The Society for American Archaeology participates in a number of programs that recognize and support avocational archeology programs. Each year the SAA presents an avocational archaeologist with the Crabtree award, a recognition of excellence in avocational archaeology. "Established in 1985 to recognize significant contributions to archaeology in the Americas made by individual who has had little if any formal training in archaeology and little if any wage or salary as an archaeologist. The award is named after Don Crabtree of Twin Falls, Idaho, who made significant contributions to the study of lithic technology and whose dedication to archaeology was a lifelong personal and financial commitment."
Jay Blaine is the 2007 recipient of the SAA's Crabtree Award for his many years of service to the professional and avocational archaeological communities. An archaeologist with experience on Paleoindian and Historic sites, Mr. Blaine is an authority on Identifying and conserving colonial metal artifacts from terrestrial and underwater sites. He has played an indispensable role in the excavation, analysis, and interpretation of materials from Texas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. He has shared his insights through numerous publications, conference papers, and lectures. The Crabtree Award is a fitting tribute for a researcher whose career has been distinguished by a willingness to share his extensive knowledge for the benefit of all who support archaeology. SAA is proud to present the 2007 Crabtree Award to Jay C. Blaine.
Karl Herbert Mayer is the recipient of the SAA's Crabtree Award for 2006 for his distinguished record of service to Mesoamerican archaeology spanning more than 35 years. A native of Austria, Professor Mayer used his vacation time to travel at his own expense to Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras nearly every year to work with archaeologists in relocating and documenting sites and to share with his professional colleagues his extensive knowledge of unprovenienced stela fragments, sculptures, and artifacts from European private collections. He is a founder of the respected journal Mexicon. His work is in the best tradition of cooperation and mutual respect between avocational and professional archaeologists: as one committee member remarked, "I know Don Crabtree would have approved!"
The 2005 Crabtree Award is presented to Eugene C. Winter, Jr., in recognition of his distinguished record of service to archaeology, which spans more than 50 years. An educator by profession and by inclination, Mr. Winter has been the public face of archaeology for public schools, adult education programs, historical societies, and avocational archaeologists in the Northeast. He was twice president of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society, president of the New Hampshire Archaeological Society, and helped to establish the Maine Archaeological Society. He was named honorary curator at the R.S. Peabody Foundation for Archaeology for his selfless work during a 10-year period when there was no director, and more recently when the Museum and its collections faced an uncertain future. His fieldwork and publications attest to his high standards. He has been mentor, friend, and a tireless advocate for education, site protection, and cooperation between avocational and professional archaeologists.
The 2004 Crabtree Award is presented to Bob Patten for his numerous contributions to archaeological science and his tireless promotion of ancient technologies through word, film, and deed. Bob Patten, who is one of the most gifted and generous lithic technologists and analysts of our times, epitomizes the best of the Crabtree tradition. A frequent participant at knap-ins and professional meetings, he shares his skills and insights with professionals and amateurs alike. He has made important contributions to our understanding of Paleolithic technology, especially Folsom technology, and most recently to our understanding of the manufacture of Maya eccentrics. Mr. Patten has published 17 articles and a book on the fundamentals of stone-tool manufacture and is finalizing a step-by-step guide to Folsom technology and analysis, an experimental approach he calls Anthropolithic Forensics. Many in the profession have benefited personally from Bob Patten’s instruction, and the profession has been enriched by his insights concerning ancient technologies and lifeways.
The 2003 SAA Crabtree Award is presented to Dr. Guillermo Mata Amado of Guatamala City, Guatamala. Dr. Guillermo Mata Amado, “Billy” Mata to his friends, is a professional dentist from Guatemala who has worked tirelessly for 40 years to preserve and publish Guatemalan archaeology. In 69 publications, he has contributed to ancient Mayan dental studies, underwater archaeology, and site survey. He is contributing editor of the Guatemala journal, Ut’zib, and founding member and vice president of the Asociación Tikal, a private foundation that funds research, publication, and the annual meeting of Guatemalan archaeology. He is also a founding member and past president of the Popul Vuh Museum at Universidad Maroquín, which trains elementary teachers in Maya archaeology and provides archaeological field trips for children. Dr. Mata has helped professional archaeologists, sometimes supplying information about sites long since destroyed. He is currently president of the prestigious Academia de Geografía e Historia de Guatemala and is Rector of the Universidad del Istmo. Dr. Mata well exemplifies the principles of the Crabtree award of dedicated amateur archaeology.
The 2002 SAA Crabtree Award is presented to Richard A. Bice of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mr. Bice is a retired engineer with a distinguished career at Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories in the development of nuclear weapons, environmental testing equipment, and solar energy. Serving two terms on the Albuquerque City Commission and other boards, he was instrumental in establishing the Museum of Albuquerque and the New Mexico Museum of Natural History. As a charter member of the Albuquerque Archaeological Society (AAS) and a long-term Trustee of the Archaeological Society of New Mexico (ASNM), he established the ASNM amateur certification program in 1972. As Field Supervisor and Director of the ASNM Field School, he became known as a meticulous archaeologist who maintains the highest standards of fieldwork, analysis and reporting. Through his efforts, AAS and ASNM have cooperated with university and federal agency research projects. He has published over 20 articles and monographs detailing his research on various Basketmaker, Pueblo, and Hispanic communities. His contribution to American archaeology includes published research, amateur education, and development of two wonderful museums for the education of children and the general public.
The 2001 Crabtree Award was presented to John D. "Jack" Holland, of West Seneca, NY. Jack has worked with professional archaeologists since the 1930's, when he began systematic surveys in the Susquehanna Valley of Pennsylvania. He later served in a variety of capacities in field, laboratory and educational projects in Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario. Turning to archaeology on a full-time basis, Jack earned a BA in anthropology from Empire College in 1986 and since that time has served as a Field Representative of the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh. Currently a Research Fellow of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, Jack is the founder of the Holland Lithic Laboratory at the Buffalo Museum of Science, where he has built a peerless reference collection of more than 22,000 lithic samples from 1,500 named sources located in all fifty states and eight Canadian provinces. In addition, he has published over twenty analytical papers and delivered numerous conference papers. Perhaps Jack's most enduring methodological contribution will be his emphasis upon non-technical approaches to chert examination that make chert identification accessible and affordable to all.
For a complete list of previous Crabtree awardees, please visit the SAA's web site.