SHA Special Publication and Author Perspective


November 4, 2021

Submitted by Mary L. Maniery

PAR Environmental Services, Inc., President

SHA Co-Publications Associate

In March 2018, the SHA began a blog for the Society webpage to highlight our publications and our collaboration with various presses. While our co-publication program and partnerships with Springer, University of Nebraska Press, and University of Florida Press expands our membership’s publication opportunities, the SHA has also continued to publish works independently through Amazon as Special Publications. SHA members can order “Artifacts that Enlighten” for $24.00.

If you are interested in contributing to a joint SHA published volume, please contact SHA’s Co-Publications Editor, Ben Ford (


Artifacts that Enlighten: The Ordinary and the Unexpected (2020)

Linda Stone, Barbara J. Heath, and Patricia M. Samford, editors

Number of pages: 85

Society for Historical Archaeology Special Publications

Most of the artifacts archaeologists uncover are utilitarian and mundane. However, artifacts are sometimes recovered that provide a surprising narrative or present an interpretive conundrum. The articles in this volume share eleven stories of artifacts that enlighten, presenting artifacts of varying types, locales, and periods with engaging stories that illuminate the ways in which historical archaeologists encounter and interpret the past through material things.


MM: What are some of your motivations for writing/spearheading this book?

Linda S: The volume was based on a popular 3-minute format conference session. Both attendees and presenters were enthusiastic about continuing the conversation. That enthusiasm snowballed into this book.

MM:  Who would you like to read this book? Who is your audience?

Linda S: The book was written for both professional and lay audiences. Each chapter is short and contains many images, as were the 3-minute conference papers.

Barbara H.: I agree with Linda’s answers. I’d add that the book is also a useful reader for undergraduate archaeology students, and maybe students in museum studies or other object-oriented disciplines.

MM:  Now that you have published this book, what kinds of things are you dreaming up next? What is in the works?

Linda S:  I’ve got no plans to publish anything, but am always feverishly working on gray literature/CRM reports. I am continuing to do field work on Governors Island and on the lookout for any kiln waste, the subject of my chapter.  Should I have updates to the chapter, I would expect to share that information, either in a presentation, posting, or article.

Barbara H: I’ve got two books in the works, one an edited volume on the archaeology of the Potomac River Valley ca. 1550-1720, and the other a co-authored book on the same region and general time period. I’m also hoping to write a book about the use of cowrie shells in North America, but still need to finish up some research on that one.

Patricia S:  I am currently in the final editing stages of a co-authored book on the archaeology of Baltimore and in the beginning stages of a co-authored volume on the archaeology of the Chesapeake.

Written by Mark Freeman

Website Editor