FRANKFORT – A focus on cemeteries, traditional cultural properties, and other preservation issues will be at the forefront of the 35th Annual Kentucky Heritage Council (KHC) Archaeology Conference convening Friday through Sunday at Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park in Gilbertsville.
The conference is an opportunity for professional archaeologists working in Kentucky and neighboring states to network and share information about their projects and research, as well as hear presentations by historians and architectural historians,a news release said.
This year’s conference is hosted in partnership with Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site, Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Kentucky Organization of Professional Archaeologists, and the Kentucky Archaeological Survey, a partnership between the University of Kentucky Department of Anthropology and KHC, the state historic preservation office.
Friday activities kick off with a tour of Kentucky Lake Lock and Dam from 9 to 10:30 a.m. (limited to 20 participants); a behind-the-scenes tour at Wickliffe Mounds from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., led by park manager Carla Hildebrand; and walking tours at Land Between the Lakes from 3 to 5 p.m., exploring two outdoor exhibits about archaeological sites in the area and innovative ways these are being interpreted for the public. Note all times are CST; tours free with registration.
New this year, Friday evening sessions will explore “Kentucky Places,” topics that relate to above-ground historic resources that can help inform archaeological study. These include the Kentucky Main Street Program and why downtown revitalization matters, a remembrance of St. Matthews Hardware in Louisville, a look at the development of Kentucky State Parks into “tourist meccas,” information about digitization of the Kentucky Historic Resources Inventory, and how a federal Section 106 review resulted in a collaboration that created the Newport History Museum at a neglected African American School.
Formal papers and poster presentations will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to noon Sunday. Topics in historic archaeology will focus on Late 19th-early 20th century farmsteads in McCracken County; an exploration of St. Stephen Church, the only remaining church in LBL, as a traditional cultural property; a look at the iron industry at LBL; coal mining activism in Eastern Kentucky; and applications of LiDAR imagery and archaeological investigations at Beech Grove Confederate Camp at the Battle of Mill Springs. Prehistoric research will include ritual Adena-Hopewell dispositions at the Winchester Farm Enclosure, evidence of meat sharing at a large Fort Ancient village in Mason County, and excavation results and analysis of macrobotanical remains from the Grizzly Newt Rock Shelter in Jackson County.
The conference is open to anyone interested in Kentucky history or prehistory. The cost is $25 per person or $20 for students, and participants may register at the door. For more information, email Yvonne Sherrick or call KHC at 502-564-7005, ext. 4555.