreter; Melissa Ray, Toltec Park Interpreter; Shannon Kardiak, UALR; Paige Ford, Toltec Station Archeologist; Katy Gregory, Toltec Station Assistant; Andrew Beaupré, UAPB Station Archeologist; Bob Scott, UAPB Station Assistant; Emily Beahm, WRI Station Archeologist; Melissa Zabecki, Arkansas State Archeologist; Carl Drexler, SAU Station Archeologist; Taylor Greene, SAU Station Assistant; Matthew Rooney, UAM Station Archeologist; Rachel Tebbetts, Arkansas Archeological Survey; Deanna Holdcraft, Arkansas Archeological Society; Devin Sorrows, Arkansas Archeological Society; and Elissa Ludeman, AHPP Archeologist for all of your help with planning and running the games.
Atlatl spear throwing (accuracy): 1st place – ATAC
Excavation to Curation: 1st place – UALR
UNESCO Trivia: 1st place – Monticello Muddlers
Atlatl spear throwing (distance): 1st place – Ian Weathers (60.47m)