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The Archaeological Institute of America to Grant Seven Awards at Annual Meeting

Posted on : 2009-01-09 | Author : MA-ARCHAEOLOGY
News Category : PressRelease

BOSTON – (Business Wire) The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) (, North America’s oldest and largest organization devoted to the world of archaeology, will be giving out seven awards on January 9, 2009 at a ceremony as part of the organization’s annual meeting. The event will take place from 4:45 – 6:30 pm at the Marriott Philadelphia Downtown Hotel (1201 Market Street).

Henry T. Wright will be the recipient of the “Gold Medal for Distinguished Archaeological Achievements” award, honoring his contributions to archaeology through fieldwork, publications and teaching. Wright’s research has primarily focused on ancient state-based societies through fieldwork in China, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Madagascar, Syria, and Turkey. In addition to his research and writing, he is currently the Albert C. Spaulding Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan.
Dolores R. Piperno will be the recipient of the “Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology,” honoring her interdisciplinary work with archaeologists. A scientist specializing in tropical archaeobotany at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, she pioneered research on the analysis of phytoliths – the microcopic silica bodies that occur in many plant species – particularly in relation to the origins of agriculture in lowland Central America. She has also carried out groundbreaking research on the application of phytoliths, pollen, starch grains, and charcoal in reconstructing the agricultural and environmental history of tropical areas, elucidating topics such as the beginnings of maize domestication, the transition to agriculture in southwest Asia, human behavioral ecology, palaeoecology, and the effects of human activity on biodiversity.
Michael and Neathery Fuller will receive the “Martha and Artemis Joukowsky Distinguished Service Award” for their sustained and exceptional volunteer efforts as members of the AIA. After receiving a membership to the AIA as a wedding present in 1981, the Fuller’s began volunteering during AIA dinners, later serving as officers of the St. Louis Society and the AIA education committee, creating archaeological education programs for public school students and serving on the AIA National Lecture circuit.
The “James R. Wiseman Book Award” will be awarded to Joan Breton Connelly for Portrait of a Priestess: Women and Ritual in Ancient Greece (Princeton 2007). In this book, Connelly blends evidence from ancient texts and archaeology to discuss Greek priestesses and the public roles they played.
Andrea M. Berlin will receive the “Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award” for her innovative teaching methods and development of interdisciplinary curricula in the teaching of archaeology. Currently the Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor of Archaeology in the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Minnesota, Berlin created the undergraduate major in archaeology. She is also an active field archaeologist, authoring or editing books and articles based on her research.
The “Conservation and Heritage Management Award” for excellence in the conservation of archaeological sites and collections will be awarded to Heritage Watch, a non-profit organization dedicated to safeguarding Cambodia’s cultural heritage. Heritage Watch has identified the major issues affecting both local and worldwide archaeological sites, including looting, the trade in illicit antiquities, tourism overload and rapid development outpacing national policies to protect sites. The organization has also taken steps to ignite public interest and make use of media to protect threatened archaeological resources.
New York Times’ senior science writer and editor John Noble Wilford will be the recipient of the “Outstanding Public Service Award,” honoring his contributions to more than 500 articles to the publication that feature archaeology from around the world. His writings on the subject have spanned human history, followed stories from a sensational start to more realistic conclusion, discussed the impact of modern war on ancient artifacts and show the ancients as recognizable human beings.
“The winners of these prestigious honors, which we look forward to giving each year at our annual meeting, are to be applauded for the positive impact their work has had on the field of archaeology,” said C. Brian Rose, president of the AIA. “We look at this group of archaeologists, educators, authors, writers and volunteers as ambassadors of the AIA, helping us succeed in our mission of teaching, supporting and advocating archaeology around the world.”

About Archaeological Institute of America (AIA)

The Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) is North America’s oldest and largest organization devoted to the world of archaeology. Founded in 1879 as a non-profit group and chartered by the United States Congress in 1906, the AIA has over 250,000 members and subscribers belonging to 104 AIA local societies in the United States, Canada and overseas. The organization promotes public interest in the cultures and civilizations of the past, supports archaeological research, fosters the sound professional practice of archaeology, advocates the preservation of the world’s archaeological heritage and represents the discipline in the wider world. The organization hosts archaeological fairs, lectures and other events throughout North America; publishes ARCHAEOLOGY magazine, American Journal of Archaeology and a variety of books; awards fellowships and honors; and leads global, archaeological travel excursions.

Archaeological Institute of America
Press Contacts:
Shelley Kapitulik
Craig Sender

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