Session Title: Possibilities for Community Archaeology

Panelists: Terry Brock, David Herring, Pam Cressey

Session Description: The panel discussed the need for archaeological mitigation, research, and public engagement in the context of an urban area like Richmond, which is rich with historical and cultural resources. Panelists discussed the role of archaeology in city development, the engagement of the public in this process, and how other cities have used a City Archaeologist model, ordinances and volunteers to integrate the protection of cultural heritage into the development process.

Terry Brock asked the panelists to comment on a series of questions and otherwise moderated the
panel discussion.

Q: How can community archaeology benefit us? David Herring
Shockoe Valley (Shockoe Bottom) used to be the downtown area of Richmond.
A site in Shockoe Bottom would likely uncover a lot of relics which have been buried over time.

Pam Cressey
It can unite people by having people bring in info, photos to help the excavation along Teaching archaeology to children in the community can be very powerful. An advocacy group
can be created to teach children about the power of archaeology to create knowledge and build a sense of community.

Terry Brock
There is a power behind making discoveries. One personally can have a sense of accomplishment and amazement with something they have found which has not been held or touched in centuries. Community archaeology and digging on-site can create a link between living in a city and being a part of a city.

Q: How do you navigate (economic development/progress) while still respecting the past? David Herring
Richmond can aspire to Alexandria’s model of archaeology It will take a while to create a commission here
We’ll need to address the particular topic regarding the stadium separately, but going forward, the process of establishing commission is not all that complicated, and we can definitely begin that process. As a next step, we’ll need to get working on zoning regulations for that area.

Pam Cressey
Please look at Alexandria’s archaeology ordinance on Google. The archaeological process is something that can fit into architectural review. The Archaeology Commission itself never makes a statement about a particular project. Its work can, however, complement a project.
Archaeology is not in opposition to development.

Terry Brock
A historically-designated area is (partly) characterized by old architecture.

Q: What are some short-term and long-term goals for archaeology? David Herring
Involvement in the Section 106 process is a good, short-term strategy and task.
This process is not a sure thing because the level of compliance is out of citizens’ hands, however, that process can be influenced by citizens.
This is another way for us to speak as one voice rather than protesting individually We (collectively) need to be participating in the process.

Terry Brock
We need to read the mayor’s plans and develop our own opinions and questions about it.

Read more from the summary, richmondarchaeology.webs.com/Before%20It's%20Too%20Late%20Symposium%20Proceedings-4.pdf

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