Award Details


Student Paper Award

Nomination/Submission Deadline: 18 Mar 2024

Award Description

This award recognizes an outstanding student conference paper based on original research. 

Who Is Eligible to Submit Nominations or Apply for the Award

All student members of SAA in good standing whose paper abstract has been accepted by the SAA for the upcoming annual meeting are eligible to participate. Students also must be enrolled in an academic program in the semester when their paper is presented at the annual meeting. All co-authors must be students, and the first author must be a member of the SAA. All co-authors share the award.

Nomination/Submission Materials Required

The paper abstract must be accepted by SAA for the upcoming annual meeting. The paper must be double-spaced, with 1-inch margins and 12-pt font. Please do not submit raw data unless they are to be presented as part of the paper itself. An average 15-minute paper is approximately 8 pages long (double-spaced, not including references cited). Any paper longer than this will be docked points.

The student must submit electronic copies of 1) a separate title page with name and full contact information; 2) the conference paper containing slide call outs and references; and 3) pdfs of all PowerPoint slides, with numbered captions, to be used in the oral presentation. Please DO NOT put your name anywhere besides the cover sheet so that your paper may be reviewed anonymously by the committee. Please send submissions to the committee chair.

The student must have a faculty or supervisory sponsor review the paper before the student submits it to the Student Paper Award Committee. The faculty/supervisory sponsor must send an email to the submission address at the time of paper submission saying that he/she has read and approved the paper being submitted.

Other Special Requirements

Prior to any award recommendation being finalized and publicly announced, anyone recommended for an award, scholarship, or grant will be required to certify the following:

(a)  I am not and have not ever been the subject of a discrimination or harassment lawsuit or related administrative complaint that resulted in an adverse finding; and

(b)  I do not have and have not had a current or pending disciplinary action such as suspension or termination of registration, resulting from a Register of Professional Archaeologists’ grievance investigation.

Nature of Award (e.g. monetary, medal, symposium)

The award winner or winners receives more than $1000 worth of books and other prizes. In addition, the awardee(s) are 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. All co-authors will receive the award. 

Past sponsors of the Award include:  

  • American Cultural Resources Association
  • Antiquity journal (
  • Archaeological Institute of America
  • Berghahn Books
  • Beta Analytic, Inc.
  • Bruker Corporation
  • Center for Applied Isotope Studies, UGA
  • Center for Digital Antiquity
  • Dumbarton Oaks and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography
  • European Association of Archaeologists
  • Geophysical Survey Systems, Inc., 
  • Statistical Research, Inc.
  • The University of Chicago Press Journals Division
  • University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • University Press of Florida
  • University of Utah Press

The committee chair and/or members are responsible for distributing the ribbons at the meeting to the vendors who donate (as per Motion 132-74H, Board of Directors Meeting #132, October 2013). The sponsors’ names will also appear in the annual Meeting Program.

Helpful Links

Current Committee Charge

The committee solicits nominations and selects recipients for the Student Paper Award. The award is presented to recognize the best student paper presented at the SAA annual meeting. 

Committee Composition

Committee composition is one chair and at least four members.

Term Length

Term length is three years. Individuals ending their terms cycle off the committee at the close of the Business Meeting held during the annual SAA Meeting, and new appointees begin their terms at this time. 

Award Cycle


Committee Chair and End of Term

Jacob Holland-Lulewicz [2027] 

Committee Chair Contact Information

Committee Members and Ends of Terms

Selection or Evaluation Criteria

Committee members evaluate papers anonymously, scoring them on the 1) quality of the arguments presented, 2) quality of supporting data, 3) contribution to broader methodological or theoretical issues in archaeology, 4) contribution to understanding a specific region or topic, 5) quality of writing, paper structure and length, and 6) quality, appropriateness and number of graphics for a 15-minute oral presentation. 

Committee Deliberation Process (e.g. dates, venue)

The committee meets electronically after the submission deadline has passed. An Honorable Mention(s) may be recognized if the committee chooses to do so. 

2024   No award

2023   Elic M. Weitzel (University of Connecticut) "Commodification and Resource Depression of White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in Seventeenth-Century New England” 

2022   Kirsty E. Escalante (Tulane University) "Looting and Lidar: An Analysis of Illicit Digging in La Corona, Guatemala Using Airborne Laser Scanning"

2021  Maria Codlin (Boston University) "Hunting and Husbandry at the Ancient Mexican City of Teotihuacan"

2020 Lori Barkwill Love (University of Texas, San Antonio) "Modeling the Early History of Maize in the North American Southwest" 

2019   Meagan E. Dennison (University of Tennessee) "Stable-Isotope Analysis and Dental Micro-Wear Texture Analysis of Domestic Dogs from the Tennessee River Valley" 

2018  Michelle Bebber and Mike Wilson (Kent State University) "Untapped Potential – Why Weren’t Ceramic Arrowheads Invented? Theoretical Morphology for Understanding the Human Past"

2017  Jacob Lulewicz (University of Georgia) Sociopolitical Networks and the Transformation of Southern Appalachian Societies, A.D. 700-1400

2016 Natalie Mueller (Washington University of St. Louis) “Seeds as Artifacts: Investigating the Spread of agroecological knowledge in eastern North America ca. 1000 BE-1400 CE”

2015 Catrine Jarman (University of Bristol) • “Female Mobility in the Viking Worlds”

2015 Honorable Mention — Kathryn Frederick (Michigan State University)

2014  G. Logan Miller (Ohio State University) • “Variation in the Organization of Ritually Motivated Production at Ohio Hopewell Earthworks”

2014  Honorable Mention — Amy Fox (University at Albany SUNY)

2013  Bryn Letham (University of British Columbia) and David Bilton (University of Toronto) •

2012 Sean B. Dunham • “Late Woodland Landscapes in the Eastern Upper Peninsula of Michigan”

2011 Melanie Beasley, Jack Meyer, Eric J. Bartelink, and Randy Miller • “Human Bone Diagenesis in a Prehistoric Burial Mound from the Central California Delta: Bioarchaeological and Geoarchaeological Approaches”

2010 John M. Marston (Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, University of California at Los Angeles) • “Identifying Agricultural Risk Management Using Paleoethnobotanical Remains”

2009 Michael Mathiowetz (University of California at Riverside) • “The Son of God Who is in the Sun: Political Authority and the Personified Sun God in Ancient West and Northwest Mexico”

2008 David Anderson (Tulane University) • “Xtobo and the Emergent Preclassic of Northwest Yucatan, Mexico”

2007 Scott Ortman (Arizona State University) • "Population Biology of the Four Corners to Rio Grande Migration"

2006 Metin I. Eren (Southern Methodist University) and Mary E. Prendergast (Harvard University) • “The Reduction Rumble! A Comparison of Reduction Values, Means, and Ranges”

2005 Elizabeth Horton with Christina Rieth (Washington State University) • “Style, Function and Ceramic Manufacture: A Case Study from Central New York”

2004 Briana L. Probiner and David R. Braun (Rutgers University) • “Strengthening the Inferential Link between Cutmark Frequency Data and Oldowan Hominid Behavior:Results from Modern Butchery Experiments”

2003 Devin Alan White (University of Colorado at Boulder) • “Hyperspectral Remote Sensing in Southern Arizona”

2002 Christopher Morehart (Florida State University) • “A Paleoethnobotanical Perspective in Ancient Maya Cave Utilization”

2000 Nathan S. Lowrey with Thomas C. Plege (American University) • “Landscapes of Contention: Socioeconomic Intensification and the Rise of Communalism among the Late Woodland and Effigy Mound Cultures”