SMU professor to be honored with Society of American Archeology book award

Mark D. McCoy

DALLAS (SMU) – The Society for American Archaeology (SAA) has named SMU’s Mark D. McCoy as the winner of the 2021 Popular Book Award for “Maps for Time Travelers: How Archaeologists Use Technology to Bring Us Closer to the Past.”


McCoy is an associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at SMU (Southern Methodist University).


In his debut book, McCoy uses fictional stories about time travel to explain to a broad audience the ways that advances in technology are impacting how archaeologists study and reconstruct humanity’s distant past. In their presentation of the award, the SAA call his approach “creative and original” and a “first of its kind” explanation of a revolution in archaeology born out of technology like digital mapping, laser scanning, and remote sensing. Brian Fagan, author or editor of more than 40 books on archaeology, also hailed the book as “lucid, entertaining, and highly informed in the art and science of geospatial archaeology” and “a brilliant introduction to the frontiers of archaeology.”


McCoy joins a select list of winners that includes Lewis R. Binford, SMU Distinguished Professor of Archeology (deceased in 2011), who won for “Constructing Frames of Reference: An Analytical Method for Archaeological Theory Building Using Ethnographic and Environmental Data Sets.” Over its 25-year history, only three other academic departments have had more than one winner of the SAA Book Award: University of California, Berkeley; Stanford University; and Vanderbilt University.


The prestigious award is given for books that target the general public and present the results of archeological research to a broader audience. It will be presented virtually during the SAA’s 86th Annual Meeting on April 16.


“Maps for Time Travelers” is available online and in bookstores.


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