Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page

1997 SAA AWARD RECIPIENTS

The following awards were presented on April 4, 1997 by Bill Lipe, outgoing president, at the society's annual business meeting, Opryland Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee.


List of Awards


Presidential Recognition Awards

Keith Kintigh-- As SAA secretary, Keith Kintigh has not only left an extraordinarily full and precise record of board activities, but has taken the lead in streamlining board operations to enable us to manage the great workload increase brought on by SAA's recent growth in size and complexity. This includes helping develop the executive committee of the board as an effective planning group, creating ways to prioritize the board agenda, and developing processes for systematizing the appointment of committee chairs and members. In addition, as a member of the ROPA task force, he patiently took all members' views into account in crafting the proposal that SOPA recently approved and that SAA members will vote on this fall. He also has worked closely with the government affairs program and the repatriation committee to prepare responses to proposed amendments to NAGPRA.

T. J. Ferguson and Roger Anyon-- For too long, American archaeologists neglected to develop a dialog with the present-day descendants of the peoples whose ancestors they study. That situation is now changing, in good part because of the long-term efforts of T. J. Ferguson and Roger Anyon. Over the years, they have worked both independently and together to communicate to archaeologists the importance of understanding Native American views about archaeology and the American past. Furthermore, they have consistently sought to inform Native American communities about archaeology, and to find ways to make archaeology more directly useful and relevant to the interests and concerns of those communities. And they have both provided valuable assistance to tribes in developing their own cultural resource management programs.

Donna Seifert-- SAA Board Member Donna Seifert has made exceptional contributions to the government affairs program by repeatedly giving congressional testimony on behalf of archaeology and otherwise serving as SAA's unofficial "board member on the Hill." Over several years she has devoted her time and made creative and practical contributions to two task forces: the task force charged with developing a proposal for a Register of Professional Archaeologists and the task force on "Renewing the National Archaeological Program." Finally, as a past president of the Society for Historical Archaeology, she has worked effectively to strengthen the bonds between SAA and SHA.

Joe Watkins-- SAA's Committee on Native American Relations addresses SAA's goals in this vital area. Joe Watkins is stepping down as chair of this committee, and I wish to recognize his dedicated and exceptional service. He has guided the development of this committee from the task force stage, and has energized it through his quiet but effective leadership. He and the committee also contributed to last year's symposia on archaeology and Native Americans and to the exciting new book that has come from that effort. With the Committee on Native American Relations now firmly established, Joe has agreed to become the new chair of the Native American Scholarship Committee, to help that committee continue to build on its good work. The board has authorized a significant expansion of this committee's membership, and we anticipate that the first scholarship can be awarded by the annual meeting next year. My thanks to Joe for his exemplary past service and his willingness to take on new challenges.

Florence Lister-- Publishing three books in one year-as Florence Lister is doing in 1997-would be enough to earn very special recognition. But Florence's exceptional contributions to archaeology span a long career. She and the late Robert Lister were a remarkable team, producing a series of books that made southwestern archaeology accessible to the interested public, and that furthered the history of archaeology as a field of scholarship. Their book, Those Who Came Before, represents both traditions and has had tens of thousands of readers over its nearly 15 years in print. Since Bob's untimely death in 1990, Florence has revised and expanded that book and has published several new ones on southwestern archaeology and the history of archaeological research. She is perhaps best known among archaeologists for her ceramic studies, and especially for her many publications on Spanish majolica pottery in both the New and Old Worlds. Her nearly lifelong interest in ceramics and archaeology is beautifully chronicled in a set of personal essays, just published by the University of New Mexico Press under the apt title, Potluck.

Mark Aldenderfer-- Over the past several years, the Information Technology Task Force has provided much of the expertise that has enabled SAA to steadily upgrade its computer and electronic communications capacities. This is most visible through SAAweb and the pervasiveness of email, but it extends throughout SAA's support infrastructure. I wish to recognize Mark Aldenderfer's exceptional service to the society as the chair of this task force and his significant contributions to making it so effective. And I also wish to commend Mark for his work in expanding, diversifying, and upgrading the SAA Bulletin as its editor. We have all come to expect the level of timeliness and excellence that the represents, but achieving and maintaining that level has required an enormous expenditure of Mark's time and expertise. We are fortunate indeed that Mark has just agreed to continue for another term as Bulletin editor.

David Anderson-- SAA's annual meeting plays an essential and increasing role in promoting scholarship, training, fellowship, and just plain fun for SAA members. As our meetings have become larger and more complex, the work of putting them on has multiplied, putting ever-greater burdens on the Program Committee. David Anderson, this year's Program Commitee chair, has shown great energy and skill in addressing these challenges. David took the lead in developing and implementing the program theme, and saw to it that an excellent program was completed on time. His innovative use of electronic technology, and the guidelines and records the committee has produced, will help future program committees make their meetings even bigger and better.

To Top of Page

Book Award

The Society for American Archaeology Book Award is given each year to the author of a recent book that has had or is expected to have a major impact on archaeological research or that represents an outstanding contribution to the public understanding of archaeology. The 1997 Book Awards recognize two outstanding examples in this latter category.

Bruce Smith-- Bruce Smith's book, The Emergence of Agriculture, presents an overview of what we know about the beginnings of farming and animal husbandry throughout the world. This well-written and illustrated book permits an exploration, not only of the current state of our understanding of plant and animal domestication, but also of the ways in which contemporary archaeology approaches the subject. It undoubtedly will inspire an appreciation for how archaeology contributes to the understanding of the world around us.

Carmel Schrire-- Carmel Schrire's book, Digging Through Darkness: Chronicles of an Archaeologist, is an unusual mix of biographic narrative, family history, the story of a dig, and the history of South Africa. The underlying theme of the book turns on the tensions created by contact between peoples of different backgrounds, classes, and ethnicities. It successfully shows that archaeology cannot fail to be historically situated and contextualized. A second story line explores the status of women in the field, especially in the male-dominated context of African archaeology in the 1960s.

To Top of Page

Award for Excellence in Ceramic Studies

This year we recognize two scholars, Ronald Bishop and James Hill, because each has made significant contributions to ceramic studies, but in different ways.

Ronald Bishop-- Bishop's contribution is firmly grounded in a methodology and a technique of analysis that he, along with a few others, pioneered in the field. Among archaeologists, his work is the best known and most influential for establishing appropriate research design and analysis of neutron activation ceramic studies. His work is the standard against which all other provenience studies are measured.

James Hill-- Jim Hill's work may be characterized as theoretical and seminal in advancing the study of material culture as a reflection of aspects of social organization. It is doubtful whether there is another empirical study of ceramics in American archaeology that has stimulated more productive research than Hill's Broken K Pueblo. Research on formation processes, ceramic ethnoarchaeology, and the use of multivariate statistics in archaeology are among the innovations stemming from Hill's work.

To Top of Page

Crabtree Award

The Late Sidney Merrick Wheeler and Georgia Nancy Wheeler Felts -- SAA is honored to recognize the achievements of a remarkable couple, Sidney and Georgia Wheeler. They were instrumental in advancing the archaeology of the Desert West, especially by developing and implementing methods of excavation and recording. From 1933 through 1956, they excavated at a number of important sites in the Great Basin, including Etna Cave, Lehman Cave, Spirit Cave, Little Lake, Borax Lake, and Tule Spring. The Wheelers developed and introduced a grid coordinate system to Great Basin archaeology and published it in American Antiquity (4:48-51). This was one of the earliest uses of a coordinate grid anywhere in North America. As a tribute to his contributions, Sidney Wheeler was recommended by M. R. Harrington for a position in the Nevada State Parks Commission and was eventually named as curator of the Nevada State Museum. Despite attaining professional positions, Sidney Wheeler was at heart an avocational archaeologist. He was accompanied in all his work by his wife Georgia, who also coauthored several articles in Masterkey and elsewhere. Georgia's contributions are especially recognized as representing the diligence, perseverance, and important results of several generations of avocational women archaeologists whose work has too often gone unappreciated.

To Top of Page

Award for Excellence in Cultural Resource Management

James J. Miller-- James Miller is an indefatigable champion of archaeological site preservation, protection, and stewardship, whose innovative programs in Florida serve as national models. As state archaeologist of Florida and the chief of Florida's Bureau of Archaeological Research, he has implemented many programs directly related to site preservation and protection, site interpretation, public education, state park service and law enforcement training, and public outreach through publication. An outstanding example was the establishment, in 1989, of the Conservation and Recreational Lands Archaeological Survey to identify and acquire properties of known importance, such as Mission San Luis, the DeSoto site, and the Crystal River mounds. In addition, more than 20,000 acres of state land have been surveyed, nearly 600 previously unidentified sites have been recorded, and many sites have been protected. James Miller worked closely with the state legislature to achieve passage of Florida's Unmarked Human Burial Law, and has assisted the prosecution in numerous cases of looting and site destruction. Through the Underwater Archaeological Preserve Program-an innovative approach to site protection, stewardship, and ecotourism-he has promoted the stewardship of Florida's rich underwater heritage. At Mission San Luis, he has been actively involved in developing a living history program. Miller has also established cooperative training programs with state agencies in site recognition, management, protection, and law enforcement. His public outreach programs include a monograph series, numerous brochures and pamphlets, and a superb web site.

To Top of Page

Dissertation Award

Alvaro Higueras-Hare-- SAA recognizes Alvaro Higueras-Hare for his 1996 dissertation at the University of Pittsburgh, entitled Prehispanic Settlement and Land Use in Cochabamba, Bolivia. His advisor was Marc Bermann. Higueras's dissertation was selected from the largest field of nominations to date. It is an outstanding example of a regional approach to a significant research problem, with an appropriate and focused methodological design, a crisp presentation of research results, and an impressively persuasive resolution to the questions posed. Higueras investigates the nature and impact of the Tiwanaku empire in one of its outlying regions, the Cochabamba Valley in Bolivia, to evaluate the relationship between periphery and core. He is able to forcefully reject the widely held view that Tiwanaku colonized Cochabamba in order to take advantage of its rich agricultural soils, replacing this plausible ecological explanation of imperial imposition with a refined and complex model of socioeconomic emulation by local polities, coupled with new internal social and economic dynamics.

Dissertation Award (honorable mention)

The committee also acknowledges three additional dissertations as outstanding contributions to archaeological research:

Gary Dunham (Virginia, 1994)
Common Ground, Contesting Visions: The Emergence of Burial Ground Ritual in Late Prehistoric Central Virginia

Anne Henshaw (Harvard, 1995)
Central Inuit Household Economies: Zooarchaeological, Environmental, and Historical Evidence from Outer Frobisher Bay, Baffin Island, Canada

David Zeanah (Utah, 1996)
Prehistoric Residential Site Location for Hunter-Gatherers in the Carson Desert (Western Nevada)


To Top of Page

Fryxell Award for Interdisciplinary Research

Vorsila L. Bohrer-- Vorsila Bohrer had an interest in the interdisciplinary study of plant-human relations well before she received her botany PhD at the University of Arizona in 1968 with a double major and MA in botany and anthropology. Always displaying high standards of data collection, she has completed pioneering ethnobotanical work on a range of projects, environmental settings, and time periods throughout the American Southwest, including landmark studies at Snaketown and Salmon Ruin. She has made contributions not only to paleoethnobotany but also has published substantial work on paleoecology, including using archaeobotanical remains to investigate plant taxa extinctions, seasonality, and issues of wild food sustainability. She has a special gift to step back, even to the global level, and creatively address issues of plant use and their ecological and cultural meanings. Such work includes publications on the use of wood, corn and its accompanying traditions, and impacts of harvesting methods on dietary changes. Interest in plant domestication has resulted in detailed phenotypic work on maize, little barley, and cotton. She has pioneered the use of multiple botanical data sets to understand past plant use, regularly studying pollen and macroremains on the same site by integrating botanical sampling during excavation and ethnography in interpretation. While making these substantive and methodological advances, she has trained and continues to influence several generations of paleoethnobotanists throughout the New World. Active and generous with her vast ecological knowledge, she stresses precision, sound reasoning, and scientific objectivity with warmth and enthusiasm.

To Top of Page

Poster Awards

Professional Member Category
Judith A. Habicht-Mauche, A. Russell Flegal, Stephen Glenn, and Homer Milford.
For their poster, "Tracing Prehistoric Rio Grande Glaze Paint Production Using Lead Isotope Analysis"

Student Member Category
Anastasia Steffen, Rita Moots Skinner, and Ann F. Ramenofsky.
For their poster, "Effects of the Dome Fire on Jemez Obsidian"

To Top of Page

Excellence in Public Education Award

Brian Fagan-- The first SAA Excellence in Public Education Award is presented to Brian Fagan, whose efforts since 1967 in writing, teaching, and consulting have had an unparalleled impact on the public's exposure to archaeology. Perhaps best known among archaeologists for his popular textbooks, Fagan has also written over 30 books for the general public covering a variety of archaeological topics and areas. Many of these have been translated into multiple languages; National Geographic Society's The Adventure of Archaeology has sold over 750,000 copies. Fagan's writing has also appeared in numerous special popular magazines, and he has been a regular contributor and special editorial consultant to Archaeology magazine. As an educator, Fagan has taught introductory courses in archaeology for 30 years with almost legendary innovation and energy. He has appeared in over half a dozen public television programs on archaeology and has served as a consultant, developer, or writer for other television and radio programs including Time/Life Television's Emmy Award-winning series "Lost Civilizations." Unlike most of us, Fagan can count his audience in the millions, and consequently, we have all benefited from his indefatigable efforts.

To Top of Page

Public Service Award

Rep. Phil English-- SAA is honored to present its 1997 SAA Public Service Award to the Honorable Phil English, representative of the 21st Congressional District in Pennsylvania. Rep. English is recognized for his consistent support for archaeology and historic preservation during many years in public life. This support was never more effective than during the summer of 1995, when the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation was under attack in Congress. Its funding, and hence its survival, was in great jeopardy. During the debate on the council, Rep. English took the House floor and, with one other freshman Republican, spoke in support of an amendment to increase funding for the council. The amendment passed and the Advisory Council was saved. This vote marked a turning point in the treatment of archaeology and historic preservation in the 104th Congress. Rep. English has also been a supporter of archaeology at the state level. In 1995, a bill before the Pennsylvania House of Representatives would have removed the requirement for any compliance-related archaeological work on state-permitted projects. At the request of Pennsylvania archaeologists, Rep. English used his influence with key state legislators to ensure passage of a much-altered bill. When the legislature refused to appropriate sufficient funds to implement the new law, Rep. English again contacted key members of the Pennsylvania government, and funds were appropriated. Without his involvement, it is certain that the legislature's actions would have been much more detrimental to archaeology.

To Top of Page

Distinguished Service Award

Dena Dincauze-- Dena Dincauze has provided many years of distinguished service to the profession of archaeology and to the SAA. While SAA president, she served as corporate memory during our reorganization, strove to include more women in SAA administration, increased outreach to avocational archaeologists, established and named Latin American Antiquity, and sought new members in Latin America. Dena was an early and effective proponent for cultural resource management and historic preservation. The newsletter she started for the SAA Committee on Public Archaeology kept members informed in a period of fast-moving legislative initiatives. In 1983, this newsletter was transformed into the SAA Bulletin. In the mid-1980s, Dincauze was president of the Society of Professional Archeologists. She played a major role in winning wider recognition of CRM archaeology as a profession, and she helped SAA and SOPA officers understand the seriousness of Native American demands for reburial. She was also instrumental in having SAA hire a Washington lobbyist. Dena Dincauze has served the profession in countless other ways-as a member of the SAA Executive Board, as chair and member of many committees, and as editor of American Antiquity and contributing editor to other journals. Her tireless dedication to archaeology and to the society goes far beyond her formal professional and academic responsibilities. For these reasons, the SAA presents her its Distinguished Service Award.


Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page