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SAA Obituary Policy and Procedures

In September 1994 the Society for American Archaeology's Executive Board decided that obituaries would appear in SAA Bulletin rather than American Antiquity or Latin American Antiquity. The decision recognized that journal pages are fixed in number and should focus on articles and reports, and that SAA Bulletin, which is printed on archival paper and distributed to all members and institutional journal subscribers, is the most timely medium for publishing such material. The following procedures became effective on July 1, 1996.

Death Notices will be published in SAA Bulletin in a timely manner and consist of short, two-to-three sentence statements about the deceased.

Obituaries will be published in SAA Bulletin and consist of up to 500 words. Ordinarily, obituaries will be accepted from family members or close colleagues. The Bulletin editor, or his/her designate, is charged with contacting close colleagues (or, in some circumstances, family members) of the deceased to remind them that an obituary may be published if received; however, in no sense is the preparation of the obituary mandatory. Obituary content is a matter best left to the author, but generally the obituary should contain a brief review of the deceased's professional activities, a synthesis of his/her major contributions to the field, and perhaps a more personal statement about the kind of person the deceased was. Authors should be given substantial discretion as to what they choose to emphasize. The Bulletin will publish a photograph of the deceased with the obituary.

Bibliographies accompanying obituaries will not necessarily be published in SAA Bulletin, but SAA may instead make them available on SAAweb (, where they will be housed in a section accessible to the public. Bibliographies must be submitted in electronic form and must conform to SAA publication style.

The editor of the SAA Bulletin may appoint an associate editor for obituaries, who will have the primary responsibility for preparing death notices, requesting obituaries from colleagues or family members of the deceased, coordinating the submission of bibliographies, and editing these materials. The Bulletin editor will have final control of the disposition of death notices, obituaries, and bibliographies.

SAA has long had a strong interest in publishing articles on the history of Americanist archaeology, and it therefore encourages the preparation of article-length papers on how especially well-known archaeologists and their intellectual circles have influenced the field. Ordinarily these articles would be submitted to the journals by their authors, but in some instances, the editors may solicit them. In either instance, these papers would be peer-reviewed and subject to the same treatment as other submissions to the journals. These papers should be seen as essays in the history of archaeology, and in this sense they should be considered as syntheses of intellectual trends, discussions of critical ideas or concepts, or evaluations of major innovations in technique, method, and theory upon which the subject(s) has had a major influence.

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