2nd Thursday Science Talks

Join us every second Thursday of each month through May 14, 2015 for special presentations delivered by VMNH curators, VMNH researchers, as well as VMNH research associates.  Each topic covers a unique field of science from paleontology to archaeology to human health.

Free admission to "2nd Thursday Science Talks" is provided by generous donations to the VMNH Foundation Discovery Fund.  All presentations are held at VMNH from 6 to 7 p.m.  Presentation titles and descriptions will be announced soon.

Upcoming 2nd Thursday Science Talks Schedule

April 9, 2015
Presenter:  Jessica Clark, VMNH Archaeology Assistant
Title:  "The Gravely House: A Case Study in 20th Century Archaeology and Material Culture"

Jessica Clark inside the VMNH archaeology lab.  Photo courtesy of the Virtual Curation Laboratory at Virginia Commonwealth University.In her upcoming presentation, Jessica will discuss the implications of demolition in the 20th and 21st centuries on archaeological methods and possible changes for archaeology moving forward.  Focussing squarely on the Gravely House, one of the earliest homes built on Mulberry Road in Martinsville, Jessica compared the archaeological remains uncovered from this site with the record of their material belongings maintained in personal documents and correspondence.  With these comparisons in mind, Jessica delved deeper into the implications of demolition in the 20th and 21st centuries on archaeological methods and potential changes for the future of archaeology.

Built in 1906 by Will Gravely, then representative to the Virginia state legislator, and his wife, Carrie Anson Gravely, the house was the first to be built on Mulberry Road, a street that has historically contained the most elaborate and extaordinate homes in Martinsville.  Initial shovel test pit excavations of the site yielded two original garden features still intact, a stone path and a concrete fishpond.  At the begining of field work, a concrete slab and brick garage foundation and standing frame outbuilding were present and photographed, but these items were bulldozed before measured drawings could be completed.

Though just recently graduated from Longwood University's archaeology program, Jessica has completed extensive field and lab work as a student, museum intern, and currently serves as a archaeology assistant inside the museum's archaeology lab.  As assistant, her current primary focus is on a collection of artifacts from what is thought to be a site from the Paleoindian Period in Warren County, Virginia.

May 14, 2015*

Dr. Nancy Moncrief, VMNH Curator of Mammalogy

*VMNH Members are invited to attend a reception following the final presentation on May 14 from 7 to 8 p.m. celebrating the completion of the 2014-2015 “2nd Thursday Science Talks.”  The reception will be held in the museum’s Harvest Foundation Hall of Ancient Life, and will provide an opportunity for VMNH Members to meet and interact with all presenters.