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October 15, 2008

News Article:

Posted by Zachary Ryder in October 15th 2008

MARTINSVILLE, Va. - Nearly 100 participants attended the 2008 Archaeological Society of Virginia's Annual Conference at the Virginia Museum of Natural History in Martinsville from October 9 to 12, and left with a positive impression of both the museum and the Martinsville
and Henry County community.

"Many of the participants came from the urbanized northern Virginia region where they may not always be used to the hospitality that smaller areas like Martinsville offer," said Dr. Elizabeth Moore, curator of archaeology at VMNH and lead museum official for the conference.

"Visitors were very complimentary on the level of service they received and the friendliness of the people at the local hotels, restaurants and the museum. The conference was a huge success for both the museum and the community."
Held in conjunction with the Council of Virginia Archaeologists, the conference began on Thursday, October 9 - focusing on the first volume of the Virginia State Plan for archaeology - and continued through the weekend with a series of paper presentations, poster sessions, exhibits, a book room, an awards presentation and banquet. The society also conducted a business meeting to propose topics requiring membership approval and to elect officers and board members.

A field trip to the Bassett Historical Center was also held Friday morning, as well as behind the scenes tours of the museum and its new special exhibit "TUSKS! Ice Age Mammoths & Mastodons".

This year's meeting also included an announcement of the formation of the Patrick Henry chapter of the ASV that will serve the Martinsville/Henry County area. The chapter's first meeting was held in the museum's Archaeology Lab Tuesday evening.

During discussions about where this year's conference would be held, organizers said the museum felt like a perfect fit. Dr. Michael Barber, state archaeologist for Virginia's Department of Historic Resources, said he believes the museum was an excellent location because of its ability to accommodate a large number of people and because of the interest level among the conference's participants.

"It's wonderful to meet where professionals work," said Barber, referring to the museum's six curators who work in a variety of scientific fields, including archaeology.

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