MAS 2023 Conference

The MontanaArchaeological Society (MAS) is back in the saddle after a three year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All were excited to be back together as a group at the MAS 2023 Conference at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman.

The meeting kicked off on Thursday, April 20, with two field trips. Connie Constan led a group to Yellowstone to view the flood damage from the devastating Yellowstone floods of summer 2022. In Bozeman, Crystal Alegria led a group tour through the Sunset Hills Cemetery and shared the colorful histories of various famous Bozeman icons who are buried there.

The Museum of the Rockies venue was inspirational and welcoming. Curator of History Michael Fox led tours of the Museum archives on Friday morning. See the photos in the gallery below. The meeting warmed up at a Friday evening Social at the historic Story Mansion with good cheer and tasty hor d’oeurves.

A number of great talks filled the Saturday Morning session in the Hagar auditorium. The afternoon started with an archival film, The Changing Dawn, produced by Richard McCallum from 1976. The film was shot on location at the Schmitt Chert Mine as Les Davis brought his spring archaeology classes to work the excavation for 17 years. Then the feature presentation, Les Davis and the Search For the First Montanans, partially funded by MAS and produced by Dan Smith. The film followed the epic career of Les Davis, the longtime Montana archaeologist who put Montana archaeology on the map.

Finally, awards were presented to two long-time Montana archaeology figures. Ann Johnson, former Yellowstone National Park Chief of Cultural Resources and Editor of Archaeology in Montana, the journal of the Montana Archaeological Society, received the  MAS Lifetime Acheivement Award. And, Pamela Bompart, widow of Les Davis and owner of the MacHaffie Archaeological site received the 2023 MAS Conservation Archaeology Award for her long association with Montana archaeology and preservation of the MacHaffie Archaeological site.

Shannon Gilbert finished her term as President of MAS in fine form, Sara Scott has taken the reins as Editor of Archaeology in Montana, and Marv Keller was sworn in as the new President of The Montana Archaeological Society.

View the Awards:

Ann Johnson Lifetime Achievement Award

Pamela Bompart 2023 MAS Conservation Archaeology Award