President’s Message: The SGA’s business moves forward

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How about some good news in the midst of the nation’s “economic downturn”: membership in the Society for Georgia Archaeology is holding steady. This news confirms that SGA enjoys a loyal and committed following and, certainly, the organization would be nowhere without it. I thank each of you for your ongoing support.

Now, I challenge our members to bring at least one new member to SGA over the coming two months. It would be just that easy to double our support and introduce hundreds of people to the wonders of Georgia archaeology by the end of January. And think about young people especially; surely each of us knows a middle or high school student with an interest in what we do. How to accomplish that? Well, good old-fashioned cajoling is one way, but consider an SGA membership as a holiday gift—perhaps a stocking stuffer.

The SGA board is constantly working to serve the membership better and one perennial goal is efficient use of precious resources, including your membership dues. Toward this end, we are transitioning to electronic formats for our newsletter, The Profile, and developing our web site as a one-stop resource for all things archaeology—at least in Georgia. Doing so streamlines our production process and reduces printing and mailing costs to virtually zero. The savings we earn by this change will afford us more funds for use on other initiatives, including some new ones. All changes take some adjustment and we ask your patience through these transitions, as well as your feedback on this important change in our means of communicating as an organization (see more discussion of this issue below).

Speaking of the web site, I encourage you to submit content to our web master for posting. News items are always of interest, but we’re looking for other, regular contributions, too. For example, we want to make sure each of our chapters is well represented with current information, including meeting dates and programs. Also, we would like submissions of mini-research reports and photo galleries, including from consulting firms. Obviously, a great deal of archaeology is going on around the state and we want to be sure that it gains the visibility it deserves.

And on the subject of chapters, I’m very pleased to report that Jack Wynn, working with Catherine Long, has worked to reinvigorate our mountain-area members to form a new chapter and an affiliated student organization at North Georgia College. Kudos to those folks for ensuring that the all-important hill-country is still an active area.

Finally, I will tempt you with promise of a unique and exciting Archaeology Month program in May, 2010. At our fall board meeting we resolved to introduce a wholly new topic that is sure to captivate many. Tammy Herron, Catherine Long, Pam Baughman and Brian Floyd, among others, will likely be asking for help and participation. The theme for 2010: Making the Past Come to Life! Exploring Ancient Techniques. The program will feature outdoor demonstrations of so-called primitive technologies, ranging from flintknapping to ceramics to…who knows, enhanced by commentary from archaeologists. The likely date will be May 15th and the likely location will be near Albany, so stay tuned for more information—it’ll be a good and educational time.

Yours in Georgia Archaeology,

Dennis Blanton