Abby the ArchaeoBus, Frankie Snow, and the SGA honored by the SAA

Submitted by Tammy Herron, President

A few weeks ago I stated in the President’s message that there were two bits of exciting news with regard to Georgia archaeology that I couldn’t wait to tell you about! Well, now I can fill you in. In early February, I received a letter from Jeffrey Altschul, President of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), informing me that our own Abby the ArchaeoBus had been selected as the SAA’s 2014 recipient of the Award for Excellence in Public Education! The letter states “The selection was made by the Excellence in Public Education Award Committee, on behalf of the whole Society. This award is one small way in which SAA can express its appreciation for this outstanding contribution to archaeology.” Click here to view the letter in its entirety. I was asked by the SAA not to make any announcements regarding the award until after their Annual Meeting. So, I am pleased to finally announce that on Friday, April 25, 2014, Nick Joseph of New South Associates was in attendance at the SAA’s Annual Meeting to accept the award on behalf of the SGA! The following information was printed in the Program of the 79th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology held in Austin, Texas on April 23-27, 2014:

Award for Excellence in Public Education
Abby the ArchaeoBus
Abby the ArchaeoBus is a mobile archaeological classroom that has reached thousands of educators, students, and families since it was created in 2009 by the Society for Georgia Archaeology (SGA) and its volunteers. It is a creative and innovative means to foster public understanding of archaeology and appreciation for site stewardship. It provides flexible, informal programs for large public events and formal classroom resources emphasizing standards-based analytical skills. In 2013, New South Associates staff and Georgia State Anthropology graduate students, guided by the SGA, served as ArchaeoBus educators—targeting schools, libraries, museums, and events in metropolitan Atlanta and reaching 6,000 youngsters, many in economically challenged school districts. As a “magic school bus” full of archaeology fun and knowledge; a collaborative partnership among the avocational, academic, business, and CRM communities; an opportunity for public archaeology training of college students; and in the educational experience it provides to visitors, it deserves the SAA’s Excellence in Public Archaeology Award.
Abby the ArchaeoBus teaching folks about archaeology at CoastFest 2013 in Brunswick.

Kudos to the staff of New South Associates and Georgia State University anthropology students who have manned the bus during a pilot study for almost a year now. Congratulations also to Rita Elliott, Tom Gresham, Michael Shirk (posthumously), Ellen Provenzano, John Burns, and other SGA stalwarts and friends of the society for their insight and creative ideas in making the dream of having a “magic school bus” to teach the public about archaeology come to fruition. Thanks also to the Georgia Transmission Corporation (GTC), the Council on American Indian Concerns, and Best Buy whose funding efforts helped get this project off the ground and continue to keep the wheels of the ArchaeoBus rolling. This is truly an amazing accomplishment for the SGA and Georgia archaeology, but wait—there’s more!
Lain Graham and Nick Joseph of New South Associates following the presentation of the Award for Excellence in Public Education to Abby the ArchaeoBus. Nick accepted the award on behalf of the SGA.

In early February, I was also privy to the news that Frankie Snow, long-time SGA member and former recipient of the Joseph R. Caldwell Award, had been selected to receive the SAA’s prestigious Crabtree Award for his contributions to Georgia archaeology. The Crabtree Award is presented “annually to an outstanding avocational archaeologist…(who has made) significant contributions to advance understandings of local, regional, or national archaeology through excavation, research, publication, site or collections preservation, collaboration with the professional community, and/or public outreach.” As excited as I was, I wanted to tell the members right away, yet had to honor the request of the SAA not to reveal the winners until now. Below you will find the information regarding Frankie’s contributions that was printed in the Program of the 79th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology:

Crabtree Award
Francis H. Snow
Frankie Snow has earned the 2014 Crabtree Award for his history of intellectual contributions to the archaeology of the Georgia Coastal Plain. Although not formally trained in archaeology, Mr. Snow’s interest began early and developed under the guidance of Dr. Chris Trowel, a geographer at South Georgia College. Beginning in the 1960’s, Mr. Snow spent his free time conducting archaeological field and lab work—particularly at threatened sites—in the local region. He also developed expertise on the elaborately carved wooden paddle-stamped designs of Woodland Era Swift Creek pottery, and is now a recognized authority on the subject. During his avocational career to date, Mr. Snow has published 30 articles, presented 40 professional papers, given hundreds of public presentations, and nurtured both avocational and professional archaeologists. He has received several previous awards for his contributions to Georgia archaeology, and his career embodies the characteristics that SAA’s Crabtree Award recognizes nationally.

Congratulations Frankie on receiving this national award! We look forward to reading many more articles and hearing many more presentations from you! Thank you for your continued support of the SGA and your willingness to teach others about the importance of archaeology and preservation of our shared heritage.

So, with that said, now you know why I asked you to stay tuned! What great news to reveal as we begin the celebration of Georgia Archaeology Month—May 2014! I look forward to seeing each of you at the Spring Meeting of the SGA on May 10th at Red Top Mountain State Park. Please keep up the good work and keep the momentum going!

Click here to learn more about Georgia Archaeology Month.

Click here to learn more about the Spring Meeting.