PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE - October 2000
William S. Dancey
Since the spring members meeting, your President and members of the Board have been busy with Council business. Probably the most important event of the summer was the completion of Bob Genheimer's book containing the proceedings of our 1994 conference on the Late Prehistoric. Entitled Cultures Before Contact: The Late Prehistory of Ohio and Surrounding Regions, it contains 13 chapters including regional overviews, reports on site investigations, and a commentary on the state of the art in the study of the archaeology of this period. Much of the data in this book has not been published previously. Thus, as with the first two volumes in this publication series, we have accomplished our goal of making archaeological knowledge of Ohio prehistory more widely available. Additionally, it is an attractive, durable book that will hold its form even with repeated use. Thanks to Bob for sticking with this project and making it a first rate product.
Equally important is the successful completion of the first Ohio Archaeology Week. This was the product of cooperation between the Council and Sunwatch Indian Village. Among the organizations who participated were The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, the Marietta Natural History Society, Fort Ancient State Memorial, Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, Sunwatch Indian Village/Archaeological Park, Boonshoft Museum of Discovery, Heidelberg College, and the University of Toledo Laboratory of Archaeology. Plans are under way to repeat this event next year and to increase participation and support. Thanks to Sandy Yee for spearheading the project and to Dave Bush for serving as the Council liaison.
On another front, Al Tonetti and I attended a series of meetings beginning in mid-August concerning the Moundbuilders Country Club's proposal to demolish its existing clubhouse and build a new facility. In addition to writing the Director of the Ohio Historical Society to express our concerns about the potential destruction of archaeological remains as a result of the rebuilding, a nomination of the Octagon State Memorial to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of the "Eleven Most Endangered Historic Places" in the United States was submitted on behalf of the Council. Initiated by a group of concerned educators in the Newark area, the weekly meetings came to include American Indians, members of the Licking County Archaeological and Landmarks Society, and local citizens, along with representatives of the Club, the National Park Service, the Ohio Historical Society, and the State Historical Preservation Office. Amos Loveday, the State Preservation Officer, assigned several members of his staff to facilitate the drafting of a Memorandum of Understanding in an attempt to reach a consensus regarding the conduct of an archaeological survey on the targeted property, formulation of a policy on public access, and long-term plans for preservation. The process is ongoing. Thanks to Al for agreeing to get involved and lend his considerable knowledge of public archaeology to the issue.
Other accomplishments include the formulation of an amendment to the by-laws to streamline membership nomination approval, a hard look at the reality of constructing a high quality web site, monitoring of hearings on proposed industrial minerals legislation, and input into the planning process for Voyageur Media Group's Ohio Archaeology Video Series. I should not forget to include President-Elect Brian Redmond's suggestion to invite members to prepare short presentations on recent fieldwork at the fall meeting. This suggestion was unanimously embraced by the Board as a way for members to become more aware of what's going on around the state.
Members have been notified of the membership amendment and will be asked to discuss and vote on it at the fall meeting. The Board and I believe it is a positive step toward increasing membership and urge serious consideration of its provisions. In order not to over-extend my contribution to this issue of the Newsletter, I will end on this note. I hope I have said enough to make everyone want to attend the fall meeting to hear more about the above matters, as well as become better informed about recent archaeological activities around the state.