President's Message - Winter 2005

Robert V. Riordan

The OAC membership met at the end of October in Dayton, at the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery. During the business meeting the revisions to the OAC’s Code of Regulations, which constitute our organization’s bylaws, were approved. The morning was highlighted by three papers, and the afternoon’s program was something of an experiment. Earlier in the year, OAC Trustee Al Tonetti had suggested a format in which three presentations that would expectably have a wide public appeal would be invited and locally advertised. He then wrote a grant request to the Ohio Humanities Council, which in turn partially funded the session. Presenters Frank Cowan, Lynn Simonelli and Bill Kennedy, and Bob Genheimer all provided accessible and very interesting talks, and after each there was interaction with the nice-sized public contingent who were in attendance. The dialogue was then moved to the SunWatch site, where more than a dozen people were given a focused guided tour. The next membership meeting of the OAC will be on May 13, 2005 in Columbus.

This winter is turning out to be an exciting time for those interested in publications on Ohio and Ohio-related archaeology. The papers from the OAC’s Historical Archaeology conference in 1998 were given a final edit by Don Ball and have just been published jointly with the Ohio Valley Urban and Historical Archaeology conference as vol. 18 of Ohio Valley Historical Archaeology. Copies of the volume, which are being shipped to OHS for our distribution, are priced at $25. The OAC is reprinting the 1996 Hopewell conference A View from the Core volume, edited by Paul Pacheco, and will include an errata sheet compiled by Brian Redmond. This will be an edition of 400 copies, and should be available in late winter 2005. Then there is Brad Lepper’s new book entitled Ohio Archaeology, lavishly illustrated and priced at $39.95 from Orange Frazer Press and available in January 2005. This represents the print portion of Tom Law’s/Voyageur Media Group’s multimedia project of the same title; I understand that Tom’s three videos on Ohio archaeology will begin to be shown in January. Another quite sumptuous and noteworthy volume is Hero, Hawk and Open Hand: American Indian Art of the Ancient Midwest and South ed. by Richard Townsend, in paperback and hardcover from Yale and the Art Institute of Chicago. It includes essays by OAC members Lepper and Mark Seeman, and it is a must-have particularly for those interested in Woodland and Mississippian cultures. Ohio Hopewell is also the subject of a new book now available from the University of Akron Press that is sure to raise a great deal of discussion: A. Martin Byers’ The Ohio Hopewell Episode. Finally, there is the forthcoming volume in January 2005 from the Ohio Historical Society on recent archaeological work at the Fort Ancient site, edited by R. Connolly and B. Lepper. All of this exposure of our subject and our work, especially in books designed to appeal to the informed public, is surely good for both the future health of our discipline and also the archaeological resources that we seek to interpret and preserve.