Graduate Student Paper Award

2017 AIA Grad Student Paper Award winners
Laure Marest-Caffey & Chelsea Gardner

Graduate students are the future of our profession and contribute substantially to the success of the Archaeological Institute of America’s Annual Meeting by delivering papers based on original research. Through its Graduate Student Paper Award the Archaeological Institute of America recognizes this contribution and encourages outstanding research by students.

Eligibility and General Information
Eligible students are predoctoral students in any discipline related to archaeology who have had a paper accepted by the Program for the Annual Meeting Committee for presentation at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the AIA and who have checked the box on the submission form indicating that they were interested in the award. Accepted papers should then be submitted by email and in their entirety to the Graduate Student Paper Award Committee for consideration for the award. The full written paper along with images must be received by December 3, 2018. In substance and form the paper that is delivered should be the same as that submitted.

Co-authored papers: We encourage collaborative work between students and will consider co-authored papers when all contributors hold student status. We are not able to accept papers with a senior scholar as co-author (anyone holding a PhD at the time of submission) since the committee cannot determine the amount of input from the student author(s).

The written paper and its oral and visual presentation will be judged for (1) originality, (2) concision and (3) delivery. Assessment of the presentation will not be affected either by technological format of presentation or by circumstances beyond the presenter’s control, but rather it will be judged by organization and rhetorical delivery. The selection committee consists of faculty and scholars who are members of the AIA. 

The award will include a certificate of award and a prize consisting of books from multiple presses that exhibit at the annual meeting. The winner will be announced on the AIA website. A letter will be sent to the chair of the academic department at the winner’s institution announcing the award.

Submission Requirements

  • Submissions must be in 12 pt Times New Roman, double spaced, with 1" margins
  • Presenter names should not appear on the submitted paper
  • Allotted presentation time should be included in the document immediately under the paper title
  • Paper length should be appropriate for the time slot allowed (ca. 2 minutes per page is a good rule of thumb). Any paper that exceeds the appropriate length will not be considered
  • Accompanying images must be submitted separately from the paper
  • Co-authored papers are accepted when all contributors hold student status

Text and images should be submitted by email as either a Word or PDF document to

2017 Graduate Student Paper Award: Chelsea Gardner

Ms. Gardner's paper, “Money, Marbles, and Chalk: The Ancient Quarries of the Mani Peninsula”, demonstrated how a focused regional study can have broader implications for how we understand the supply of stone for architecture and sculpture in the ancient world. The well-organized presentation brought together an impressively wide range evidence, from nineteenth-century accounts of Greek marbles, to recent scientific analysis, to first-hand study of several quarry sites. Working from this material, the paper challenged previous attempts to associate Manian marble with a major stone trade already famous in antiquity. The picture which emerged instead was one in which smaller-scale demand and local economic networks played a more vital role in the exploitation of the Mani’s white and colored stone from the Bronze Age into the Roman period. The study thus deemphasized imperial centers of power and restored focus on the local, granting the stone trade a part in a more detailed and accurate landscape history of the Mani Peninsula, which is the broader subject of Ms. Gardner’s doctoral work.  The paper was delivered in an engaging and articulate manner, and the speaker expertly handled questions on a range of topics.

2017 Graduate Student Paper Award honorable mention: Laure Marest-Caffey

In her paper, "Reconstructing Networks from the Archive of Seleukia on the Tigris: Ruler Portraits on Hellenistic Seals”, Ms. Marest-Caffey applied network analysis to examine degrees of connectivity between the imagery on Seleucid seals, and demonstrated that Hellenistic ruler portraits were deployed by members of the favored elite, rather than connected with specific administrative offices or titles. By illuminating this small corner of a vast archive, her paper showed the viability of network analysis in highlighting connections in large and complex datasets and points the way to future study.


Past Winners of the Graduate Student Paper Award

2016 Andrea Brock
Danielle Smotherman Bennett
2015 Johanna Boyer
Rachel Kulick
2014 Christopher Hale
2013 Annemarie Catania
2012 Margaret M. Andrews
Allison Emmerson
2011 Natalie Abell
2010 John (Mac) Marston (first prize)
Stephanie Pearson (honorable mention)
2009 Marcie Handler and
Panagiota A. Pantou
2008 Stephan Zink
2007 Philip Sapirstein (first prize)
Mont Allen (honorable mention)
2006 Elizabeth R. Macaulay Lewis (first prize)
Nathan T. Elkins (honorable mention)

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