Interpreting the 2020 Election: What the Results Mean for Historical Archaeology

Results of the January 9, 2021 Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) Government Affairs Advocacy Session:
“Interpreting the 2020 Election: What the Results Mean for Historical Archaeology.”
SHA 2021 Virtual Annual Conference

Session Organizers:
Marion Werkheiser, SHA’s government affairs consultant
Terry Klein, Chair, SHA Government Affairs Committee

In the first part of this session Marion Werkheiser reviewed the results of the 2020 election and what these results will mean for historic preservation and historical archaeology. Terry Klein then discussed the SHA’s Government Affair Committee’s top three initiatives to be advanced under the new Administration. These initiatives are linked to the new Administration’s environmental and social justice agenda. These initiatives will also have a strong likelihood of success given the new Administration’s appointees to head up federal agencies such as the Department of the Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Council on Environmental Quality.

The Government Affairs Committee’s three top initiatives are:

  • Promoting historic preservation.
  • Promoting diversity and social justice in historic preservation.
  • Tackling climate change and its impact on historical archaeological sites and other heritage resources.

In the second part of the session, Klein and Werkheiser asked session participants to provide their ideas on how SHA can best advance these initiatives over the next few years. Session participants were asked to help develop an action plan for each initiative that addressed the following:

  • What should SHA do? Identify the top action items.
  • Who should SHA talk to about in order to best advance these action items? Government? Private sector? Others? What is the message?
  • Who may be our partners in carrying out these action items? How do we engage them?
  • Who within SHA or associated with SHA should take the lead in carrying out these action items?

Session participants were also asked if there were any other initiatives that SHA should pursue.

The following is a summary of the session participants discussions and recommendations:

Promoting Historic Preservation

We are five years from the 250th celebration of the nation. Session participants recommended building on and becoming part of this celebration as a way to advance both historic preservation and promoting diversity and social justice in historic preservation. Action items can include:

  • Telling the fuller story of the American experience.
  • Educating the public about the diversity of our nation and the value of that diversity.
  • Showcasing Native American sites both in the East and in the West dating to the time of European contact.
  • Using the celebration as an opportunity to promote the National Historic Preservation Act and increasing historic preservation funding.
  • Working closely with organizations already involved in the celebration, including, but not limited to the National Park Service, the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers (NCHSPO), the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (NATHPO), other tribal organizations (including Native American tourism organizations), and state-specific groups and organizations.
  • Establishing a SHA task force for the celebration and involve all SHA committees.
  • Encouraging SHA members to get involved in preparations for the celebration at the local level.

In terms of other action items related to promoting historic preservation, session participants recommended:

  • Raising the profile of archaeology in the historic preservation community so that archaeology is understood to be an integral part of historic preservation – not separate from it.
  • Developing a one-pager on archaeology, what it does and why it is vital to communities and society in general. SHA members should use this one-pager when meeting with federal, state, and local officials, and also members of the public. Note in the one-pager (and through other platforms) that archaeology is not just excavation. Archaeologists are involved in the preservation of sacred places of value to many different communities. Preservation of sacred places is a useful entry point for building historic preservation coalitions.

Promoting Diversity and Social Justice in Historic Preservation

In terms of action items related to this initiative, session participants recommended:

  • Increasing coordination with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) professionals who work on environmental justice issues.
  • Increasing national recognition of Native American and African American sites, especially in terms of listing these sites on the National Register of Historic Places. Current application of the criteria for listing on the National Register (e.g., aspects of integrity) are not conducive to these types of sites. These sites are too often identified as not having sufficient integrity and as a result are not worthy of listing. This approach ignores the nature of these sites and the communities that built and used these sites.
  • Documenting the extent to which African American sites have been listed on the National Register and state registers. In addition, use information on these listed sites to promote African American history.
  • Documenting and showcasing to the public all of the work and research on federal lands involving African American sites and other sites of underrepresented communities. There is a wealth of untapped information and histories.
  • Increasing funding to the National Register for improving legacy record digitization and public access to the information in these records. And also increase funding for digitizing state site records. Funding should also be made available for maintaining these federal and state site databases.
  • Working with the American Battlefield Protection Program to increase the number of Native American sites from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 on the Program’s list.

Climate Change and Its Impact on Historical Archaeological Sites and Other Heritage Resources

In terms of action items related to this initiative, session participants recommended:

  • Advocating for the management and protection of sites in the U.S. territories, which are especially vulnerable.
  • Using the archaeological record and archaeological research to inform policy makers on the impacts and responses to climate change. The past has lessons that can be applied to current understanding and decision-making involving climate change.
  • Working with federal agencies, such as FEMA, to advance pro-active planning for the management and protection of terrestrial and underwater sites impacted by climate change, and this includes promoting increased agency funding for pre-disaster planning and mitigation.
  • Supporting and funding programs that use members of the public (citizen scientists) to identify and monitor coastal sites in the U.S. and U.S. territories being impacted by climate change.

Additional Government Affairs Initiative

Session participants identified an additional initiative that addressed the archaeological labor force. SHA, in partnership with other organizations such as the American Cultural Resource Association and the Register of Professional Archaeologists, should:

  • More effectively support the people actually doing archaeology.
  • Demonstrate to policy makers at the federal and state level, the economic benefits of jobs in archaeology. When meeting with members of Congress and state officials to advocate for historic preservation, we should include discussions on the archaeology labor force and its economic benefits to communities. Also, include this topic in the one-pager discussed above.

In closing, session participants recommended developing a webinar for SHA members on the results of this session. This webinar should also discuss how SHA members can actively participate in and support the advancement of these government affairs initiatives.

Interpreting the 2020 Election: What the Results Mean for Historical Archaeology

The Society for Historical Archaeology’s (SHA) Government Affairs Committee is busy planning for the new Administration and new Congress. We invite you to join us for a robust, interactive discussion of SHA’s legislative and policy priorities during our session at SHA’s virtual 2021 conference, on Saturday, January 9. The session is entitled “Interpreting the 2020 Election: What the Results Mean for Historical Archaeology.”

Over the next two years, we’ll focus our advocacy on three themes: promoting preservation, increasing diversity, and confronting climate change.

  • SHA will lobby for increased funding for historic preservation and counter attempts to curtail reviews of projects that may impact heritage and cultural resources.
  • We will promote diversity within the discipline and support federal, state, and local preservation policies that tell the stories of underrepresented communities, and that protect the places valued by these communities.
  • We will also advocate for policies that respond to climate change and the threat it poses to archaeological sites in the U.S. and around the world.

The Committee is planning to hit the ground running with the new Congress in January, arranging virtual meetings with Members to discuss our priorities and develop relationships. We have already begun engaging with the Biden transition team to raise awareness about historical archaeology and urgent topics, including supporting appointments to critical positions within the government.

We look forward to sharing more at our conference session and hearing your ideas about how SHA can best advance these initiatives. Please join us at the January 9th session. This will be an opportunity for you actively participate in these important advocacy efforts.

Past Presidents’ Student Reception

Students! You may be asking yourself: “What exactly is the Past Presidents’ Student Reception?”, “Will the reception still be happening this year?”, or “How do I participate?”  Well, this is the blog post to answer all of your questions.

“What exactly is the Past Presidents’ Student Reception?”

In years before the pandemic, where we could meet in person and network, the Past Presidents’ Reception provided an opportunity for students to network with previous SHA presidents (hence the title) and leading professionals in the areas of Academia, CRM, Public Engagement, Underwater Archaeology, and so on. The Reception prided itself on being an informal and welcoming place where students can ask for advice, career stories, and make connections that will last throughout their career.

“Will the reception still be happening this year?”

How do we create this reception environment during the virtual conference? Easy- more video calls.

This year the reception will be divided into sections based on career paths, with three leading professionals in each section.

Wednesday January 6  

Federal, State, and Local Agencies

Duane Coates
Duane Quates
State Cultural Resources Specialist/Archaeologist, Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Mandy Ranslow
Mandy Ranslow
Program Analyst/Federal Highway Administration Liaison, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation

Will Reed
Will Reed
Regional Heritage Program Leader, Southwestern Region, U.S. Forest Service

Friday January 8th

Academia – Advanced Degrees

LuAnn DeCunzo
LuAnn DeCunzo
 Professor of Anthropology, University of Delaware

Paul MullinsPaul Mullins
 Professor, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis

William White
William White
Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley

Friday January 8th

Private Sector Cultural Resource Management

Amanda Evans
Amanda Evans
Maritime Services Practice Leader, Gray & Pape, Inc

Donn Grenda
President, Statistical Research, Inc.

Joe Joseph
Director of Administration, New South Associates

Friday January 8th

Public Engagement

Sara Ayers-Rigsby
Director, Southeast/Southwest Regions, Florida Public Archaeology Network

Bill Lees
Bill Lees
Executive Director, Florida Public Archaeology Network

Della Scott-Ireton
Associate Director, Florida Public Archaeology Network

Saturday January 9th

Museums – Collections

Julie King
Julie King
Professor of Anthropology, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Patricia Samford
Patricia Samford
Director, Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory

Mark Warner
Mark Warner
Professor, University of Idaho

Saturday January 9th

Underwater Archaeology

Toni Carrell
Toni Carrell
Vice President, Ships of Discovery

Kim Faulk
Kim Faulk
Business Development Manager/Sr. Marine Archaeologist, Geoscience Earth & Marine Services

Susan Langley
Maryland State Underwater Archaeologist/Adjunct Prof. St. Mary’s College of Maryland

“How do I participate?”

Easy enough! Only students who register for the conference can participate in the Reception. To attend, all you need to do is go to the link provided in the final conference program for the career sessions of your choice (or all of them, chat with everyone. You never know what your future holds).

There is no separate, additional registration to participate in this special event.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to explore careers in historical archaeology!

Working with the Halcyon Collection, Part 1

Well hello there, fellow archaeology grad student or other interested reader! In this three-part blog series, I will be providing practical advice for using archaeological collections for your PhD dissertation, MA Thesis, or other graduate student work. This is based on my personal experience, the experiences of colleagues, and collective advice I’ve gathered from mentors. In part 1, I’ll be introducing myself and my project, and giving an overview of how to create a project that uses archaeological collections. Part 2 of the series will focus on how to present and advocate for a collections-based project in a proposal or grant application. Part 3 will be about finding funding for your collections-based project.


Announcing the People, Fire, and Pine Research Project

Jeff Altschul, Co-President, Coalition for Archaeological Synthesis

Terry Klein, Acting Executive Director, Coalition for Archaeological Synthesis

We wanted to alert Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) members about a recent publication from the Coalition for Archaeological Synthesis (CfAS)-sponsored People, Fire, and Pine Research Project.  The Society for Historical Archaeology is a CfAS Partner.

Evan R. Larson, Kurt F. Kipfmueller & Lane B. Johnson (2020): People, Fire, and Pine: Linking Human Agency and Landscape in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Beyond, Annals of the American Association of Geographers,

DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2020.1768042

Abstract: The creation and modification of landscape patterns through interactions among people and the environment is a defining focus in the discipline of geography. Here, we contribute to that tradition by placing 500 years of red pine (Pinus resinosa) tree-ring data in the context of archaeological, ethnographic, and paleoecological records to describe patterns of Anishinaabeg land use and fire occurrence in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) of northern Minnesota. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that stories of people, fire, and red pine are tightly interwoven in the BWCAW. We suggest that preferential use and maintenance of specific sites with fire by Border Lakes Anishinaabeg before 1900 led to the xerification of forest communities that produced conditions more desirable to people in a rugged nearboreal landscape. Today, after a century of fire absence, these sites represent fading ecological legacies that are still sought by wilderness users for their recreational values and perceived wilderness character. Ironically, protections granted by the 1964 Wilderness Act are resulting in a decline of the red pine forests once used to help justify establishment of the BWCAW. An opportunity exists for wilderness managers, users, and advocacy groups to reassess the need for active management and the strategic return of frequent fire to the aging pine forests of the BWCAW. Engaging descendent communities of the Border Lakes Anishinaabeg in these efforts could help move beyond conventional approaches to wilderness management and restore the reciprocal relationship between people, fire, and red pine in the BWCAW and beyond.

A key objective of the People, Fire, and Pine research team is to meld scientific approaches and traditional knowledge systems into new fire management policies for Wilderness areas. But their objectives extend well beyond forest policy and management to core issues involved in the displacement and disenfranchisement of Indigenous peoples from their native lands and culture and the initial steps toward healing the social consequences of these actions. As Larson and his colleagues argue:

Active management in the BWCAW would provide a case study that could be replicated elsewhere to advance conversations around ecological wilderness management while helping to create a more complete understanding of the definition of wilderness itself. Clearly, wilderness as untrammeled is an overgeneralized and inappropriate definition that disregards vital connections between people and place. In the BWCAW, these connections have existed for centuries at minimum and were moderated by fire to create important patterns of ecological diversity within the broader landscape mosaic. This critique is not new to the field of geography, and rarely does this core idea of the 1964 Wilderness Act dictate all management decisions, but it does hold sway in the general perspective of many and must be addressed. Wilderness management must continue to be refined to more explicitly recognize the role of people in creating the pre–European American landscapes of North America, the value of local and traditional knowledge in understanding ecological change, and the fundamental importance of engaging both Western and traditional knowledge systems to ensure that sustainable approaches to management are employed. This is a complex issue infused with concerns around ecological health, remnants of colonialism, and social justice. The BWCAW is a quintessential wilderness landscape that is now enriched with data directly and quantitively linking Anishinaabe land use with some of the most appreciated aspects of forest structure and composition within the protected area. An ideal opportunity exists for managers to authentically engage in shared stewardship with local Indigenous communities to promote cultural exchange, healing, and movement beyond dated ideas of wilderness.

To read the article, follow this link. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

The People, Fire, and Pines project is schedule to be completed at the end of 2020.

For information on the Coalition for Archaeological Synthesis, and to become a CfAS Partner or Associate, go to:



Implications of Global Change to Local Archaeology

By Lindsey Cochran, Ph.D.

University of Georgia, Laboratory of Archaeology

Emotionally disheartening article ahead. Beware.

Scientists continue to improve models that predict both the mechanism and result of climate changes, and sadly each prediction is more dire than the last. Modeling predictions that used to assume a 1m global sea level rise (GMSLR) now anticipate at least double that by 2100. We now understand that while greenhouse gas emissions are accelerating slightly above exponential rates and thus appearing to be following a logarithmic rather than linear scale, the IPCC anticipates a speeding up of the effects of these emissions. Because of this suite of accelerating climate effects, built in environmental protections to archaeological sites, such as the mangrove swamps in Florida, the oyster beds around the mouth of the Mississippi, or migrations of the marshy estuaries and back-barrier islands on the Georgia and Carolina coasts are shifting more abruptly decades before impacts of this degree were initially predicted.

If you need a refresher on the impacts of climate change beyond a warming earth and rising sea levels, this 2018 New York Times article provides an excellent summary of the dramatic difference between 1.5℃ and 2℃. For a slightly more involved explanation, check out this NASA briefing. And finally for the tech-heavy nerds we all know and love, CMIP and IPCC provide excellent explanations and links to recent scientific literature. 

Archaeologists need to prepare for cascading effects from climate change when creating strategies to mitigate site destruction or simply a timeline to document resources as they succumb to those effects. Rather than presenting a singular case study here, I’d like to illustrate some of these cascading effects by describing a selection of impacts from melting Arctic sea-ice to the archaeology of the southeast United States. To truly prepare for climate changes it’s critical to understand the big picture so that we can adapt our local responses to fast- and slow-moving regional and global events. As large scale computational modeling improves, such as with the CMIP simulations, specific inter-disciplinary interpretations likewise change and improve.

An article of note from March 2020 uses the CMIP6 simulation to estimate that Arctic Ocean will be sea-ice free in September for the first time come 2050 (Notz et al. 2020).  September Arctic sea-ice is one of NASA’s “Vital Signs of the Planet,” and the area of the ice extent is now declining at a rate of 12.85% per decade relative to 1981 to 2010 averages. The implication of these studies is that the world is changing more swiftly and more violently than previously imagined. Why should archaeologists care about climate change on the global scale, and for that matter Arctic sea-ice?

Arctic sea-ice is important to consider when studying archaeology of plantation archaeology on Georgia’s barrier islands, for example, because of the suite of cascading effects that stem from a progressively smaller volume of global ice. Generally speaking, the rapid disappearance of Arctic sea-ice impacts the following, many of which are positive feedback loops: (1) albedo effect; (2) thawing permafrost; (3) melting ice-sheets; (4) trapped outgoing longwave radiation; (5) warming inland waterways like rivers, streams, and lakes; and (6) shifting oxygen and nitrogen ratios. Each of these types of changes have significant global effects that impact regions and localities in various and largely unsynthesized ways, as the science is always changing and improving on itself, making immediate estimates of the impact of specific climate changes to a particular site-specific place quite challenging. The table below summarizes effects of sea-ice, broad implications of those effects, gives a sample of changes that will most directly impact archaeological resources, and provide an archaeological scenario or site specific example of impacts, most of which are drawn from the southeast United States. 





Broad Impact to Archaeological Resources

Archaeological Example

Albedo Effect (strong positive feedback loop)

darkening of the earths surface leading to increased temperatures


Accelerating climate impacts

Less time to excavate, mitigate, and react to climate change; increasingly necessary “salvage” mentality

Thawing of offshore permafrost

Release of methane, a shorter lived but 84 times more potent greenhouse gas than CO2 trapped in the atmosphere

Methane oxygenation leads to an increase in microbiomes with methane consuming bacteria, impacting the process of terrestrial permafrost thawing

Sensitive fiber, wood, or bone based artifacts degrade when exposed to air and bacteria when permafrost melts

Greenland melting

Rising Arctic air temperatures

72 cubic miles of water added to ocean

Degradation of shorelines, accelerated rates of GMSLR

Context of sites destroyed due to higher water tables, destabilizing shorelines, bank erosion

Warmer air leads to an increase in water vapor trapped in the formerly cold polar atmosphere

Outgoing long-wave radiation trapped in the atmosphere, further heating the Arctic

Warmer, more humid environment

Conservation challenges in laboratory and historic preservation settings; increased desiccation in situ

Warming rivers -> less ice

Less snow cover leads to increased terrestrial heat absorption, injecting more heat into the rivers and back into the Arctic Ocean

Increased frequency and severity of storms; increased fire risk; increased drought

Site-monitoring moves from assessing gradual change over time to “chunks” of sites disappearing overnight

Shifting Oxygen and Nitrogen ratios

Plants and animals that protect our shorelines (think marshes and oysters) can only live in areas with specific oxygen ratios. Plant and animal dieoff removes a critical barrier that protects shorelines from SLR and storm surges.

Acidified maritime environment; Protective barriers to archaeological sites are removed;

more aggressive shoreline loss

Accelerated degradation of maritime resources; site visibility concerns, increasing number of “no swim” days due to improved conditions for harmful bacteria


Climate change simulations constantly grow in complexity and accuracy, and sadly the current trends indicated in those simulations are become more dire. As archaeologists, it is important to understand, at least superficially, the big [read: overwhelming] picture of climate change because, simply put, our local responses to the archaeology of climate change need to take into consideration broader syntheses of change. These changes are due to a complex multiplicity of causes that each impact archaeological resources in multi-dynamic ways. Implications from any of the six impacts from melting Arctic sea-ice could easily be applied to any coastal site on the Eastern seaboard.

Now, archaeologists that deal with climate change are asked not only to interpret the past within a historical context but also to situate those resources within a cloudy, submerged future. Archaeologists are well poised to join this broader conversation because we can provide a contextual depth to paleoenvironmental, historical, and near-historical data to interpret an environmental baseline for local and regional changes. By the nature of our research, we are multi-disciplinarian scientists. The flexibility of our mental gymnastics are all the more important when evaluating and interpreting research from the climate sciences and how their results impact analysis of cultural resources.


“Historical Bioarchaeology” – A new thematic collection to be published in Historical Archaeology

We are happy to announce the next issue of Historical Archaeology will be arriving in your mailboxes soon! Here’s a preview of some of the content from the guest editor of the thematic collection on Historical Bioarchaeology, Shannon A. Novak.

Not only materials suffer the cuts and blows of the maker’s practice. For every strike or punch recoils, on impact, in the body that delivered it.

Tim Ingold and Elizabeth Hallam, Making and Growing (2014)

Given the tremendous growth and developments within the field of bioarchaeology, it is an opportune time to re/introduce the readers of this journal to some of the topics, concerns, and insights bioarchaeologists are contributing to the study of the “modern world.” Of course, “modernity” is a concept that has long been subject to debate and, while the articles in this series do not take on the topic directly, they do grapple with the many traces this process left in its wake, along with the scars and legacies that persist.

Part of this legacy is the relative paucity of human skeletal remains in this journal, the reasons for which are historical and multiple. Despite this general invisibility, bodies are very much present. They work, produce, and consume; they wear, perform, and desire; they exploit, commodify, and resist. While these studies teem with life, the people “doing” rarely acquire substance. Yet theirs are the bodies that made and were made by the so-called modern world. Such making, as Ingold and Hallam note above, is co-constituting; it takes a toll on materials and bodies alike. Bodily concerns and their material properties are, therefore, “vital data” in studies of modernity and daily practice. Indeed, by reconstituting these tissues—their affordances and constraints—archaeological inquiries are vitalized in simple, but important, ways.

In this series of articles, we explore the possibilities of bringing the materiality of archaeological bodies back into the conversation, into anthropological inquiries, and into the pages of this journal. The contributors weave together an impressive array of materials to consider the dynamic processes of “becoming” at multiple scales. Ethics and care, nation building and citizenship, labor coerced and resisted, intersect with diverse material forms. Importantly, these studies start with a question or concern that does not necessarily privilege human tissues (bone or teeth), but rather position their findings in relation to other processes and things. Their inquiries involve “with,” rather than “or,” allowing us to move away from the old trope of testing the historical record with truths written in bone. Our hope is that readers of this special series will be exposed to the rich potential of “historical (bio)archaeology,” and motivated to engage with the diversity of people and their traces—more broadly conceived.


Vital Data: Re/Introducing Historical Bioarchaeology, by Shannon A. Novak and Alanna L. Warner-Smith

An Alter(ed)native Perspective on Historical Bioarchaeology, by Rachel J. Watkins

Caring Differently: Some Reflections, by Tony J. Chamoun

Building Nation, Become Object: The Biopolitics of the Samuel G. Morton Crania Collection, by Pamela L. Geller

Assembling Heads and Circulating Tales: The Doings and Undoings of Specimen 2032, by Shannon A. Novak and Alanna L. Warner-Smith

Working in the City: A Historical Bioarchaeology of Activity in Urban New Spain, by Julie K. Wesp

Restoring Identity to People and Place: Reanalysis of Human Skeletal Remains from a Cemetery at Catoctin Furnace, Maryland, by Karin S. Bruwelheide, Douglas W. Owsley, Kathryn G. Barca, Christine A.M. France, Nicole C. Little, and Elizabeth Anderson Comer

The Body Politic and the Citizen’s Mouth: Oral Health and Dental Care in Nineteenth Century Manhattan, by Lauren Hosek, Alanna L. Warner-Smith, and Cristina C. Watkins

“Against Shameless and Systematic Calumny”: Strategies of Domination and Resistance and their Impact on the Bodies of the Poor in Nineteenth-Century Ireland, by Jonny Geber and Barra O’Donnabhain

Still Life: A Bioarchaeological Portrait of Perinatal Remains Buried at the Spring Street Presbyterian Church, by Meredith A.B. Ellis

Reflecting on a More Inclusive Historical Bioarchaeology, by Jennifer L. Muller

Cover image: Engraving, “New York City Medical College for Women, East Twelfth Street and Second Avenue–Student Dissecting a Leg,” Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, New York, April 16, 1870


SHA Newsletter Blog, Winter 2020

Patricia Samford, Director, Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab

You’re just home from the SHA conference in Boston and you are quite frankly, all “archaeologied-out”.  There was lots of catching up with seldom-seen colleagues, too much beer, some great papers, and recovering from the dance.  And first thing you see when you open your email once you get back in the office is a link to the Winter SHA Newsletter.  And since all of those other emails stacked up from the week away from your desk had to take precedence, I bet you didn’t read it.  So, I would like to provide you with a quick summary of what you missed, in the hopes that you will go back and spend some time with the newsletter.

Here’s what you might have missed:

  • Kimberley Wooten, archaeologist with the California Department of Transportation, wrote about her adventure aboard the 73-ft. sailboat TravelEdge, on the first leg of eXXpedition’s two-year research trip that will circumnavigate the globe studying single-use microplastics in our world’s oceans. Kim raised sponsorship money to support her time aboard the vessel, where her expertise as an archaeologist made her a natural fit for this project.
  • Eric Tebby and William Wadsworth at the University of Alberta updated us on work being conducted under the supervision of Dr. Kisha Supernant at Chimney Coulee, a Métis overwintering site in Saskatchewan. This project is exploring how Métis identity was expressed archaeologically at various sites in the Canadian West.
  • Scott Hamilton from Lakehead University in Ontario writes about his success at using unmanned aerial vehicles to investigate fur trade posts along the Assiniboine River in Manitoba, Canada.
  • In Austria, Heike Krause writes about excavations at the oldest shopping mall (1920s) at the Karlsplatz Square in Vienna.
  • In Illinois, Mark Wagner of Southern Illinois University updated us on recent field school investigations at Fort Kaskaskia. Their work discovered that two forts actually existed at this location – an 18th-century French fort and a previously undiscovered early 19th-century American fort.
  • In other fort explorations, Erika K. Hartley of the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project and Michael S. Nassaney of Western Michigan University hosted a field school at Fort St. Joseph in 2019. Their work this summer in a previously-unexplored area suggests that the site may be twice the size previously thought.
  • Ryan Austin, at SUNY at Buffalo Archaeological Survey, reports on Phase III data recovery excavations at two lower socio-economic status European American farmsteads in Genesee County, New York.

  • Megan Rhodes Victor and Laura Jones report on the first full season of field work of the Arboretum Chinese Labor Quarters Project, co-sponsored by the Stanford Archaeology Center, Stanford’s Heritage Services and the Stanford University Archaeology Collections.
  • Check out the SHA YouTube page and listen to six former SHA presidents talk about the organization on its 50th anniversary in Images of the Past

Please read your newsletter – it’s one of the benefits of your membership and a great way to keep current with what’s happening in the world of historical archaeology. And please note who your regional Current Research editor is (page 10), so that you can send them an update on your projects. The next submission deadline is March 1st, 2020!

Warm Your Heart and Support the Society for Historical Archaeology

These are exciting times for our profession and the Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) is engaging in many new challenges and initiatives. Your financial support will help the SHA achieve shared goals. The Society’s work has yielded great results on multiple fronts.

    • SHA’s public education and governmental outreach work is combating ongoing attacks that seek to dismantle federal legislation that preserves our cultural and historical resources. SHA representatives regularly advocate for the preservation of our cultural heritage and archaeological record through outreach to legislators, agencies, preservation professionals, and citizens’ groups.
    • Our professional publications, training workshops, and annual conferences advance standards of excellence within our field. The Society has supported the growth and development of historical archaeology around the world and promoted its importance in understanding the past and present.
    • The Society’s diversity initiative focuses on enhancing the inclusive nature of our practice and profession. With racism and sexual harassment continuing to impact national events, our organization has become a leader in creating a more inclusive discipline and promoting the ethics of respect within the places where we live, learn, and work.
    • SHA sponsors programs for mentoring young scholars in their professional development, including funds to help subsidize their participation in our annual conferences, prizes to recognize their achievements, and networking opportunities through conference events, such as the Past Presidents’ Reception for Students, and social media.  

All of these initiatives require funding. We need your support. Your tax-deductible contribution can be made by clicking here, You can easily make either a one-time donation or a legacy gift. Any contribution you can afford will help the Society. So, please warm your heart through your love of archaeology by giving to the Society!

Barbara Heath



Chris Fennell

Development Committee

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