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May 24, 2016

The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) has selected Dr. Elizabeth Moore, curator of archaeology at the Virginia Museum of Natural History (VMNH), and Dr. Bernard Means, instructor of anthropology at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and VMNH research associate, to serve as its new state coordinators for Virginia for the SAA Public Education Committee.  In this role, Moore and Means will work on behalf of SAA to develop, produce, and distribute informational and educational materials to the public and will report back to the SAA on the wide variety of public archaeology programs offered in the Commonwealth by its array of museums, historic sites, schools, and non-profit organizations.

Dr. Elizabeth Moore“It is an honor to be selected with Dr. Means to do this work," said Moore.  "Public archaeology is the means by which we communicate the research that we do in a way that makes it understandable and relevant to the general public.  If we expect people to value science, we must make sure that our research is shared beyond the scholarly community to a broader audience, whether though exhibits, newspaper articles, or hands-on programs in the field and lab."

Dr. Joe Keiper, executive director of the Virginia Museum of Natural History, reiterated these feelings.

“Drs. Moore and Means will not only be providing a valuable service for SAA and Virginia citizens, but their work will underscore how important Virginia’s past is to the history and even prehistory of the entire United States," said Dr. Joe Keiper, executive director of the Virginia Museum of Natural History.

In addition to her role as state coordinator, Dr. Moore was also selected to serve on SAA's Committee for Museums, Collections, and Curations. As a committee member, Dr. Moore will help promote awareness, concern, and support for archaeological collections, associated records and reports, and the long-term curation of collections and associated records.  Additionally, she will advise the SAA board of directors on issues and policies relating to the management of archaeological collections and museums, and respond to pressing issues affecting the SAA community.

Although only recently selected, Dr. Moore is off and running with her new appointment.

"My first assignment with this committee is to serve on a sub-committee tasked with compiling a nation-wide list of archaeological repositories, including which of these have internships or other learning or professional development opportunities,” Moore said. “An exciting and daunting assignment, this inventory has the potential to increase collections accessibility for research across the country, especially for students who may not be aware of the wealth of material available for study. Accessibility is a critical step in collections management.  If we can’t make our collections accessible for research and education, why should we bother to excavate the material at all?”

The Society for American Archaeology is an international organization dedicated to the research, interpretation, and protection of the archaeological heritage of the Americas. With more than 7,000 members, the society represents professional, student, and avocational archaeologists working in a variety of settings including government agencies, colleges and universities, museums, and the private sector

Since its inception in 1934, SAA has endeavored to stimulate interest and research in American archaeology; advocate and aid in the conservation of archaeological resources; encourage public access to and appreciation of archaeology; oppose all looting of sites and the purchase and sale of looted archaeological materials; and serve as a bond among those interested in the archaeology of the Americas.

For more information about SAA, visit  For more information about the Virginia Museum of Natural History, visit  For more information about Virginia Commonwealth University's School of World Studies, visit

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