SAS Bulletin

Volume 20   Number 1/2   January /June 1997

From the President

    The Society for Archaeological Sciences held its annual executive board and business meetings during the Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting in Opryland, Nashville, Tennessee, April 2-5, 1997. Our modest (embarrassing?) attendance of 14 out of a total membership of 354 was no doubt due to the scheduling of our meeting opposite several symposia. Votes were tallied for the election of officers. Twenty ballots were cast by email, and 24 by snailmail. The vote was unanimous in favor of Chris Prior for Presidentelect and Felicia Beardsley for SecretaryTreasurer. They will join me (as I move from Presidentelect to President) as members of the executive board. In addition, the desktop publishing baton was passed on to our new Bulletin editor, Rob Tykot.
    The income and expenditure summary for 1996 was presented, and the proposed budget for 1997 was presented and accepted. These documents were included in a previous issue of the Bulletin. The agreement with Plenum Press for the book series on Advances in Archaeological and Museum Science was discussed. This contract called for five books over a ten year period. So far, four books have been accepted by SAS. The phytolith book (Phytolith Systematics: Emerging Issues; Rapp and Mulholland, editors) is already published; books on dating methods (Chronometric and Allied Dating in Archaeology; Martin Aitken and R.E. Taylor, editors) and obsidian (Archaeological Obsidian Studies: Method and Theory; M. Steven Shackley, editor) are due out in 1997; and a volume on historic preservation technology (Ray Williamson, editor) is expected in 1998. Other highquality proposals are invited.
    Next year will mark the 20th anniversary of the SAS. Suggestions were made as to how this event might be marked, such as an award to someone who has served the organization. Visibility of the organization might also be promoted in several ways, from a more concerted effort to distribute our membership leaflet to a student award for a paper presented on an archaeometric topic.
    Future Archaeometry Symposia were discussed. Both the University of California at Berkeley and Mexico have expressed interest in hosting the next North American meeting. The SAS would still be interested in collaborating with the Standing Committee of the Archaeometry Symposia to cosponsor the symposia, help organize North American meetings, help with the publication of symposia proceedings or theme session papers, or republish hardtoget proceedings from previous symposia. The suggestion was also made that SAS might sponsor a handson workshop at the 1998 Archaeometry Symposium in Hungary.
    Incoming President Sternberg expressed his hope that at least one SASsponsored symposium could be held at each SAA meeting. There are always a number of SAA symposia that, by topic, could certainly be sponsored by SAS. As examples, several sessions that I was able to attend on this yearís program appealed to my personal interest in archaeomagnetism and archaeomagnetic dating: Geoarchaeology, Paleoenvironmental Research, and Absolute Dating (general session, #16); Learning from OnceHot Rocks (symposium organized by Alston Thomas, Jeff D. Leach and Michael B. Collins, #72); Time After Time: A History of Archaeological Dating in North America (organized by Stephen E. Nash, #134). There were a number of other symposia relevant to the SAS mission: Paleosubsistence and Paleoenvironmental research (organized by Jennifer Falk and Irwin Rovner, #45); Prehistoric Quarries and Chert Exploitation in the Southeastern and MidAtlantic States (organized by Meeks Etchieson, #53); Ancient Landscape Reconstruction: New Approaches and Technologies (organized by Robert H. Brunswig, Jr. and Lawrence Conyers, #54); Fryxell Symposium 1997: Molecular to Synthetic Research in Southwestern Archaeobotany. Papers in Honor of Vorsila L. Bohrer (symposium sponsored by SAA Executive board, organized by Karen R. Adams and Mollie S. Toll, #69); Advanced Technologies: Archaeology for the TwentyFirst Century (general session, #101); Chemical Sourcing of Ceramics in the Greater Southwest (organized by Donna M. Glowacki); Phytolith Analysis for Archaeologists (organized by Terry B. Ball and Linda Scott Cummings, #126). For a society to sponsor a symposium involves no additional work, and gives the symposium a bit more visibility in the SAA program. However, sponsorship by an organization does not guarantee acceptance of the symposium for the SAA program.
    Back to our meeting, it was mentioned that John Yellen at the National Science Foundation is looking for feedback on NSFís Archaeometry Program (see announcement at Members were reminded to peruse the excellent SAS web site set up by Jim Burton, located at:
    Jim has also kept SAS-Net, the e-mail redistribution service started by Foss Leach, active. Traffic has increased with notices of general interest to the SAS community.
    We closed with a round of applause for Pat Martin, who has served the SAS well as President, and before that as Presidentelect and Editor of the Bulletin. Thanks, Pat. We hope we can draw on your experience as you become PastPresident.

Rob Sternberg

May 5, 1997

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