The Alexandria Archaeological Commission has announced the winners of the second annual Bernard Ben Brenman Archaeology in Alexandria Award. The awards, named in honor of the late Ben Brenman, a longtime Commission chair, were presented on Tuesday, October 14, at the Alexandria City Council meeting.
The 2008 honorees are:
Friends of Freedmens Cemetery, which was founded in 1987 by Lillie Finklea and Louise Massoud to save and recognize Freedmens Cemetery, the once-forgotten 19th-century African-American burial ground. FFCs efforts were highly successful, resulting in a state historical marker, the purchase of the parcel by the City of Alexandria, and ultimately the Contraband and Freedmens Cemetery Memorial Project. The archaeological investigations at the cemetery identified almost 500 graves of freedmen and contrabands, sparking a high level of community interest in the sites history and in Alexandria archaeology.
T. Michael Miller, the Citys research historian whose part-time Alexandria history hobby evolved into a 30-year career in local history. Miller has produced more publications on Alexandria history than anyone else, and his research has greatly enhanced the archaeological investigations of the Lee-Fendall House, the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary, Shuters Hill, Lee Street bakery and Civil War sites, Wilkes Street Tunnel, Hooffs Run Bridge and Freedmens Cemetery.
Chan Mohney, who combined his fascination with the past, volunteer archaeology work and cycling abilities to develop the concept of an archaeological interpretive bike ride. Offering the Tour de Digs, Mohney a longtime Alexandria Archaeological Commission member, developed the idea of biking to archaeological sites and then discussing the history of those places, and, with the help of others, this idea expanded into the Alexandria Heritage Trail guidebook and into annual trail rides during Virginia Archaeology Month.
Historic Alexandria Foundation, incorporated more than 50 years ago to preserve, protect and restore structures and sites of historic and archaeological interest in and associated with the City of Alexandria, and is now a major force in preserving Alexandrias history through its buildings, neighborhoods and unique character. For the past three years, HAF has provided funding to the Alexandria Archaeology Digital Atlas, a system of historic map overlays that are geo-rectified to Alexandrias contemporary grid and landscape, which is now the primary tool for preservation planning and archaeology code review, ensuring great protection to archaeological resources.