By Tori Peck
Earlier this month I attended the academic conference called REARC at Colonial Williamsburg, VA. It was about Reconstructive and experimental archaeology. It was a two day conference consisting of two parts. Friday was the formal lecture day where presenters gave presentations on the work they have been doing in the experimental/reconstructive archeological field. Saturday was a more hands on day. Different people from the conference set up tables and events all around Colonial Williamsburg where they had different activities everyone could be involved with.
I attended this conference with a group of about 10 students who were apart of the Coastal Carolina Anthropology and Geography club. Along with us were two Coastal Carolina Professors Dr. Dillian and Dr. Clary. We arrived at the hotel on Thursday night and then walked around Colonial Williamsburg at night. We got to see the firing of bricks in the kiln and walk through a cemetery.
The formal days were split up. We would hear about three or four presenters speak and then there would be time for questions once everyone in that group was done. Breaks were placed in-between the presenters so attendees could chat with each other and grab food. We had three from our group present on Friday. Dr. Dillian presented twice, once by herself and again with her student Sydney and Dr. Clary presented work showing the connection between Public History and Archeology. People from all different backgrounds presented on Friday. There were undergrads, grad students, professors, elementary and high school teachers, and anthropologist. Topics presented ranged from artifact conservation to mummification methods. After all the presentations were done the attendees were free to go.
Saturday was my favorite day of the conference. Our group met up early and headed over to Colonial Williamsburg. The first thing to happen when we got there is we saw some oxen pulling a cart, there were staff from Williamsburg in costumes talking to us and in the cart was a dog named Liberty that we got the chance to pet. We headed over to some of the tables run by REARC. They first activity we did was watching the process of tanning hide and created twine out of fibrous plant material. After that headed over to the Atlatl throwing competition. Here we were given the chance to practice using many different types of Atlatls and spears. After getting the chance to practice there was competition held to see who could get the highest combined score with 5 throws. I had gotten one very good shot that was almost a bullseye and Cooper who is also a part of the CCU Anthropology and Geography club got first place and won a trophy. We spent the rest of the time exploring Colonial Williamsburg.
I immensely enjoyed my time at REARC. It was the first conference I have ever attended and I was unsure of what to expect. I got the chance meet and talk with many other students and people who had similar interest in Archeology as I do and I learned a lot from my time at REARC. I look forward to attending the conference again next year and to possibly present a paper.
Special thanks to Dr. Clary for providing me with the pictures she took at REARC