By Project Director Dr. Bernard K. Means
The Middle Atlantic Archaeology Conference (MAAC) was held March 23 to March 25, 2012 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Despite the lure of the unseasonably warm weather most days, VCU’s Virtual Curation Unit managed to maintain a strong presence on Friday and Saturday of the conference. We staffed an informational table in the Exhibits Room both days with the help of VCU students (listed alphabetically) Courtney Bowles, Allen Huber, Rachael Hulvey, Stephanie King, Beth Reid, and Victoria Valentine.
Except for a two hour period when the scanner was off in the Organics and Technology session, we conducted 3D imaging of archaeological objects in the Exhibits Room, including American Indian material remains on loan from the Westmoreland Archaeological Society of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology and the Allegheny Chapter of the Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology. The laser beams that passed across the objects certainly attracted the attention of professional archaeologists from throughout the region who came through the Exhibits Room. Because we had sufficient staff, we all were able to take the opportunity to see research presentations by our colleagues throughout the conference.
VCU’s Virtual Curation Unit also contributed to the dialogue between scholars. Friday afternoon, Victoria Valentine presented her poster “the Virtual Curation Unit @ VCU” on how we use multimedia to inform people about our 3D artifact imaging project. Saturday afternoon, I presented a paper co-written with VCU students Clinton King, Courtney Bowles and Victoria Valentine and Army Corps of Engineers archaeologist John Haynes—a VCU alumnus—entitled “3D Virtual Artifact Curation @ VCU: the Virtual Curation Unit for Recording Archaeological Materials Systematically (V.C.U.-R.A.M.S) Project.”
This was followed by Courtney Bowles’s sole-authored paper “3D Technology and Archaeological Theory.” Courtney’s paper was well received and very insightful—I know I have more to think about how archaeological theory impacts the uses and applications of 3D artifact imaging technology.
I think we all learned a great deal from the conference, the papers we saw, and, especially, the fellow professionals to whom we talked and who took the time to see 3D object imaging in action. Kudos should go out to all the VCU students who made our research presentations and demonstrations such a success at MAAC 2012. We look forward to a return engagement at MAAC 2013!
See Victoria Valentine’s travel log at: http://vcuarchaeology3d.wordpress.com/travel-log/the-virtual-curation-unit-goes-to-the-maac/
Below are some additional pictures by our virtual curation staff.