Spring, 2015 TCPA Research Award

The Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology provides an annual program of small grants to support archaeological investigations and research within the State of Tennessee. This program is open to all students, researchers, and cultural resource management professionals conducting archaeological investigations within the state and who are TCPA members in good standing. Awards do not generally exceed $600, and are intended to supplement a current or proposed research project.

We received a number of excellent applications for the 2015 awards cycle, and are pleased to announce the winner of the Spring, 2015 TCPA Research Award: Sierra M. Bow, a PhD student at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The TCPA Research Award will assist Sierra in her efforts to conduct non-destructive, portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) analyses of sixteen Tennessee-Cumberland Mississippian stone statues from the National Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of the American Indian in order to examine paint composition and raw material types. These statues will be on exhibition at the Tennessee State Museum this fall.

For more information on the Tennessee-Cumberland stone statuary tradition (of which our State Artifact, “Sandy,” is a fantastic example!), be sure to check out the 2009 volume Speaking with the Ancestors: Mississippian Stone Statuary of the Tennessee-Cumberland Region, by Kevin E. Smith and James V. Miller.

Speaking with the Ancestors: Mississippian Stone Statuary of the Tennessee-Cumberland Region, by Kevin E. Smith and James V. Miller (University of Alabama Press, 2009)

Speaking with the Ancestors: Mississippian Stone Statuary of the Tennessee-Cumberland Region, by Kevin E. Smith and James V. Miller (University of Alabama Press, 2009)

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The Importance of Amateur Archaeologists

Here’s a fantastic post from Robert Connolly and his blog Archaeology, Museums, and Outreach musing on the importance of partnerships between professional and avocational archaeologists. Tennessee has a strong tradition of responsible Avocational archaeology. Our knowledge of the prehistoric period in the Nashville Basin, for example, would be far less complete without the work of Bob Ferguson, John Dowd, Buddy Brehm, the Southeastern Indian Antiquities Survey, the Middle Cumberland Archaeological Society, and others. It’s been inspiring over the past year to see increased partnerships between professional archaeologists and the public in Tennessee in the formation of several new archaeological societies, including in Rutherford County and Williamson County.

The Importance of Amateur Archaeologists.