Mission Statement (From Article II of the SHA Constitution)

Adopted Jan 2018

The Society for Historical Archaeology [an educational not-for-profit organization] advocates for a global perspective in the study and protection of historical and underwater cultural resources by educating the public and policy makers, and providing a valued resource for knowledge exchange, professional development, and the maintenance of high ethical standards. Preamble: The strategic goals listed in this document are intended to serve as broad guidance for the Society for Historical Archaeology’s board of directors and working committees. They are to be the primary objectives that help frame decision-making for elected leaders of the organization, and all other appointed positions in the Society. The listed goals should not be viewed as an exclusive listing of SHA objectives as any organization should have the flexibility to address unforeseen circumstances. However, they should be the primary guiding document for the organization Adopted January 3, 2018.


Goal 1: Expand membership, across all categories with a goal of approximately 2000 members.

Goal 2: Provide leadership in articulating good practices in all areas of historical archaeology including, collaborative and community-engaged research, publication, professional ethics, project planning, fieldwork, laboratory work, collections management, advocacy, and public outreach and interpretation.

Goal 3: Expand historical archaeology throughout the world, with the aim of growing both the scope of research supported by SHA and partner organizations. Increase the number of members of the organization from outside of North America (currently accounting for 8 percent of SHA membership as of January 2018)

Goal 4: Encourage inclusivity in both membership and subject areas.

  • In membership: SHA shall continue efforts to build a more inclusive organization where diversity of ethnicity, indigeneity, gender identities, religion, sexual orientation, and economic position are all supported and served by the organization.
  • In subject areas: SHA has traditionally been a powerful venue for exploring structural causes of inequalities and making visible the lived experiences of the disenfranchised. Such work should be consistently encouraged by the organization.

Goal 5: Increase public outreach and interpretation. Encourage members to integrate public outreach into their existing research efforts.

Goal 6: Work to increase SHA’s advocacy in legislative processes and regulation development. Provide support for member-driven engagement at local, regional, national and international levels.


Submitted to the board: June 2017
Draft revisions: November 2017
Approved by SHA Board: January 2018