The SCA holds an Awards Banquet at its Annual Meeting each year. Usually, a Keynote Speaker is invited to address the audience at the banquet. We have been honored to host some of the world’s leading archaeologists who have spoken about their work and active research.
Since 1997, SCA member and former President, Breck Parkman has interviewed the Keynote Speakers. Breck was motivated to conduct these interviews when, as a member of the SCA Executive Board, he had dinner with Lewis Binford before Binford’s Awards Banquet address in 1996. Breck and the others at the table were awed by Binford’s stories of archaeological fieldwork. But equally impressive were his sense of humor and the stories he told about his personal life. He shared things that you would have never known about him from just reading his books or hearing his lectures. It reminded everyone at the table that every archaeologist, no matter how big and famous, is just a regular person when they are at home and away from the job. They all have families, pets, hobbies, likes, dislikes, and the various other traits that make them interesting. And by knowing some of that background about the archaeologists, their archaeology often becomes more relevant to us.
We regret that everyone wasn’t seated at the table with Dr. Binford that night in 1996. However, by way of these interviews, we feel that everyone does now have a seat at the table. Breck’s amazing interviews, full of the interviewees’ personal insights, amazing field stories, and the wisdom gained from long and varied experience, appear here as a courtesy of the SCA and the Keynote Speakers. Enjoy!