- The Association for Coroplastic Studies (ACoSt) has developed out of the former Coroplastic Studies Interest Group (CSIG). Originally organized in 2007 under the auspices of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), the CSIG was one of the 13 Interest Groups of the AIA that normally comprise AIA members. Although membership in the AIA was not a prerequisite for membership in the CSIG, CSIG members were encouraged to join the AIA.
- The ACoSt took its name from the word koroplastes, which in Greek antiquity was the term used for a modeler of images in clay. In view of the broad international membership that comprised the CSIG by 2012 and its over 200 members it was decided to separate from the Archaeological Institute of America and become an independant entity. After considerable deliberation the name Association for Coroplastic Studies (ACoSt) was adopted and elections for officers was held. ACoSt members have organized conference sessions, conferences, symposia, colloquia, and a summer school on coroplastic studies, all focusing on coroplastic research.
1. ACoSt membership is international. ACoSt operates as a not-for-profit, educational organization under the definition of the US Internal Revenue Service, but does not have 5013c status. Originally formed by archaeologists working at ancient sites around the Mediterranean and Europe, ACoSt welcomes membership from researchers studying terracotta figurines from other regions of the world and also has expanded to include anthropologists, historians, and interested specialists from other disciplines.
2. The study of terracotta figurines has changed dramatically in the past several years and continues to develop rapidly. Now, interpretive study can include analyses of the context, chronology, function, production, and sources and types of clay of terracotta figurines, as well as their distribution and display, and the religious, historical, social, economic, and political meanings of these diverse, ubiquitous, and important objects of material culture. ACoSt now provides a venue for issues regarding developing studies of terracotta figurines. Its members propose and implement means for the distribution of ideas and data. ACoSt particularly wishes to support and encourage scholars new to the field of coroplastic studies. To these ends, the Newsletter of the Association for Coroplastic Studies is published twice a year, in the winter and summer. It contains communications by ACoSt members on a variety of issues and is accessible on-line, free of charge, through the ACoSt website. The ACoSt website also contains bibliographies related to coroplastic studies, web links to coroplastic research tools, a discussion page, and a directory of members with their areas of specialty and contact information.
3. Periodic meetings are held to discuss issues relative to ACoSt and to the study of terracotta figurines, although it is understood that the international nature of the organization precludes participation in these meetings for many who are members. A succinct summary of the proceedings of these meetings is found on ACoSt website and also is distributed promptly to the membership.
4. ACoSt promotes the systematic study and documentation of legally-excavated terracotta figurines. At the same time, it recognizes the necessity for responsible research regarding those figurines of unknown provenience and stratigraphic origin—those targeted and removed from scholarly attention by the 1970 UNESCO Convention on Cultural Property—so long as such research places those artifacts within the context of known objects, establishing relationships and correspondences with published research to the largest extent possible. Parameters of uncertainty must be clearly and openly stated at the outset of such research and in its presentation to specialists and to the public. In every instance, the aim of the ACoSt is to promote high standards of scholarship and instruction in the area of coroplastic studies. Its members will alert colleagues to matters of fact and interpretation that may affect us all, and will support public education about why this study is important.
5. ACoSt shall be:
• A forum that transcends national, cultural, linguistic, and disciplinary boundaries, open to all scholars regardless of class, gender, religion, race, or nationality;
• A pluralistic organization governed by democratic processes based upon widespread and collegial consultation.
7. Membership in ACoSt comes with the understanding that there will be a cordial exchange of ideas, as well as an ethical and responsible use of material that may be shared but still is unpublished.