Student-run Classics symposium marks 30 years

Shipwrecks and seafaring were the topics of the day when more than 50 people gathered for the Brock University Archaeological Society’s (BUAS) 30th annual symposium on Saturday, March 9.

This year’s program featured a line up of six professors from Ontario universities who shared insight into ancient seafaring and trade.

“It was fantastic to see so many people interested in our event and there was a lot of great discussion with our speakers,” said BUAS President Jennae Rhines.

The event is organized and run by undergraduate students, who have the help of a faculty member and the support of the Department of Classics. They work throughout the year to select a theme, invite speakers, fundraise and create the program.

Organizing the symposium gives students an opportunity to practise leadership and organization skills, says Rhines.

The archaeological society has a long history at Brock. The group was formed in October 1989, although a Classics club had been active prior to that. In those days, BUAS students, in addition to organizing the symposium, also offered workshops on archaeology at local schools.

The first BUAS symposium was held March 17, 1990 in the Dean’s House at Ridley College, with the theme “Making it Work: Technology in the Ancient Near East.” Sixty people attended the event and the program featured three guest speakers from the University of Toronto as well as a buffet dinner.

Now, the club organizes events for students throughout the year, including a fall symposium that gives undergraduate students the opportunity to present their research papers in a conference setting.

Rhines encouraged other students to get involved in club leadership and to carry on the archaeological society’s long-standing symposium tradition.

“It has been a great learning experience,” she said. “Being part of something outside of class has been worthwhile. Being the president was something I never thought of until a year ago, and if I could do it again, I would.”

BUAS is open to all students at Brock who share an interest in archaeology. Students can email the club for further information at

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