Many state archaeological societies have taken steps to try to incorporate non-professional archaeologists into excavation teams through avocational certification programs. Through these mutually beneficial programs, avid amateurs can become certified field archaeologists recognized for their accomplishments. Listed below are links to sites that may help you to find an archeological certification program. Also, you may want to check with your state archeologist [sorry, you'll have to cut and paste this URL into your browser: http://www.uiowa.edu/~osa/nasa], State Historic Preservation Officer, or state archaeological society for information on archaeological certification programs.
The Society for American Archaeology participates in a number of programs that recognize and support avocational archeology programs. The SAA works together with state and regional societies, known collectively as the Council of Affiliated Societies. For a complete listing of these societies check out their web site. Also, each year the SAA presents an avocational archaeologist with the Crabtree award, a recognition of excellence in avocational archaeology. For a list of recent Crabtree awardees and a description of their accomplishments, click here. For a complete list of Crabtree awardees, please visit the SAA's web site.
If you are interested in reading more about the importance of avocational archaeology to the field of archaeology, please check out Hester Davis' 1990 technical brief Volunteers in Archaeology; or her article Avocational Archaeology Groups: A Secret Weapon for Site Protection.
with Certification Programs