Friday, April 15, 2011

SAS Bulletins all online!


Online Archive of SAS Bulletins from 1996-2010



At the recent SAS Business Meeting at the SAA in Sacramento, the membership voted to provide instant online access to the SAS Bulletins upon publication. Previously we did not post the print issue until a year after publication. After a spirited debate on the merits of this change, we have implemented a plan to provide online access to all the current issues. The print edition is still in the mail to paid membership for those of you that enjoy turning the page rather than scrolling on your screen!

So take some time to check out past editions of the the SAS Bulletin. Every issue is packed with book reviews, meeting announcements, highlights of recent research and meeting presentations, and reports by scholars in various specializations of archaeological science.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Annual NPS archaeological geophysics workshop

MIDWEST ARCHEOLOGICAL CENTER
Current Archeological Prospection Advances for Non-destructive Investigations in the 21st Century
May 23-27, 2011
LOCATION: Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park,
Cameron County, Texas

DESCRIPTION: This workshop is designed to provide a practical application of geophysical equipment and aerial photographic techniques available for the identification, evaluation, and ultimately, the conservation and protection of cultural resources. The field exercises associated with the course will concentrate on the application of these techniques to archeological investigations. Instruction will be given in the use, processing, and interpretation of data from magnetometers, conductivity meters, resistivity meters, ground penetrating radar, metal detectors, and magnetic susceptibility instruments and their applications to non-destructive subsurface investigations. The major emphasis of the training will be on the field use of the equipment. Instruction will also be offered in the use of and interpretation of aerial photographic techniques, and in the use of low altitude large scale aerial reconnaissance.

For more information and application form: http://www.nps.gov/history/mwac/

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What I like about the SAA

In all fairness, I should provide the obverse to my previous post:
1. I'm surprised, a a geoscientist and as only a moderately social person, how many people I know at this meeting. I could feel the warmth of a career's worth of professional and personal associations at this meeting. I saw people I have known for 25 years, and a student I had in my class just two years ago. 2. There have been interesting talks and posters! The Clovis session yesterday had some controversy, different approaches, presented by veterans as well as newcomers. 3. The observation that the SAS, the main reason I am here, is still on solid ground. We have changed with the times, and grown in may ways. 4. Books. The exhibition hall was fun to wander through. I bought a book in archaeological theory, andfound out I was anthologized in an SAA book on chronometric methods (and got a free copy of that one). 5. Sacramento is a very pleasant city. The grounds of the capitol are lovely. I have been in Old Sacramento, and found a decent used book store (Time Tested Books). 6. I have been able to stay and spend some time with an old and dear friend. So, it's been a pretty good couple of days!

Friday, April 1, 2011

What I don't like about the SAA

It is interesting as a geoscientist to see how different disciplines run heir meetings.

Here is what I don't like abut the Society for American Archaeology meeting:

1. Introductions to speakers are absent to inadequate.

2. Almost all presenters literally read their papers, sometimes making no eye contact with the people who in theory are their audience

3. There are no questions of speakers after their presentations. (Summarizing 1-3, while some things are enjoyable to do alone, I thought conference presentations were supposed to involve exchanges of ideas.)

4.  Too many sessions are incestuous, with all papers coming from one academic or CRM group.  And this is possible because sessions are arranged by the organizers, who invites speakers of their choosing.  At geoscience meetings, all sessions are publicly announced, and anyone can submit a paper.  The incestuous sessions often contain work that is, shall we say, a bit on the light side.

5. Poor scheduling by the SAA.  Business meetings of groups with very similar interests are scheduled at the same time, and the SAS business meeting was scheduled at the same time as two different session that SAS sponsored.

6.  No wireless in the convention center.

7. I repeat, no wireless in the convention center. Or terminals.