AIA News

December 6, 2013

AIA Announces 2014 Best Practices in Site Preservation Recipient

At a CASSP advanced training workshop about creating site sketch maps, CASSP volunteers practice their new skills at an archaeological site in the Mojave Desert.


Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) Names Best Practices in Site Preservation Award Winner

BOSTONDecember 6, 2013—The AIA Conservation and Site Preservation Committee is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2014 Best Practices in Site Preservation Award is the California Archaeological Site Stewardship Program for its grassroots efforts to involve and train local communities in the preservation of archaeological sites in California. The award, established by the AIA Conservation and Site Preservation Committee in 2011, identifies and promotes best practices in the interdisciplinary field of site preservation and will be presented at the AIA’s 115th Annual Meeting in January in Chicago, Illinois.

The California Archaeological Site Stewardship Program (CASSP), a statewide program directed by the Society for California Archaeology (SCA), trains local volunteers to regularly visit assigned sites on public lands and report their conditions to the local supervising archaeologist. By regularly monitoring sites, CASSP ensures that potential problems are detected early and can be corrected quickly, thus limiting the extent of damage at each site. CASSP operates under the philosophy that public lands belong to all of us and as members of the public we need to find responsible ways to engage in protecting sites. Trained site stewards provide an additional interface between the recreational user and the agency archaeologists so that resources can be protected from harm and managed for future generations. Since the program’s inception in 1999, nearly 1,400 people have participated in 75 CASSP training workshops at locations across the state.

The Best Practices in Site Preservation Award includes a $5,000 cash award intended to further the work of the recipient. The AIA Conservation and Site Preservation Committee was impressed by the high level of commitment to community stewardship by CASSP, and hope it will serve as inspiration to others as they look for innovative ways to preserve archaeological heritage.

About AIA Site Preservation Program

The AIA Site Preservation Program emphasizes outreach, education and the spread of best practices in site preservation.  The Institute also supports preservation projects in Belize, Cambodia, Chile, Crete, Cyprus, Guatemala, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Montserrat, Syria, Turkey, the United States, and Peru.  In addition to awards and grants, the program includes advocacy to stop the destruction of archaeological sites, presents outreach activities for children, maintains online resources for the public and professionals, and hosts workshops. All aspects of the program, including this award, are made possible through donations to the AIA.  To learn more, please visit

About the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA)

Founded in 1879, the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) is North America’s oldest and largest archaeological organization.  Today, the AIA has nearly 250,000 members belonging to over 100 local societies in the United States, Canada, and overseas.  The organization promotes public interest in the cultures and civilizations of the past, supports archaeological research, fosters the sound professional practice of archaeology, and advocates for the preservation of the world’s archaeological heritage.  The organization hosts archaeological fairs, lectures, and other events throughout North America; publishes Archaeology magazine and the American Journal of Archaeology; awards fellowships and honors; and leads global archaeological travel excursions. 

For more information and images please contact:                                                                             

Kelly Lindberg, Site Preservation Program Administrator—; 617-358-6098

Ben Thomas, Director of Programs—

Learn more about the Site Preservation Program. 

Donate to Site Preservation.

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The AIA is North America's largest and oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to archaeology. The Institute advances awareness, education, fieldwork, preservation, publication, and research of archaeological sites and cultural heritage throughout the world. Your contribution makes a difference.