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Professor Stephen Plog Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Stephen Plog

Plog, David A. Harrison Professor in the anthropology department, has conducted archaeological fieldwork on prehistoric Native American cultures in the Southwest for more than four decades – most recently focused on the Chaco Canyon region of northwestern New Mexico, which he said is perhaps the most important center of the Pueblo world in the 11th and 12th centuries. His research addresses key aspects of social organization, demography, ritual and cosmology.

Since 2002, Plog has worked with several other scholars to create the Chaco Research Archive, an online archive allowing users to access information from excavations conducted within the Chaco Canyon region over the last century. The core of the database was constructed with the support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and in cooperation with U.Va.’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities.

He has published two editions of the text, “Ancient Peoples of the American Southwest.” In addition to a long list of research articles, he contributed a chapter, “Sustaining Digital Scholarship in Archaeology,” to U.Va. English professor Jerome McGann’s 2010 book, “Online Humanities Scholarship: The Shape of Things to Come.”

Plog, elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2007, was in Austin, Texas on Wednesday for the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology and had not yet received the official notification of his AAAS election. A friend told him to expect something from Federal Express today, but he did not learn of his election until a reporter emailed him.

“I was surprised,” he said. “I was not expecting this at all.”

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