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VCU Archaeology

Making it Virtual: Year Two Anniversary of the Virtual Curation Laboratory

by Bernard K. Means, Director

I open the box containing elements of the NextEngine 3D Desktop Scanner, stunned by its 3D-ness.

I open the box containing elements of the NextEngine 3D Desktop Scanner, stunned by its 3D-ness.

It’s hard to believe that today is the two year anniversary of the establishment of the Virtual Curation Laboratory.  We started out as a humble project funded by the Department of Defense’s Legacy Program (project #11-334) with myself as director, three VCU student staff (Clinton King, Courtney Bowles, and Victoria Valentine) and one intern (Cameron Boothe). Today, as we begin year three, there are four VCU students who are key to helping run the lab (Allen Huber, Rachael Hulvey, Ashley McCuistion, and Mariana Zechini) and help guide seven new VCU student interns (Francesca Chesler, Aaron Ellrich, Ruth Martin, Olivia McCarty, Daniel Smith, Leslie Straub, Lauren Volkers) on various projects involving George Washington’s Ferry Farm, James Madison’s Montpelier, and the Virginia Museum of Natural History (VMNH), among other locations across time and space.  Aaron, Ashley, and Mariana are also using their time and research in the Virtual Curation Laboratory to work toward honors in Anthropology, and will write theses with respect to the Ferry Farm, Montpelier, and the VMNH.

Interns Lauren (seated), Olivia (left) and Leslie (right) scan an artifact on August 28, 2013,

Interns Lauren (seated), Olivia (left) and Leslie (right) scan an artifact on August 28, 2013.

We’ve published some of our findings, in a report co-authored by myself, Ashley, and Courtney, and Ashley has an award-winning paper coming out in the next Journal of Middle Atlantic Archaeology.  Published papers will soon follow from Allen, Courtney, Mariana, and Rachael as well. And, we’ve been busy presenting papers at conferences (Society for American Archaeology, Society for Historical Archaeology, Society for Pennsylvania Archaeology, Middle Atlantic Archaeological Conference, and the Archeological Society of Virginia) and participating in public archaeology events around the region, including at Archaeology in the Community (Washington, DC) for the 2013 Day of Archaeology.

collections locations smaller & slower

In the coming year, we are preparing papers for the 2013 Archeological Society of Virginia annual meeting, and will begin a new Department of Defense Legacy Project (#13-334).

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