#SHA2016 Registration is OPEN!

Good morning SHA members! Autumn is moving fast, and we hope you are gearing up for #SHA2016!SHA2016-logo3-250x300

For #SHA2016 conference details, please follow this link.

To register for #SHA2016 conference, please follow this link.

The #SHA2016 conference program is posted. Please note that Symposium organizers may notice the names associated with the Introduction, Discussants and breaks in their session are not correct. These names will be updated in the program once the individuals who will be performing these roles register for the #SHA2016 Conference. Only individuals who are registered in ConfTool can be added to the program; it was necessary, therefore, to create “placeholders” to ensure that the timing for each session is correct.

Additionally, Saturday, October 17th was International Archaeology Day! We hope that many of you took part, and we encourage you to run searches on #InternationalArchaeologyDay and/or #IAD2015 via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, to see how your fellow archaeologists contributed. Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 11.13.44 PM

If you participated in International Archaeology Day and have yet to post anything, we encourage you to post to the hashtags (#InternationalArchaeologyDay or #IAD2015)!

As we get closer to #SHA2016, our blog posts will focus on conference related details as well as Washington, D.C. related information.

Stay tuned!

Writing for Historical Archaeology – Part 2. Thematic Issues


To follow up to an earlier blog post on the process of publishing an article in Historical Archaeology, I want to discuss what is involved in putting together and publishing a Thematic Issue of the journal. Every year two of the four issues of Historical Archaeology are guest edited collections on specific themes. Some examples of thematic issues from the past few years have been on The Archaeology of Chinese Railroad Workers; Material Testimonies: Landscapes, Artifacts, and the Oral Tradition; and Contemporary and Historical Archaeology of the North. Thematic issues often but not always emerge from sessions at the SHA conference as well as other conferences and meetings. From this starting point, guest editors are usually in a good position to propose publishing the papers in a thematic issue.

Proposing a thematic issue

If you are interested in guest editing a thematic issue of Historical Archaeology, the first step is to contact me at shaeditor@gmail.com to tell me about the topic. In most cases I will ask you to follow up with a brief proposal that includes a one-page overview of the collection and the way it will be approached by the contributors. The proposal should list the titles and authors of the articles that will be included. There is no magic number of articles for a thematic issue, but they are typically around 10 articles. Thematics always have a short introduction written the editor(s), and they also often have a concluding discussion essay written by a leading person in the field or, as often, by a scholar in a cognate discipline relevant to topic. The proposal should also include a timeline detailing the deadlines for collecting drafts, plans for the peer review, and submitting the collection to the HA editor.

Once the proposal is submitted, the thematic will go into the queue. Thematics follow the schedule guest editors create and manage, but they are published in the order they are formally accepted for publication. The journal editor can certainly let you know how many thematics have been accepted and tell you the next slot (i.e. volume/issue number) that is open.

Herding cats

As the guest editor, you are responsible for selecting the contributing authors, arranging the structure of the collection, supervising the peer review of the papers, and finalizing the submission to the journal. While this should be an enjoyable process, there is no getting around that pulling together ten articles from ten or more authors requires a lot management. I recommend staying in regular touch with your contributors and setting and keeping fair but firm deadlines.

Internal and external reviews

Once all of the articles are in hand, it is typical that editors will organize an internal round-robin review. In this format, each contributor will be assigned to review two other articles in the collection. As contributors to thematic, the authors are expected to be experts in the field and thus ideal reviewers for the other papers. Peer reviews should comment on the organization of the article, the clarity of the argument, the effective presentation and use of the data, and the overall quality of the writing.

The guest editor will collect and return the reviews to each author with a statement explaining what they see as most important aspects of the review that need to be addressed in a revision. Once you have collected the revised the articles, the collection is ready to be assembled for submission to the journal. I am more than happy to arrange for an electronic submission. This is also the stage when the articles including tables, figures, and permissions need to be formatted to conform to the Style Guide of the journal: http://sha.org/index.php/view/page/for_authors.

Upon submission to the journal, I will arrange for the collection to be reviewed by one or two outside readers who will provide comments on both the overall collection as well as the individual papers. This external review will spur a second round of revisions, and it will also confirm for the journal editor that the collection is suitable for publication.


Assuming all goes well, the revised articles for the thematic can be compiled again for a final submission. Once the editor has all the files in hand, they will send the guest editor(s) a letter stating that the collection has been formally accepted for publication and indicate which Volume/Issue number it will be assigned.

Right now we are publishing thematic issues about one year after they have been accepted. So, after the collection has been accept you will have a 6-8 month break before hearing from the journal’s copy editor with queries about the articles. The copy editor will work directly with the authors to finalize the manuscripts for publication. The next step will be to review the printer proofs. For this stage the journal editor will send typeset PDFs of the articles to the guest editors, who should review the collection as a whole and circulate the articles to the individual authors for proofing. Once the proofs are returned, the corrections are submitted to the printer, and the issue will be published within the next couple weeks!

*Image: Early 20th-century British postcard depicting lucky horseshoes, old shoe, and a black cat. [From the collection of the M. Chris Manning, 2013, published as Figure 3 in his article, “The Material Culture of Ritual Concealments in the United States,” Historical Archaeology 48(3):52-83].

Time to Register for the #SHA2016 Conference!

Hello SHA members!

Registration for #SHA2016 has begun! Please follow this link (http://sha.org/conferences/) to access the registration site. In addition, the #SHA2016 conference program is posted; follow this link to take a look (https://www.conftool.com/sha2016/sessions.php).

As you are registering for #SHA2016, the conference has reserved a limited number of rooms at the conference venue, the Omni Shoreham. Located in NW D.C., the hotel overlooks Rock Creek National Park, which also happens to be celebrating its 125th Anniversary! The Omni Shoreham is just a quick five minute walk to the Woodley Park-Zoo Metro stop, which is location on the Red line.  The Red line will take you straight into the heart of downtown D.C. In addition, Just north up Connecticut Avenue is the National Zoo, which is open daily, from 7 am to 8 pm.
national-zooOmni Shoreham Hotel
The Omni Shoreham is in a great location to take advantage of what D.C. has to offer, so make sure to reserve your hotel room when registering for the conference. Follow this link (http://sha.org/conferences/)) to do so.

Your Chance to Weigh In! NPS Revising U.S. World Heritage Tentative List

GovAffairsFor the first time in almost ten years, the National Park Service (NPS) is revising the Tentative List of nominees to the World Heritage List. Inclusion on the Tentative List is a necessary prerequisite to being nominated by the United States to the World Heritage List. NPS has asked US/ICOMOS to structure an Expert Consultation for the revisions to identify and prioritize themes in U.S. cultural resources that fill gaps identified in the World Heritage List. US/ICOMOS seeks inter-disciplinary input to insure inclusion of a wide variety of themes, such as the “archaeological sites or landscapes of global significance” theme. If you would like to participate, please register and respond to the survey here. You can join one or more moderated professional discussions, and follow the on-line discourse.

Management Challenges, Public Relations, and Professional Issues

Seattle 2015 Logo

This week we bring you another video recorded session from the 2015 SHA conference. This was a general session so the topics will be diverses. If you are interested in seeing more great archaeology presentations be sure to book your tickets to this year’s SHA conference in Washington DC.

 The presentations:

Urban Archaeology in the City of the Saints and the Growth of a Real Frontier City

Donald D. Southworth II

While archaeologist in the western United States survey wide open expanses for federal and state agencies, archaeology in the urban centers themselves are often ignored. The majority of city centers consist mostly of businesses and business is money. Archaeology in these districts cost time and money, so archaeology is almost never undertaken unless it is done for an agency that must follow established laws and regulations that include archaeology. The new United States Courthouse for the District of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah, presented just such an opportunity to conduct urban archaeology. The results of these excavations have highlighted contrasting interpretations of the accepted narrative history of the city, and the life style of its inhabitants. This paper presents some of the evidence for a reinterpretation.

Present in the Past: Environmental Archaeology and Public Policy

James G. Gibb

Eroding farmland, diminishing forest stocks, sediments choking navigable waterways….these are environmental changes wrought, at least in part, by human decisions and human actions. In the present, these are highly politicized issues, providing thin veils to debates about ideology. Exploring environmental changes in the distant past creates a safe place in which dialogue participants have little or no vested interest and ideology a less prominent role. Public dissemination of archaeological research into historic changes in the lands and waters of Southern Maryland, USA, specifically dealing with erosion and sedimentation, have a direct bearing on the current statewide “rain tax” debate. Research at the Port Tobacco townsite and the Sellman’s Connection plantation contribute to a scientific basis for public policy without direct reference to the politics of imposing a new tax to fund solutions to a centuries-old problem.

Digital Archaeological Data: An Examination Of Different Publishing Models

Mark Freeman

The open data movement, inter-site analysis, and the desire for public outreach are encouraging archaeologists to share data, as well as results. Yet the history of archaeological collections provides concerns about access and preservation that extend to managing digital assets. This paper will examine the availability of digital archaeological data in Virginia, based on a recent survey, and examine the strengths and weaknesses of different models of archaeological data publication.

Finding Successful Solutions for Environmental, Engineering, Cultural Resources, and Public Relations Challenges at the Presidio of San Francisco, California

Sean E McMurry

In 2012-2014, AMEC successfully balanced the needs of the National Park Service (NPS), the Presidio Trust, and regulators to preserve historic resources, maintain public relations, engineer safe and effective solutions, and address environmental concerns during remediation activities to remove contaminated soil at the Presidio of San Francisco, a NHLD and NRHP-listed property. For over 150 years, the Presidio, located near the Golden Gate Bridge, was used by the U.S. Army to protect San Francisco. Remedial activities removed approximately 14,800 cubic yards of contaminated soil. Working with NPS staff, AMEC archaeologists developed an archaeological monitoring, sampling, and excavation strategy that preserved archaeological resources while keeping the project on schedule and budget. The 32 features recovered included a buried 1870s ammunition magazine and large, intact 1870s and 1890s coastal defense battery features. This presentation discusses the challenges of working in an archaeological landscape and the innovative techniques used during remedial excavations.

Overwhelmed with Possibilities: A Model for Urban Heritage Tourism Development

Tristan J. Harrenstein

The city of Pensacola, FL has been attempting to create a heritage tourism industry for half a century but has never achieved the same level of success of some of the most notable destinations they were trying to emulate. This is, in part, due to a significant level of development in the historic district, much of which is now historic as well, combined with an impressively complex history concentrated in a relatively small area. If Pensacola, and any community in a similar situation, is to develop an effective heritage tourism program then a well organized plan is required. This paper presents a model for the development of an interpretive program which aims to provide the best possible results for the community, the tourist, and the archaeological resources.

The Best Kept Secrets in Archaeology: The numbers no one knows, but everyone talks about.

Doug Rocks-Macqueen

How many professional archaeologists are there? How much do they make? How many women are archaeologists? Where do they work? It has been 20 years since the data to answer these questions was gathered through a survey and published in the report The American Archaeologist: A Profile by Melinda A. Zeder. However, there has yet to be a follow up project. Our only profile of professional archaeologists is arguably out of date, significantly. This paper uses a variety of different data sources to build up a profile of current American archaeologists and what has happened in the intervening years. While it is not possible to replace such a large scale survey as the one undertaken 20 years ago, this paper will layout what we know, a current profile, and our gaps in knowledge.

New Articles from Technical Briefs in Historical Archaeology

Figure 2-4

Technical Briefs in Historical Archaeology has recently published several exciting and useful articles. Three are artifact studies, including a discussion of the origins of French faience based on stylistic and compositional data (Métreau and Rosen), an analysis of bottle contents with some surprising results (von Wandruszka et al.), and a case study of utilized glass analysis (Porter). At a larger scale, Thomas and Volanski offer a geochemical method of for identifying laundry washing sites. Three additional authors discuss innovative photography applications. Rivera’s article provides a primer on applying forensic photography techniques to archaeology collections. A two part article by Whitely introduces the use of drones in archaeology and methods for collecting video footage for site mapping. Finally, an article by Selden presents the uses of photogrammetry in grave marker recording.

Please also consider submitting an article to Technical Briefs. Technical Briefs is a peer-reviewed publication devoted to the fast dissemination of shorter specialized technical papers in historical archaeology, maritime archaeology, material culture technology, and materials conservation. Technical Briefs articles reach and international audience through the SHA webpage and provide free, open access to your ideas. At 3,000 words and with an average of four months from submission to publication, Technical Briefs also offers a relatively painless way to publish. Submission guidelines are available on the Technical Briefs webpage and inquiries can be sent to Ben Ford.

Cover image is an aerial view of Waddington Roadhouse, oblique angle. (Photo by Thomas G. Whitley, 2015.)

Autumn is here! #SHA2016 registration is near….

Good afternoon SHA members!

Autumn is here, and registration for #SHA2016 begins next week! Be sure to mark your calendars for next Thursday, October 1. For general #SHA2016 conference details, please follow this link.

 In addition, the #SHA2016 conference program is now posted! Please follow this link, to take a look. Please note that Symposium organizers may notice the names associated with the Introduction, Discussants and breaks in their session are not correct. These names will be updated in the program once the individuals who will be performing these roles register for the #SHA2016 Conference. Only individuals who are registered in ConfTool can be added to the program; it was necessary, therefore, to create “placeholders” to ensure that the timing for each session is correct.

Otherwise, as we get closer to #SHA2016, our blog posts will focus on conference related details as well as Washington, D.C. related information. Before we begin our next round of blog posts, however, we would like to hear from you. Is there anything specific you would like us to blog about, leading up to the conference? Is there anything you wished you knew beforehand, about previous conferences?

Please comment below this blog post with any thoughts- we’d love to hear from you.

Don’t forget to register for #SHA2016, next Thursday, October 1!

Courtesy of http://blog.udr.com/washington-dc-events-fall-2014/


Five Tips for Managing Your Time in Graduate School

by Theodor Maghrak
I’m often approached by fellow grad students asking me, simply, “How do you get it all
done?!” Throughout my graduate career, I’ve worked at least one job alongside school,
oftentimes without having a complete day off for the entire semester. A lot of us know
this situation, trying to avoid student loans at all costs by working ourselves to the bone.
Even with funding, it often seems like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to keep
up with our schoolwork, much less having a job and a social life. Here are few tips on
“getting it all done” in grad school that I’ve found useful, regardless of your particular
1. Be busy.
While it at first seems counter-intuitive, I have found that maintaining a full schedule actually helped me to develop excellent time management skills by force. While this isn’t an ideal situation in graduate school, it helped me to adhere to scheduling and make time for the important things. That brings us to the next point.
2. Make a schedule.
It’s elementary, and may sound a little juvenile, but regardless of how full your plate is, you should always have a schedule. Most of us go into the weekend with a long list of things that we have plenty of time to accomplish. But it’s far too easy to keep saying “I have all weekend,” or “I’ll get around to it,” or “I have plenty of time.” By Sunday evening, many of us will have accomplished nothing on that ever-growing to-do list. That being said, plan your day. Block out a specific hour or two for each task. This will eliminate the “I’ll get around to it” factor as we all get increasingly distracted by daily
life. For a lot of us, a calendar app, spreadsheet, or daily planner can accomplish this very well. For more visual people, there are lots of other great tools to organize just about all of your work like Trello.
3. Make time for yourself.
Working on the same principle, schedule time for yourself. Doing so makes a rigorously
planned day more bearable, but it will also help you to enjoy that time for yourself much
more fully. Without that time planned into a busy schedule, most of us would likely fall
behind and get backed up, overwhelmed by all the work. That would make a rigorous
schedule unbearable. Building in time for friends and self-preservation is key.
4. Don’t even consider incompletes as an option.
Let’s be honest. Many of us end up taking incompletes in graduate school courses
because of the sheer amount of work involved in any given semester. Lots of professors
will give them without much fuss, a pattern that can be unproductive at best. Knowing
that an incomplete is an option can make you ignore work for one or more courses while
focusing entirely on one or others. An incomplete will also add additional stress and
weight on your shoulders until you can finish that course, resulting in an even greater
backlog of work. While sometimes an incomplete is unavoidable, treat them as the last
resort they should be rather than a legitimate option.
5. Set writing goals.
While a schedule helps to organize your time, you should make sure to use your time
most efficiently. Whether you are writing a term paper,a conference presentation, an article, or your dissertation, explicit writing goals will help to move your work along in small, digestible chunks. In my undergraduate career, I always tried to write an entire paper in one sitting. While I could do this with some courses, I pushed other work to the side because I could not dedicate the consecutive hours to write the entire thing. Learning from this, I developed the skill to write in chunks in
graduate school. Try a daily goal of 3 pages, a weekly goal of 12, or a monthly goal of 30. Having a
concrete schedule and page goal will help to motivate you as you move deeper and deeper
into your own dissertation research. (For more tips on writing, check out this blog post). While I could mention a few more useful ideas, following these five guidelines should help you to get yourself and keep yourself on track. If you feel like you’re going under,don’t give up on the schedule. Maybe allot more time per task, smaller goals, or longer
breaks between tasks. Whatever works best for you, you’ll find it. We’re all in this together, and no one should feel like they’re alone on a sinking ship. Good luck!

New thematic issue of Historical Archaeology: Contemporary and Historical Archaeology of the North

49.3 Cover image compressed

The new issue of Historical Archaeology, 2015, Vol. 49, No. 3 is soon to be hot off the press. In this issue, guest editors, Jeff Oliver and Neil Curtis (University of Aberdeen), have assembled papers originally presented at the 2010 Contemporary and Historical Archaeology and Theory conference in Aberdeen (CHAT ‘north’), which brought scholars from both sides of the Atlantic to discuss and debate northern worlds in contemporary and historical Archaeology. Northern worlds have always suffered from stereotyping. Since the Enlightenment, north played the role of frontier of geographic knowledge and wilderness of harrowing and sublime proportions. The last century saw its diversification as a space of untapped resources, from fur and gold to oil and gas. In other historical moments, north figured large as a relational concept in the formulation of identities and mentalities, especially by those farther south. The papers in this special issue of Historical Archaeology move beyond the concept of the global north as a space on the map and instead consider how the ‘placing’ of the north and its diverse cultural geographies has been shaped historically through connections with others, notably through relations of exploration, mercantilism, colonialism, and capitalism.

This thematic issue of Historical Archaeology showcases the research of scholars from Europe and North America. It includes eight substantive papers, beginning with an essay contextualizing the creation of the Northern World followed by seven case studies examining on the contemporary and historical archaeology of Alaska, Iceland, Newfoundland, Northern Ireland, Orkney and Scandinavia. An introduction to the volume by Oliver and Curtis is freely available to download here: 1 HA49-3-OLIVER.

Here’s the complete list of articles:

  • Contemporary and Historical Archaeology of the North: An Introduction, by Jeff Oliver and Neil Curtis
  • Placing North, by Jeff Oliver and Neil Curtis
  • I Wish I was where I was when I was wishing I was here: Mentalities and Materialities in Contemporary and Historical Iceland, by Oscar Aldred
  • The Changing Lives of Women’s Knives: Ulus, Travel and Transformation, by Emily Button Kambic
  • Confronting Marginality in the North Atlantic: Archaeological and Historical Perspectives from the French Colony of Plaisance, Newfoundland, by Amanda Crompton
  • Time, Seasonality and Trade: Swedish/Finnish-Sami Interactions in Early Modern Lapland, by James Symonds, Timo Ylimaunu, Anna-Kaisa Salmi, Risto Nurmi, Titta Kallio-Seppa, Tiina Kuokkanen, Markku Kuorilehto, Annemari Tranberg
  • North/South Encounters at Sami Sacred Sites in Northern Finland, by Tiina Aikas and Anna-Kaisa Salmi
  • Memorials and Marching: Archaeological Insights into Segregation in Contemporary Northern Ireland, by Laura McAtackney
  • Northern Worldviews in Post-Medieval Orkney: Towards a More Holistic Approach to Later Landscapes, by Dan Lee

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