Formatting Guidelines

The editors of the Proceedings strive to maintain quality and professionalism in the publication. To meet that goal, we require that all authors follow the most recent style guide of the Society for American Archaeology, except as otherwise noted in these guidelines. If a submitted paper does not meet these guidelines, it may be returned to the author for correction.

Manuscripts should not exceed 8,000 words and should include no more than 12 graphics. Longer manuscripts may be accepted under certain circumstances, but we reserve the right to edit these to meet the word-count limit. Please include full names, affiliations, and addresses for all authors, so that the editors may contact authors for clarifications if necessary.

In addition to the SAA style guide, authors are asked to follow these specific guidelines:


  • Submit documents in Microsoft Word format.
  • Use no more than three ranked headings, as follows:
    • Heading 2: Left Aligned, Bold
    • Heading 3: Left Aligned, Italics
  • Use consistent heading format throughout the document.
  • For a quotation longer than four lines, set it off from the text with right and left indents.
  • Do not use footnotes. The use of endnotes should also be avoided, if possible. If endnotes are used, they should be indicated in the body text by sequential superscript Arabic numbers (1, 2, 3, etc.) and compiled at the end of the text.
  • The initial reference to a site by name should include its site number in parentheses. Site numbers should be state trinomials, when those are available. After the first use, it is not necessary to preface trinomials with the state designation (“CA-,” etc.).
  • Use of metric units for measurements is preferred, but the use of English units (mi., ft., in., liters, acres, etc.) is acceptable.
  • For decimal fractions, include a leading zero (e.g., “0.2 g”, not “.2 g”).
  • Trailing zeros should be used to indicate consistent levels of precision (e.g., “2.00 g, 0.01 g, and 0.70 g”, not “2 g, 0.01 g, and 0.7 g,” unless the precision of the different measurements is actually different).
  • Preferably express dates in the B.C./A.D. (or BCE/CE) system, except when reporting radiocarbon measurements (e.g., “2240 ±60 B.P.”). If “B.P.” dates must be used, make it clear whether radiocarbon years or calendar years are meant, and if the latter, whether years before the present (i.e., 2013) or before 1950 are meant. Use the phrase “years before the present” only to refer to calendar years before 2013. Calibrated radiocarbon ages should preferably be given as one- or two-sigma ranges (specifying which one), rather than as curve intercept point dates.


  • Submit tables using the table feature in Microsoft Word.
  • Do not submit tables as image files.
  • Do not submit tables that use tabs to align text into columns.
  • All tables must have captions and must be cited somewhere in the text. Number the tables sequentially. Table captions should be in title case (e.g., Table 1. Radiocarbon Dates from Seven Sites in Owens Valley).


  • Refer to all maps, drawings, photos, and other graphics as “figures.”
  • Submit all graphics as separate files, not embedded in a Word document.
  • For graphics, .jpg or .tif format is preferred. Resolution should be 150 dpi. Maximum dimensions should be 8.5 and 6.5 inches. (The editors may be able to adjust the format, resolution, and dimensions of submitted graphics files, as necessary.) Graphics may be in either color or black-and-white.
  • Each figure must have a caption and must be cited somewhere in the text. Number the figures sequentially as they are cited.
  • Figure captions should be in sentence case (e.g., Figure 1. Radiocarbon dates from seven sites in Owens Valley). Captions should preferably be brief, reserving any lengthy discussions for the text. Do not include the caption within the graphic image. List captions in Word at the end of the text document.

References Cited

  • Use authors’ and editors’ full names, not merely initials, unless only the initials were used in the original publication.
  • For unpublished reports, it is sufficient to list the agency or company responsible for the report and the city in which it is located, without including information cocerning to whom the report was submitted or where it is on file.