The Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology has made and can continues to make a difference in Tennessee archaeology. The following is a short review of what TCPA has done in the past along with issues the Council addressed, publications that were financially supported, awards that were given, and other activities.
The Tennessee Council of Professional Archaeologists (TCPA) was organized in 1992 to facilitate, assist and advocate for the practice of professional archaeology in Tennessee. Our first meeting was held in January 1993 at the annual Current Research in Tennessee Archaeology meeting in Nashville.
At the next year’s annual meeting, the Council members voted to change the name of the organization “Tennessee Council of Professional Archaeologists” to “Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology.” While the TCPA acronym remained the same, the name change reflected the interest and participation of the avocational archaeological community as well as others and others interested in supporting the goals of the organization. With the name change came dues – initially $10 per calendar year for postage, supplies and corporation fees – and bylaws and incorporation. In 2006 the annual dues were raised to $20/calendar year, where they have remained since.
Since its inception, the TCPA has addressed a number of state and federal issues on behalf of its members including:
- Moccasin Bend Planning, Development, and Management. The TCPA supported the National Park Service’s initiative to include Moccasin Bend in the national park system and urged creation of an archaeological curation facility at Moccasin Bend.
- Impacts to University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s Hamilton Mound. The organization urged TDOT to modify roadway construction plans to avoid the Hamilton Mound on the UTK campus.
- Mound Bottom State Park Unit Proposal. The TCPA monitored plans for developing a new state park unit in Cheatham County that would include the Mound Bottom site.
- Pinson Mounds. TCPA pushed to halt inappropriate land use practices by the state agriculture department at Pinson Mounds National Historic Landmark and supported making state-owned archaeologically significant areas managed by the Division of Forestry part of the state archaeological park.
- Chucalissa Closing. The TCPA opposed closing Chucalissa Village and the C.H. Nash Museum.
- Section 106 Program Modifications. The TCPA opposed proposed Section 106 program cuts in 1996.
- Grave Goods Bill. In 1996, TCPA supported a proposed state law that would have prohibited buying, selling, and trading of human remains and burial artifacts.
- State Artifact Legislation. In January, 2014, the TCPA proposed legislation naming the Mississippian stone effigy known as “Sandy” as the official State Artifact of Tennessee. That legislation was signed into law by Governor Haslam on March 21, 2014.
- Tennessee Archaeology Awareness Month (TAAM). In 2014 the TCPA relaunched Tennessee’s annual celebration of archaeology by organizing the “30 Days of Tennessee Archaeology” blogfest and creating the first TAAM poster in several years.
- Tennessee Archaeology Awareness Month Legislation. In 2015 the TCPA sponsored legislation officially adopting September as Tennessee Archaeology Awareness Month. That legislation was signed into law by Governor Haslam on March 27, 2015.
Publications and Public Outreach
Thanks to the contributions of members, the TCPA has been able to provide major financial support to archaeology publications and public outreach initiatives including Tennessee Archaeological Awareness Week, publication of a Mid-South Archaeological Conference Proceedings volume in 1996, and the University of Alabama Press’ publication of The Tennessee, Green, and Lower Ohio Rivers Expeditions of Clarence Bloomfield Moore in 2002. TCPA has been included in promotional materials for the series. Since 2004, the TCPA has supported the publication of the online, peer-reviewed journal Tennessee Archaeology.