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Archaeological Institute of America Recognizes Leaders in the Field

January 16, 2020

AIA AwardsAntiquities Coalition Congratulates Honorees for Their Work to Study and Protect Our Past

Our partner, the Archaeological Institute of America, the oldest and largest archaeological organization in the United States, held its Annual Meeting from January 2-5 in Washington, D.C. The AIA Awards Ceremony, which celebrates leaders in the profession, took place on January 4.

This year, the AIA recognized the importance of the fight against the looting and trafficking of antiquities through honoring the tireless work of Dr. Patty Gerstenblith with the Outstanding Public Service Award.


Awarding the Protection of Cultural Heritage

The evening began with the presentation of the Outstanding Public Service Award. Dr. Patty Gerstenblith was honored for her unparalleled work to protect cultural heritage, both in the United States and internationally, on the fiftieth anniversary of the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property.

Among many other accomplishments, from 2011 to 2016, Dr. Gerstenblith chaired the President’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations to the U.S. Department of State on foreign requests for cultural property bilateral agreements, key tools for restricting the illicit trade in cultural property. She is also the founding president of the Lawyers Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation and a director of the U.S. Committee of the Blue Shield, which works to protect cultural property during armed conflict.

AIA Awards

Other award presentations followed. The Flowerdew Hundred Project out of the University of Virginia received the Award for Outstanding Work in Digital Archaeology. The Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award was awarded to Dr. M. Kathryn Brown of the University of Texas at San Antonio. Dr. Billy Griffiths received The Felicia A. Holton Book Award for his book Deep Time Dreaming: Uncovering Ancient Australia, and Matthew Canepa received the James R. Wiseman Book Award for his book The Iranian Expanse: Transforming Royal Identity Through Architecture, Landscape, and the Built Environment, 550 BCE-642CE. The Conservation and Heritage Management Award was presented to Dr. Katherine Miller Wolf of the University of West Florida. The Graduate Student Paper Awards, First Prize and Honorable Mention were awarded to Cai Thorman of the University of California, Davis, and Victoria Moses of the University of Arizona, respectively. Drs. William and Suzanne Murray were honored with the Martha and Artemis Joukowsky Distinguished Service Award for founding and maintaining the AIA’s Tampa Bay Society. The Pomerance Award for Scientific Contributions to Archaeology was presented to Dr. Heather Lechtman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The ceremony concluded with the presentation of the Gold Medal Award for Distinguished Archaeological Achievement, the highest honor bestowed by the AIA. This year’s recipient was Dr. Jack L. Davis, recognized for his accomplished career in Classical and Aegean archaeology.

To learn more about the Awards and this year’s recipients, visit this link.