WAC-5 at a Glance

The World Archaeological Congress (WAC) is the only representative world-wide body of practicing archaeologists; it supports open dialog with all people genuinely concerned about the past. WAC holds an international congress every four years to promote the exchange of the results of archaeological research; professional training and public education for disadvantaged nations, groups and communities; the empowerment and betterment of Indigenous groups and First Nations peoples; and the conservation of archaeological sites. Previous congresses have been held in England, Venezuela, India and South Africa.
Patrons for previous congresses include Prince Charles (WAC-1) and Nelson Mandela (WAC-4). WAC is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization within the U.S.A.

  • WAC-5 is the first full World Archaeological Congress to be held in
    North America.

    • The Patron for WAC-5 is Harriet Mayor Fulbright.
    • The President of WAC-5 is Richard West, Director of the
      Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian.
  • WAC-5 will be held at The Catholic University of America, centrally
    located in northeast Washington, DC and easily accessible to the rest
    of the city and surroundings by Metrorail.

    • Participants may register as congress “residents”, using double-occupancy dorm rooms at Catholic U.,
    • or participants may select housing from the many hotels and motels in Washington, D.C.
  • WAC-5 is scheduled for Saturday, June 21st through Thursday, June
    26th, 2003.

    • The congress will open on Saturday afternoon, June 21st;
    • Symposia will run all day Sunday and Monday, June 22nd and June 23rd;
    • Tuesday, June 24th will be an open day, featuring tours or free time for sight-seeing, research, library visits etc.;
    • Symposia will resume Wednesday and Thursday, with a closing plenary session Thursday afternoon, June 26th.
    • Additional workshops and events may spill over onto Friday, June 27th, 2003.
  • WAC-5 will be held in partnership with the Anthropology Department
    of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian and in collaboration with the Getty Conservation Institute

    • Pre-registered participants may sign up (in limited numbers) for behind-the-scene tours of Smithsonian facilities or collections.
    • Pre-registered participants may sign up for workshops on conservation and/or collections management.
    • All participants will be guests at a welcome reception, sponsered by the Getty Conservation Institute, and at a Smithsonian reception in the Smithsonian Institution’s Natural History museum rotunda.
  • WAC-5 registration is available at member and non-member rates.
    • Registration will cover conference materials, lunches for four days, a welcoming reception at Catholic U., a Smithsonian evening reception, and an evening of embassy receptions throughout Washington, D.C.
  • WAC-5 themes will be finalized around three areas:

    • programmatic/policy issues concerning corrections and future directions in the practice of global archaeology.
    • practical/ technical knowledge to increase self-reliance and responsibility in protecting sites, artifacts and intellectual property.
    • theoretical frontiers and research results with relevance across tribal and national boundaries.
  • Sessions and individual papers to be presented at WAC-5 may be proposed
    to the Organizing Committee before the deadline of January 1, 2003.

    These may either be situated within an established congress theme
    , or they may be proposed as independent sessions or papers, to be organized into themes at a later date.

    • To propose a session or paper as part of an establised theme,
      please contact the conveners of that theme.
    • To propose an independent session or paper, please contact the
      Organizing Committee at wac5@american.edu
    • Sessions should be co-organized by at least two people from
      different nations and ideally should incorporate an international
  • Selected sessions at WAC-5 will be simultaneously translated into
    Spanish, French and Russian.
  • Pre- and post-congress tours will be organized to visit important
    local and national archaeological sites