Each fall the Council of Virginia Archaeologists (CoVA) presents awards in memory of Michael Hoffman, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Virginia, and Virginia Sherman, Westmoreland County’s Historic Preservation Officer. The Hoffman Award, for organizations, and the Sherman Award, for individuals, recognize those outside of the professional archaeological community who have made significant contributions to archaeological site preservation or historic preservation within the Commonwealth. Some examples of possible recipients include local municipalities, corporations, politicians and developers.

In addition, the McCary Award is given jointly by the Archeological Society of Virginia and the Council of Virginia Archaeologists in recognition of the best student paper in prehistoric archaeology at the ASV Annual Meeting.

Contact the CoVA Awards Committee for more information.

Sherman & Hoffman Awards

The contributions made by the nominee could include, but are not limited to, advocacy and/or enactment of pro-preservation laws and proffers, research funding, site preservation, easement donations or support of public education programs.

The following criteria are intentionally vague in order to encourage creativity in recognizing those who actively seek to save our cultural heritage.

* Nominations will exclude professional archaeologists.
* The contribution must have had a direct and significant impact on an archaeological site or historic preservation in Virginia.

For a complete list of award winners, click here.


Michael Allen Hoffman AWARD
2015 Recipient: Mathews County Historical Society

For over 40 years, the Mathews County Historical Society (MCHS) has served the citizens of Mathews County, researching, preserving, and sharing the history of one of Virginia’s smallest but most unique communities. One particularly important part of their history has been a consistent and laudable commitment to preserving archaeological sites and supporting archaeological research. Whether through the stewardship of the Civil War era earthworks at Ft. Nonsense, or the more recent advocacy for regional planning through the Archaeological Assessment of Mathews County project, the MCHS has been involved with supporting archaeology across its entire history. The MCHS has contributed more than just funding and interest to these projects. They are active participants in every project they sponsor. These efforts mark the MCHS as one of Virginia’s most active archaeological supporters and through their actions have contributed significantly to our understanding and preservation of Virginia’s archaeology.

2015 Recipient: Dr. James Whittenburg

Dr. James “Jim” Whittenburg has been one of the most significant supporters of archaeology in Virginia since the late 1970s. His efforts, focusing on the development of archaeological education programs and the exposure of historians at the undergraduate and graduate levels to field methodology, theory, and public engagement, have influenced the development of many professionals currently leading the field today. Couple this with the much larger number of individuals he exposed to archaeology, and his active assistance with archaeology salvage efforts in the 1980s, and it is clear that he has played a very important role in Virginia archaeology.

Dr. Whittenburg currently serves as the Pullen Professor in the Lyon G. Tyler Department of History at the College of William and Mary and the Director of Instruction for the National Institute of American History and Democracy (NIAHD). His experience in Virginia archaeology began with his Ph.D. students at the College of William and Mary in the late 1970s. Equally important is Dr. Whittenburg’s efforts to expose high school and undergraduate students to archaeology and material culture studies through NIAHD. This program immerses students in colonial and antebellum Virginia history with an emphasis on experiential learning and intensive multidisciplinary study. By providing students with an opportunity to learn about archaeology through participation and more traditional instruction, while continuing to mentor graduate students, Dr. Jim Whittenburg has made a significant contribution to archaeology, helping promote our field and advancing our understanding of Virginia’s history.

Ben McCary Award

The award's namesake, Dr. Ben McCary, a Professor of Classics at the College of William and Mary, was a leader in Virginia archaeology who played a major role in the founding and development of the ASV. Originating the "Virginia Fluted Point Survey," Dr. McCary is best known for his work at the Williamson PaleoIndian Site in Dinwiddie County.