Archaeological Institute of America
Deadline: April 1, 2023
The Pomerance Science Medal Committee invites nominations for the Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology. Eligibility is not restricted to members of the AIA, and candidates for the medal may be sought internationally with no geographical limitations. The recipient may be a professional or amateur scientist, or a team, whose interdisciplinary work with archaeologists merits recognition. Persons who have received the Gold Medal of the AIA are not excluded from eligibility. Previous winners of the Pomerance Award are ineligible.
Please send a name and a CV or statement about the nominee’s contributions to the field by the award deadline to the email address listed below.
The committee will review nominations and make a decision by October. This decision then needs to be approved by the AIA’s Governing Board. In November, AIA Staff will contact all nominators regarding the status of their nomination. The winner will be celebrated at the Awards Ceremony in January.
Archaeological Institute of America
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In recognition of her distinguished record of contributions to the advancement of archaeological science, the Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to award Prof. Julia Lee-Thorp the 2023 Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology.
Julia Anne Lee-Thorp is Professor of Archaeological Science Emeritus at the University of Oxford, Fellow of the British Academy, Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa. A leading figure in developing the field of stable isotope chemistry in archaeology, she is best known for her work on hominid diets and palaeoenvironments in deep time. After Bachelors degrees (BA and BSc) her 1989 PhD dissertation dramatically broke new ground, identifying that it was possible to analyze carbon isotopes in the inorganic component of calcified tissues (i.e. enamel apatite) and not just the organic component, collagen. This discovery extended the applicable time-span of stable isotope methods from hundreds or thousands of years to millions of years. Dramatic findings followed: the diet of the early southern African australopithecine, Parathopus robustus, included noticeable amounts of C4 grasses. This unexpected dietary flexibility was subsequently found for several ancient hominid species, and has engaged scholars since. At the same time, her work opened up long-term reconstructions of ancient palaeoenvironments using stable isotopes from herbivore enamel and ostrich eggshell as proxy records for vegetation and climate changes through time.
Lee-Thorp has researched in Africa but also Europe, South America and elsewhere. She was senior research officer, senior lecturer, associate Professor and then Professor at the University of Cape Town before, in 2005, moving to the United Kingdom as Professor at the University of Bradford. Here, as Research Director of Archaeological, Geographical and Environmental Sciences, she oversaw an expansion of the Stable Light Isotope Facility. She subsequently joined the University of Oxford in 2010 as Professor of Archaeological Science, and served as Head of the School of Archaeology from 2016 until retirement in October 2019. Lee-Thorp notably fostered a large and broad network of close colleagues (almost 40 graduate students alone); her influence is particularly marked in South Africa where among other things she was a founding member of the Association of South African Women in Science and Engineering (SA WISE). Lee-Thorp is author or co-author of an important, diverse, highly interdisciplinary and influential body of work.
For all these reasons, the Archaeological Institute of America is delighted to bestow on Prof. Julia Lee-Thorp the 2023 Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology.
In recognition of his distinguished record of contributions to the advancement of archaeological science, the Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to award Dr. Matthew J. Collins the 2022 Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology.
Dr. Collins is the McDonald Professor in Palaeoproteomics at the University of Cambridge and the Niels Bohr Professor of Palaeoproteomics at the University of Copenhagen. Previously Professor of Archaeology at the University of York (establishing the leading BioArCh research center), Dr. Collins largely established the important field of palaeoproteomics – the recovery and analysis of sets of remnant proteins from ancient materials – and with his former PhD student, Dr. Michael Buckley, developed the key ZooMS technology (Zooarchaeology by Mass Spectrometry) that has revolutionized rapid identification of bone and other collagen-based materials through peptide mass fingerprinting.
Proteins are abundant, but their archaeological and geological importance was largely overlooked until the work of Dr. Collins. The pioneering development of the low-cost peptide mass fingerprinting ZooMS technique opened their use in archaeological and historical studies, with investigation of identification and processes of decay enabling geochronological applications as well as recovery of species-specific ancient peptide sequences. His temporal span is vast and global, with topics ranging from human population history in pre-Anglo-Saxon Britain to the origins of dairying. One significant innovation is his use of electrostatic extraction to recover protein from Medieval manuscripts. This enables exploration of ancient parchment production, geographical patterning of species utilization, and the role of exotic species products in the bindings. Other work, such as development of a thermal age tool to predict DNA survival, has transformed practice among the archaeological and heritage science communities.
Dr. Collins is notable for his commitment to interdisciplinary research, support for the development of early career researchers (over 20 PhD students and over a dozen postdocs), his championing of open access data sharing, and his boundless energy and creativity for nurturing new ideas with profound impacts on the field. His major achievements in archaeology have been recognized by election to the British Academy in 2014. His field-leading status in the study of ancient proteins was highlighted both by the award of a Niels Bohr Chair in Palaeoproteomics in 2016, and an ERC advanced grant award in 2018 for his project ‘B2C – Beasts to Craft’ investigating DNA in ancient parchments.
For all these reasons, the Archaeological Institute of America is delighted to bestow on Dr. Matthew Collins the 2022 Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology.
In recognition of her distinguished record of contributions to the advancement of archaeological science, the Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to award Dr. Paula Reimer the 2021 Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology.
Dr. Paula Jo Lucas Reimer is a Professor at Queen’s University Belfast and Director of the 14CHRONO Center for Climate, the Environment and Chronology. She began as a research assistant working with Minze Stuiver (joint-Pomerance awardee 1993) in the Quaternary Isotope Laboratory at the University of Washington in 1977. This marked the start of a career-long focus on radiocarbon dating and carbon-cycle topics, and especially improving the accuracy and precision of age determinations via a reliable calibration curve. Radiocarbon dating is fundamental to most pre-modern archaeology but also to a range of environmental sciences. Radiocarbon measurements require calibration in order to obtain calendar ages. Reimer was a co-author of the first widely used computer program, CALIB, for radiocarbon calibration (1986 – latest version online 2020) and has made it her life’s work to improve radiocarbon calibration for dating the last 55,000 years. In so doing, she has created a fundamental resource for archaeologists and scientists around the world. In 1998 she was part of the authorship of the first IntCal curve, as well as completing her PhD on carbon cycle variations in a lake context, and since 2002 Reimer has led the IntCal working group responsible for internationally recognized calibration curves (moving to Belfast in 2004), producing the ever richer and more sophisticated IntCal04, IntCal09, IntCal13 and most recently IntCal20 curves. Another substantial contribution has been Reimer’s work on understanding and defining marine radiocarbon reservoir ages—highly relevant for accurate dating of coastal contexts and marine samples, and for wider oceanographic sciences.
“IntCal”, and the citation “Reimer et al.”, have become ubiquitous in archaeology and many other fields over two decades as her work underlies almost all absolute dating efforts in the late Pleistocene and Holocene, whether in archaeology, or climate science, or geomorphology, or ocean systems, etc. In recognition of her exceptional and fundamental scientific contributions, Reimer was awarded the Lyell Medal from the Geological Society of London (2013) and elected a Member of the Royal Irish Academy in 2014.
For all these reasons, the Archaeological Institute of America is delighted to bestow on Dr. Reimer the 2021 Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology.
In recognition of her distinguished record of contributions to the advancement of archaeological science, the Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to award Dr. Heather Lechtman the 2020 Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology.
Dr. Heather Nan Lechtman is Professor of Archaeology and Ancient Technology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Director of the Center for Materials Research in Archaeology and Ethnology (CMRAE). She joined MIT as a research associate in 1967, became a professor jointly appointed in materials science and engineering in 1974, and Director of CMRAE in 1977. In 1984, she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship and she is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
In over 50 years at MIT, Dr. Lechtman has become a defining figure in studies of ancient technology and materials and especially Andean metallurgy (but also weaving and textiles). Her work has focused on investigating and understanding material culture in terms of the underlying technology and properties, but also the social context. Dr. Lechtman showed through both extensive fieldwork and materials science analysis in the laboratory that Andean metalwork and its chaîne opératoire comprised two major traditions and sets of connections, both innovative and entirely distinct from the early metallurgical histories of the Old World. A notable 1993 essay, for example, highlighted the way that Andean societies were more concerned with the non-material social challenges involved in managing, coordinating and linking people across a large, diverse and challenging ecological region, in contrast to technological developments in Western cultures that focused on improving the production technology and materials.
For all these reasons, the Archaeological Institute of America is delighted to bestow on Dr. Heather Lechtman the 2020 Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology.
In recognition of his distinguished record of contributions to the advancement of archaeological science, the Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to award the 2019 Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology to Prof. Robert (R.E.M.) Hedges.
Over the course of his distinguished career, there are few areas of archaeological science that Hedges has not been involved with. He has made countless contributions to ‘archaeometry’, the field of co-operation between physical scientists and archaeologists. Other notable areas of focus include the many aspects of human and animal diet and approaches to bone chemistry and analysis, where Hedges has been a widely recognized pioneer. Perhaps most conspicuous of all is the important role Hedges has played in the development of radiocarbon dating with accelerator mass spectrometry. AMS radiocarbon dating has become a fundamental of dating technology for archaeology all over the world. Hedges’ substantial contribution in this area was recognized with the award of a Royal Medal of the Royal Society in 2008.
For all these reasons, the Archaeological Institute of America is delighted to bestow on Prof. Robert Hedges the 2019 Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology.
In recognition of his distinguished record of contribution to the advancement of archaeological science, the 2011 Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology is awarded to Michael D. Glascock. Glascock, Research Professor and Group Leader of the Archaeometry Laboratory at the University of Missouri, is renowned worldwide for his application of methods of elemental analysis to determine the source of archaeological ceramics and obsidian and to reconstruct ancient trade and socioeconomic systems.
Since earning his doctorate in nuclear physics at Iowa State University in 1975, Michael Glascock has been on the research staff of University of Missouri Research Reactor. He established the Archaeometry Laboratory there in 1988, using instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) for chemical fingerprinting of archaeological materials. Since then, the lab has analyzed nearly 100,000 objects from thousands of archaeological sites in the United States, Latin America, and many other parts of the world. Glascock himself has visited archaeological sites and collections around the world in order to assist in the organization of the research and selection of samples for analysis. In the past decade, his laboratory facilities have expanded beyond INAA to include other analytical instruments, including X-ray fluorescence (XRF) and laser ablation ICP mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS).
As a writer, Glascock has been prolific, publishing more than 400 articles in both specialist journals such as Archaeometry and more mainstream outlets such as Science and Nature. He has also been editor or coeditor for several published volumes, including Geochemical Evidence for Long-Distance Exchange (Westport, Conn. 2002), Archaeological Chemistry: Analytical Techniques and Archaeological Interpretation (with R.J. Speakman and R.S. Popelka-Filcoff [Washington, D.C. 2007]), and most recently Crossing the Straits: Prehistoric Obsidian Source Exploitation in the North Pacific Rim (with Y. Kuzmin [Oxford 2010]).
For his outstanding contributions in the areas of research, service, and teaching in archaeological science, the Archaeological Institute of America honors Michael D. Glascock with the 2011 Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology.
In recognition of his distinguished contribution to archaeological science, the Archaeological Institute of America has selected Paul Goldberg as the recipient of the 2010 Pomerance Award. A member of the faculty of Boston University’s Department of Archaeology, Goldberg enjoys worldwide recognition for his pioneering research in geoarchaeology and site formation processes and, in particular, for his innovative work in the application of micromorphologic and microstratigraphic techniques to the study of cave deposits. Goldberg’s methodological contributions have enhanced our ability to recognize and interpret the geological signatures of human activity in contexts where the evidence is often subtle or substantially altered by subsequent events. The specific empirical results of his work have shed new light on some of the world’s most important prehistoric sites, including Zhoukoudian Cave in China, Gorham’s Cave in Gibraltar, Die Kelders Cave in South Africa, and the Tabun, Kebara, and Hayonim Caves in Israel.
Micromorphology involves the analysis of thin-sections fabricated from undisturbed blocks of soil, and Goldberg is widely recognized as a pioneer and authority in this important area of geoarchaeological research. His publications include no fewer than 180 articles and book chapters, two books, and two edited books. His books Soil Micromorphology and Archaeology (with M.A. Courty and R.I. Macphail [Cambridge 1989]) and Practical and Theoretical Geoarchaeology (with R.I. Macphail [Malden, Mass. 2006]) represent major syntheses that are widely consulted by archaeologists and geologists. As an editor of the journal Geoarchaeology and as director of Boston University’s micromorphology laboratory, he has played an influential role in the development of geoarchaeology.
For his outstanding contributions in the areas of research, service, and teaching in archaeological science, the AIA is delighted to award Paul Goldberg the 2010 Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology.
In recognition of her distinguished record of contributions to the advancement of archaeological science, the Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to present the 2009 Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology to Professor Dolores R. Piperno. Professor Piperno is a scientist specializing in tropical archaeobotony at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. She is best known for her pioneering research on the analysis of phytoliths – the microcopic silica bodies that occur in many plant species – particularly in relation to the origins of agriculture in lowland Central America. She has also carried out groundbreaking research on the application of phytoliths, pollen, starch grains, and charcoal in reconstructing the agricultural and environmental history of tropical areas, elucidating topics such as the beginnings of maize domestication, the transition to agriculture in southwest Asia, human behavioral ecology, palaeoecology, and the effects of human activity on biodiversity.
After earning a B.S. in medical technology at Rutgers University, Professor Piperno began graduate study in anthropology at Temple University in 1976. In 1979, she won a grant from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) that carried her to Panama, where she worked at Cerro Mangote, a shell midden site. Here she developed her interest in archaeobotany and saw the need for a methodological breakthrough that would facilitate advances in tropical archaeobotany – a breakthrough that she herself would make just a few years later, while working on her master’s thesis on the analysis of phytoliths from the Aguadulce Rock Shelter. Phytolith studies were then in their infancy, and a clear understanding of which plants produced phytoliths, let alone their morphology and criteria for identification, had not yet been developed. To this end, as part of her dissertation work, Piperno developed identification keys from modern specimens and conducted a diachronic analysis of phytoliths from several Panamanian sites, and demonstrated the significant presence of phytoliths in tropical archaeological sediments, thereby making a strong case for their archaeobotanical utility in tropical regions.
After completing her Ph.D. in 1983, Piperno studied lake cores from the Amazon River basin in Ecuador, where she found phytolith evidence for forest clearance and maize agriculture in the area dating from at least 6,000 years ago. Between 1988 and 2004, she worked as a scientist at the STRI, where she continued her research on the interaction between climate change, agriculture, and human effects on the environment. Since 2000, she has been working in the Central Balsas basin of Mexico to investigate the origins of maize domestication and its environmental and cultural context. Prof. Piperno’s many contributions to the understanding of human-environment interactions include her seminal 1988 book, Phytolith Analysis: An Archaeological and Geological Perspective, which was the first work to outline the application of phytolith analysis to the intersection between archaeological and environmental questions.
Because her interdisciplinary approach and her pioneering work on phytoliths and starch grains have had a profound impact on the advancement of archaeological methodology, as well as on the understanding of human-environment interaction in many areas beyond the tropics, we are proud to award to Dolores Piperno the Archaeological Institute of America’s 2009 Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology.
It is with great pleasure that the Pomerance Science Medal Award Committee names Dr. Michael S. Tite as the recipient of the 2008 award. Perhaps best known for serving as the director of the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art at Oxford University and as the editor of the journal Archaeometry, Dr. Tite is an archaeological scientist who has specialized in analyses of ceramics, glass, and glazed materials but who also has much broader experience and interests. Examples of his work include studies of electromagnetic prospection using soil conductivity, thermal expansion of ceramics and determining firing temperature, Greek and Roman high-gloss ceramics, lead glazes, copper and cobalt colorants, Merovingian jewelry, Chinese and English porcelain, crucibles and tuyeres from Timna, and fire installations at Abu Salabikh. He is the author or coauthor of more than 150 papers in refereed journals and edited volumes, and he was the chairman of the standing committee for the biennial International Symposium for Archaeometry for 16 years. Since becoming the professor emeritus and fellow of Linacre College, Dr. Tite has continued his research on production technology of early vitreous materials with a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship.
As an undergraduate, Dr. Tite studied physics at Oxford and continued at Christ Church for his D.Phil., under the direction of Martin Aitken. His thesis is entitled “Measurement of Radiation Damage in Ceramics and Its Application to Age Determination” (1965).
During his early career at the University of Leeds (1964–1967) and at Essex (1967–1975), his interests expanded to cover other aspects of archaeological science, and in 1972 he published Methods of Physical Examination in Archaeology (London), a first-of-its-kind textbook that remained in wide use for nearly 20 years and which strongly promoted the application of scientific analyses to archaeological materials. While later serving as Keeper of the Research Laboratory of the British Museum (1975–1989), he made major research contributions on the use of ceramic glosses, blue frit, and faience in Egypt and the Near East, on lead and tin glazes in the Roman and Islamic periods, and on the development of glazed ceramics and porcelain in Europe. One especially notable contribution was organizing the AMS radiocarbon dating of the Shroud of Turin: he submitted blind samples to Oxford, Arizona, and Zurich laboratories, and all three produced very similar Medieval-period results that coincided with the Shroud’s “discovery.”
Later, while at Oxford as the Edward Hall Professor of Archaeological Science (1989–2004), Dr. Tite directed and increased the facilities and staff involved in AMS radiocarbon dating; the development of the OxCal calibration program; tephrochronology, paleodiet, and stable isotope analyses; thermoluminescence and optically stimulated luminescence dating; and other scientific applications in archaeology. At the same time, he continued his own research on ceramics and other archaeological materials. One of his own major publications that reflects his career goals and accomplishments and remains extremely useful for teaching purposes is “Pottery: Production Distribution and Consumption. The Contribution of the Physical Sciences” (Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 6  181–233). Dr. Tite also served as the editor of Archaeometry, expanding it from a semiannual to a quarterly publication that is now accessible through Blackwell Publishing.
Dr. Tite’s other major contribution to the field of archaeology is the significant number of distinguished student graduates who follow his path in the integration of science and archaeology. Many are contributors to the Festschrift in his honor, which has just been published by Oxbow Books (2007) and is entitled From Mine to Microscope: Advances in the Study of Ancient Technology (A.J. Shortland, I.C. Freestone, and T. Rehren, eds.). It is with the same sense of honor that we offer Michael S. Tite the Archaeological Institute of America’s 2008 Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology.
There are insufficient superlatives to fully describe the contributions by Professor Patty Jo Watson to archaeological inquiry and to the profession as a whole. Professor Watson has seamlessly moved between the realms of field (“dirt”) and theoretical archaeology. She pioneered in the development of ethnoarchaeology, cave archaeology, and archaeological gender studies, and advanced field methodologies for the recovery of organic materials. She has served her profession selflessly and has become an iconic role model for young scholars. For these and other reasons, she clearly deserves the Archaeological Institute of America’s Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology.
One of Patty Jo Watson’s most significant contributions to archaeology involves the refinement and application of flotation technology to the recovery of small items, including archaeobotanical and archaeofaunal materials. Her paleobotanical research in Salts Cave, Kentucky, published in 1966 and many times thereafter, not only changed profoundly the manner in which we define agriculture in eastern North America but also set a high standard for subsequent research in both the New and Old Worlds.
Few scholars have made significant contributions to research in two very different world areas, but in addition to her studies of early agriculturalists in eastern North America, Professor Watson has conducted groundbreaking research in the Middle East, where, in the 1950s, she conducted her dissertation project as a member of one of the first international multidisciplinary teams led by Robert Braidwood. This research and her subsequent studies in northern Iraq, Iran, and Turkey anchor much of our understanding of western Asia, the earliest center of agricultural development.
Patty Jo Watson’s ethnoarchaeological fieldwork in Iran, conducted during the late 1950s and published as Archaeological Ethnography in Western Iran (Tucson 1979), is another pioneering effort. This, together with her theoretical writing, was a major stimulus for the field of ethnoarchaeology.
Professor Watson’s contributions to archaeological theory alone represent a major contribution to archaeological knowledge. These include her seminal and still influential Explanation in Archaeology: An Explicitly Scientific Approach (New York 1971), as well as her Archaeological Interpretation (New York 1986) and a set of more recent papers that include “A Parochial Primer: The New Dissonance as Seen from the Midcontinental United States” (in R.W. Preucel, ed., Processual and Postprocessual Archaeologies: Multiple Ways of Knowing the Past [Carbondale 1991]), “The Razor’s Edge: Symbolic-Structuralist Archaeology and the Expansion of Archaeological Inference” (American Anthropologist 1990), and “Processualism and After” (forthcoming). At the forefront of the discipline in thinking about the role of science in archaeology and archaeological inference, she has steadfastly maintained a commitment to interdisciplinary perspectives, as shown, for example, in her 1995 Distinguished Lecture to the American Anthropological Association, “Archaeology, Anthropology and the Culture Concept.”
Patty Jo Watson’s mentorship is also legendary. She has long integrated students into her field and laboratory settings, teaching exceedingly effectively in both large and small class contexts during her many years at Washington University, St. Louis (1969–2005).
Service to the profession of archaeology has involved the American Anthropological Association, where Patty Jo Watson held the office of American Anthropologist’s editor for archaeology from 1973–1977. She was a member of the Executive Committee of the Society for American Archaeology twice: from 1974–1976 and from 1982–1984. She was the editor of American Antiquity, the Society for American Archaeology’s flagship journal, from 1983–1984. As chair of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Section H (Anthropology), she has also served both national and regional anthropological organizations in a variety of capacities as a responsible committee member. From 1999–2005, she was an Academic Trustee on the Governing Board of the Archaeological Institute of America.
In recognition of the breadth and excellence of her scholarship, Patty Jo Watson has been elected to both the National Academy of Sciences (1988) and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1997). Within anthropology, Professor Watson has received distinguished awards from both the Society for American Archaeology (1990) and from the American Anthropological Association (1996). In 1999, she received the AIA’s Gold Medal for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement.
Professor Watson has contributed to the science of archaeology through her rigorous, interdisciplinary approach that has profoundly influenced archaeological methods and theory. It is therefore entirely appropriate that the AIA’s Pomerance Award Committee recognize Patty Jo Watson’s achievements.
The Archaeological Institute of America is pleased to name Pamela B. Vandiver as the recipient of the 2006 Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology. Professor Vandiver is a pioneer in the scientific study of archaeological ceramics, faience, and glass. Her work combines materials science, field archaeology of production sites and materials sources, ethnographic study of traditional crafters, and replication of traditional techniques. She has authored or co-authored eight books and more than 100 papers in refereed journals or edited volumes. Much of her work has been groundbreaking and of interest across a wide spectrum of archaeological professionals. For example, the book she co-authored with W. D. Kingery in 1986, Ceramic Masterpieces: Art, Structure and Technology, is considered a masterpiece itself, featuring scholarship that integrates materials science, art history, and archaeology. Reviewers have said of it “an epochal book that will be one of the standard manuals for the study of ceramics,” and “you might think an archaeologist who has handled over a million bits of ceramic in a short professional lifetime would know pottery. I have the feeling I did not start to learn until I read this book.”
She is perhaps best known for her work on East Asian and Near Eastern ceramics. For example, her 1990 paper on ancient glazes for Scientific American helped a wide audience understand how materials and technology were manipulated by potters throughout history to achieve a variety of unique aesthetic effects. Her 1989 work on the origins of ceramic technology at Dolni Vestonice, Czechoslovakia, published in Science, was a model of the use of archaeological fieldwork and data, laboratory analysis of artifacts, and replication experiments to identify possible functions of the earliest known ceramic objects. As a founding organizer of the “Materials Issues in Art and Archaeology” sessions held regularly at Materials Research Society symposia she initiated a remarkable series of books that present current work in archaeological science, conservation science, and materials science of art, architectural materials, and archaeological objects. She co-edited all seven of those volumes while also publishing important research of her own in them on topics such as ancient glass, faience, glazes, and reconstruction of ancient ceramic materials and fabrication methods.
After an early career as a potter, Professor Vandiver received a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Near Eastern Studies from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She then held the post of Senior Research Scientist in Ceramics at the Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education for many years, serving as Acting Director in her last year there. Most recently, she accepted a position at the University of Arizona as Professor of Materials Science and Engineering with a joint appointment in the Anthropology Department. At the University of Arizona she teaches courses in the materials science of art and archaeological objects, and helped develop a new graduate program in conservation science that fuses architectural history, art history, anthropology, archaeology, and materials science and engineering.
Her current research interests include applying materials analysis, resource survey, replication experiments, landscape archaeology, and material culture theory in order to characterize ancient technologies and practices and to discover what people had to know and use in order to invent and practice these technologies. Throughout her career she has been a cutting-edge pioneer in scientific studies of cultural materials for explaining past technological and artistic choices, processes, and goals. Her interdisciplinary work in the laboratory, field, and studio has had a major impact in many areas of archaeology, art history, materials science, and heritage conservation. Her eight books and more than 100 papers have revolutionized the study of ancient ceramics, faience, and glass. Pamela Vandiver is clearly a worthy recipient of the AIA’s Pomerance Award.
The Archaeological Institute of America is proud to name Jane Buikstra as the recipient of the 2005 Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology. Professor Buikstra is a founder of the study of bioarchaeology– a field that combines forensic anthropology, paleodiet, paleopathology and the study of their social dimensions, especially as regards mortuary behavior. She is well known for contributing to our understanding of the biological impact of European colonization in the Americas. Her research emphasizes the intensive study of prehistoric skeletal populations, emphasizing both micro-evolutional change and biological response to environmental stress. The book, The Bioarchaeology of Tuberculosis: A Global View on a Reemerging Disease (2003), that she co-authored, is considered a classic. She has conducted field research in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Honduras, Peru, Spain, Turkey and the United States and has coupled these field studies with intensive laboratory research. The research achievement we celebrate is based in part on her versatility and skill in adapting a wide range of scientific techniques to bear on biological problems. For instance, she has used radiographic, microscopic and chemical analyses to study osteological remains; strontium isotopes to study prehistoric migration and mortuary ritual; and carbon isotopes to study paleodiet and agricultural intensification. Professor Buikstra has been a pioneer in the reconstruction and interpretation of bone preservation and modification in a variety of soil conditions. She has studied the relationships of paleodiet and nutrition to variations in status, gender, bone pathology, and even hair chemistry.
Early in her career, she helped establish guidelines for licensing professional archaeologists. As one of the editors of the monograph, Standards for Data Collection from Human Skeletal Remains (1994), she aimed to establish forensic standards. Her research ranges from a historic North American cemetery (described in the 2004 edited volume, Never Anything So Solemn: An Archaeological, Biological and Historical Investigation of the 19th Century Grafton Cemetery) to elaborate ancient Maya tombs (detailed in a co-authored chapter entitled “Tombs from Copan’s Acropolis: A Life History Approach,” in the 2004 edited volume Understanding Early Classic Copan). As an advisor at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens she helped shape a new direction for the laboratory, mentored students, and authored the soon-to-be published article, “Bioarchaeological Approaches to Aegean Archaeology.”
Professor Buikstra has conducted seventeen projects in the American Midwest since her graduate research at the University of Chicago, where she received her M.A. in 1969 and a Ph.D. in 1972. Her doctoral thesis was entitled, “Hopewell in the Lower Illinois River Valley: A Regional Approach to the Study of Biological Variability and Mortuary Activity.” From 1970 to 1984 she taught at Northwestern University, and was a Resident Scholar at the School of American Research from 1984–1985 and a Research Associate at the National Museum of the American Indian from 1983–1986. She has been a Research Associate at the Field Museum of Natural History since 1981. From 1986 to 1995 she was Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago. In 2003 she was awarded a George E. Burch Fellowship in Theoretic Medicine and Affiliated Sciences at the Smithsonian Institution. Professor Buikstra has been a member of the National Academy of Science since 1987, and a Distinguished Professor at the University of New Mexico since 1995. She has authored 153 publications since 1973, of which 15 are books or monographs. Jane Buikstra’s exemplary interdisciplinary work in bioarchaeology in the field, in the laboratory, and in her published research make her a most worthy recipient of the AIA’s Pomerance Award.
Dr. Ian Freestone has researched the ancient technologies of glass and ceramics with great sensitivity to the geological resources that serve as their base. As Deputy Keeper of the Department of Scientific Research at the British Museum, he has pursued a distinguished research career, trained and mentored students and managed the research staff of some 75 members. As Honorary Professor of the Institute of Archaeology, University College, London, and PhD examiner for ten other universities, he has had a major influence on the future of archaeological science. Doctor Freestone conceived and co-curated the exhibition, Pottery in the Making – World Ceramic Traditions, and is co-editor of a book that resulted from the exhibition. He has organized or co-organized ten meetings, both within the British Museum and internationally, that have been focused on the problem areas of archaeological science and on ways of making instrumental breakthroughs in the analysis and interpretation of material culture. These have included early vitreous materials, glass making and forming processes of the Roman and Medieval periods, ceramic petrology, archaeological stone and Raman spectroscopy.
Ian Freestone was trained as a geochemist and petrologist in the Earth Sciences Department at the
University of Leeds. His core skills include petrographic and mineralogical techniques, scanning electron microscopy and microanalysis, and the interpretation of geochemical data in archaeology. His work focuses on technology, production and distribution, especially of early non-metallic materials involved in ceramic and glass production and extractive metallurgy. Dr. Freestone is as well known for research on the zinc smelters in Zawar, India, as for analysis of Roman, Byzantine and Islamic glasses. We must not forget to mention his research on medieval European enamels and glasses, especially those from Venice, or that he has characterized many ceramic and glass technologies that were developed in India and China.
His current work focuses on glass industries during and after the Roman period, using the techniques of trace element determination, strontium, oxygen and lead isotopes as well as bulk composition and
microstructure, but he is also working on the technological development of porcelain in Europe. Of
particular concern are ways that technologies develop, are embedded culturally, and then change as they are transferred. We will surely learn more from this brilliant researcher.
The AIA is pleased to present the Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology to Prof. Peter Ian Kuniholm, director of the Malcolm and Carolyn Wiener Laboratory for Aegean and Near Eastern Dendrochronology at Cornell University. The focus of the laboratory, organized and led by Kuniholm for 30 years, has been the building of long tree-ring chronologies for the Eastern half of the Mediterranean from the Neolithic to the present. Over ten million tree-ring measurements have led to the successful compilation of chronologies spanning, but not wholly covering, 9000 years. At first studies concentrated on the Iron Age period of Turkey using conifers; now partial chronologies have been constructed using samples from seven species of trees spread over the Eastern Mediterranean from Georgia near the Caucasus to Italy and from Cyprus and Lebanon to the former Yugoslavia and parts of Bulgaria.
Kuniholm has pioneered in the cross dating of wood over considerable distances, not only establishing dates for micro-climatic zones, but also leading to evidence for macro-climatic patterns. He has even been using INAA trace analysis to more accurately date volcanic eruptions based on sampling of a single tree ring and correlating an increase in gold concentration caused by the eruption. To accomplish this, he has focused on careful collection of wood samples, full documentation of archaeological context, and the preparation and measurement of samples using standardized protocols. In his laboratory many Cornell University undergraduates and graduate students have been trained in the scientific measurements necessary for reliable dendrochronology. He and his students have dated tomb and building timbers, fishing gear and shipwrecked hulls, Ottoman monuments, panel paintings, charcoal and icons. The results have been communicated faithfully and promptly in yearly reports and in an active, user-friendly web site. His web site has 145,000 hits annually, this year from 72 countries. Kuniholm has produced many review articles, special topical articles and appendices in archaeological reports, totaling almost 100 peer-reviewed papers. In addition, Kuniholm has contributed major chapters and encyclopedia entries on dendrochronology and other applications of tree-ring studies in archaeology.
Recently, Kuniholm investigated dendrochronological evidence for climate change and found remarkably stable conditions over millennia with the extremes of previous warm periods matching those of our present time. He has addressed questions of forestation, volcanic activity, statistical analysis, the sharing of data among laboratories, and the cross comparison of tree-ring dates with radiocarbon dates. The Laboratory’s activities are now broadening to include projects centered in Europe and North America.
Kuniholm has transmitted to his students the discipline and excitement of field research. For instance, his 2001 Progress Report states that with three students, “…14,500 kilometers of driving in the summer of 2001 produced 395 sets of samples from 43 sites in Italy, Greece and Turkey, with promises of more to come.” In addition to providing site-specific dates, Kuniholm has emphasized long-term testing of micro-climatic models that refine the chronology by adjustments for variable lengths of growing seasons and the relationship to carbon uptake, as reported recently in the journal, Science.
Kuniholm is indeed the proselytizer for dendrochronology, a distinguished and enthusiastic teacher of archaeological science, and a scholar who has contributed to many of the hot topics in environmental, landscape and site-based archaeology. He has certainly become a spokesman for the integration of science and archaeology.
Dr. Garman Harbottle has been at the forefront of applying the Nuclear Sciences to problems in archaeology, especially in the fields of proveniencing, radiocarbon dating and archaeometallurgy. He epitomizes the pioneering interdisciplinary researcher, who in this case was able to take his plethora of chemical and statistical skills, combine them with an excellent understanding of archaeological data gained by close collaboration with archaeologists, and bridge the gulf in solving important archaeological problems, especially of the provenance or source of many materials.
In 1960 he proposed that INAA (instrumental neutron activation analysis) could be used to source Mesoamerican ceramics. At a time when computer database and statistical methods were in their infancy for scientific and scholarly research generally, he proposed building INAA databases that would serve to characterize ceramic production at specific sites and enable socio-economic structures to be reconstructed.
After a two-year assignment as head of the Division of Research and Laboratories at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, Harbottle’s proposal began to be realized in 1968 when he joined Dr. Edward V. Sayre in the Chemistry Department at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Archaeology, and later art history, provided an ideal avenue for demonstrating the usefulness of the peaceful employment of nuclear energy. For the next 18 years, the Brookhaven group experimented with and carried out archaeometric provenance investigations with archaeological collaborators from around the world, trained many archaeologists and their graduate students, and pioneered innovative approaches to strengthening the link between archaeology and the physical sciences.
Harbottle’s role during the 1970’s in developing sophisticated statistical techniques for handling the enormous amount of chemical data produced by INAA should be stressed. In collaboration with Brookhaven Lab programmers, he wrote a search program that would scan the databases for samples that were chemically similar to a given specimen. The probablistic “Mahalanobis Distance” search engines, a novel development, soon followed. Other innovations at Brookhaven that Harbottle achieved include computer-controlled sample changers and magnetic tape readouts that permitted the analysis of large numbers of archaeological specimens.
With Dr. Phillip Weigand of SUNY Stony Brook and others, he carried out a full-scale investigation of New World turquoise procurement and trade. The demonstration that trade in turquoise took place between centers in New Mexico, such as Chaco Canyon, and pre-Columbian Mexico has led to a re-evaluation of the cultural interactions between these two areas. Harbottle has made similar contributions to the proveniencing of obsidian and limestone. The Brookhaven Limestone Database Project has been able to trace the stones used in building some of the major cathedrals, ruined abbeys and cloisters of Europe back to their quarries. The original edifices from which medieval sculptures were taken has also been determined. This on-going project is now affiliated with more than 33 museums in the US, France and Great Britain.
Prior to the development of AMS C-14 dating, Harbottle developed a miniature carbon-14 counter at Brookhaven that would date small samples of 10 mg. The technique was used to date an instance of iron smelting thought to have been carried by the Frobhisher expedition to the Arctic in 1576 A.D. However, the date for the ingot was of earlier Norse or Viking date.
One of the themes of Harbottle’s research has been that each new advance in science is potentially of value to the archaeologist or art historian. For instance, he suggested to Dr. Peter Gaspar of Washington University that the gold content of ancient coins could be uniquely determined completely non-destructively by gold K-edge absorption using gamma radiation from Ba133 as a probe. Gaspar then tested and published this innovative method.
In summary, Garman Harbottle has been a pioneer in the development of the archaeological sciences. He fits well the ideal of a multifaceted scientist who has had the opportunity to see how the hard sciences can be made to server the needs, and extend the horizons, of archaeological research.
Curt W. Beck is the world’s expert on the analysis of amber and its archaeological interpretation in the Mediterranean world, Europe and Western Asia. As a Professor of Chemistry at Vassar College, an undergraduate institution, he established the Amber Research Laboratory. He has not only conducted distinguished research, as over 150 publications demonstrate, but also he has educated others in the process of doing professional-quality research. Forty of his undergraduate students at Vassar have been co-authors on his publications. By colleagues in Europe he is best known as the initiator and chair of the Committee on the Study of Amber in the Union Internationale des Sciences Prehistoriques et Protohistoriques. To American colleagues, he is best known as the chair and editor of the Fifth Symposium on Archaeological Chemistry. He has championed the cause of archaeological sciences as an editor of Art and Archaeology Technical Abstracts, and Chemical Abstracts, the Journal of Archaeological Science, and the Journal of Field Archaeology. He is now an emeritus professor, but, rather than retire, he has a opened a new area of archaeological amber research in China and other countries in East Asia.
Below is a review of several areas of the field Beck likes to call “organic archaeometry.” Curt Beck’s earliest field of study was the provenience analysis of archaeological amber artifacts. When Schliemann discovered thousands of amber beads in Grave Circle B at Mycenae, he raised the question whether amber came from the north of Europe or from a more proximate source, like Sicily. An attempt late in the 19th century to answer this question by quantitative analysis for succinic acid is one of the earliest chapters in the history of archaeometry, but was soon found to be invalid, and the question had remained unanswered for almost a century when Beck found that the amber of northern Europe—called Baltic amber or succinite—has a unique infrared spectrum. The ease and speed of IR spectroscopy led to a systematic study of archaeological amber finds across Europe, and in 1978 to the creation, by the Union Internationale des Sciences Prehistoriques et Protohistoriques (U.I.S.P.P.) of a special “Committee on the Study of Amber,” which he has chaired since then. In the course of almost four decades, Beck and his students have recorded the IR spectra of about 2000 naturally occurring amber deposits and of more than 6000 archaeological amber artifacts. He believes that work on amber artifacts in Greece, Hungary, Switzerland, and Great Britain now is essentially complete; representative amber finds from most other European countries, from the Near East, and from China have also been analyzed, but the work is ongoing. Results have been published
Edward V. Sayre has advanced the study of archaeology through the development of statistical evaluation techniques and the application of nuclear analytical methods to questions of provenance and trade. Sayre developed the archaeological chemistry program of the Brookhaven National Laboratory to apply neutron activation analysis to study of compositional patterning for a wide variety of material and artifactual types. This made possible a data-based, state-of-the-art study of trade networks, sourcing, and materials identification. He has published over 100 articles in the fields of archaeology, art history, conservation, and the physical chemistry of trace elements and their measurement. Some examples include his work with Phillip Kohl to establish Early Bronze Age trade networks using data from neutron activation analysis of steatite and other soft stones, studies of Aegean trade ceramics (with Maureen Kaplan and others), Sasanian silver (with Pieter Meyers), Mesoamerican jade and terracottas (with Ron Bishop), and Medieval European limestone sculpture and stained glass windows (with Lambertus van Zelst, Jacquelin Olin and Jean French).
Born in 1919, and 80 years old this year, Edward Sayre was raised in Iowa, worked on the Manhattan project from 1942 to 1945, and after the war completed his Ph.D. at Columbia University in the physical chemistry of rare earth elements. He worked at the Kodak Research Laboratory for a time, and then became a senior chemist at Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1952. His first project, with Ray Winfield Smith, was a study of the compositional categories of ancient glass, which still serves as a framework for the study of ancient glass. In 1956 he helped organize the historic meeting of archaeologists and chemists convened by Homer Thompson and J. Robert Oppenheimer at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, which initiated the application of nuclear methods to archaeological finds. Successful tests of neutron activation analysis led to a landmark study published in the AJA during 1957.
In addition to his duties at Brookhaven, he taught the chemistry of conservation at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, for 14 years from 1960 to 1974. With his student Heather Lechtman, Sayre tested the feasibility of the technique of neutron autoradiography and applied it to the reconstruction of artists’ working methods. With Pieter Meyers and Lambertus Van Zelst, he was the first to apply this technique to paintings in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in particular those by Van Eyck and Rembrandt. With Lawrence Majewski he studied the mechanism of deterioration of frescoes by Giotto in Padua, Italy. Later he took an active technical role in the preservation and treatment of artifacts and frescoes when floods devastated Florence in 1965.
Sayre became Director of the Research Laboratory at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston from 1974 until 1984. After his retirement in 1984, Sayre took on another job – that of directing and influencing archaeological and conservation research at the Smithsonian Center for Materials Research and Education. Sayre was Guggenheim Fellow at Oxford University’s Laboratory for Archaeometry and the History of Art in 1969, Distinguished Visiting Professor at the American University in Cairo in 1970, and was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’s fellowship to teach at the Bundesanstalt für Materialprüfung in Berlin in 1980. In 1984 he was the recipient of the George Hevesy Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Radioanalytical Chemistry from the American Chemical Society. Last year a symposium honoring him was held at the Smithsonian Institute, with proceedings to be published shortly. He has served on the boards of editors of such publications as Art and Archaeology Technical Abstracts, the Journal of Archaeological Science, and Archaeometry, often for decades at a time. As an innovative scientist and successful teacher, Edward Sayre has been a role model, leading many students to conduct cutting-edge archaeological and conservation science. He has served as a critical mentor to a developing field of archaeological chemistry.
As archaeological science enters its fifth decade, it is unfortunately still true that many studies in this area neither pose nor answer any question of real archaeological significance. Some individuals, however, have shown a talent for developing new methods to address important archaeological issues. Few have done this better than the South African archaeologist Nikolaas J. van der Merwe.
The son of a school teacher in the remote eastern Cape Province, van der Merwe’s career in archaeological science began by chance when in 1958 he won a scholarship, provided by a South African shipping line, to attend Yale University. In 1962 he majored there in physics and minored in anthropology. Yale was then active in the new field of archaeological science, and van der Merwe worked in the radiocarbon laboratory of Minze Stuiver and with the irrepressible geochemist Karl Turekian. A casual remark by the latter to the effect that it ought to be possible to date charcoal-smelted steel by the radiocarbon method was pursued by van der Merwe as his Ph.D. research. This was almost certainly the first dissertation in anthropology to have been funded by NASA, and it was published as The Carbon-14 Dating of Iron (Chicago 1969). Archaeological application of this technique was limited, however, by the large size of the sample required for decay counting. The advent of AMS radiocarbon dating in the 1980s has revived interest in this technique, making it possible to date important innovations in ferrous metallurgy without doing significant damage to valuable museum specimens. This is currently an area of active research by other scholars. Van der Merwe has made other significant contributions to the development of radiocarbon dating, most notably as consultant archaeologist to the Oxford Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Unit in the mid-1980s.
From 1966 to 1974 van der Merwe taught anthropology at the State University of New York at Binghamton and applied his interests in radiocarbon dating and metallurgy within a large field project in his native South Africa. With support from the National Science Foundation, he directed a major program of field survey and excavation focused on pre-industrial mining in the copper ore body at Phalaborwa, then in the earliest stages of destruction by open-pit mining. A major interest during this period was the scientific study of indigenous African mining and metallurgy; subsequently he expanded this interest to include ethnographic work on the last remnants of indigenous iron smelting technology in West and East Africa. His work on this topic, together with that of fellow pioneers Peter Schmidt and Don Avery, was highly influential and has been emulated by their students and colleagues. The result is an exceptionally rich archive of ethnographic and technical data that supplies invaluable analogues for archaeologists to draw upon in interpreting prehistoric metalworking sites worldwide.
In 1974 he moved to head the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cape Town, and his major research interest shifted to the work for which he is now best known. Since the mid-1960s the radiocarbon community in North America had known that 14C dates on corn kernels were systematically younger than those obtained on wood charcoal from the same levels, but could be corrected if the ratios of the stable carbon isotopes 13C and 12C were also measured. By 1970 plant physiologists had shown that the aberrant carbon isotope content of corn and many other tropical grasses resulted from a different mechanism of photosynthesis than that of plants in temperate climate zones. Van der Merwe’s brilliant insight came in realizing that in certain circumstances the stable isotope analysis technique offered a means of tracking the spread of cereal agriculture. Since we are what we eat, the adoption of corn as a staple cereal in a temperate environment should result in a marked change in the stable carbon isotope ratios of bone protein (collagen) and bone mineral (apatite) in consumers.
Van der Merwe demonstrated in 1977, after working with J.C. Vogel at the radiocarbon laboratory in Pretoria, that the adoption of corn agriculture in northeastern North America occurred in the later first millennium A.D.—half a millennium later than archaeologists then believed. He subsequently documented the rise of corn agriculture in the Amazon, highland Peru, and Belize, and extended the method to study marine and terrestrial components in the diet of prehistoric coastal peoples in South Africa and Ecuador. Stable isotope analysis has since become a standard method in the study of past diets, and the Cape Town laboratory remains at the cutting edge of research in this area. Van der Merwe and his former students Judy Sealy and Julia Lee-Thorp are also internationally recognized for their research in the field of isotopic ecology and palaeoecology, where they employ stable isotope ratios to infer the diets of organisms from elephants to australopithecines.
In 1988 van der Merwe was appointed the first Landon T. Clay Professor of Scientific Archaeology at Harvard University, but he continues to hold an adjunct appointment at Cape Town and to head the isotope laboratory there. At Harvard he has expanded his research into studies of the provenance of Greek and Roman marbles (a field pioneered by a previous recipient of the Pomerance Medal, Norman Herz).
This account by no means exhausts van der Merwe’s contributions to scientific archaeology, but constraints on space preclude discussion of other work. (We cannot however resist mentioning his chromatographic identification of residues in ancient smoking pipes, in the course of which he was licensed by the South African police to possess cannabis!). Few scholars in the field of archaeological science have been as innovative as Nik van der Merwe, and for this the Archaeological Institute of America honors him with the Pomerance Science Medal for 1998
Martin Aitken, who retired in 1989 as Professor of Archaeometry and Deputy Director of the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and the History of Art, Oxford University, is truly one of the ‘founding fathers’ of archaeometry. He joined the Research Laboratory in 1957, two years after its establishment by Teddy Hall, and began to apply magnetic methods to both the dating and location of kilns and hearths. In 1958 he undertook the first archaeological proton magnetometer survey, on the Roman city of Durobrivae, near Water Newton. This interest in magnetic survey led in 1962 to the establishment of a series of conferences in Oxford, which expanded to become the International Symposia on Archaeometry, of which Martin is still the president. Also in 1958, the Laboratory published the first volume of the journal Archaeometry, which has become one of the leading vehicles for the publication of scientific research in archaeology. In 1960, he turned his attention to the application of the phenomenon of thermoluminescence to the dating of ceramics. He continued his interests in archaeomagnetism and luminescence dating up until his retirement.
He has published over 150 scientific papers, and his first book, Physics and Archaeology, was published in 1961 (second edition, 1974). He published a book on thermoluminescence dating in 1985, and produced his most widely-known volume, Science-based Dating in Archaeology, in 1990, which has rapidly become the standard undergraduate text on the subject, both for archaeologists and the wider geological audience. He has almost single-handedly promoted the view that archaeology is part of a wider scientific endeavor, perhaps best encapsulated in his contribution to the 1983 Smithsonian round table discussion on “Future Directions in Archaeometry”, which he entitled “Archaeometry Does Not Only Serve Archaeology”. In recognition of his scientific achievements he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1983- a tribute not only to Ins outstanding ability as a scientist who chose to work in archaeology, but also a recognition of the fact that science in archaeology had come of age.
The Archaeological Institute of America is proud to present the 16th Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology to W. David Kingery, Regents Professor of Anthropology and of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Arizona The award is made in recognition of his pathbreaking studies in the history of ceramics and his notable contributions as a writer and an editor to our understanding of technological innovation and the social context of technology in the past.
Dr. Kingery received his Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1949 and rapidly became the leading figure in the development of high-performance ceramics for modern technology. His interest in past technologies was kindled by his distinguished M.I.T. colleague Cyril Stanley Smith (the recipient of the 1982 Pomerance Award), and no one has done more to expand upon Smith’s crucial insight that many major technological advances were initially developed to satisfy aesthetic desires rather than economic need. Dr. Kingery and the British archaeometrist Michael Tite, working independently, were largely responsible for applying electron microscopy to the study of ancient ceramics, plasters, refractories, glasses, and glazes. His work has transformed our understanding of the origins of pyrotechnology in the Neolithic period in the Near East, while his many articles and his book, Ceramic Masterpieces (1986; co-authored with his former student Pamela Vandiver), have enhanced our understanding of, and pleasure in, the fine ceramics of Classical Greece, China, and the European Renaissance.
Dr. Kingery has also shaped the study of ancient technology through his role as an organizer of many conferences and as an editor of numerous books. He has edited six volumes to date in the series Ceramics and Civilization, published by the American Ceramic Society. He has also brought together scholars from many fields to share their ideas on the social interpretation of material objects and landscapes. These conferences resulted in the volumes History from Things (1993; co-edited with Steven Lobar) and Learning from Things (1996).
Professor Kingery’s accomplishments have enriched archaeology, art history, and the history of technology, and have profound implications for our understanding of the role of technology, technological innovation, and technology transfer in past societies. In recognition of his many contributions to archaeology, and in celebration of his 70th birthday, we take pleasure in bestowing upon W. David Kingery the 1996 Pomerance Award.
Norman Herz has made a great contribution to archaeological science through his studies of the ratios of light stable isotopes (particularly those of carbon and oxygen) in marble and limestone quarries of the Mediterranean. This technique has proven to be an invaluable aid to studies of the authenticity and provenance of classical statuary and architecture carved from these rocks. Herz’s generosity and activism have brought together scholars from many disciplines and so enriched their research and all archaeology.
The ratios of the oxygen and carbon isotopes are fixed in limestone at formation. Isotopic ratios are less variable across a quarry field than is chemical composition, and hence are a more reliable indicator of source. Intensive sampling of quarries by Herz and others has shown some overlap of isotope ratios, so other techniques such as optical petrography and cathodeluminescence must often be employed to distinguish reliably between sources. But stable isotope ratio analysis remains the technique of first resort because it is inexpensive and causes the least damage to art objects. When Norm Herz first began these studies, he needed a sample equal to a pencil lead; now he needs only a volume equivalent to the pencil point.
Isotopic analysis has resolved some knotty archaeological problems. One puzzle has been how the sloping galleries on Paros could have produced all the sculpture putatively identified as Parian around the Mediterranean. Recently, other large opencast quarries with a distinct isotopic signature (“Paros-2”) have been correlated with many of these samples, as for example the marble blocks at Ostia inscribed with mid-second century dates. Paros-2 is evidently the source for much of the Parian marble used in the High Empire: problem solved.
Norm Herz has carried out many analyses for field projects and museums. He proved the Antonia Minor portrait in the Fogg Art Museum to be a pastiche of unrelated Parian and Carrara statues. A Livia head in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek had an original Parian head but skullcap of Ephesian marble; capless, Livia became Agrippina the Elder. The unique Jonah statuettes in the Cleveland Museum of Art are of Dokimeion white marble, which gives an archaeological basis for the observed stylistic kinship with Dokimeion sarcophagi. Recently Norm has studied the Getty kouros, with results well known to many here.
Herz’s interest in archaeology began early in his career. One paper, coauthored with the young Colin Renfrew, attacked visual identification of Aegean marbles and drew a heated response from Bernard Ashmole. In the early 1970s Norm Herz began work on stable isotopes, and in 1984 he established the Center for Archaeological Sciences at the University of Georgia. His data base of quarry samples is the largest compiled, but its influence outpaces its size because he shares it freely.
In 1988 Norm organized a conference that attracted geologists, chemists and physicists, museum curators and conservators, historians, art historians, and archaeologists. Here was born ASMOSIA (Association for the Study of Marble and Other Stones in Antiquity), with subsequent meetings held at Lou vain (Belgium) in 1990, Athens (1993), and Bordeaux (1995). The publications are now central to marble studies, and between meetings Norm keeps the information flowing with a witty newsletter. Thus, Norm’s influence extends far beyond his own research. For this record of individual accomplishment, service, and inspiration to others, the AlA is proud to confer the Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology upon Norman Herz.
It would be difficult to find a better example of creative synergy in archaeological science than the archaeometallurgical research of Robert Maddin, James Muhly, and Tamara Stech at the University of Pennsylvania between 1974 and 1984. In this decade they fused historical, archaeological, geological, chemical, and metallurgical evidence into a steady stream of papers that transformed our understanding of the origins of metallurgy, the nature of Bronze Age metal production and trade, and the transition from bronze to iron. For these and subsequent achievements in the study of ancient metallurgy, we honor them with the 14th Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology.
Robert Maddin received his Ph.D. in metallurgy from Yale University in 1948 and had a distinguished career in physical metallurgy and crystal physics at Johns Hopkins University and then at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was Director of the School of Metallurgy from 1955 to 1972. James Muhly was appointed as Lecturer in the Department of Oriental Studies at the University of Pennsylvania in 1969, the year in which he received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern archaeology from Yale University. Muhly’s dissertation (published in 1973 as Copper and Tin: The Nature of the Metals Trade in the Bronze Age) was a landmark publication in the history of metallurgy, providing a bold synthesis of the historical, archaeological, and geological evidence for the sources of tin in the Early Bronze Age of the Near East, Levant, and Anatolia. Muhly’s work caught the attention of Maddin, and in 1974 their first joint paper appeared in the Journal of Metals. In that year Tamara Stech joined the program as Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. She was one of the first to have formal training in both the humanities (a Ph.D. in Near Eastern archaeology, awarded by Bryn Mawr College in 1973) and in science. ·
American research on ancient metallurgy had until then been largely confined to the study of belles pieces in art museums. The University of Pennsylvania program was the first in North America to undertake systematic examination of assemblages of metals from archaeological sites. With major funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities, they undertook studies of the metals from sites in Cyprus, Sardinia, Egypt, Israel, Anatolia, the Aegean, and Thailand, and of the cargoes of metal ingots from the Bronze Age shipwrecks at Cape Gelidonya and Ulu Burun. Their publications integrate chemical and metallurgical analyses with archaeological and historical data, and have substantially enriched our understanding of technological innovation and organization, of the economic and social significance of early metallurgy, and of the growth of long-distance trade in the lands around the Mediterranean.
This remarkably productive partnership dissolved when Dr. Maddin retired in 1984, but so much data had been generated by the project that publications continue to appear in the 1990s. Each of the three former partners has subsequently made substantial independent contributions to our understanding of ancient metallurgy. Dr. Maddin is not one to let the grass grow under his feet. Among his activities in “retirement” were the Honorary Directorship of the Center for Archaeological Research and Development at Harvard University from 1985 through 1987, the editing of a major volume on early metallurgy (The Beginnings of the Use of Metals and Alloys, 1988), and a Humboldt Fellowship to study Roman mining technology in Germany. Dr. Muhly launched, with R.H. Dyson, the Mesopotamian Metals Project in 1985, and has written extensively on Bronze Age trade and on the long-running controversy over early sources of tin. Dr. Stech founded the respected journal Archeomaterials and was its editor from 1987 through 1992.
We honor them today for significantly advancing our knowledge of the role that metallurgy has played in the development of civilizations, for their roles in developing appropriate scientific methods for archaeology, and for their intellectual productivity. But above all we honor them for demonstrating that interdisciplinary research differs from, and is superior to, multidisciplinary research in archaeology.
In the four decades since Willard Libby announced his Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the manner in which the radioactive isotope of carbon decays, few issues in archaeology, whether from the scientific or humanistic points of view, have been attended with as much heat. Initial reaction ranged from total rejection (V. Milojcic and S. Lloyd, to name two) to total acceptance, with predictable results. Indeed, for those who accepted radiocarbon dating as the final solution to all dating problems, their enthusiasm may have contributed to their dismay at the revision, several years later, of the half-life from 5,568 years to 5,730 years-a change of only 3% but enough to cause problems for some scholars but this was nothing compared to what was to follow.
In the early 1960s Hans Suess announced his “secular change in the radiocarbon time-scale,” one component of which has been nicknamed the “Suess wiggles.” Variation (i.e., the wiggles) in the production or intake of radioactive carbon by living organisms is the only one of Libby’s original postulations that has been successfully challenged, but the understanding and resolution of this problem has taken 30 years of hard work to achieve. Interestingly, Libby himself resisted this modification to his schema.
The first generation of workers includes C. Wesley Ferguson, of the University of Arizona, who supplied the first set of dendrochronologically dated bristlecone pine samples; Paul Damon, also of Arizona, whose interest in the problem was spurred by its possible use as a surrogate for processes in solar physics, and who did one set of radiocarbon determinations; and Elizabeth Ralph and Henry Michael, of the Museum Applied Science Center for Archaeology (MASCA) at the University ofPennsylvania, who did the other. Ralph, Michael, and [Mark] Han’s “Radiocarbon Dates and Reality,” MASCA Newsletter (August 1973) was for years one of the most widely photocopied manuals in all of archaeological science. Beth Ralph was awarded the Pomerance Award by the AlA in 1986.
But problems still remained. From the point of view of the physicists, further fine-tuning was needed, and the underlying reasons for the variations still needed to be probed. From the point of view of the consumers of radiocarbon information, however, attitudes ranged from simple incomprehension, to skepticism, to utter disbelief and subsequent rejection. The bristlecone pine, this so-called “California shrub,” which few people had ever seen, which grew at improbable altitudes, and had “missing rings,” explicable enough to the workers in tree-rings but almost incomprehensible to those whose pet theories had been torpedoed by it, was not to be trusted, no matter how much hard work and good will had gone into its study. The gap between producer and consumer of archaeometric information loomed large. Although the physicists understood what was going on, the archaeological community generally did not, with a few notable exceptions. Colin Renfrew’s book Before Civilization: The Radiocarbon Revolution and Prehistoric Europe, in which the preliminary implications of the “second radiocarbon revolution” are set forth, helped earn him a chair at Cambridge, but the unconverted still grumbled, some openly, others in private.
Thus, it was not until the building of a 7,272-year-long European oak tree-ring chronology (Pilcher, Baillie, Schmidt, and Becker in Nature 1984) and the advent of high-precision radiocarbon laboratories that all of this exploratory work could be built upon. The oak is a tree that all the suspicious consumers had seen and loved, with no missing rings, and from civilized altitudes and locales where the consumers themselves lived. The large rings allowed large samples to be taken with ample wood left over for replication. Moreover, the equipment had been developed, not without pain, to analyze it with error margins considerably below those of a decade earlier.
But even more importantly, half a dozen researchers, whom we now honor, put aside personal agendas and chances for individual glory and embarked on several years of interlaboratory and interdisciplinary collaboration, normally a thankless task. Three dendrochronologists-Jon Pilcher and Michael Baillie at the Centre for Palaeoecology, Queen’s University, Belfast, and Bernd Becker at the Lehrstuhl für Botanik, Universität Hohenheim, Stuttgart-set about to reconcile the separate North Irish and German tree-ring chronologies into what is now a massive North European Oak Chronology, the longest continuous tree-ring record in the world, now over 10,000 years long. Then three physicists Minze Stuiver at the Institute of Geophysical and Planetary Physics, University of Washington, Gordon Pearson at the Centre for Palaeoecology; Queen’s University, Belfast, and Bernd Kromer at Institut für Umweltphysik, Universität Heidelberg- collaborated in radiocarbon-dating the dated tree-rings that had been assembled. All this activity involved vast amounts of patience, interaction, error-checking, laboratory calibration and recalibration, and substantial amounts of travel, telephone, and telex money from their respective deans whom we should probably thank by separate letter. The sum of this effort is to be found in the Calibration Issue of the 12th International Radiocarbon Conference held in Trondheim, Norway, in June 85 and published as a Supplement to Radiocarbon 28 (1986). Amendments and extensions of some 10,000 years are reported in Radiocarbon 35: I (1993). Additionally, a new and revised version of the program CALIB is available from Professor Stuiver for the modest sum of $5.00.
It is a commonplace in archaeological awards or any other kind of award that we give lip service to the virtues of team efforts and then honor the efforts of single scholars. The Archaeological Institute of America gave Libby its Centennial Award in 1979, 30 years after his discovery of radiocarbon dating. Today we choose to honor six scholars: Baillie, Becker, Kromer, Pearson, Pilcher, and Stuiver, who banded together to get a big job done, plus their spiritual godfather, , Suess,* who had the idea that something was amiss in the first place. Indeed, it may be said that the younger members of this group joined forces in the first place to prove Suess wrong, but what Suess did with his “cosmic Schwung” they replicated and refined with years of good, hard work so that all but the hard-core skeptics have been forced to believe in calibration. In acknowledging their exemplary effort the Archaeological Institute of America applauds them and their colleagues and staff, individually and collectively, and looks forward to the refinements in our knowledge of the ancient past that will be brought about by their collaboration.
*Hans E. Suess died in September I 993 before he could be informed of the Pomerance Award.
The Archaeological Institute of America is proud to honor Karl W. Butzer with our Twelfth Annual Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology for his clear and compelling identification of archaeology’s dependence on the methods and models of the natural sciences, and his presentation of the new paradigm of contextual archaeology.
Dr. Butzer, who received his B.Sc. in Mathematics from McGill University in 1954, and his D.Sc. in Physical Geography and Ancient History from the University of Bonn in 1957, has since 1984 occupied the Dickson Centennial Professor of Liberal Arts Chair in Geography and Anthropology at the Umvers1ty of Texas at Austin. He is the author of some 250 papers, and nine books and monographs since 1957, all dealing, at some scale or level of complexity, with one central theme: the interaction of culture and environment. Dr. Butzer’s research has included both the Old World (the Mediterranean region, from the Upper Nile drainage to the Iberian Peninsula, and sub-Saharan Africa) and the New (central Illinois); it spans the Pleistocene Epoch from australopithecine sites in South Africa to the Medieval Islamic city of Alzira in Valencia; and most notably it encompasses new theoretical insights into the role played by human societies in improving or degrading their habitat, regardless of space or time. Therefore, it is not surprising to see his research extending out to encompass truly fundamental questions, such as an analysis of ancient Egyptian civilization from an ecological viewpoint in Early Hydraulic Civilization in Egypt: A Study in Cultural Ecology (1976) and a consideration of civilizations as adaptive systems in “Civilizations: Organisms or Systems?” in American Scientist (1980).
In the first edition of his Environment and Archaeology: An Introduction to Pleistocene Geography (1964), he laid the cornerstone for a theoretical structure relating prehistoric people and their environment. This structure has been further articulated since the late 1970s with his notion of archaeology as human ecology, first presented in 1978 and then expanded and refined in 1982 in his book Archaeology as Human Ecology: Method and Theory for a Contextual Approach. In conceptualizing human cultures as complex adaptive systems, Dr. Butzer has argued for an ecological, systemic approach to archaeological contexts at all scales, from individual artifacts to subcontinental regions. He has defined contextual archaeology as the study of archaeological sites as part of a human ecosystem, representing a complex social science unto itself. He has proposed five measurable, replicable foci for archaeological research: space, scale, complexity, interaction, and stability, characterizing them as dynamic “perspectives” from which archaeologists may more profitably operationalize their research designs, in consort with the more traditional concerns of artifact assemblages, intrasite patterning, and general cultural patterning.
Dr. Butzer’s formulation of the contextual archaeology paradigm was a revolutionary proposal, highlighting a fundamental difference between, on the one hand, the static, descriptive environmental archaeology that is taught (if any is taught at all) to graduate students of archaeology, and, on the other, a new, dynamic explication of interrelationships between culture and environment. Due to the widespread adoption of portable computers, relational databases, and spatial analysis software, some excavations are collecting significantly more information than just a decade ago. Once these data are collected, something other than traditional study must be utilized if the effort is not to have been in vain. Exploratory data analysis, multivariate statistical analysis, and systems theory could be applied in the framework of contextual archaeology that Dr. Butzer has outlined in his most important contributions to the archaeological literature.
Karl W. Butzer has provided a new paradigm within which the complex multivariate relationships among cultural and environmental data may be analyzed. It will result in the broadening and deepening of what really should be our ultimate, systemic objective of understanding how people related to their environment in the past. It is incumbent on us, in bestowing this award on Dr. Butzer, to redouble our efforts to implement in practice the potentially revolutionary approach of contextual archaeology that he has offered to us in his work over the past quarter-century.
Robert H. Brill has spent an enviable life as a productive scientist and administrator. He has been a pioneer in the application of many scientific techniques to the study and understanding of artifacts and the technologies behind their manufacture. His research, his field projects, his lectures, and his impact have extended throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, and the Far East.
Dr. Brill received all of his formal education in his native New Jersey including public schools in Newark, a B.S. in Chemistry from Upsala College in East Orange, and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Rutgers University in New Brunswick. After a six-year career as a chemistry professor at Upsala College in the 1950s, he embarked in 1960 on what can only be described as a wonderfully fruitful career at the Coming Museum of Glass where he continues to mix science and art in creative and prolific ways.
It has been from his perch at the Corning Museum of Glass that he has flown literally to exotic lands (that archaeologists usually consider their own) and, equally, has flown figuratively to heights of exotic science in the service of archaeology. (At least it was exotic when he first perceived that the technique—for example, lead isotope analysis for provenance studies—could help solve an archaeological problem.)
The archaeological community can well appreciate the significant administrative contribution Dr. Brill made when he took over the directorship at the Corning Museum of Glass and supervised the flood-recovery effort during the early 1970s. But his commanding love has remained archaeological chemistry, and he returned to research in 1975.
Archaeologists who begin to explore what natural science can do to further explicate ancient lifeways from the study of limited physical remains soon become aware of Dr. Brill’s seminal volume entitled Science and Archaeology. Published in 1971, it has inspired the whole current generation of those who practice or draw on the fruits of archaeometry. In the Introduction to this book Brill entered a plea—a plea for close cooperation between the archaeometrist and the archaeologist. He pinpointed the danger that the capability for analyzing much greater numbers of samples and making ever more complicated types of measurements could lead the laboratory scientist unwittingly into a preoccupation with numerical data and a tendency to lose direct contact with archaeologists and the archaeological component of the problem. His plea remains valid.
A good example of Dr. Brill’s insights that have benefited archaeology is his early work on using lead isotope analysis to provenance Egyptian, Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine glass. His pioneering work helped develop the current rash of lead isotope studies to source the copper in Mediterranean bronzes.
Currently his research focus is early glassmaking in East Asia, particularly China. Again using chemical analysis and lead isotope analysis he is studying the origin and development of Chinese glass during the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. (the Warring States period).
Robert Brill has not ignored the educational aspects of his chosen field. In 1977, he directed the field expedition and wrote the story line and narration for The Glassmakers of Herat, a 30-minute film documenting a one-room glass factory in Afghanistan. More recently he has directed field expeditions to videotape traditional methods of glassmaking in India.
The breadth and depth of Brill’s contributions to archaeometry lead the Archaeological Institute of America to follow in the footsteps of the American Chemical Society, which presented him with the Eugene C. Sullivan Award. The Pomerance Award is a fitting honor for a lifetime of significant research in archaeological chemistry.
Dr. Harold Eugene Edgerton – inventor, scientist, teacher and friend – it is the Archaeological Institute of America’s honor to award you the Pomerance Science Award for the outstanding contributions that have so helped the archaeological community over the past half century.
Dr. Edgerton, known affectionately as “Doc,” has earned international recognition for his achievements in the fields of stroboscopy and ultra-high-speed photography, as well as the development of sonar. Holder of 45 patents, Dr. Edgerton’s pioneering research laid the foundation for the development of the modem electronic speed flash. He perfected the use of stroboscopic lights in both ultra-high-speed motion and still photography: capable of showing objects moving at a speed beyond the perception of the human eye, such as bullets or hummingbirds in flight. His work led to the critical achievement of photographic night reconnaissance for our pilots in World War II and the photography of ~atomic explosions. His documentary film, “Quicker’n a Wink,” won an Oscar from the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Edgerton’s development of watertight cameras and strobes as well as side-scanning sonar and sub-bottom profiling so have opened up new doors for both the underwater archaeologist and geologist. With sonar, Dr. Edgerton mapped the entire sunken city of Port Royal, Jamaica, and located the long-lost Civil War ironclad Monitor sunk in 230 feet of water off Cape Hatteras, to mention only a few of “Doc’s” sonar discoveries for archaeology. He has worked closely with Jacques-Ives Cousteau in exploring sea floors throughout the world. Currently, he is developing sonar for positioning equipment in the sea and for the exploration of the sub-bottom.
Dr. Edgerton was born in Nebraska and graduated from the University of Nebraska before coming to M.I.T. for his M.S. and D.Sc. He is now Professor Emeritus at M.I.T., where many students have loved him and profited from his remarkable teaching over the years. Dr. Edgerton is one of the founding partners of E. G. & G. (Edgerton, Garmeshausen and Grier), a company specializing in electronic technology. Dr. Edgerton is the author of many books and articles, including: Moments of Vision (1979); Flash, Seeing the Unseen (1954); Electronic Flash, Strobe (1979); and Sonar Images (1985).
When once asked the secret of his long and creative career, “Doc” replied, “Work like hell, tell everyone everything you know, close a deal with a handshake, and have fun.”
There is no one more beloved by the archaeological community than “Doc” Edgerton. As a scientist, we honor you for your unique inventions that have so helped so many archaeologists do their work. As a long-time friend, we thank you and give you our enduring affection.
George R. (Rip) Rapp, Jr., personifies research at the interface between geology and archaeology, an interdisciplinary field of fundamental importance to our understanding of the archaeological record. Through numerous reports on archaeological geology involving sites in Greece, Israel, Cyprus, Turkey, Egypt, and Tunisia, he bas been instrumental in popularizing the application of a wide array of scientific techniques to archaeological problems throughout the Mediterranean. These research efforts have been combined with an active teaching career at the University of Minnesota, which has itself cultivated a group of researchers committed to following his example of enriching archaeological understanding by means of physical scientific methods.
Rapp, who was granted the B.A. degree in Geology and Mineralogy from the University of Minnesota in 1952, and the Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University in 1960, had decided on a career in academic research, centering on high-temperature geochemistry. He began this promising work at the South Dakota School of Mines (1957-1965) and continued it at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Geology Department in 1965.
Involvement in an exotic research field such as archaeological geology requires a creative response to the lure of a new and untapped field of inquiry. In Rapp’s case, it was his meeting in 1965 with William McDonald, Director of the Minnesota Messenia Expedition and 1981 recipient of the AIA Award for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement, which diverted him from conventional geological research. H. E. Wright, the 1984 recipient of the AIA Science Medal Award, already was working on questions of paleoenvironmental reconstruction of Bronze Age Messenian vegetation and climate based on pollen analysis. Rapp soon realized that another useful contribution to archaeological reconstruction could be made by studying the lithic materials and the sedimentary sequences at sites such as Nichoria, as well as by applying established techniques in sedimentology to determine local paleogeographic change. The publication in 1972 of The Minnesota Messenia Expedition: Reconstructing a Bronze Age Regional Environment (University of Minnesota Press), as a solid example of the utility of interdisciplinary research, helped to lure many graduate students to the new Center for Ancient Studies and to collaborative projects in archaeological geology with Rapp.
Rapp’s commitment to interdisciplinary teaching at the graduate level is exemplified by the Center for Ancient Studies at the University of Minnesota (Twin Cities), which he co-founded with William A. McDonald in 1973. He has supervised seven theses and three dissertations in the Center, and regularly teaches courses in archaeometry and archaeological geology for the Center’s students. His Archaeometry Laboratory on the Duluth campus of the University of Minnesota is used for graduate research projects in trace-element provenance studies, phytolith studies, prehistoric archaeology of the Eastern Mediterranean, Holocene coastal change, and environmental archaeology of prehistoric sites in the upper Midwest. Rapp’s publications in archaeological geology total some thirty-six articles and five edited volumes, co-authored or edited with numerous colleagues, many of whom are former graduate students in geology or archaeological geology.
Rapp’s unique talents center on his ability to sense promising avenues of research, his innate organizational, administrative and fundraising skills, and his exceptional productivity in terms of projects and publications. The archaeological community is indeed fortunate that he has devoted his research interests and energies to addressing, and often resolving, its questions by means of geological methodologies, and it seconds the feelings of the geological community in honoring him with this award.
George Cowgill has been for over two decades an international 1eader in the application of numerical techniques to the analysis of archaeological data. His specific contributions are manifold.
In an age when archaeologists everywhere are grappling with enormous collections of artifacts, the advice Professor Cowgill has given us and the examples he has set are more relevant than ever before. Already in 1964 he proposed a new approach to the extraction of meaningful information from large archaeological assemblages. Cowgill was an early member of the Teotihuacan Mapping Project, begun in 1962 by Rene Millon. The quantities of data gathered at that metropolis were daunting and there were ample opportunities to apply statistical methods to the classification of artifacts, to the chronological seriation of ceramics, and to the construction of sampling strategies. Cowgill also supplied grist for the mill in many of his experiments with archaeological applications for computer technology. He described how he set up data storage banks and how he wrote programs to analyze the data; for example, maps of pottery distributions were generated for different phases of occupation at that great urban complex. Yet his interests have always extended far beyond strictly statistical or methodological concerns: he has investigated the factors behind the growth and decline of Teotihuacan, the extent of its trade connections, and its political relationships. The goal has always been to see not only the trees but also the forest.
George Cowgill has contributed greatly to studies of prehistoric demography, offering ‘thoughtful evaluations of the work of those scholars who have invoked population pressure as an important factor in culture change. At the same time he has refrained from harsh criticism of his colleagues, preferring instead to play the modest role of mediator and advocate.
Professor Cowgill holds advanced degrees both in Physics and in Anthropology. Since 1960 he has held posts at Brandeis University, currently as Chairman of the Department of Anthropology. In the Boston area he has played an active role in the Center for Materials Research in Archaeology and Ethnology, and served the Boston Society of the Archaeological Institute of America as its first vice-president.
For over two decades, George Cowgill has offered us level-headed perspectives on the study of the past. A large proportion of archaeologists working around the world have benefited directly from his sound judgment and his clear prose. If it is true today that “the days of the innumerate in archaeology are numbered,” that fact is in no small measure a result of the inspiration he has provided to his peers, students, and a younger generation of scholars. It is with great pride that the Archaeological Institute of America presents to George L. Cowgill the Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology.
Dr. Elizabe.th K. Ralph: internationally recognized scholar in the fields of radiocarbon dating and sub-surface archaeological exploration, is an Associate m the Department of Physics and Associate Director of the Museum Applied Science Center for Archaeology (MASCA), both at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Ralph has continued the pioneering efforts of Willard F. Libby in radiocarbon dating. The development of the “new” (5730) half-life led, more recently, to the “calibration” of C-14 measurements with the help of dendrochronology. She has been a leader in these developments, being among the first to recognize the need for a correction factor in achieving a “reality” in radiocarbon dating. Under her direction, MASCA’s C-14 laboratory has acquired an international reputation for excellence by processing hundreds of measurements from all over the world while constantly evaluating such methodological issues as inter-laboratory calibration and the “radiocarbon calendar.”
Dr. Ralph’s contributions to archaeological research have gone well beyond the evaluation and refinement of the radiocarbon method, as her many publications attest. Under her direction, MASCA has led in the development of thermoluminescent dating, .tree-ring dating, and several other chronometric techniques. At the same time, she and her colleagues have been pioneers in “archaeological prospecting” by means of geophysical techniques such as magnetometer surveying. During the 1960s and 1970s Dr. Ralph supervised the testing of instrumentation for sub-surface archaeological exploration, which has taken her to countless sites. She ran field tests of instruments for archaeological exploration and searched for the buried city of Sybaris, Italy. Other archaeological field surveys with. Instruments for underground explorations include many sites from eastern Canada to Mexico in the Americas, from England to Yugoslavia in Europe, and Turkey to Egypt in the Near East.
Dr. Ralph, a Wellesley graduate in chemistry, earned her advanced degrees in physics and geology at the University of Pennsylvania and began her career in industry before she returned to academic life at the C-14 laboratory at its inception.
Those who have worked with Elizabeth K. Ralph in the field, or who have benefited from her laboratory’s analyses of samples, regard Dr. Ralph With the highest esteem. She is a scientist of the loftiest standards and a human being of patience, fairness, and good humor. With great pride and gratitude for her many contributions to the growth and development of archaeology as an interdisciplinary science, we honor her today with the Pomerance Award of the Archaeological Institute of America for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology.
Charles A. Reed, as an old friend and colleague recently mused, is a kind of scholar they don’t make any more: the complete natural historian. On excavations in his native Oregon, as archaeozoologist on missions to the Near East and Turkey, and as director of the Yale Expedition to Nubia, Charles Reed has exemplified the spirit of interdisciplinary research, bringing the resources of biology and a generous measure of common sense to bear on archaeological problems.
His publications display at every turn the enormous diversity of his interest, skills, and training. An undergraduate degree in history and geography led via doctoral studies in zoology to university appointments in biology, zoology, anatomy, pharmacology and pharmacognosy, and most recently anthropology. Following service as Curator of Mammals and Reptiles at Yale’s Peabody Museum (1961-1966) he moved to Chicago and soon assumed duties as the first head of the Department of Anthropology at the University of lllinois at Chicago, where he holds the rank of Professor Emeritus today.
The range of Charles Reed’s publications is staggering: golden hamsters feed happily with australopithecines on his curriculum vitae. Among members of the AIA, he is best known for his pioneering contributions to the Iraq-Jarmo Project of the Oriental institute of the University of Chicago. It was at Jarmo that he shared in the development of the very model of the modern archaeozoologist. At a time when field archaeologists in the Near East considered their duty done when they had brought a few examples of animal bones back home for analysis in isolation from their cultural and ecological contexts, Reed chose instead to follow the diggers into their trenches, to organize the collection of bone and to control processing, and, most important, to interact decisively in establishing the goals of archaeological research and its design.
Charles Reed’s method of research was comparative from the beginning. He built a corpus of modern species; he interviewed hunters on their butchery practices; he examined the behavior of animals in their natural habitats; and in ·spare moments he raised turtles in the excavation bathtub and penned poetry. Early in his tenure at Jarmo, Reed rejected the commonly held assumption that sheep and goats found at Neolithic sites were obviously by definition domestic and, with this adventuresome step, opened the doors to years of fruitful research ahead. He himself noted that an animal was judged “domestic” either on the basis of “identifications made by local laborers … or upon the archaeologist’s intuitive feeling as to where the site should be placed on a chronological chart … ” The search for objective criteria for distinguishing wild from domestic species led him to consider still more complex issues: environmental reconstruction, problems of sampling and recovery, animal ethnology, and ultimately the motivations for: the adoption of an agricultural life.
Friends and students of Charles A. Reed know him also as a man of irrepressible spirit and bountiful good will, and most deserving of this award which we bestow on him today. Always eager to share his vast knowledge and experience with a younger generation of archaeologists, he continues to evidence in his publications today the same breadth and scope that have always given him that special interdisciplinary perspective. Nor has he retreated from the still lively debates nurtured under his tutelage. The Origins of Agriculture (1977) and Prehistoric Archaeology along the Zagros Flanks (1983) will remain required reading for many years to come.
Herbert Wright has pioneered in the use of palynology to enhance our understanding of the late Pleistocene and early Holocene environments of the eastern Mediterranean region. Wright first took pollen cores in the Iranian Zagros in 1960, a step which has led to increasingly reliable determinations of the climatic and vegetational circumstances of the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Within that time-span came the transition from a hunting-gathering way of life to one of effective village-farming communities, thus setting the stage for subsequent urban developments.
Wright’s graduate work in Pleistocene geology was done under Kirk Bryan at Harvard. His Ph.D. was conferred in absentia, however, as he was already on his way to becoming the well-decorated pilot of a Flying Fortress in Europe. In 1946, at Hallam Movius’s suggestion, Wright was invited to participate as a field geologist in the Fordham University-Boston College excavations at the Ksar Akil cave in Lebanon. Southwest Asia has, since then, been one of his major areas of interest.
In 1947, Wright joined the Department of Geology of the University of Minnesota, where he is now a Regents’ Professor and Director of the Limnological Research Center. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he has held Guggenheim and Wenner-Gren fellowships, and was awarded an honorary D.Sc. degree by Trinity College, Dublin, in 1966.
During field seasons with the Oriental Institute’s Jarmo project under R.J. Braidwood in the early 1950’s, Wright realized that evidence for the sequence of Pleistocene-Holocene events was fragmentary in the Iraqi Zagros because of the high rate of erosion, perhaps in part due also to subsequent overgrazing and deforestation. Already acquainted with the useful results of palynological studies in Minnesota, Wright and his younger colleagues undertook coring for pollen sequences in the 1960’s at Lake Zeribar, northwest of Kermanshah. The results of that important work, as well as several subsequent articles, have played a fundamental role in the development of theories related to the origins of agriculture in the Old World. Since that time, palynological investigations have multiplied in southwest Asia.
Wright also pioneered palynological research in Greece. His work with the University of Minnesota Messenia Expedition under W.A. McDonald in the Osmanaga Lagoon and elsewhere in the region of ancient Pylas later in the 1960’s was among the first of its kind in that country. The vegetational studies of Wright and his associates in Messenia continue to be among the most thorough for any region of Greece and therefore form the basis for our understanding of the relationship between man and environment in the Aegean Bronze Age.
Wright’s contributions are not confined to the archaeology of the eastern Mediterranean. He is also well known to New World archaeologists for his work on the palaeoecology of the Upper Great Lakes area. The books he has co-authored with Cushing and Frey have long been standard references on the Quaternary, and his new two volume series on the Late Quaternary environments of the United States is likely to be a standard for some time to come.
The reconstruction of past environments and the interaction of man and environment through time have been subjects of increasing concern to archaeologists over the past twenty-five years. Herb Wright has played a leading role in these developments. His highly successful career and his many contributions to our present understanding of environmental and cultural history in both the Old World and the New World serve to remind all of us of the importance of collaboration between archaeology and the natural sciences in studying the past.
Known as the “Bone Man” in forensic and archaeological circles alike, J. Lawrence Angel has single-handedly written the story of social biology in the Mediterranean area. After many years of study of human skeletal remains from such diverse areas as the U.S., Kenya, Iran, Slovenia, Poland, France, with special concentration on remains excavated at key sites in Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus, he has now pulled his observations together in masterly syntheses of the demography, health and pathology of the populations of the Eastern Mediterranean from the Palaeolithic to the present.
From careful study of bones and their deformations, J. Lawrence Angel has proceeded beyond the determination of age, sex and cause of death to a searching study of disease and occupational and nutritional stresses to recreate the living conditions of the society. His analysis of porotic hyperostosis, an overgrowth of the spongy marrow space of the skull, and its relation to the spread and extent of malaria has brilliantly enriched our knowledge of this crucial health factor in the Classical world. His compilations of statistics on longevity, fertility, juvenile death rate, stature and tooth-decay have enabled him to show significant trends in the fragile relationship of man with his environment. Through his study and publication of the physical remains of leaders and common men in ancient Mycenae, Troy, Lerna, Athens, Karatas and Khirokitia he has proved his own dictum of 1943: “Studies in Physical Anthropology cannot omit the historical and social background of the people or skeletons examined.”
J. Lawrence Angel’s participation in any excavation is a great boon because of his curiosity, energy, willingness to share and explore ideas, his sense of humor, his singing and his many helpful contributions in all areas of biology. In all these endeavors his wife Margaret is a most significant co-worker. His devotion to his students, sincerity in all dealings with colleagues, enthusiasm for his field, enormous capacity for work and publication, all coupled with his courageous and original contributions to our knowledge of the ancient world, make J. Lawrence Angel a most fitting recipient of this award.
In his Introduction to the catalog of the exhibition From Art to Science: Seventy-Two Objects Illustrating the Nature of Discovery, Cyril Stanley Smith describes the objects he selected for the exhibit as “simultaneously material, individual, and social products. On the same scale as the human body, they mark the precise point at which the structure and behavior of matter … interact with the structure and behavior of human thought and institutions.” In honoring Cyril Stanley Smith with the Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology we acknowledge the creative and perceptive ways in which he has brought his great knowledge of the science of materials to bear upon the products of human interaction with materials, especially those products that constitute the material culture of the societies of prehistory.
Cyril Smith would describe himself as a metallurgist, but a review of his prodigious publications that began in 1925 reveals the history of his rich and ever changing involvement with metallurgy, his use of the discipline to afford him insights as much into the nature of ancient society as into the nature of poly crystalline aggregates. During his early years of research in the metals industry ( 1927 -1942), followed during the Second World War by his term as director of metallurgical research at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (1943-1946), and finally during his founding and direction of the Institute for the Study of Metals at the University of Chicago (1946-1961), Smith’s studies focused on the physical nature of metals and the role of interface energy and topology in the structure of polycrystalline materials. But as early as 1942 he had already edited and published the first in a series of what have become the classics in the history of metallurgy, a corpus of primary sources that ultimately included seven treatises ranging from the ninth through the eighteenth centuries: the Mappae Clavicula [9th C.], the Bergwerk und Probierbuchlein , Biringuccio’s Pirotechnia , and Lazurus Ercker’s Treatise on Ores and Assaying  are among these.
Cyril Smith’s most provocative and dramatic contributions to the history of metallurgy, however, lie in his interpretations of its prehistory, revealed through laboratory examination of the microstructures of metal artifacts which he has studied from all parts of the globe, particularly from the Near East, Europe, and the Orient. When he left Chicago in 1961 to join the MIT faculty as Institute Professor, with a joint appointment in the Departments of Humanities and Materials Science and Engineering, that unique appointment reflected his commitment to exploring the technologies of prehistoric societies through the laboratory study of their material manufactures, especially of the products of their metallurgical activities whether those be the ores, furnaces, and slag piles of archaeological sites or the metal artifacts that constitute museum collections. A large segment of Smith’s publications since 1961 reports the results both of his field research surrounding ancient metallurgical industries—he accompanied Theodore Wertime on metallurgical reconnaissance trips to Iran in 1962 and 1966—and his laboratory studies of metal artifacts whose technological histories are locked within their very structures.
Smith’s first publication revealing the power of metallographic analysis to unlock the processing history behind a metal artifact and, thereby, to illuminate the prehistoric metallurgical technologies that produced such objects, was a 1949 article with Marie Farnsworth on a sample of metallic zinc from ancient Athens. Since that early collaboration he has developed the methodology as its foremost practitioner, with pioneering contributions particularly to the early metallurgies of Persia and Japan. Smith’s “The Interpretation of Microstructures of Metallic Artifacts” in the 1967 volume of Applications of Science in Examinations of Works of Art remains the model for all future work in the field of analysis and provides one of the earliest discussions of themes he developed increasingly thereafter—that objects can reveal information not recorded in words, that people’s earliest experimentation with the materials of their physical environment was aesthetically motivated, as we witness in a broad range of archaeological artifacts, and that objects are the physical manifestations of the hand, the mind, and the eye working together. These insights and his research based upon them have led him to see, for the future, “the greatest need and the greatest opportunity in the development of nonverbal sources for history and of methods for their interpretation.”
Cyril Stanley Smith was not the first to point to the rich stores of technological and, therefore of social information held within preserved objects of prehistory and capable of being interpreted through laboratory analysis. But, as a fellow historian of technology has said of him, he has dramatized the opportunity. He is one of the very few scholars capable of studying archaeological objects at the various hierarchical levels at which they exist—at the polycrystalline level of the metal from which the object is fashioned, at the level of the unique artifact itself and at the level of the artifact as a social product. He has placed the artifact—the fundamental unit of archaeological investigation—at center stage; not as the static end product of complex technological procedures but as the dynamic recorder and transmitter of information about those procedures. And he has provided us with the laboratory analytical tools by which to read that information. In so doing, Cyril Smith has helped establish a new and primary method of interpretive analysis for archaeology—what might be called the materials science of archaeological materials. That new interpretative style has provided a window on prehistory that has revolutionized the pursuit of the science of archaeology.
In the course of his distinguished career, Frederick R. Matson has strived, with untiring persistence and ultimate success, to demonstrate the value of scientific analysis in the study of ancient ceramics. As far back as he can remember, Matson wanted to be a ceramic engineer. While pursuing his engineering degree at the University of Illinois, he developed an interest in anthropology and took courses in Greek and Roman archaeology taught by a young instructor named George Mylonas. Matson received the M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Michigan in anthropology and ceramic archaeology under the guidance of Carl Guthe, A. E. R. Boak and Clark Hopkins. The last offered Matson his first archaeological field experience at Seleucia-on-Tigris. On his return from Iraq, Matson was introduced to Greek archaeology in Athens by the famous I 930’s Agora team, many of whom became his lifelong friends.
Returning to Ann Arbor in 1937, Matson was asked by Carl Guthe to establish a laboratory for the analysis of the materials in the Ceramic Repository for the Eastern United States. During this period Matson began his pioneering efforts to join his technical expertise in ceramic analysis to his knowledge of archaeology. The structural analysis of ancient ceramics was seen by Matson as an important tool in the ultimate search for the understanding of a culture. In 1954-55, in Iraq, Matson began to observe the activities of village potters. By the early 1960’s he was in the forefront of those who emphasized the observation of traditional pottery-making, a dying art, as a means of understanding the potters of antiquity. Since then Frederick Matson has pursued several lines of inquiry. He has continued his laboratory analysis of ancient pottery from many parts of the world. He has established himself as the leading expert in applying observations of modern potters of Iran and Afghanistan to the study of ancient pottery. He has acted as ceramic analyst for excavations at Dura-Europos, Jarmo, Persepolis, Tarsus, Pylas, Lerna, Porto Kheli, the Franchthi Cave, Messenian sites, Siphnos and the Athenian Agora.
He held a professorship at The Pennsylvania State University for thirty years until his retirement in 1978. He has maintained a breathless schedule of travel, lectures and publication as the leading proselytizer of the method he helped create. He organized the important “Ceramics and Man” conference in Austria in l 961 and edited its proceedings. His numerous awards testify to professional acclaim, culminating in his election to the Presidency of the Archaeological Institute of America for 1975-76. Modern ceramic-oriented ethnoarchaeology has no more vigorous spokesman.
In presenting to Frederick R. Matson the Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology, the Archaeological Institute of America honors one who has joined ceramic science to cultural anthropology and traditional archaeological fieldwork. What has seemed only common sense to Matson—not much “to raise an eyebrow about”—has in fact provided an important technique for the understanding of the social, political and economic structure of antiquity.
Marie Farnsworth is a pioneer who applied her training in the physical sciences to archaeological problems long before science and archaeology were as well married as they are today. By the range of her interests, by the exactitude of her work, and by close collaboration with field archaeologists, she has helped to define archaeological science and is an exemplar for younger practitioners of the craft.
Her first direct association with archaeology was her appointment as research chemist at the Fogg Art Museum, followed by two years as chemist for the Agora Excavations. Although she spent the next twenty-one years in industry, her commitment to archaeology continued and grew, and after retirement, she has carried on her archaeological work at Columbia University and at the University of Missouri.
Marie Farnsworth’s first archaeological publication appeared forty-two years ago and dealt with the spectroscopic study of glass, with special reference to cobalt content. Since then she has given us the results of her work on such diverse subjects as the cleaning of bronze, the metallographic examination of ancient zinc from Athens, the analysis of Corinthian pigments, including the first identification of Hellenistic pink as rose madder, and the composition of an Athenian cement of beeswax and lime.
Her central achievement, which represents her greatest love, lies in the continuing study of Greek pottery. Two pinnacles of this long and fruitful labor are her studies of the techniques of black Attic glaze (1941) and of fifth-century intentional red glaze (1958). Both are models of methodological rigor.
Her most recent study, published in 1977 with Perlman and Asaro, deals with the clay sources of Corinthian ware and establishes, for the first time, that some of the ware found in the Corinthian colony on Corfu, in spite of its close stylistic resemblance to the pottery of Corinth, was in fact manufactured on the island.
Those who have worked with Marie Farnsworth know of her generosity in putting her vast knowledge and her valuable time at the disposal of all who seek her help. Her kindness and her modesty, her devotion and her energy, all exemplify unassuming strength of mind and character.
To Marie Farnsworth, one of the founders and one of the most distinguished practitioners of archaeological chemistry, the Archaeological Institute of America gratefully presents the first Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology.