The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) Presents 2021 Awards Virtually

Departmental News

Posted:  May 18, 2021 - 12:00pm

The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) has presented the 2021 Awards virtually on You Tube.  Some of the UNM recipients include Jacque Kocer, Archaeology graduate student, who was the first recipient of the SAA Bertha Parker Cody Award for Native American Women, Amy Thompson (UNM PhD, 2019) who won the SAA H. and T. King Grant for Precolumbian Archaeology, Mary Stiner (UNM PhD, 1990) who won the 2021 Fryxell Award for Interdisciplinary Research, and Alumna Lynne Sebastian (UNM PhD, 1988), who won the 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award.  The 2021 Cheryl L. Wase Scholarships were also presented.  View the full presentation here:



Archaeology Graduate Student Jacque Kocer was the first recipient of the Bertha Parker Cody Award for Native American Women to support her dissertation research.  Jacque's dissertation research involves the study of cultural identity through ceramic production practices examining how potters learned and shared knowledge and technology in the past. She studies the archaeologically defined group called Gallina for her dissertation research. The Gallina people occupied the highlands about 70 km north and east of Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico between about A.D.1100-1300. They created and used tools and ceramic containers distinct to the region at the time, some with characteristics of possible Plains or Great Basin influence.  She will use the funds from the Bertha Parker Cody Award for Native  American Women to help complete her dissertation. Upon graduation, she plans to teach at a tribal college and run her non-profit company, the Gallina Research Institute for Indigenous Technology (GRIIT). GRIIT is an archaeological research program collaborating with Indigenous communities and will offer an archaeological field school for Native American students.

Alumna Amy E Thompson (UNM PhD, 2019) was awarded the SAA  H. and T. King Grant for Precolumbian Archaeology to support her archaeological research in southern Belize. Her funded project focuses on exploring processes of inequality and urban development by developing high-resolution, multiproxy regional chronologies through radiocarbon dating, hieroglyphic texts, and ceramic typologies. Specifically, she will assess minor Classic period (250-800 CE) Maya centers as their development and decline articulated with larger political centers and the regional population of southern Belize. 


Alumna Mary Stiner (UNM PhD, 1990) was awarded the 2021 Fryxell Award for Interdisciplinary Research Award.  She received the Society of American Archaeology’s first book prize in 1996 for her seminal work Honor Among Thieves, highlighting a career characterized by creative and significant interdisciplinary contributions in archaeological sciences, particularly in zooarchaeology. Her innovative methodological and theoretical research draws on complex anthropological, ecological, and zoological methods and theories to address some of the most significant debates in anthropology. Her influential papers cover topics such as demographic trends during the Paleolithic, forager economics and technology, decorative traditions, the forager-farmer transition, population ecology, behavioral ecology, zooarchaeology, taphonomy, and animal domestication. Stiner works with large datasets developed through collaborative interdisciplinary research in Turkey, Italy, Israel, Portugal, Greece, and the United States. Her methods and interpretations are applicable to many other times and places, however, and have influenced zooarchaeological interpretations and data treatment well beyond the European Paleolithic. Her impact amply demonstrates the importance of interdisciplinary research in archaeology.

Alumna Lynne Sebastian (UNM PhD, 1988)  received the SAA’s 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award for her significant and lasting contributions to the archaeological profession, the preservation of our nation’s cultural heritage, and research on American archaeology. She has served the profession as SAA Secretary and President, RPA President, an Advisory Council on Historic Preservation member, the New Mexico Deputy SHPO and SHPO, and an advisor on historic preser-vation to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Her contributions to cultural heritage preservation through public archaeology include development of the method, theory, and practice of cultural resource management; promo-tion of the use of federal and state laws and regulations protecting archaeo-logical sites to professional archaeologists, agency managers, tribes, industry, and the public; and organizing and leading the Making Archaeology Public Project. She also has conducted important research on the archaeology of Chaco Canyon and its Ancestral Pueblo inhabitants.