Potsdam Prof named Editor of International National Archaeology Newsletter


In recognition of his research on the history of historical archaeology, SUNY Potsdam Assistant Professor of Anthropology Dr. Benjamin Pykles recently was appointed to serve as editor of the “Images of the Past” column for the quarterly newsletter of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

The Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) is the primary organ for historical archaeology in North America. Dr. Pykles has served on SHA’s History Committee since 2004.

His Ph.D. adviser, Dr. Robert L. Schuyler, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, started the “Images of the Past” column 11 years ago in SHA’s quarterly newsletter. He has decided to step down from that role and recommended Dr. Pykles as a replacement given his scholarship on the history of historical archaeology in America.

“I am excited about this new opportunity to share my scholarly interests in the history of historical archaeology,” said Dr. Pykles. “I am honored to have been selected to serve in this capacity.”

The column editor is responsible for tracking down informative images concerning the history of historical archaeology (the study of the material remains of past societies that left behind some other form of historical evidence) and writing a short description of the image and a statement of its significance to the history of the field.

In addition, Dr. Pykles’ dissertation examines the development of historical archaeology in America by looking at the excavations conducted at the mid-19th century Mormon city of Nauvoo, IL. It will be published as a book in April 2010 by the University of Nebraska Press as part of their series, “Critical Studies in the History of Anthropology.”

The book’s title is “Excavating Nauvoo: The Mormons and the Rise of Historical Archaeology in America.”
Formed in 1967, SHA is the largest scholarly group concerned with the archaeology of the modern world (A.D. 1400 to present). The main focus of the society is the era since the beginning of European exploration.

SHA promotes scholarly research and the dissemination of knowledge concerning historical archaeology.