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  • SCA 2021 Annual Meeting: Inside Out, Reflecting on Our Community

SCA 2021 Annual Meeting: Inside Out, Reflecting on Our Community

  • 4 Mar 2021
  • 8:00 AM (UTC)
  • 6 Mar 2021
  • 5:00 PM (UTC)
  • Online via Socio


(depends on selected options)

Base fee:
  • Must provide proof of student status.
  • Must provide proof of student status.
  • Registration for non-professionals that are curious to learn more about archaeology. Limited to portions of the conference will be available.



The 55th Annual Meeting will be a virtual event. Of course, the digital format means that we will not see each other in person, but we hope that you will participate as presenters and viewers of this meeting. Some of our usual events will be challenging in a virtual format, particularly the Silent Auction. Our valiant Local Arrangements Chair, John Holson, is thinking hard, so though you won’t see an option here to register for everyone’s favorite event, don’t rule it out completely. We may have updates for you later.

    Plenary Session

    The SCA’s Friday morning plenary session will highlight speakers that reflect this year’s conference theme, Inside Out, Reflecting on Our Community, as well as select speakers from the 2021 Meeting. Topics will include the use of new technology to document and share our past, the integration of descendant communities in the planning, research, and reporting of archaeological projects, and the use of archaeology to reenergize and reimagine our communities. 

    Keynote Speaker

    Chip Colwell is confirmed as our 2021 Keynote speaker. Dr. Colwell’s essays and editorials have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Guardian, among other magazines and newspapers, while his research has been covered by such outlets as the BBC, National Geographic, and Forbes. His book Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits: Inside the Fight to Reclaim Native America’s Culture received enthusiastic reviews in the Wall Street Journal, Science, New Scientist, and elsewhere. It has received six prizes, including the 2020 Society for Historical Archaeology James Deetz Book Award and the 2019 National Council on Public History Book Award.



    Instructor: Robert L. Bettinger, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, UC Davis

    This workshop will introduce the theoretical foundation of foraging theory, beginning with the concept of rational choice and definition of costs and benefits. Explores application of the foraging models most amenable to application to the archaeological and ethnographic record. Participants may sign up for morning and afternoon, morning only, or afternoon only. You must have a PC to obtain full benefit. Working knowledge of Microsoft Excel highly useful. Preregistration is Required.

    FORA1: Foraging Theory and Practice Morning Session

    §  Rational choice theory

    §  Foraging costs and benefits

    §  Diet breadth

    §  Front vs. back loaded resources

    Maximum enrollment: 45 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Cost: $35 live/$30 recorded

    FORA2: Foraging Theory and Practice Afternoon Session

    §  Linear programming.

    §  Marginal value theorem

    §  Field processing

    §  Technological investment (including newest, unpublished models)

    Maximum enrollment: 45 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Cost: $35 live/$30 recorded

    ROCK1: Rock Art Conservation Management for Site Stewards and Managers
    Instructor: Jeremy Freeman

    Rock art is a resource that captures people’s attention and provides a way for modern people to relate to ancient people. However, it is also one of the most sensitive resources due to its high visibility and changing climatic conditions that threaten the stability, integrity, and aesthetic quality of the sites. In this workshop participants will learn how to identify the transformational processes affecting rock art sites. Participants will learn how to complete a condition assessment form and collect conservation management data that will provide a better understanding of the conservation needs of a rock art site. Participants will learn about preparing a conservation management plan along with intervention procedures used by professionals to help conserve rock art sites. Participants will, additionally, learn about methods used to collect conservation management data and how it can be used to make better informed decisions by site managers. Preregistration is Required.

    Maximum enrollment: 100 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Cost: $40 live/$35 recorded

    ROCK2: Using 21st Century Technology for Non-intrusive Rock Art Documentation
    Instructor: Jeremy Freeman

    Advances in technology have resulted in a metamorphosis in archaeological methods with an increasing emphasis on non-invasive, non-destructive techniques. Modern technology is allowing researchers to adapt of new analytical methods without compromising the integrity the archaeological evidence. This is particularly true in rock art research that has experienced an increased push for non-intrusive documentation. In this workshop participants will learn about some of the technologies available to researchers to document rock art non-destructively using modern technology. Participants will learn about collecting and storing data, creating high resolution imagery and virtual 3D models, creating digital renderings of figures and panels, deducing super-positioning and sequences of figure placement, collecting objective color data, assessing chemical composition of paint, and collecting geospatial data. Preregistration is Required.

    Maximum enrollment: 100 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Cost: $25 live/$20 recorded

    OBSI: Obsidian Hydration Dating Workshop
    Instructor: Alexander (Sandy) Rogers

    As with all chronometric techniques, obsidian hydration dating cannot be treated as a black box. The goal of this workshop is to provide insight into the theory and methods of obsidian hydration dating (OHD). It should enable the archaeologist to perform OHD analyses and the manager to ask the right questions. The workshop will cover the basic principles of obsidian hydration and the models employed in dating; how to develop an appropriate effective hydration temperature (EHT); various methods of computing a hydration rate; guidelines for data analysis; and numerous cautions. An Excel spreadsheet with numerical models for conducting an OHD analysis will be provided, and we will do some hands-on exercises. Mathematics will be kept to a minimum but cannot be avoided entirely. Some familiarity with Microsoft Excel is desirable, so please bring your laptop with Excel. Preregistration is Required.

    Maximum enrollment: 30  8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. Cost: $40 live/$35 recorded

    Student Events

    Let’s Do Lunch/Student Mixer

    This year, Let’s Do Lunch and the student mixer will be combined into a virtual multi-room event! Every year established SCA professionals offer their time and experience to students and young professionals by taking them to lunch or attending the student mixer. The plan for 2021 is to have multiple Zoom rooms, each one based on a different topic and hosted by established professional(s), where students can drop in for discussion; additional rooms will also be available for undergraduates to connect with one another and with graduate students. Nearly 50 professional members participated in these events last year, lending their expert advice on a variety of interests, including tribal relations, CRM, underwater archaeology, historic and prehistoric archaeology, compliance, ethnography and material culture studies, diversity and inclusion in our field, and more. We are grateful for our generous members who are stepping up once again to assist our aspiring archaeologists!  Registration for student events will open closer to March.

    Annual Meeting Underwriters

    The SCA Executive Board will be leading fundraising in 2021 to encourage businesses and corporations engaged in archaeological work in our state to demonstrate their appreciation of the efforts of the SCA by making generous (tax deductible!) donations. These contributions will enable our Society to continue its good work in both the public and private sectors, in education and advocacy, and representing professional archaeologists throughout California. For further information, please contact the Business Office at You may donate online or download the form and send to: SCA Business Office, P.O. Box 2582, Granite Bay, CA 95746.




    The success of the Annual Meeting and the overall health of the SCA are directly related to the participation and generosity of our members. Though the 2021 will be virtual, we will still need some good volunteers, particularly those with Zoom skills! (And, really, who doesn’t have Zoom skills these days?!) Please consider supporting the organization by volunteering to assist as presenters move in and out of virtual sessions. Questions? Contact the Business Office at


    A Word About Registration Fees

    SCA policy for the past decade-plus has been to keep registration fees as low as possible. This means that we don’t pad registration fees with snacks or swag or anything else. The same is true for membership dues--we’ve intentionally kept them very reasonable. In 2008 the regular member registration fee was $85; in 2020 it was $90. We fully recognized that the composition of our membership includes students, seniors, and field techs as well as well-compensated CRM professionals. Low rates have been offset by our generous members and underwriters, and the fact that we are frugal in our spending.

    While a virtual meeting is clearly not the same as an in-person meeting, there are still substantial expenses that must be covered. In order to prevent this looking like your child’s school Zoom meeting or facetiming grandma, we have hired media professionals who will coordinate every aspect of this virtual meeting. They will control access, chat rooms, and mute buttons helping us achieve professional quality presentations. We plan on recording the Plenary session, as well as discussion forums and sessions. We encourage more sessions with discussion forums so our members can use this opportunity to learn about each other’s research and engage in meaningful dialog.

    Meeting registration fees and member dues support the Society and its programs. The cancellation of the 2020 Annual Meeting was a big financial hit and we have no idea what to expect for the 2021Virtual Meeting. As such, we have elected to keep the 2021 fee at the 2020 rate.

    Society for California Archaeology
    Business Office
    P.O. Box 2582 |  Granite Bay  |  CA 95746

    Contact Us:
    (530) 342-3537

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