Linda S. Cordell Prize

Archaeology of the SouthwestArchaeology of the SouthwestBy Linda S Cordell and Maxine E. McBrinn

SAR presents the Linda S. Cordell Prize every other year to a living author for a book in archaeology or anthropological archaeology that best exemplifies excellence in writing and significantly advances archaeological method, theory, or interpretation. The award recognizes innovative works that reach out to other subfields of anthropology or related disciplines. Such a book requires a sound methodological core and a style of writing that is inclusive and transparent across social science disciplines. The research approach may be grounded in archaeology or another field where archaeological data, method, and theory are brought to bear on a broader anthropological problem. The breadth of Linda Cordell’s work serves as a guide to the selection process.

Dr. Linda S. Cordell came to the School for Advanced Research (SAR) in 2006 as a distinguished senior scholar. At this stage in her professional life, she was already renowned as both a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the author of profoundly important books on archaeology and anthropological archaeology in the Southwest. Among her large circle of colleagues and students, she was loved and revered as a warm, giving, sharing, and mentoring figure in the landscape of American archaeology. She was admired for who she was and celebrated for what she did. Hence, the SAR Board of Directors has established this biennial prize in her honor.

Linda S. CordellLinda S. Cordell1981–1982 National Endowment for the Humanities Resident ScholarLinda S. Cordell

The Linda S. Cordell Prize is presented at the Society for American Archaeology meeting.


Instructions for nominating a book for the Linda S. Cordell Prize can be found here.

For further information, call the Linda S. Cordell Prize coordinator at (505) 954-7237 or e-mail cordellprize[at]

Prize Recipients

2017 Cordell Prize - Scott G. Ortman, Winds of the NorthWinds from the North: Tewa Origins and Historical Archaeologyby Dr. Scott G. Ortman

Drawing together research from archaeology, linguistics, cognitive psychology, physical anthropology, ethnology, and Pueblo traditional histories Ortman’s book addresses a long-standing question in Southwestern archaeology: what happened to the 13th-century inhabitants of the Mesa Verde region?

2012. University of Utah Press
Houses in a Landscape: Memory and Everyday Life in MesoamericaHouses in a Landscape: Memory and Everyday Life in Mesoamericaby Dr. Julia A. HendonThe book explores social memory and identity through archaeological research on indigenous societies that existed more than one thousand years ago. It is at once a social and traditional archaeology of Mayan households in the environs of Copan, Cerro Palenque, and the Cuyumapa Valley.2010. Duke University Press
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