My Trip to the 2012 SAA Meeting

I took some time off work to go to this year’s SAA meeting. This year the conference was in Memphis, which is only a six hour drive away. I travelled in a caravan of MU students, which was a fun little road trip even though the caravan of two split up before even leaving town. Still, we all made it to Memphis at roughly the same time on Wednesday evening.

{ Crossing the Discovery Bridge to St. Louis. }

My poster session was on Thursday and 8AM. I thought the poster room was a little out-of-the-way, but when considering the whole layout of the conference, it was in a good spot (also, last year in Sacramento the poster was in one of the main corridors, which is hard to beat in terms of visibility).

{ My poster and I. }

I had a lot of good responses to my poster. Harris lines seemed to interest a lot of people, but I think it’s too below the radar for most people to critique (besides the small sample sizes of course). The poster next to mine had an example of a cancerous lesion on the cranium that bore a striking resemblance to one I found in the Armatambo collection. I felt bad for leaving my poster so I didn’t get to see many of the others in my section.

{ We also took the trolley to get fried chicken. }

Unlike previous years, there seemed to be a more coordinated attempt to cluster similar topics on certain days. Andean bioarchaeology was done by the end of the first day, and bioarchaeology in general petered out by Saturday. I actually like the schedule this way because there’s less guilt for spending a day away from the conference, for example going to the Memphis Zoo, which was amazing.

One emerging problem I noticed in this year’s SAA was that most sessions were running late. It was annoying to leave the talk of someone I wanted to see for another talk I wanted to see more, only to find that the second room was running later and I could’ve seen both talks! I heard one session was running a full hour late and that’s terrible (good thing I was at the zoo!). I could’ve sworn that things were more on time last year… in fact here is a quote from my blog entry for the 2010 SAAs: “Most panels ran like clockwork.” I hope next year there will be a return to punctuality. The meeting will be in Hawaii, so if anything all talks will end early so important adventuring can take place.

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