2024 Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology

January 3-6, 2024

Marriott Oakland City Center and Convention Center

Oakland, California


Portals to the Past – Gateways to the Future”

Call for Papers Opens: May 1, 2023
Download the Call for Papers 2024 Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology.

Final Abstract Submission Deadline:  June 30, 2023


Conference Code of Conduct


The Society for Historical Archaeology is committed to providing a safe, respectful environment at its conferences. To that end, the SHA will promote a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), or technology choices. The SHA will not tolerate harassment in any form at any SHA-sponsored events.

Harassment includes offensive comments or behavior related to gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion, technology choices, sexual images in public space, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, harassing photography or recording, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. Outside of research presentations that include specific considerations of sexuality or sexual representations in the past, sexual language and imagery is not appropriate for any conference venue, including talks, workshops, parties, social media and other online media.

Persons asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately.

If a participant engages in harassing behavior, the Society for Historical Archaeology may take any action it deems appropriate up to and including loss of SHA membership and expulsion from the conference with no refund.

Any person, who feels they are being harassed, should call or text SHA Executive Director Karen Hutchison (240-753-4397) to report the incident.  Incidents will be investigated, and a decision on appropriate action will be reached in a timely manner by a committee comprised of SHA members.

About Oakland

The Society for Historical Archaeology’s 2024 conference committee invites you to join us in Oakland, California, for our annual conference on historical and underwater archaeology. The 2024 conference will be held at the Marriott Oakland City Center and Convention Center on January 3-6, 2024.

Oakland is located on the eastern shore of the San Francisco Bay. Our theme for the conference, “Portals to the Past—Gateway to the Future,” highlights the significant role Oakland played in California history, from its indigenous roots to the modern era, as a terminal for the railroads and as a gateway to the Pacific markets by sea. The San Francisco Bay was first encountered by Spanish explorers from the Oakland Hills, not by sea.

The earliest known inhabitants were the Huchiun tribe, who have lived there since time immemorial. The Huchiun belong to a linguistic grouping later called the Ohlone (a Miwok word meaning “western people”). In Oakland, they were concentrated around Lake Merritt and Temescal Creek, a stream that enters the San Francisco Bay at Emeryville. Oakland is one of an estimated 425 shellmound sites in the greater Bay Area. Conquistadors from New Spain claimed Oakland, and other Ohlone lands of the East Bay, along with the rest of California, for the king of Spain in 1772. In the early 19th century, the Spanish crown deeded the East Bay area to Luis María Peralta for his Rancho San Antonio. The grant was confirmed by the successor Mexican republic upon its independence from Spain. The Peralta ranch included a stand of oak trees that stretched from the land that is today Oakland’s downtown area to the adjacent part of Alameda, then a peninsula. The Peraltas called the area encinal, a Spanish word that means “oak grove”. This was translated more loosely as “Oakland” in the subsequent naming of the town. The forest was so prominent that ships entering San Francisco Bay would use particular trees as a navigational landmark—hence the logo.

The City of Oakland was incorporated on March 25, 1854. During the city’s early development, Mayor Samuel Merritt (1867-1869) orchestrated the construction of a dam at a small tidal estuary to the east of downtown which raised the estuary’s water level and turned it into Lake Merritt.  Today the Lake is a lively scene for cultural and civic events and a popular jogging site. The city and its environs quickly grew with the railroads, becoming a major rail terminal in the late 1860s and 1870s. In 1868, the Central Pacific constructed the Oakland Long Wharf at Oakland Point, the site of today’s Port of Oakland.

In the 1960s, the oldest section of Oakland at the foot of Broadway, Jack London Square, was redeveloped into a hotel and outdoor retail district. During the 1960s, the city was home to an innovative funk music scene that produced well-known bands like Sly and the Family Stone, Graham Central Station, Tower of Power, Cold Blood, Azteca, and the Headhunters. By 1966, only 16 of the city’s 661 police officers were black. Tensions between the black community and the largely white police force were high, and police malfeasance against black people was common. In response, the Black Panther Party was founded by students Huey Newton and Bobby Seale at Merritt College.

Today, shipping remains an integral feature of Oakland with one of the busiest shipping ports on the Pacific Coast.  Oakland has been enjoying a renaissance with restaurants, craft breweries, and the arts in its Downtown and Uptown districts near the conference center.  The proximity of Oakland to San Francisco, and its position on the “sunny side of the bay” make it a terrific site for a conference.

Conference Committee

Conference Committee

Conference Chair
Marco Meniketti

Program Chairs

Terrestrial Chair
Cameron Monroe

Kent Lightfoot
Elaine Foster
Albert Gonzalez
Laura Wilkie

Underwater Chair
Bert Ho

Volunteer Coordinator
Elaine Foster

Workshop Coordinator
Sheli Smith

Bookroom Coordinator
Albert Gonzalez

Local Arrangements
Marco Meniketti
Albert Gonzalez

Media Contact
Marco Meniketti

Marco Meniketti
Bert Ho

Accessibility and Inclusion
Alicia Hedges

Roundtable Luncheons
Kent Lightfoot

Local Tribal Liaisons
Michael Wilcox

J. W. Joseph

Conference Venue and Hotel Information

The Marriott Oakland City Center will serve as our conference hotel. The hotel is attached to the Oakland Convention Center and is a short walk to the Oakland Museum of California, the Library of African American History, and Lake Merritt.  We are adjacent to Oakland’s Chinatown, and Jack London Square with its breweries and restaurants, and the marina is a fifteen minute walk.  Rooms at the hotel have lovely views of the bay, the Oakland hills, and downtown skyline. Additional hotels are nearby. The hotel and conference center is linked to the Oakland and San Francisco International airports by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) with a station entrance across the street from the hotel. From this station, conference attendees are only two stops away from downtown San Francisco via the Transbay tube or a twenty minute ride to the UC Berkeley campus.

The immediate vicinity hosts hundreds of restaurants and more than thirty craft beer breweries and tap rooms, all within a one mile radius of the hotel in Downtown and Uptown areas.

Room rates for the SHA block at the Marriott Oakland City Center are $159.00/night for a single/double room.  Hotel room rates are subject to applicable state and local taxes (currently 14% and subject to change), CA Tourism Assessment Fees (current $.65 and subject to change), and Oakland Tourism Business Improvement District Fees (currently $1.50 and subject to change), in effect at the time of check in.

Call for Papers

Download the Call for Papers 2024 Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology.  The Call for Papers closes on June 30, 2023.

For questions on the Call for Papers, contact the 2024 Program Chair at sha2024program@gmail.com.

Download the 2024 ConfTool FAQ for Symposium Organizers and Session Chairs

Open Symposia

In keeping with the successful 2023 format, symposium organizers can now choose whether their symposium is closed or open to other submissions. If a session is designated as ‘open’ by the symposium organizer, then other authors can submit individual papers to that session once approval has been given by the symposium organizer; the 2024 program committee may also direct appropriate papers to the session. Additional papers will be subject to approval by the symposium organizer. Please contact the symposium organizer directly by email before submitting your abstract to an open symposium.

Title: Exploring the Unknown: Archaeology in NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research
Organizer: Phil A. Hartmeyer  (phil.hartmeyer@noaa.gov)
Abstract: Through both internal and external activities, archaeology has been part of NOAA Ocean Exploration’s mission to explorer the unknown ocean since its beginnings. This session captures recent archaeological investigations, projects, partnerships, and ways for the greater archaeology community and students to get involved.

Title: From Whalers to World War II: Guam Underwater Archaeology
Organizer: Anne Nunn (anne_wright@nps.gov) and Toni Carrell (tlcarrell@shipsofdiscovery.org)
Abstract: Federal agencies, non-profits, and universities have recently undertaken multiple studies on the island of Guam to locate and document previously unrecorded underwater archaeological sites on federal and state submerged bottom lands. The island is the ancestral home of the CHamoru people, which has been occupied by Spain, Japan, or the United States since 1521, resulting in abundant cultural resources, ranging from indigenous sites of the CHamoru people to whaling shipwrecks and remnants of World War II’s amphibious invasion. This session focuses on the research, methodology, and results of these investigations.

Student Volunteer Opportunities

Coming fall 2023.

2024 Awards and Prizes

Information on applying for all of the awards and prizes for the SHA 2024 Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology will be found at: https://sha.org/about-us/awards-and-prizes/.