Upcoming Events

Please be aware when registering, all times are in the Eastern Time Zone. Even for free events, you will need to click the "Proceed to Checkout" button and "Submit Order" to complete your registration. If you do not receive an automated confirmation email, or if you have any questions about registration, please email onlineseminars@saa.org.

[Deeper Digs] Archaeology of Cremation: From Big Questions to Archaeological Excavation and Bioarchaeological Analysis

When: September 29, 2022 2:00-4:00 PM ET

Duration: 2 hours

Certification: RPA-certified


Pricing

Individual Registration: $99 for SAA members; $149 for non-members

Group Registration: $139 for SAA members; $189 for non-members


Jessica I. Cerezo-Roman, PhD, RPA, University of Oklahoma

Dr. Cerezo-Roman received her master’s degree in Biological Anthropology from the Escuela Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Mexico City, and her doctoral degree in Anthropology from the University of Arizona, Tucson. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma. Her academic and professional trajectory has allowed her to study the human body and mortuary customs from fascinating ancient, historic, and modern contexts, using cutting edge methodological and theoretical archaeological approaches. She has designed archaeological projects employing innovative and diverse methods and social theories by marrying and reworking processual and postprocessul approaches. One of her technical strengths is her expertise with human remains, particularly highly burned and fragmented human remains, for reconstructing posthumous treatments of bodies to answer broader anthropological questions. She is one of the leading experts on studying ancient cremation in North America. Dr. Cerezo-Roman has worked with more than 2,200 cremation burials associated with Prehispanic populations in the Americas from Arizona, Northern Mexico, and Belize, and from Gallo-Roman contexts from Belgium, Archaic contexts from Greece, Neolithic contexts from China, and Late Stone Age hunter-and-gather and Neo-Punic contexts from Africa.
This workshop is designed for archaeologists and bioarchaeologists who want to learn about different excavation and laboratory analytical procedures that maximize time, data collection, and robust scientific rigor and ethical consideration when working with human remains. Cremation funeral customs are understudied in archaeological and bioarchaeology research. Cremation is a multi-stage process that involves preparation of the body, burning the body in a pyre, and often removal of remains into a secondary place of burial or secondary cremation deposit. If permitted by necessary agencies and affiliated communities, cremations are a fascinating transformative mortuary ritual that leaves archaeological traces and enormous evidence in human remains that can be analyzed. Detailed archaeological excavation combined with rigorous analysis of the human remains, including thermal alteration, estimation of age at death, biological sex, and determination of pathologies, can allow researchers to reconstruct different stages, variations, and social significance of cremation rituals to the decendent, mourners, and community through time and space.
The participants will become acquainted with:
1. Different anthropological research questions related to cremation mortuary ritual from an archaeological and bioarchaeological point of view;
2. Fundamental archaeological excavations techniques and data that can be reconstructed from pyres and secondary deposits of cremated remains;
3. Essential osteological methods and techniques to reconstruct the biological profile of the individuals and thermal alterations.

[SALSA] Outlining an Interdisciplinary Project Using Remote Sensing and Survey to Trace Bronze Age Habitations in the Southern Urals

When: October 12, 2022 5:00-6:00 PM ET

Duration: 1 hour

Certification: None


Pricing

Individual Registration: Free to SAA members; not available to non-members

Group Registration: 


Jack Berner
Archaeologists have been puzzled and fascinated by the Bronze Age of the Southern Ural Steppe in Russia since the 1970s. Specifically, Sintashta-Petrovka (2050-1700 BCE) communities exhibited highly unusual organization for steppe pastoralists, including centrally planned towns, monumental fortifications, and sedentary subsistence. Of equal interest, these communities never invested in agriculture although their environment would have allowed for it. Thus, archaeology in this region contradicts anthropological models that expect complex, centralized societies to emerge only in agrarian and demographically dense contexts. Beginning in ca. 1700 BCE, these settlements disaggregated during the so-called “Sintashta Collapse”. It is unclear what social and demographic processes led to the dissolution of proto-urban settlements, partially due to the fact that previous research has been conducted on an atomized site-by-site basis without considering the regional perspective. Jack Berner’s research addresses these deficiencies in an interdisciplinary manner, by incorporating multiple lines of evidence to identify and map Bronze Age habitations in the Zingeyka River Valley in the Southern Urals. In this talk, he will first outline a program of research that uses multispectral satellite images, soil geochemistry, and pedestrian survey to create a highly detailed land classification that highlights Bronze Age hinterland habitations. Next, he will discuss the nature of his scientific relationships with Russian scholars, and the importance of student-driven collaboration in Russian archaeology. Finally, he will address how this project thoroughly addresses common ethical concerns including engagement with local stakeholders, open-access knowledge, and a safe environment for undergraduate volunteers.
The Student Affairs Lecture Series in Archaeology (SALSA) provides an opportunity to hear student members present on their current research as well as a space to discuss and connect with other students.

[Foundational Skills] From Expert to Expert Witness: What Archaeologists Need to Know

When: October 13, 2022 2:00-3:00 PM ET

Duration: 1 hour

Certification: RPA-certified


Pricing

Individual Registration: Free to SAA members; $69 for non-members

Group Registration: Free to SAA members; $89 for non-members


Christopher Dore, PhD, RPA, Heritage Business International

Dr. Dore has conducted archaeological expert witness work for over 20 years as a part of his work portfolio. He is a Certified Forensic Litigation Consultant, a professional member of the Forensic Expert Witness Association (FEWA), and the vice-president of FEWA’s southwest region. Dr. Dore is a co-author of the SAA’s Professional Standards for the Determination of Archaeological Value and has published in legal journals. He has served as an expert witness on high-profile cases nationally that have included criminal looting and artifact trafficking, but also fraud, insurance claims, hazardous waste liability, professional qualifications and performance, and plagiarism.
Applying one’s archaeological expertise to the legal system as an expert witness is rewarding and provides the potential to assist in site protection. However, the legal system operates under a different set of rules and practices. Archaeologists often take on their first job as an expert witness without understanding the context, role, and rules of a legal expert. Without this understanding, archaeologists often end up having a stressful and unrewarding experience, being ineffective, and could have their professional reputations damaged. This seminar provides an introductory overview of the basic information need to successfully transfer one’s skills as an archaeological expert to those of an effective archaeological expert witness. Topics include qualifications, rules of evidence, contracts, best practices, marketing, reporting, communication, testimony, and ethics.
  1. Describe the basic framework of the U.S. legal system and the role of an expert witness
  2. Explain the key federal rules that qualify an expert witnesses and that expert witnesses must follow in their work
  3. Illustrate what archaeologists do as expert witnesses
  4. Provide attendees with the information to decide if expert work is for them
  5. Explore where to go to learn more

[Deeper Digs] GIS and Archaeology: Real World Examples of How GIS Can Benefit Archaeologists

When: October 20, 2022 1:00-3:00 PM ET

Duration: 2 hours

Certification: RPA-certified


Pricing

Individual Registration: $99 for SAA members; $149 for non-members

Group Registration: $139 for SAA members; $189 for non-members


Teresa L. Gregory, MS, Statistical Research, Inc.

Teresa Gregory received a BA in Cultural Anthropology/Archaeology from UC Santa Barbara in 1996, a BS in Molecular & Cellular Biology from U.Arizona in 2001, and a MS in GIST from U. Arizona in 2016. She worked as a field archaeologist in CRM for four years before moving into basic research and "molecular" archaeology. In 2015, she became the Administrator of the ASM/Archaeological Records Office and GIS Manage of AZSITE updating and improving the GIS platform for the archaeological community and incorporating her knowledge of Esri ArcGIS products, Python, SQL, GPS collection devices and many other facets of a well-rounded GIS professional. In 2017, Teresa moved to a private CRM firm, Statistical Research, and began assisting the Arizona Army National Guard/Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs modifying a suite of Esri-based tools, WebApps, and geodatabases in the Microsoft Azure Government Cloud to aide in project planning and mission readiness.
In this course, the instructor will introduce real world examples of GIS platforms and applications that benefit the study of cultural and natural resources. Attendees will learn about cutting-edge Esri GIS software (ArcGIS Pro, Enterprise, AGOL, Monitor, Survey123) for data collection and manipulation; Adobe Acrobat/Sign for reviewing and signing documents; Python (ArcPy) for coding and creating more efficient GIS tools; Microsoft Azure Government Cloud Server for data storage; and much more. These products can aide archaeologists in smaller, simple projects or multi-scalar larger projects. GIS can be enjoyable and helpful from start to finish for archaeological projects.
  1. Describe what ArcGIS Pro is and how to use it, as well as other useful software
  2. Explore how GIS can aide the study of cultural and natural resources
  3. Explain, with examples, how to store, retrieve, and integrate GIS data

[Rising Scholars] On Common Ground: A Collaborative Archaeological Partnership at Perage, San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico with Mark Agostini

When: November 10, 2022 2:00-3:00 PM ET

Duration: 1 hour

Certification: None


Pricing

Individual Registration: Free to SAA members; not available to non-members

Group Registration: 


Mark Agostini, BA, MA, Brown University

Mark Agostini grew up in the town of Medfield, Massachusetts and from an early age became interested in archaeology and anthropology. He attended the University of Vermont, Burlington as an undergraduate majoring in Anthropology and Film. While there he became interested in archaeology of the American Southwest. Through the support of an NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Fellowship, he completed an honors thesis exploring shifts in pottery traditions and communities of practice at sites in the Silver Creek region of East-Central Arizona. In 2016, he entered the Anthropological Archaeology PhD program at Brown University and since then has focused on methods of ceramic analysis like archaeometry and petrography while adopting new and less invasive approaches like LiDAR analysis, and surface artifact surveys of archaeological sites. His dissertation project is a collaborative archaeology partnership with the Pueblo de San Ildefonso in New Mexico, which aims to address questions concerning San Ildefonso Pueblo's archaeological and ethnographic ties to their earliest ancestral villages atop the Pajarito Plateau and in the Rio Grande Valley (1300 – 1600 CE).
Ancestors of the descendant Pueblo people living in the Tewa Basin of what is now the northern Rio Grande region of New Mexico experienced significant social, political, and economic transformations beginning in the late-thirteenth and early-fourteenth centuries. This talk summarizes the progress of a collaborative archaeological partnership with the Pueblo de San Ildefonso that investigates and builds on aspects of their historical connections to the Pajarito Plateau and their earliest ancestral village in the Rio Grande Valley called Perage (LA 41). Through LiDAR analysis, digital re-mapping, and artifact survey, this project evaluates how ancestral villages of San Ildefonso Pueblo on the Pajarito Plateau and Perage in the Rio Grande Valley contributed to the growth and development of the early Tewa cultural landscape and contemporary San Ildefonso Pueblo.
The Rising Scholars seminars are opportunities to learn from students and early career archaeologists as they share their current research or emerging methods and theories.

[Deeper Digs] Characterization of Obsidian and Course to Fine-Paste Ceramics with Handheld XRF

When: November 15, 2022 10:00-12:00 PM ET

Duration: 2 hours

Certification: RPA-certified


Pricing

Individual Registration: $99 for SAA members; $149 for non-members

Group Registration: $139 for SAA members; $189 for non-members


Lucas R M Johnson, PhD, RPA, Far Western Anthropological Research Group, Inc.

Dr. Johnson's research at Caracol, Belize began in 2010 and initiated his training and application of ED-XRF on over 2,000 ancient Maya obsidian artifacts. Through this geochemical and technological analysis, he learned the basics of XRF physics, the importance of source reference material, and advanced statistical methods used to assign artifacts to known sources to assess ancient regional trade through time. Concurrent with this project, he worked with an international team to characterize obsidian artifacts from two project locations in Ethiopia. Through these projects, he established relationships with XRF specialists and developed a deeper knowledge of portable XRF instruments. Currently, as a practicing archaeologist in cultural resource management, he is expected to apply XRF analysis to obsidian, other volcanic rocks, and potentially other materials in conventional and in often creative ways. As a member of a laboratory team at Far Western Anthropological Research Group, Inc. and working toward advancing technical reports and research papers, he has stayed current with XRF literature describing analyses of various materials, taught other lab staff the fundamentals of XRF, and trained them to use an XRF instrument.

Marc Marino, MA, RPA, University of Arkansas

Marc Marino’s archaeological training with pXRF as an undergraduate student began with Dr. Lucas Johnson at the University of Central Florida Archaeology Laboratory in 2011. Subsequent training with Dr. Wesley D. Stoner, in both pXRF analysis and statistical analysis of data obtained with Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA), built on that foundation at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. His internship at the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR) with Dr. Brandi Lee MacDonald focused on the trade and exchange of decorated ceramics and obsidian in Aztec Period Mexico (specifically on the independent Tlaxcallan State). While his dissertation research was accomplished using NAA, XRF, and pXRF of obsidian, ceramics, clays, and sediments, Dr. MacDonald also introduced him to other applications of chemical analysis, including the analysis of ochres and pigments. Combined, these experiences have provided exposure to a wide range of projects across broad geographic areas.
Applications of XRF in archaeology have expanded beyond the analysis of homogenous materials, such as obsidian, to include more heterogenous materials used, created, formed, or associated with human practices. Applications therefore include characterizations of ceramics, metals, glasses, soils, sediments, plasters, pigments/ residues, cherts, and metavolcanic or metasedimentary rocks. While obsidian analysis is relatively straightforward, the other materials require additional procedures before formulating interpretations based on geochemical attributes. This online seminar presents two case studies, one using obsidian artifacts from the western Great Basin and one using both course and fine-paste ceramics from Mesoamerica. In this seminar, the instructors examine appropriate methods to prepare specimens, to assess the precision and accuracy of results obtained, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of different sample preparation techniques. While it is recognized that a ‘one size fits all’ method does not exist for all pXRF applications, we discuss what factors should be given careful consideration if the goal is to share data across projects and emphasize that such results are of the greatest utility to clients and stakeholders alike.
  1. Introduce the method of XRF to those who may or may not have access, but are interested in using XRF to answer anthropological questions relating to obsidian and ceramics.
  2. Present case studies by which attendees may learn how to perform a specific analysis.
  3. Outline what is required for XRF analysis of a given material and the limitations of XRF in analyzing certain materials.
  4. Describe the fundamental physics of XRF and how software transforms XRF spectral to analytical units (i.e., calibrations).
  5. Explain the basics of analyzing parts per million or weight percent versus untransformed photon peak counts (i.e., statistical procedures).