80th Annual Meeting in Williamsburg, Virginia (2024)

Governor's Palace at Colonial Williamsburg

Governor's Palace at Colonial Williamsburg


Williamsburg, Virginia

November 13-16, 2024

We are very excited to host the 2024 Southeastern Archaeological Conference in Williamsburg, VA! This is the first time SEAC will be held in Virginia. The Historic Triangle – made up of Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown – is home to a number of nationally significant archaeological projects and sites, that include groundbreaking approaches to engaging with historically marginalized groups including enslaved Africans, African Americans, and Virginia Indians.

Due to the preponderance of things to do, Travel + Leisure recently ranked Williamsburg as one of the best cities in the US! For those who want to spend some time away from the historic attractions, Busch Gardens and Water Country USA are also located in Williamsburg and King’s Dominion is an hour away. In nearby Richmond and Norfolk, there are a number of science, art, and historical museums to suit anyone’s interest. The Mariners’ Museum and Park, located 30 minutes away from the conference venue in Newport News, is a must-see and only costs $1 for admission. Nearby historic attractions located within a few hours include James Madison’s Montpelier, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Stratford Hall, American Civil War Museum, and Historic St. Mary’s City.

General Information

Conference Venue and Hotels

The conference will be held at the Williamsburg Lodge, a Colonial Williamsburg (CW) affiliated hotel with attached meeting spaces. As such, any profit goes to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the non-profit organization that supports the historical site, including their top-tier archaeology department.

Colonial Williamsburg

We are offering two conference hotels that are affiliated with Colonial Williamsburg. The main room block is at The Williamsburg Lodge, but we have secured an additional block at The Woodlands. There are a range of other options within a 10 minute drive from the venue. Please check the Hotels page for more details.

Cutoff date for special hotel rate: October 17th, 5pm EST

Book your Stay

Getting to Williamsburg

Williamsburg is located in the Tidewater region of Virginia, just off of I-64. It is served by airports in Richmond, Newport News, and Norfolk (Richmond and Norfolk airports are just under an hour away. Newport News is about 30 minutes, but is a much smaller airport). There’s also an Amtrak station one mile away from the hotel for those who prefer to come in by train or those who wish to visit Washington DC before or after the conference.

Williamsburg Area Transport Authority operates cheap buses throughout the town of Williamsburg (WATA Route Maps) for $3/day. One notable route is from the Amtrak at the Williamsburg Transportation Center to the Williamsburg Lodge and the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor’s center (located next to the Woodlands, the cheaper conference option). The Colonial Williamsburg shuttle operates within Colonial Williamsburg.

Important Deadlines

Online registration will open on June 10th. The deadline for submitting symposia, panels, papers, or posters is Friday, September 6.

The pre-registration deadline is Friday, October 11. At this time, the fee for registration will increase.


Trowel & Table: Student Networking Luncheon

Join the Student Affairs Committee (SAC) for a luncheon aimed at fostering connections amongst SEAC student members. Through this event, the SAC hopes to provide a supportive network where students can lean on each other for guidance, advice, and camaraderie. Inspired by a speed dating format, there will be various “topic tables” around the room for students to discuss relevant subjects in a set amount of time, after which students continue on to another table. By the end, attendees will have fostered new connections that will persist through many more SEACs to come in addition to cultivating peer support for a variety of their interests. RSVP to the Student Networking Luncheon.

Student Reception

Location TBD.

Thursday Museum Reception

The museum reception will be held at Colonial Williamsburg’s Art Museum Complex, which contains the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. A recent $40 million, 65,000 square foot expansion has led to seven new galleries for over 70,000 examples of fine, decorative, mechanical and folk art in addition to the over 16 million archaeological objects at Colonial Williamsburg more generally.

Public Day (Saturday 10am to 4pm)

The Council of Virginia Archaeologists (COVA) welcomes visitors to celebrate archaeology throughout the Commonwealth for a day-long, family-friendly, special event at Colonial Williamsburg. This event offers the opportunity to showcase the depth and breadth of Virginia archaeology on the eve of COVA’s 50th anniversary to the public and our SEAC colleagues attending the annual conference in Williamsburg at the same time. Visitors can interact with COVA archaeologists at stations representing various themes in Virginia archaeology including public education and outreach, current tools and techniques for archaeological survey and excavation, material culture and artifact curation, and community history and collaboration. Visitors will also be able to view active archaeological excavations at the nearby Custis Square site. Additional program elements may include welcome remarks and a public program about archaeology with a Colonial Williamsburg interpreter. The goal of the event is to foster public awareness and support for the preservation of Virginia’s archaeological resources and highlight 50 years of Virginia archaeology in one place.


Emergency Response Workshop

Join the Heritage at Risk Task Force for a workshop on responding to emergencies in your collections. Participants will respond to a mock emergency scenario to practice documentation and salvage, learn about the incident command system, and building networks and capacity to prepare for disaster events.

Length: 2 hours, Cost: Free, Capped at 24 participants.

3D Printing and Scanning Workshop

by Bernard Means, Virtual Curation Lab Director, Virginia Commonwealth University

This workshop will cover how to create or obtain three-dimensional (3-D) models, with a focus on low- or no-cost options. The basics of editing and preparing 3-D models for integration into presentations or social media will be addressed. Particular emphasis will be placed on strategies for successfully 3-D printing digital files for use in public outreach, education, or museum exhibits.

Length: 2 hours, Cost: $10, Capped at 20 participants.

An Introduction to Digging Through Archaeological Data

by Jolen Smith, Director of Resource Information & Registers, Virginia Department of Historic Resources, and Elizabeth Bollwerk, Project Manager for the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery.

This two-hour workshop will provide a high-level introduction to best practices, tools, and challenges of working with data including collecting, cleaning, managing and analysis. It will introduce the concepts of Data Lifecycles and Management plans and provide resources for successfully completing these vital components of archaeological work that ensure data are properly prepared for future sharing and reuse. We’ll also review tools to clean, manage, and analyze data like OpenRefine, R and RStudio. Finally, we will discuss ethics of Open Science and Open Data. This workshop will provide practical resources for getting organized, handling messy data, and reducing common data-handling errors. We welcome participants with all levels of technical ability.

Length: 2 hours, Cost: $15, capped at 15 participants.

Tours and Excursions

Colonial Williamsburg Archaeology Collections Tours (Wednesday)

Located on the edge of Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area, the Archaeological Collections Building is home to more than 60 million artifacts that help us to understand what life was like for people in the 18th century and recreate the landscape they inhabited. Join us for tours of the lab and see archaeological objects, hear about current excavations and curatorial efforts, and find out how nearly 100 years of archaeological discoveries shed new light on our colonial past and inform the stories told at Colonial Williamsburg, past, present, and future.

Tours meet in the shelter at the corner of Botetourt and Nicholson Streets. They will be given throughout the day on Wednesday. Space is limited, so please register in advance.

Cost: Free, Available time slots are on registration form.

Historic Jamestowne (Saturday afternoon)

Historic Jamestowne is jointly operated by Jamestown Rediscovery (Preservation Virginia) and the National Park Service. The site is the location of the first successful English settlement in North America, established in 1607. The tour will focus on the Jamestown Rediscovery property, and begin with a presentation on Jamestown history and the 30-year Rediscovery archaeology project. The tour will visit the ongoing excavations with the Archaeology team and discuss recent finds. The team will also describe efforts to combat climate change, and its effects on Jamestown’s cultural resources.

Collections staff will take you through the archaeology lab and collections space where attendees will learn about the collection of more than four million artifacts recovered by the program since 1994. There will be a chance to view and discuss ongoing projects with both conservators and curators. Finally, there will be time to explore the Nathalie P. & Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium, Historic Jamestowne’s award-winning archaeology museum, which brings to life stories of the first settlers and the struggles they endured through the objects they left behind.

It is located approximately 20 minutes away from the conference hotel and the tour is expected to last all afternoon.

Cost: $40/person (includes Transportation), Capped at 30 participants.

Newport News Mariner's Museum (Saturday 9:30am to 3:30pm)

This 6-hour field trip on Saturday departs the conference hotel at about 9:30 on Saturday and returns at about 3:30. The tour includes a docent tour of the USS Monitor Center, a discussion of conservation efforts in the dry lab, a discussion of efforts to preserve the Princess Carolina in the wet lab, and self-guided time at the museum’s exhibits. Learn more about the USS Monitor Center, and the Princess Carolina, the oldest surviving North American-built merchant vessel, whose repairs in 1729 were never completed.

Cost: $50 (Includes transportation and on-site lunch from Firehouse Subs), Capped at 53 participants.

Sponsorship Opportunities

One of our top priorities with funding this year is ensuring that it is as affordable as possible for students.

Donations will be advertised online and in the program. Donations of over $250 will be listed in the pocket program, the full program, online, and in-person at the conference and other donors will have their name listed in the full program and online.

Bronze donors = $250 or more will receive a 1/6 page ad. 

Silver donors = $500 or more 1/4 page ad. 

Gold donors = $750 or more a 1/2 page ad.

Platinum donors = $1000 or more a full-page ad in the pocket program. 

For sponsorship questions, please email Patrick Johnson at pjohnson@marstel-day.com

Organizing Committee

Patrick Johnson, Marstel-Day (pjohnson@marstel-day.com)
Janene Johnston, Preservation Virginia: Jamestown Rediscovery (jjohnston@preservationvirginia.org)
Elizabeth Horton, Cultural Heritage Partners (Elizabeth@culturalheritagepartners.com)
Jack Gary, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (jgary@cwf.org)
Mary Furlong Minkoff, Florida Public Archaeology Network (mminkoff@uwf.edu)


Remember to check out SEAC on Facebook and Twitter for information about the conference.