Dr. Dent is one of the preeminent scholars studying, and revealing, the history and pre-history of this region. He is the author of Chesapeake Prehistory: Old Traditions, New Directions, selected as a major reading in ASM's Certified Archeological Technician (CAT) program, and a significant number of other publications on the archaeology of the Chesapeake and Middle Atlantic regions.
He maintains interests in both prehistoric and historic archaeology. His active program of field investigations in the Potomac Valley focuses on the origins of settled village life and the incorporation of horticulture into subsistence bases after AD 1200. He maintains a strong interest in Paleo-indian and Southwestern archaeology.
Much of his research in historical archaeology has taken place in Annapolis and more recently in Philadelphia. The latter research focused on the excavations of numerous 18th through early 19th century house sites along Arch Street in Old Philadelphia.
In addition to decades of research and excavation in the region, Dr. Dent has been closely associated with ASM activities for many years. Since 2002, he has served as the Principle Investigator for 7 of 14 field sessions sponsored by ASM. In addition, he has supported ASM field activities, sponsoring several field site surveys and workshops. He has also been a featured speaker at several Workshops, ASM Annual Meetings, and the Spencer O. Geasey Memorial Lecture, held during the annual field session.
Dr. Dent is not only a fount of knowledge regarding archeology and history of this region, but has shown desire and ability to convey that to both paying students and the avocational volunteers that participate in the activities mentioned above. He is a source of insiration for those who show desire to learn about archeology and the peoples of The Maryland region and works to help them and the science of archeology to progress into the future.
Given his service to the science of archeology, the development of knowledge of the full spectrum of people who have inhabited this region, and the Maryland archeological community, including ASM, Dr. Joe Dent is fully deserving of this award.