Welcome, everyone, to Dig Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve! (I see what you did there!) We’re your hosts, KB (and Sophie!) and we’re excited to break down the best of 2023 with you all!
But wait… Soph, do you hear someone coming? (Uhh… huh. Could it be?) Oh my gosh, OH MY GOSH, oh my gosh!!! Look at those pearly whites!
It's Ryan CRM-Crest everybody! For all the folks at home, Sophie and I have been calling Ryan CRM-crest’s agents for AGES! (Practically since the Paleoindian period!) We were REALLY hoping he’d be able to join us for our countdown to New Year’s post. It's kind of a BIG DEAL! - Thank you so much for joining us Mr. CRM-Crest!
Of course, I wouldn’t miss it! May I? (Please!)
Hey out there Dig Deeper fans, and welcome to Dig Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve! This year, we’ve got an incredible line up for you. We’ll be dropping the New Years ball on all the highlights from a fantastic year, revisiting some of your favorite posts, and reflecting on both the old year gone by and the new year to come. Sit tight, stay tuned, and join us as we drop down memory lane, won’t you?
We Started Off Strong With Some New Year’s Resolutions
TerraX kicked off 2023 with a bang. In Dig Deeper’s first post, we laid out our vision for a year full of both hard work and a lot of fun. You may remember that TerraX had grand plans to pursue more projects by writing proposals? Well, they did! TerraX wrote and submitted over 40 public sector proposals this year. Ladies, did we get the final numbers on how many of those public sector proposals TerraX won this year?
Uh, sorry Ryan, we lost count back in… February?
Haha! Well, suffice it to say, the proposals department is booming! But that’s not all. TerraX accomplished so many big things in 2023! The Historic Resources department added a new member (Congratulations, Margaret!), the History department completed its first solo project, the fabulous archaeologists really pulled together to complete numerous mitigations, and to top it all off, as a whole, TerraX sent nearly a dozen presenters to the Southeastern Archaeological Conference! Don’t forget, either, that we all got to meet the TerraX marketing team of KB and Sophie, and they’ve continued bringing us all the latest updates on TerraX projects as well as fascinating finds and fun facts — try saying that five times fast! — from the CRM world over the last year as well.
January also brought TerraX’s first and favorite party trick — bottle analysis! Through its short series, Lightning in a Bottle Part 1 and Part 2, Dig Deeper introduced us all to the world of analyzing glass bottles by their various characteristics including shape, color, and maker’s marks. Pop quiz! What are the two main categories of glass bottles? If you answered “mouth-blown” and “machine-made,” you’re correct!
Yup, TerraX started strong back in January, and they’ve continued to amaze and astound ever since!
Moving and Shaking
The rest of the first half of 2023 was all about showcasing the brilliant work of the CRM professionals at TerraX. Briane Shane gave us all an incredible introduction to Architectural History. Did you know that “Architectural History” really refers to any above-ground built structure? We sure didn’t! (Nope!) But it’s true, and you may have noticed we’ve even updated the name of the department from “Architectural History” to “Historic Resources” to reflect that. And Historic Resources wasn’t the only department highlighted in 2023 — we also got to dig a little deeper into the world of GIS with a post all about maps and the different types CRM professionals use in their work. Who knew old fire insurance maps could be so important?
And do you remember when Steve visited Portugal to participate in a panel discussion at the Society for Historical Archaeology’s annual conference? What an incredible experience that was! Steve and a panel of six other professionals gathered to discuss the effects of climate change on the future of historic preservation. Their work will ensure we continue to be able to share our history and findings from research and archaeological study for generations to come, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say we are grateful for that.
Oh, and who could forget that memorable celebration of Women’s History Month? The TerraX staff is full of smart, capable, passionate women, and we got to hear so many of their stories this year. The women on this team come from so many different backgrounds, and each has had her own unique journey to become the successful Woman of CRM she is today, and I know this company could not be more proud of the hard work they’ve done and the incredible skill sets they bring to the table. Later on, our marketing gurus got to highlight one of TerraX’s fabulous women, Dr. April Smith, in even more detail with their full exposé, if you will, on her doctoral work in, “Bioarcheaology in Italy and the Tellings of Teeth.” Definitely revisit those post if you need a little inspiration!
The TerraX Sports Center Returned in Full Force!
It’s true — the Benjamin Russell boys were back at it this year, and the TerraX marketing team has been with them every step of the way, covering their struggles and successes right here on Dig Deeper. Our second two part series of the year chronicled their experiences in the spring junior championship, where Carson and Grant literally knocked the fish out of the water!
And in the fall, your favorite sportscasters, KB and Sophie, have continued following everyone’s favorite linecasters through the 2023 Three-River Throwdown! What a season it’s been! We got to meet the team captain, Jackson Kelly, and how about that final round?! We couldn’t be more proud of our boys, right ladies? (Absolutely!) (Couldn’t have said it better myself!)
But wait, that reminds me…
How have we gotten so far into our year-in-review without mentioning that we finally got to meet the brilliant voices behind Dig Deeper, KB and Sophie! These two have been your faithful guides into the world of Cultural Resource Management all along, but we finally got to meet them back in October, and what a treat that was. How has it been sharing the truth behind all your hard work this year?
KB: Honestly, for me it was really scary at first, but it was Sophie’s incredible art that ultimately convinced me that sharing our identities with the world could actually be — dare I say it? — fun! I’ve loved getting to collaborate on our posts, and I look forward to seeing our cartoon faces each time we get ready to publish. I also think that adding our own personalities to the blog gives us an extra unique flair, you know? We may be a little silly sometimes, but Sophie and I are learning too, and I know I’ve enjoyed learning right alongside our faithful Xplorers! What do you think, Sophie?
Sophie: I agree, KB! It took a lot of work and being patient with technology (#adobe #artist #techsavvy), but I’ve truly enjoyed leaning into my creativity. There’s something so cool about putting my face out into the world through art! And I love getting to brainstorm with an equally creative and encouraging coworker…
KB: Oh, stop.
Sophie: No, really! I’ve had a lot of fun working with you this year, and I can’t wait to see how our little project evolves and how silly we can get! #bigfan
Well, I think you both are doing an amazing job — you better believe I come back every other Friday to see what’s new on Dig Deeper!
In 2023, TerraX Found Its Niche…
2023 has also been a year of working hard to highlight different parts of the CRM world, including the fascinating field of Zooarchaeology! (Don’t forget — that’s not zoology!) Sharlene O’Donnell lent us all her expertise for that one, and I think we all learned a lot. Archaeologists have been using animal bones and other leftovers like shells to learn about how humans have interacted with the animals in their environments for thousands of years. It makes sense — animals are an essential part of our lives! However, I didn’t even know that zooarchaeology existed as a thing people studied, let alone as an essential part of the archaeology world, but what can I say? You learn something new every day.
We also had a great time back in September when Briane Shane, expert Architectural Historian and all-around badass, walked us through a pretend analysis of the one and only flying house from Disney and Pixar’s Up. She shared the characteristics of the house that a practiced Architectural Historian would notice, and she even walked us through the process of deciding whether the house would be eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places — the United States’ official list of important historic sites. What a creative way to teach people about what Architectural Historians actually do!
2023 was Both Spooky and Successful
Drawing to the end of an incredible year of Digging Deeper, KB and Sophie pulled together a very — shall we say, unique? — collection of Tricks and Treats to celebrate Halloween! The TerraX Spooktacular introduced audiences to Southern ghost stories with Kathryn Tucker Windham, creepy dolls known as Frozen Charlottes (Not to mention their scary origin story!), echo-y tunnels in Birmingham’s famous Sloss Furnaces, eerie swamps deep in the Louisiana bayous, and even a cemetery just for pets. Turns out, there’s plenty to be afraid of in the archaeology world — so all you horror fans out there, archaeology just might be the career path for you!
Finally, just before the ball drops, KB and Soph also shared the details of TerraX’s trip to the Southeastern Archaeological Conference, which could not have been more of a smashing success! From posters to presentations, tasty treats and even tattoos, the TerraX staff had an incredible long weekend sharing their research, networking with CRM professionals, and enjoying some good camaraderie amongst new friends and old. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience at SEAC, and we’re grateful the rest of us got to read about it right here on Dig Deeper.
Here’s to a Fantastic 2024
Well folks, that about sums it up! 2023 was a year filled with fun and learning for the team at TerraX. We’ve had so many positive experiences, and I know I’ve enjoyed reading about them right here on Dig Deeper.
So, as we get ready to say goodbye to 2023 and look ahead to 2024, can we all raise our (pretend) glasses and give a toast? To TerraX, to Dig Deeper, and to continuing to learn and share the beauty of what we learn with each other?
Thank you so so much, Ryan, for joining us for this very special year-end celebration! (Join us anytime!) And to all of you readers — our faithful Xplorers — thank YOU for joining us this year! We’re grateful to everyone who reads and enjoys our posts. We’ve got lots of great stuff planned for you all next year, so don’t go anywhere!
See ya next year, friends —
KB, Sophie, and Ryan CRM-Crest