Felicia A. Holton Book Award


2018 Holton Book winner 
Robert L. Kelly

The Felicia A. Holton Book Award will be given annually to a writer who, through a major work of non-fiction, represented the importance and excitement of archaeology to the general public. Submissions should focus on archaeology but may also delve into literary and historical topics. The work must have been published in English and bear a date of publication within three calendar years prior to (not including) the year in which the book is considered for an award. From time to time, the Holton Award may be given for lifetime achievement in non-fiction popular writing. Books written by current members of the Governing Board of the AIA or the CAA or by the Committee are not eligible.

Authors and publishers may bring their books to the committee's attention by sending a Letter of Nomination and four sample copies for distribution to the committee to the address below. The Letter of Nomination should address how the book nominated fulfills the guidelines. AIA members are also encouraged to suggest books worthy of the award by filling out the nomination form. Please note that individual AIA members do not need to submit four books. The AIA office will contact the publisher directly. Books may be submitted for the award only once, and should not be re-submitted unless specifically requested by the committee.

Due Date for Nomination

Letter of nomination and books should be received by Institute Headquarters at the below address no later than February 1, 2019.

Holton Book Award
Attn: Awards
Archaeological Institute of America
44 Beacon Street
Boston, MA 02108
(857) 305-9350
E-mail: awards@archaeological.org

Questions about the Book Award may be directed to Deanna Baker, Membership and Societies Administrator, at the above address.

Guidelines for the Felicia A. Holton Book Award

The Holton Book Award is given annually to a writer who, through a major work of non-fiction, represents the importance and excitement of archaeology to the general public. This is a jointly sponsored award of the AIA and the Center for American Archaeology (CAA).

Submissions (by authors, publishers, or AIA members) should focus on archaeology but may also delve into literary and historical topics. The work must have been published in English, be available in the United States and Canada, and bear a date of publication within three calendar years prior to (not including) the year in which the award will be presented. No nominated book may be resubmitted for the Holton Award unless requested by the Holton Book Award Committee. From time to time the Holton Award may be given for lifetime achievement in non-fiction popular writing. Books written by current members of the Governing Board of the AIA, the CAA or of the Committee are not eligible.

Submission Deadline: February 1 at the AIA office in Boston. Submission materials should include four copies of the book and a letter describing how the book fulfills the criteria given below.

The Holton Book Award will be presented at the annual AIA meeting.

Criteria for Submissions

The work should have broad public appeal and be written for an adult lay audience in a clear and engaging style. It should convey the excitement of archaeological discovery accurately and responsibly. It should be well-researched and provide new insight for the general public.

Recipients

2017 Felicia A. Holton Book Award: The Fifth Beginning - What Six Million Years of Human History Can Tell Us About Our Future by Robert L. Kelly

Professor Kelly’s book is an intriguing examination of four key developments, termed “beginnings”, in the six million year history of humanity: the emergence of technology, culture, agriculture and the state.  Using numerous archaeological references, he examines the effect that these beginnings have had on the course of human history.  The final chapter speculates on what may lie in store for humanity in a “fifth beginning”. Written in a humorous and engaging style, this book provides insight into how archaeologists evaluate their findings and observations. 

Past Winners of the Felicia A. Holton Book Award

2017 Miranda Aldhouse-Green: Bog Bodies Uncovered - Solving Europe’s Ancient Mystery
2016 Patrick Vinton Kirch: A Shark Going Inland Is My Chief: The Island Civilization of Ancient Hawai’i 
2015 Allan Meyers: Outside the Hacienda Walls:  the Archaeology of Plantation Peonage in Nineteenth-Century Yucatan
2014 Joyce Tyldesley: Tutankhamen 
2013 Andrew Wallace-Hadrill:  Herculaneum: Past and Future

Lifetime Achievement:  Brian Fagan 

2012 Jack W. Brink:  Imagining Head-Smashed-In: Aboriginal Buffalo Hunting on the Northern Plains
2011 Benjamin R. Foster and Karen Polinger Foster: Civilization of Ancient Iraq (winner);

Patrick McGovern: Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer and Other Alcoholic Beverages (honorable mention)