The last few weeks have been pretty stressful getting ready for our first professional conference. We’ve all been busy doing artifact analysis, preparing powerpoints, and rehearsing our presentations. Before the sun came up on Thursday morning, we left for Williamsburg, VA to attend the Eastern States Archaeological Federation Conference. I was feeling pretty nervous until I saw the room we would be presenting in. I had been torturing myself with visions of a huge banquet hall, an audience of hundreds, and even (shudder) a stage. But the room we were scheduled to use was an informal conference room that held, maybe, 60 people. I breathed a huge sigh of relief. Thursday afternoon was spent touring the nearby site of Jamestown. It was incredible to be taken around th site by the head archaeologist, Dr. William Kelso, who has been excavating there for the last 16 years. We spent Friday attending presentations by archaeologists from all over the eastern states and networking with future colleagues (fingers crossed!). When it came time on Saturday to give our presentations, everyone did a great job and it wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be. Dr. Dillian kept telling us that the more times we gave presentations the easier it would get, and I guess she was right after all. It was a great experience and I would like to do it again…but maybe not until next year!
by Julia Louise Mills