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The Top 11 Things We’re Excited About in 2023!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 🎉🎉🎉


Welcome to 2023, Xplorers! We hope you had a wonderful time ringing in the new year with Ryan Seacrest — we mean, your loved ones! We sure did! (We’ll be sweeping up confetti for a while yet!)


It’s been a holiday season for the books, but now, it’s a brand new year, and you know what that means — it’s time for corny slogans! “New year, new us!” That’s our favorite.


Okay, no. But it *is* time for some new year’s resolutions.


New year’s resolutions may seem a little silly — after all, nobody magically wakes up on January 1st with all of their problems resolved feeling completely renewed for the challenges of the new year. As much as we wish it was, this isn't a Hallmark movie. There is no star to wish upon, no Groundhog Day rewind, no cosmic switch to flip. The new year is always up to you, and it’s up to us!


We are so excited about the incredible opportunities that lie ahead of us! This year, we want to take things to the next level. So today, we’re bringing you the top 11 things we’re excited about in 2023. Yes, 11 — because this year, we’re turning it all the way up to 11! (Too cheesy?) So grab your shovels — we’re about to dig deeper!


1. A Fresh Slate


Let’s start with the most obvious — a new year means brand new challenges, and at TerraX, we’re always looking to taking on exciting new projects.

Just a few of the cool artifacts we recovered last year!

“I’m excited to have a fresh slate with new projects to tackle,” says Lab Director, Raychel. (You remember her from our post about moving to our new lab facility last year.) Way back in 2022, the lab certainly put in the hours — almost all of the hours! — to complete one of our huge mitigation projects, which we finished just before Christmas (Ho, ho huge!). With that behind us, the lab is feeling fresh and ready for whatever’s next.


Our lab staff aren’t the only ones rearing to go. Everyone around here is looking for interesting new projects…


2. We Have a Proposal …


Actually, we have many! For those who don’t know, in the Cultural Resource Management world when we want to pursue a contract with a client, typically we’ll seek out and apply for those job opportunities. Clients from government agencies to construction companies will post a “Request for Proposals,” and then firms like TerraX can apply for those positions.


Our own Wonder Woman, Sharlene O’Donnell, says, “As Proposal Coordinator, I'm excited to go after varying types of contracts that utilize all our skills as a company and the skills of all the new people that started at TerraX this year.” In 2022, we hired some incredible new people and promoted others, and with all the new skills our people have brought to the table, we’ve truly reached a greater capacity than we ever have before! The sky’s the limit when it comes to future TerraX jobs, and we say, bring 'em on!


3. Architectural History is *Building* (Pun Intended)


Our lead Architectural Historian, Briane Shane, is looking forward to new projects as well. “For me,” she adds, “the most exciting thing about 2023 would be continuing to pursue bigger projects and, specifically for my department, more architectural-focused projects. We already have two in the pile of potential projects to pursue, so getting our name out there for architecture is something I'm hoping we can do in the coming year!”


TerraX has a lot of archaeologists on staff, but our Architectural History department is not to be underestimated! Briane, David, and Sam evaluated literally thousands of architectural resources last year, from barns and old office buildings to railroads and bridges … so many bridges! They’re already amazing at what they do, but this year, they will be bringing their skills to new heights with the architecture-focus projects we have in store.


4. Making History in the History Department


Get this — our History department is literally making TerraX history … by recording history! (In fairness, we started this project last year. But …) This year, our resident historians Emma and Margaret will finish the History Departments first project that was solely their own — a city history.


That’s right! The city of Brookhaven, GA has asked us to create a document recording their first ten years of cityhood. Just like us, they turned ten in 2022, and (also like us) they wanted to do something to commemorate the occasion. So, (enter Emma and Margaret) our historians have been conducting research, combing through old documents and city records, interviewing old city council members, founders of the city, and even the mayor to create the most thorough and complete record of Brookhaven’s history they can. We can’t wait for the final draft!


5. It’s Mitigation Nation Over Here!


So… we can’t really talk about this one yet (top secret legal stuff — you get it), but we’re working on yet another mitigation.


Now Xplorers, what’s the most important thing we told you to remember about mitigations? If you said, They’re BIG! you’d be right! And if you can believe it, we’re working on another beaut right now. Currently, we have tons of artifacts making their way through the lab, thanks to Paul and his team, who have been hard at work. And although we can't say all that much now, we look forward to sharing more details with you soon!


6. And Now, Our Feature Presentation

This was from one of Steve's presentations last year — more to come soon!

Frankly, the TerraX team also has an amazing number of presentations coming up in the next year. This month, Steve is traveling to Lisbon, Portugal — yes, Portugal (How cool!!!) — for the Society for Historical Archaeology’s conference. Steve will participate in a panel discussion, and he’ll be presenting, too. (Go team!)


Later in the year, Steve, Paul, and Kenny will travel to Portland, Oregon to present on some of our findings from the St. Amelia mitigation. (Y'all remember the toys and jewelry and marbles…) Additionally, we’ll have a presentation or two at the National Council for Public History, and more than one TerraX team member is submitting a paper to the Louisiana Archaeological Society’s newsletter. (Go team go!)


This is all to say, we’re incredibly proud of all our brilliant presenters, and we look forward to hearing about their adventures!


7. An Xploration in Social Media


One of our biggest marketing goals of the year is to lean into social media. After all, one of our favorite things to do is connect with all you awesome Xplorers out there! For that reason, our Marketing team is working extra hard to bring you all new content!


Of course, while we’re working on creating more and more fun posts for you all, we’d love to hear what you’d like to see! What’s your preferred social media channel — Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn? What kinds of content do you enjoy the most? Do you love reading about projects? Are you into historical research? What about book reviews? Let us know in the comments section of any of our posts — we look forward to hearing from you!


8. In 2023, We’ll Keep Digging Deeper …


We’re definitely very excited about expanding our social media presence, but fear now, Xplorers — your favorite archaeology blog is not going anywhere! We’ll keep digging into new and gripping topics every week. Our Marketing Coordinator, KB, has been plugging away at 100 words per minute, coming up with new and gripping topics to discuss and share with all our Xplorers.


Here’s just a preview of a few of the topics we’ll dig deeper into this year: For Women’s History Month in March, we’ve got a little bit of everything from some stories about amazing women in history to a full profile of one of our own amazing women on staff. In April, we’ll finally clear up what a lithic is and show you a little bit more about how we analyze them in the lab. For October, we have a whole spooky series planned to dig into some of the creepy, crawly aspects of archaeology and history. This year is going to be incredible and we cannot wait to get digging!


9. And as Always, We’ll Be Fishing for Success


Yup, we sure do have a ton of fun stuff planning for our blog this year, but don’t worry, Xplorers — we’ll be back with regular updates from the TerraX Sports Center, too.

In the next few months, we’ll continue to sponsor Carson and Grant as they make their way through the spring tournament series. This time around, they’ll be competing for Benjamin Russell as one of six middle school teams, and we’ll be following along every step of the way. They boys had an incredible fall season last year, and they’re ready to bring their A-game this year. With their sights set firmly on the state championship, we’re confident they’ll make us proud! The first tournament isn’t until next month, but once it gets going, we’ll be sure to check in and bring you all the stats and stories.


10. We’re Saving 4[01(k)] for Retirement


On another note… it’s true, Xplorers! For those of you thinking about applying to work with us, our Accounts Manager, Tina Smith, has an announcement:


“We are super excited to have TerraX offer our new 401(k) program in 2023!”


You read that right! TerraX is proud to be offering 401(k) plans for all of our full-time employees starting in 2023. We’re so pleased to be supporting our people and helping them save for retirement.This is a huge leap forward! Thank you so much for getting this new program up and running, Tina!


11. And Finally…


Did you know – we’re turning 11 this year!


Last year, we had a fantastic time getting the whole team together to celebrate our 10th birthday. Of course, 10 years is a unique milestone, but you know what’s even better than 10? That’s right, 11!


2023 represents yet another year of protecting and preserving our shared cultural resources. It’s another year of hard work and growth for our team. It means we’re just a little bit bigger and a little bit better than we were before. So this year, even though we might not be hitting another nice, round number of years, we’re still celebrating. We’re still in business, and we still love what we do!


Here’s to the New Year!


There you have it, Xplorers! Those are the top 11 things we’re excited about in 2023. This year is going to be a whole new adventure, Xplorers, and we’re grateful to you for joining us on this journey!


Don’t forget to reach out to us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. What are you most excited about this year? Do you have any new year’s resolutions? Let us know! We’d love to hear from you.


Until next time, Xplorers! Here’s to a wonderful year!


— The TerraX Team


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