Award Details


Gene S. Stuart Award

Nomination/Submission Deadline: 31 Dec 2019

Award Description

An award of $1,000 is made to honor outstanding efforts to enhance public understanding of archaeology, in memory of Gene S. Stuart (1930-1993), a writer and managing editor of National Geographic Society books. The award is given to the author of the most interesting and responsible original story or series about any archaeological topic published in a newspaper or magazine. 

Who Is Eligible to Submit Nominations or Apply for the Award

The award is given to single or multiple authored articles, stories, or series of stories published in newspapers or magazines. The emphasis is on publications available to the general public (rather than limited distribution newsletters), and online publications are not excluded. The award honors good writing that brings awareness of archaeology to the public eye. Nominations can be submitted by authors themselves, by magazine/newspaper editors, or by readers. Authors or newspaper editors will work with the committee chair to assemble and submit a nomination file. Awardees may be members or non-members of the SAA.

Nomination/Submission Materials Required

Nominators will work with the committee chair to assemble a nomination file that will include the nominated article, which should have been published within the calendar year of 2019. An author/newspaper editor may submit no more than five stories or five articles from a series. Nomination packets may be submitted electronically as PDFs via email to the committee chair. If submitting hard copies, six copies of each entry must be submitted by the author or an editor of the newspaper. 

Other Special Requirements


Nature of Award (e.g. monetary, medal, symposium)

The awardee receives $1,000. In addition, the awardee is recognized by the SAA through a plaque presented during the business meeting held at the Annual Meeting, a citation in The SAA Archaeological Record, and acknowledgment on the awards page of the SAA Website. 

Current Committee Charge

The committee solicits nominations and selects recipients for the Gene S. Stuart Award. The award is presented in recognition of outstanding efforts to enhance public understanding of archaeology. The award is funded by the Stuart family, and the committee will be sunset when the award is no longer funded.

Committee Composition

Committee composition is one chair and at least four members, who may be serving or recently served on the Media Relations Committee.

Term Length

Three years.

Award Cycle


Committee Chair and End of Term

Katharine Ellenberger [2023]


Committee Chair Contact Information

Committee Members and Ends of Terms

Selection or Evaluation Criteria

The Gene S. Stuart Award is given to the author of the most interesting and responsible original story/series about any archaeological topic published in a newspaper or magazine. The story/series should adhere to the guidelines of the Principles of Archaeological Ethics as outlined by the Society for American Archaeology. 

Committee Deliberation Process (e.g. dates, venue)

After award requirements and deadline information are distributed to journalists and editors via the SAA web and by the Media Relations Committee, the committee chair collects submissions up to the submission deadline, and sends the submissions to the award committee members. The committee chair communicates electronically evaluation procedures and deadlines to committee members. The committee meets electronically to evaluate submissions after the deadline has passed. The committee members evaluate submissions, rank them, and explain their rationale for their rankings. Based on the recommendations of the chair, the committee members and the ex officio journalist member, the chair makes the decision as to who gets the award. 

2020    Lizzie Wade (Science Magazine)

2019    Gayle Keck (American Archaeology)

2018    Nicholas St. Fleur (New York Times)

2017    Elizabeth Svoboda (Sapiens)

2016    Tamara Stewart (American Archaeology Magazine)

2015    Andrew Lawler

2014    Ann Gibbons (Science Magazine)

2013    Julian Smith (American Archaeology)

2012    Mike Toner (American Archaeology)

2011    Dan Vergano (USA Today)

2010    Andrea Cooper (Free Lance)

2009    Andrew Lawler (Science Magazine)

2008    Tom Avril (Philadelphia Enquirer)

2007    Richard L. Hill (The Oregonian)

2006    Andrew Petkofsky

2005    Marion Lloyd

2004    Alexandra Witze

2003    None

2002    Chip Minty

2001    Mike Toner (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

2000    Frank Roylance (Baltimore Sun)

1999    William Mullen (Chicago Tribune)

1998    Diedtra Henderson (Seattle Times)

1997    None

1996    Matt Crenson (Dallas Morning News)

1995    Nathan Seppa (Wisconsin State Journal)

1994    Scott LaFee (San Diego Union-Tribune)