On Wednesday, February 29 (Leap Day!!), I drove under rainy skies to Alexandria, Virginia, to the local branch of the Veterans Curation Project (VCP) at the invitation of Laboratory Manager Beatrix Arendt. I gave a presentation and demonstration to the Alexandria VCP of how our 3D artifact scanning technology can help with the curation and preservation of archaeological objects. The VCP was initiated by the US Army Corps of Engineers—St. Louis District using American Recovery and Relief Administration funding. The basic goal of the VCP is to provide military veterans recently returned from combat with valuable work skills such as photography, records management, and computer proficiency. The innovative aspect of the VCP is that this goal is accomplished through the rehousing of old collections, thus helping the returning veterans preserve the heritage of the nation they have volunteered to defend.
The veterans I spoke with that day were a very congenial group, and their training and mastery of curation issues and techniques was quite evident. My presentation was very interactive, and several innovative solutions were suggested by the veterans for some of the limitations that we have encountered with our scanning of some objects. During the presentation, Catherine Moss took some great pictures, as did Beatrix Arendt, and I thank them for sharing some of these images here.
The Alexandria branch of the VCP was a busy place while I was there, and the layout of the office was conducive to training the veterans with multiple curation and collections management skills. I took advantage of their space to scan three artifacts from the Strom Thurmond Lake III site, which is located in Georgia. These included two American Indian ceramic fragments and part of a round steatite object identified as a weight.
I would like to thank Beatrix Arendt for facilitating my presentation and demonstration at the VCP and I look forward to working with the VCP more in the future. Claire O’Brien was a great help as well, especially with information on the Strom Thurmond Lake III site.
Here are some more images from Carmen Moss.