College of Liberal Arts

- University of Mississippi

Anthropology Professor Wins Prestigious Award

Maureen Meyers, University of Mississippi assistant professor of anthropology

Maureen Meyers, University of Mississippi assistant professor of anthropology

Maureen Meyers is the recipient of a prestigious regional award recognizing her outstanding archaeological research.

The University of Mississippi assistant professor of anthropology was presented the C.B. Moore Award for Excellence in Archaeology by a Young Scholar in Southeastern Studies. The award was presented at the 70th annual Southeastern Archaeological Conference meeting in Tampa, Fla.

“This award is one of the highest honors in Southeastern archaeology, and I am humbled to receive it,” Meyers said. “Personally, it is gratifying to have my research and archaeological experience recognized, especially at the start of my academic career.”

The award was begun in 1990 by members of the Lower Mississippi Survey, a group of archaeologists from the 1950s who undertook large-scale archaeological survey in Mississippi, and whose work is now a hallmark in Southeastern archaeology.

“To be able to bring this award home to Mississippi means a lot, and I hope demonstrates that the Department of Sociology and Anthropology continues to set an academic standard in Southeastern archaeology,” Meyers said.

UM colleagues expressed great pride in Meyers’ achievement.

“Dr. Meyer’s prestigious award indicates to scholars and students alike, that this is an excellent department to study Southeastern archaeology,” said Kirsten Dellinger, chair and professor of sociology and anthropology. “It is a real honor to have a faculty member recognized for her research contributions so early in her career.”

Meyers took a nontraditional route into academia, earning a master’s degree and then working in private-sector archaeology for many years before returning to graduate school to earn her Ph.D. In addition, she worked at a site and in an area (southwestern Virginia) that is at the margins of the Southeastern area, in archaeological terms.

“This award is recognition of many years of hard work and is especially meaningful because it is awarded by my colleagues and shows they value my research,” she said. “That these are colleagues whose work I both admire and respect makes it that much more meaningful.”

The C.B. Moore award winner gets to keep, for the following year, a replica of the Moundville Cat Pipe, which was found by Moore and resides in Harvard University’s Peabody Museum. Winners are determined by whichever candidate receives the most votes among a committee consisting of all past C.B. Moore Award recipients, all voting members of the SEAC executive committee at the time of the election and a member of the Lower Mississippi Survey, appointed by members of that organization.

“Clearly, Dr. Meyers has hit the ground running,” Dellinger said. “She is a valuable colleague who will provide important opportunities for students at the B.A. and M.A. levels to learn how to become archaeologists.

“She’s already working with students in the lab and has provided extra opportunities for them to learn ceramic analysis techniques. We are thrilled to have such a highly skilled and highly regarded scholar on our team.”

Meyers is a graduate of the University of Kentucky, University of Georgia and Radford University. Before joining the UM faculty last year, she supervised field schools in Kentucky and Virginia. She has authored nine peer-reviewed articles, 12 non-peer-reviewed articles or book chapters and more than 50 technical reports. Meyers has presented papers at more than 30 conferences and professional meetings.

C.B. Moore was a Philadelphia native who explored archaeological mound sites in the Southeast at the turn of the 20th century using a steamboat on rivers. His publications are among the earliest record of Southeastern archaeology.

DECEMBER 29, 2013 BY EDWIN SMITH