R. E. Taylor & SAS Student Poster Awards

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General Information

R. E. Taylor portraitThe SAS has a longstanding program of awards for outstanding student conference posters in the realm of archaeometry. The prestigious R.E. Taylor Student Poster Award acknowledges innovative student contributions to archaeological research through the use of scientific methods, and has enhanced the careers of prominent young scholars and professionals for more than two decades. The award is named in honor of Professor Emeritus R. Ervin Taylor of the University of California at Riverside for his outstanding contributions in the development and application of radiocarbon dating in archaeological research and his dedication to the founding of the Society for Archaeological Sciences, his leading role as President (1980) and General Secretary (1981-2002) of the Society, and his committed service as Editor of the SAS Bulletin. Professor Taylor's many valuable contributions were recognized by the Society of American Archaeology in 2004 with the Fryxell Award for Interdisciplinary Research.

These awards are typically given yearly at the Society for American Archaeology annual meeting and every other year at the International Symposium on Archaeometry. In some years poster or presentation competitions are administered by SAS at other conferences under the R.E. Taylor program or through SAS sponsorship of awards judged by the conference organizers. Event organizers interested in an SAS-sponsored award should review our co-sponsorship guidelines and contact SAS as far in advance of the event as possible.


R. E. Taylor Student Poster Award Competition at the 88th SAA Annual Meeting

The Society for Archaeological Sciences invites applications for the R.E. Taylor Poster Award at the 88th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Portland, Oregon. The award consists of $200 USD and a complimentary 2023 SAS membership. A runner-up prize will include $100 USD and SAS membership. Both winners are expected to provide the SAS with a ~500 word extended abstract based on their poster for publication in the SAS Bulletin. The Society will further publicize the winners and their research via social media.

Entries will be judged on the significance of the archaeological problem, appropriateness of the methods used, soundness of conclusions, quality of the poster display, and oral presentation of the poster by the student, who should be the first author in order to be considered. Students should submit an email application to Tatsuya Murakami (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by TBD. Applications must include the title and abstract of the poster, evidence that you have registered for the SAA meeting (receipt), and proof of your status as an undergraduate or graduate student (valid student ID or signed letter from your department chair). If your poster is complete at the time of application, please include a PDF copy with the other documents. Confirmation that your application has been received will be sent to you; please keep this email confirmation. In order to give the judges adequate time to evaluate the posters, students will be required to submit a PDF copy of their poster no later than TBD. Initial applications submitted on time without the poster that are still missing the poster at the time of the second deadline will be excluded from consideration. Judges will be present in person at the SAA meeting to evaluate posters and to ask students questions about their research. Prizes will be awarded at the SAA meeting following the end of the last poster session.

Good luck to everyone!


2022 R.E. Taylor Award Recipient: 43rd International Symposium on Archaeometry, May 16-20, 2022, Lisbon, Portugal (see next page for winners since 1998)

Yun Zhang (University of Oxford): "The Archaeological and Scientific Analysis of Chinese cobalt-blue-decoration ceramics from the 7th to 13th century CE"

This paper reviews studies of Tang (618-907 CE) and Song (960-1279 CE) blue-and-white porcelains, both archaeologically and scientifically, based on published data, and compares blue-and-white with sancai which represents the earliest use of cobalt pigment in Chinese ceramics. Thirty-nine Tang blue-and-white wares and seven Song wares have been excavated from city sites, kilns, a tomb, a shipwreck, and temples. These findings identify Tang blue-and-white as export ware related to the Maritime Silk Road or suggest it was produced for foreigners in China for daily use or personal collection. Also, the results reflected the connection with Buddhist culture. All Tang and Song blue-and-white are vessels and the motifs on them are plants, insects, child, geometric and combination patterns. Palmette and lozenge motifs show the influence of Middle Eastern taste. Additionally, we re-analyse and discuss the previous scientific evidence of Tang and Song blue-and-white, including body, glaze, and cobalt pigment to reveal the origin of materials and technology of Tang blue-and-white porcelain. The raw pigment of Tang blue-and-white was possibly inherited from sancai, probably from the Middle East, and the biscuit body and high-fired clear lime glaze were provided by white porcelain. And Song blue-and-white may utilise native cobalt ore, which possibly was from Zhejiang.

You can see the poster below:


2022 R.E. Taylor Award Recipient: 87th Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting, March 30-April 3, 2022 Chicago, IL

Eunice Villasenor Iribe (Arizona State University): "A Statistical Comparison of the Physical Characteristics of Terracing in the Basin of Mexico"

The Basin of Mexico is a culturally and environmentally dynamic region that has been occupied for thousands of years. The region is semi-arid in climate, which has made large scale habitation difficult without modifications of the landscape. One such type of modification that has been utilized by a variety of ancient groups is agricultural terracing. Previous studies of terracing in the Americas have found that terraces often occur within a limited range of topographic conditions. This range may indicate where terracing was viewed as being the most productive. Understanding how terracing was applied at a variety of the archaeological sites in the Basin of Mexico provides insight into the planning of agricultural production in the region. This analysis is based on the mapping of terrace features among 4 separate hilltops: Cerro Ahumada, Cerro Gordo, Cerro San Lucas, and Cerro Chiconautla. The terrace features for each site were then analyzed to determine if they occurred within a specific range for slope, vegetation cover (NDVI), soil moisture (NDMI), and aspect. The results support the idea that there does appear to be a general topographic range for agricultural terraces which may correspond to a limit for productivity.

You can download the poster as a PDF here and see the poster below: