Login Join | Donate | Annual Meeting | Career Center | SAA News | Marketplace | Contact   Search
 Award for Excellence in Archaeological Analysis Minimize

— Award for Excellence in Archaeological Analysis —

Current Committee Charge:
The committee solicits nominations and selects recipients for the Award for Excellence in Archaeological Analysis. The award is presented as special recognition of excellence by an archaeologist whose innovative research and enduring contributions have had a significant impact on the discipline. The award recipient will have mastered the difficult challenge of bridging good ideas with empirical evidence or interpretive methods within a particular class of archaeological materials or over a broad range of materials. The award was first given in 2001 and replaced the Ceramic Studies Award and the Lithic Studies Award. Since 2001, the Award for Excellence in Archaeological Analysis rotates among three categories: an unrestricted or general category, lithic studies, and ceramic studies.

Committee Composition:
Committee composition is one chair and five members, all of whom are familiar with aspects of archaeological research or analysis. The committee consists of two members representing ceramic analysis, two members representing lithic analysis, and two members representing broad-based research and analysis skills. Each year two members will rotate off and new committee members will be selected. The positions will rotate among ceramics, lithics, and the unrestricted category such that the members representing a particular category will rotate off the committee the year that category is awarded. The chair will rotate among ceramics, lithics, and the unrestricted category such that, in the year is given in a specific category, the committee chair will represent that category. All members require Board approval because everyone may become chair at some point in time.

Term Length:
Term length is three years, following the 3-year award cycle.

Award Cycle:
The award cycles through three categories (lithics [2014], ceramics [2015], and general [2016]… ).

Committee Chair and End of Term:
Leah D. Minc, Chair [2015]

*Committee Chair Contact Information:
Leah D. Minc, Oregon State University, 100 Radiation Center, Corvallis, OR 97331-8568, Tel: (541) 737-4216, Email: mincleah@engr.orst.edu.

Committee Members and Ends of Terms:
Susan D. deFrance [2016], Jelmer W. Eerkens [2016], Mary Lou Larson [2015], Michael J. Shott [2017], Carla M. Sinopoli [2015]

Committee on Awards Chair: Heather A. Lapham [2015]

Board Liaison to Award Committees:
Suzanne K. Fish [2015]

*Award Description:
This award recognizes the excellence of an archaeologist whose innovative and enduring research has made a significant impact on the discipline. This award now subsumes within it three themes presented on a cyclical basis: (1) an unrestricted or general category (first awarded in 2001); (2) lithic analysis; and (3) ceramic analysis. The 2015 Award for Excellence in Archaeological Analysis will be presented in the CERAMIC ANALYSIS category.

*Who Is Eligible to Submit Nominations or Apply for Award:
Any SAA member may nominate an individual for this award. Awardees must be members of the SAA.

*Nomination/Submission Materials Required:
Nominators must submit a letter that describes the nature, scope, and significance of the nominee’s research and analytical contributions, as well as the nominee’s curriculum vita. Support letters from other scholars are welcome, as are any other relevant documents. Please send submissions to the committee chair.

*Nomination/Submission Deadline:
January 4, 2015

Other Special Requirements:

Selection or Evaluation Criteria:
Nominees are evaluated on their demonstrated ability to successfully create an interpretive bridge between good ideas, empirical evidence, research, and analysis.

Committee Deliberation Process (e.g. dates, venue):
The committee will review the materials in mid-January each year, and deliberate via either e-mail or telephone communication.
Nature of Award (e.g. monetary, medal, symposium): The awardee is recognized by the SAA through a plaque presented during the business meeting held at the Annual Meeting, a citation in The SAA Archaeological Record, and acknowledgment on the awards page of the SAA Website.


   Harold Lewis Dibble

Harold L. Dibble has earned the SAA's Award for Excellence in Archaeological Analysis for his remarkable achievements in the study of chipped stone technology and Paleolithic archaeology. Dr. Dibble's contributions are extensive and include reinterpretation of Paleolithic typology, examination of technology in relation to raw material access, taphonomy and site formation processes, experiments into the formation of flakes, the study of symbolic behavior, and the development of field techniques. His research on such sites as Combe-Capelle Bas, Tabun, and La Ferrassie has revolutionized our understanding of Middle Paleolithic technological organization and land-use with implications that extend well beyond western Eurasia and North Africa. He has set an exceptionally high standard for actualistic research in a laboratory setting.

Dr. Dibble's legacy is enhanced by his outstanding record of collaboration and student training. In presenting this award the SAA recognizes Harold Dibble's significant and lasting contributions to lithic analysis.

   Gayle Fritz

Gayle Fritz has earned the SAA Award for Excellence in Archaeological Analysis for her lifetime commitment to furthering the theoretical frameworks and standards of analysis of paleoethnobotany in an ongoing effort to understand the origins of crop domestication in the Americas. Her work is foundational in demonstrating the theoretical interrelationships between paleoethnobotanical analyses and anthropological questions of gender, feasting, migration, and status. She was central to demonstrating that eastern North America harbored an independent center of domestication. Always with an eye on and deep respect for data, Gayle Fritz brings high and innovative standards of method and technique to her work, whether in the field or the laboratory, and has influenced multiple generations of paleoethnobotanists as both teacher and mentor. She continues to expand her own horizons through research on crop domestication in Central Asia. Gayle Fritz’s career embodies the primacy of data, centered in high level analyses, to archaeology.

   James Skibo

James Skibo has earned the SAA’s Award for Excellence in Archaeological Analysis for his life-long contributions to the field of archaeological ceramic studies. Through a combined approach relying on ethnoarchaeological and experimental research, Dr. Skibo’s many publications have provided concrete examples of how the methodological analysis of ceramics can be bridged with theory and how it can be used to address questions of broad anthropological interest. He has authored dozens of articles and an impressive ten books, including the 1992 book Pottery Function, which remains the definitive work on pottery use-alteration. The substantial impact of his work is reflected in the large numbers of citations that it has received by scholars working throughout the world. The SAA is proud to present this award to Dr. Skibo.

   Steven Shackley

Steven Shackley has earned the SAA’s Award for Excellence in Archaeological Analysis for his analytical and technical contributions using raw material sourcing in the interpretation of the social relations underlying lithic assemblage patterning. Dr. Shackley’s achievements combine outstanding scholarship in XRF analysis, geoarchaeology, archaeometry, flintknapping, and lithic technology with an anthropological perspective on a diversity of cultural processes and interactions, including quarrying, long-distance trade and exchange, ethnicity, migration, style and group identity, and gender interaction. His published work on these topics spans both cultural resource management and academic projects, and focuses on regions as diverse as the North American Southwest, Mexico, South and Central America, Ethiopia, the Middle East, and the Russian Far East, as well as temporal periods from the Middle Stone Age to Paleoamericans to the Neolithic to the ethnographic present. This award recognizes Steven Shackley’s significant role in advancing archaeological research in the field of lithic analysis.

   Timothy A. Kohler

   Judith Habicht-Mauche

   William Andrefsky

   Robert L. Bettinger

   Michael Brian Schiffer

   George H. Odell

   David Lewis-Williams

   Carol Kramer

   Robin Torrence

   George L. Cowgill

The Award for Excellence in Ceramic Studies and the Award for Excellence in Lithic Studies, both first presented in 1994, were succeeded by the Award for Excellence in Archaeological Analysis in 2001. Awardees of the Award for Excellence in Ceramic Studies and the Award for Excellence in Lithic Studies are as follows:

   Owen Rye (Ceramic Studies)
            Tom Hester (Lithic Studies)

   Warren R. DeBoer (Ceramic Studies)
            Barbara E. Luedtke (Lithic Studies)

   Robert L. Rands (Ceramic Studies)
            Kenneth Hirth (Lithic Studies)

   Ronald Bishop and James Hill (Ceramic Studies)
            None (Lithic Studies)

   Dean E. Arnold (Ceramic Studies)
            Jay K. Johnson (Lithic Studies)

   Frederick Matson and Prudence Rice (Ceramic Studies)
            Harry J. Shafer (Lithic Studies)

   Patricia L. Crown and William A. Longacre (Ceramic Studies)
            John Witthoft (posthumous) (Lithic Studies)