Past Seminars

Deaccessioning Archaeological Collections

Registration Closed!

Deaccessioning Archaeological Collections

When: December 10, 2019 2:00-4:00 PM

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


S. Terry Childs recently retired as the manager of the Department of the Interior Museum Program that provides policy, oversight, training, and technical assistance to the ten DOI bureaus and offices that own over 206 million museum objects and archives. She has advocated for attention to archaeological collections curation, preservation, and use through numerous books and articles since she began working for the National Park Service’s Archeology Program in 1993. She is the primary author of the Federal regulations on the disposal and deaccessioning of federal archaeological collections proposed to be added to 36 CFR 79, the Curation of Federally-Owned and Administered Archeological Collections. These proposed regulations were issued in November 2014 for public comment, which she then revised based on the numerous comments received. The National Park Service is currently working to publish those regulations as final. Childs also was the first Chair of the SAA Committee on Curation, now Committee on Museums, Collections, and Curation, in 2000-2006; served on the SAA Board of Directors in 2013-2016; and chaired the Archaeological Collections Consortium in 2017-2018.

Jenna Domeischel is the curator of the Blackwater Draw Museum at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, New Mexico where she has implemented several deaccessions. She has served on The Society for American Archaeology’s (SAA) Committee on Museums, Collections, and Curation, and is currently a member of the Archaeological Collections Consortium, a multi-agency national task force concerned with archaeological curation. Jenna is also the founder and chair of the SAA Curation Interest Group.

Deaccessioning is a collections management tool that is available for wise and judicious removal of archaeological collections. This two-hour seminar is designed to help archaeologists, curators, collections managers, repository managers, and others make good decisions about the appropriateness of a potential deaccession and both the means and the steps necessary to implement a deaccession of archaeological collections or objects. Critical to decision-making is knowledge about the ownership of the archaeological material proposed to be deaccessioned and pertinent laws and policies. Case studies of successful deaccessions will be presented.
  1. Learn to assess whether or not to deaccession archaeological materials and what tools are necessary to make good decisions.
  2. Learn the steps involved in deaccessioning, including who should be involved, the need to document every step, and the costs involved.
  3. Learn the opportunities afforded by the deaccessioning process, including curatorial and educational benefits.

Ancient DNA 101: What You Need to Know to Establish a Successful Project

Registration Closed!

Ancient DNA 101: What You Need to Know to Establish a Successful Project

When: December 03, 2019 12:00-2:00 PM

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


Courtney Hofman is an assistant professor of Anthropology and co-director at the University of Oklahoma's Laboratories of Molecular Anthropology and Microbiome Research. Dr. Hofman has conducted research that integrates interdisciplinary methods and fields, including genomics, ancient DNA, proteomics, and archaeology to explore human-environment interactions on two very different scales. First, she investigates human-wildlife interactions and their influence on changing environments over the past millennia to inform conservation decisions. Second, Dr. Hofman conducts research on the evolution of the human microbiome using dental calculus and paleofeces from archaeological contexts. Dr. Hofman completed her PhD at the University of Maryland in collaboration with the Center for Conservation Genomics at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Anthropology department at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, where she is also a research associate.

Dr. Christina Warinner earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard University in 2010 and received postdoctoral training in genomics and proteomics at the University of Zurich (2010-2012) and the University of Oklahoma (2012-2014). In 2014, she was appointed Assistant Professor of Anthropology and was awarded a Presidential Research Professorship at the University of Oklahoma (OU). In 2016, she was made W2 Group Leader of Microbiome Sciences at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History (MPI-SHH), and in 2018 she was promoted to University Professor in the Faculty of Biological Sciences at Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany. Since 2019, she is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Harvard University. Warinner specializes in biomolecular archaeology, with an emphasis on reconstructing the prehistory of human foods and the evolution of the microbiome. She is known for her pioneering work in ancient DNA and proteins research, which has contributed to the study of prehistoric human health, ancestral human oral and gut microbiota, the origins of dairying, and past human migrations. She is a 2012 TED Fellow, and her TED Talks on ancient dental calculus and the evolution of the human diet have been viewed more than 2 million times. In addition to her research, she is actively engaged in public outreach and created the Adventures in Archaeological Science coloring book, now available in thirty languages, including many indigenous and underrepresented languages.

Recent technological advances in genetics, such as high-throughput sequencing (HTS), have radically transformed ancient DNA (aDNA) research, making it more accessible and affordable for archaeologists than ever before. This seminar will provide a brief introduction to the field of paleogenomics, with an emphasis on the range of questions that can be addressed using current technologies, as well as some potential challenges. We will also explore how much an aDNA study actually costs and the role of student training in aDNA labs. Participants will learn how to identify questions that are amenable to genetic analysis and acquire strategies for how to set up successful collaborations with aDNA labs.
  1. Provide an update on major changes in ancient DNA technologies over the past 5 years.
  2. Highlight the range of questions that current ancient DNA methods can investigate.
  3. Address challenges in ancient DNA research, such as sample preservation and data authentication.
  4. Provide strategies for identifying potential research partners and establishing successful collaborations with aDNA labs.
  5. Discuss the structural differences between how research and training is conducted within the fields of archaeology and genetics, and how this impacts ancient DNA research.
  6. Establish the importance of hypothesis-driven research, and dispel the “Doing the DNA” myth.

Developing Site Stewardship and Monitoring Programs

Registration Closed!

Developing Site Stewardship and Monitoring Programs

When: November 21, 2019 2:00-3:00 PM

Duration: 1 hour

Certification: RPA-certified


Pricing

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

Group Registration: 


Dr. Della Scott-Ireton is Associate Director for the Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) and has spent her career developing public interpretation for submerged archaeological sites and engaging and training citizen scientists to participate in underwater archaeological research and preservation.

Sarah Miller is Director of the Northeast/East Central Regions for FPAN. She created the Cemetery Resource Protection Training (CRPT) program in 2011 that has since graduated 1,400 stewards from 81 trainings statewide, as well as Heritage Monitoring Scouts of Florida (HMS Florida) launched in 2016 that has so far resulted in 432 Scouts monitoring 864 sites in two years.

Della Scott-Ireton and Sarah Miller of the Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN) invite you to join them to discuss the development and implementation of archaeological site stewardship programs. Heritage managers increasingly rely on dedicated volunteers and concerned stakeholders to serve as citizen scientists in the field, assisting with non-disturbance monitoring and recording of sites threatened by looting, erosion, development, sea level rise, and climate change. FPAN has had success in creating and executing such programs, both on land and under water. Sarah and Della will discuss the impetus for FPAN’s programs, as well as development of training curricula, promotion and marketing, partnering with other agencies, dealing with data, and on-going strategies for attracting, training, and retaining participants. Sustainability is a factor to consider, therefore challenges and opportunities for sustaining these kinds of programs also will be addressed.

  1. To provide information, resources, and support for those wanting to develop effective and sustainable site stewardship/monitoring programs.
  2. To discuss pros and cons, benefits and pitfalls, challenges and solutions of non-disturbance citizen science programs.
  3. To stimulate ideas and offer suggestions for new or similar programs in other areas.

Identifying and Interpreting Animal Bones

Registration Closed!

Identifying and Interpreting Animal Bones

When: November 04, 2019 2:00-4:00 PM

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


Dr. April M. Beisaw has worked as an independent faunal analyst since completing her MA thesis in 1998. She is the author of Identifying and Interpreting Animal Bones: A Manual, published by Texas A&M University Press in 2013.

Valerie Hall is a graduate student at the University of Maryland. She is currently working as an independent faunal analyst with collections from Historic St. Mary’s City, MD; Monticello in Charlottesville, VA; and Charleston, NC. Her dissertation research explores environmental change related to the importation of domestic livestock during the colonial period.
This introductory seminar will cover both techniques for identifying bone fragments and some basic interpretive analyses that can be done using only a spreadsheet application. Participants will be provided with a series of example bone images and faunal data so we can work through the process together. Emphasis will be on mammal and bird bone identification but fish, reptile, and amphibian may be included in the shared dataset. Related data such as habitat preferences of identified species will be used to develop an interpretation of the example collection.
  1. Gain experience identifying fragmentary faunal remains to taxonomic class, if not genus or species.
  2. Manipulate basic faunal data to calculate minimum numbers of individuals, numbers of
    identified specimens, and assess spatial patterning across a site.
  3. Use inferential data such as habitat preferences of identified animals to interpret the collection.

Introduction to Archaeological Damage Assessment

Registration Closed!

Introduction to Archaeological Damage Assessment

When: October 23, 2019 2:00-4:00 PM

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


Forensic Archaeologist Martin McAllister, MA, RPA, has been involved in archaeological damage assessment since 1974,when he worked with the Forest Service. After leaving the Forest Service in 1985, McAllister formed the firm of Archaeological Damage Assessment & Investigation (ADIA) which specialized in consulting and training on archaeological damage assessment and the investigation and prosecution of archaeological violations. In 2015, ADIA became part of Northland Research,Inc.,an archaeological contracting firm based in Arizona. He now works for Cogstone Resource Management, Inc. McAllister has conducted or been directly involved in 38 archaeological damage assessment projects, including the archaeological damage assessment for the Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill. He is also the author of National Park Service Technical Brief 20 entitled Archeological Resource Damage Assessment: Legal Basis and Methods.

Brent Kober is a Forensic Archaeologist with the Cogstone Resource Management, Inc. He has been a professional Archaeologist for 22 years. He has performed archaeological damage assessments and has taught forensic archaeological methodology throughout the United States alongside nationally recognized expert Martin McAllister for the last five years.

This online seminar is intended for professional archaeologists employed by government agencies or archaeological contracting firms. It will provide participants with an introduction to archaeological damage assessment. After presenting a basic definition of archaeological damage assessment, it will review the legal elements for criminal and civil prosecution of violations of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA). Next, there will be discussions of (1) Federal Rule of Evidence 702 for expert witness testimony; (2) the professional standards for archaeological damage assessment; and (3) development of a damage assessment strategy. This will be followed by an introduction to the components of archaeological damage assessment, including, for each component, identification of the purpose, responsibilities, time requirements, and basic procedures. The seminar will conclude with a brief discussion of the importance of the professional qualifications and the time and labor commitments necessary to meet the legal standards for expert witness testimony.

  1. Understand the basic purpose of archaeological damage assessment;
  2. Understand the legal and professional standards for archaeological damage assessment, including Federal Rule of Evidence 702 for expert witness testimony;
  3. Understand the components of archaeological damage assessment; and 
  4. Understand the professional qualifications necessary to conduct each of the components of archaeological damage assessment and the time and labor requirements involved.