Recipients of the Patty Jo Watson Award
This year, the Patty Jo Watson Award was presented to Natalie Mueller and Gayle Fritz of the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. The Southeastern Archaeological Conference selected their publication, "Women as Symbols and Actors in the Mississippi Valley: Evidence from Female Flint-clay Figurines and Effigy Vessels", in Native American Landscapes: An Engendered Perspective as the best article or book chapter on Southeastern Archaeology of the year.
The Patty Jo Watson Award was established in 2012 to honor Patty Jo, one of America’s best regarded scientists, for her vast contributions to Southeastern archaeology. Dr. Watson is a renowned American archaeologist who has worked extensively on the pre-Columbian Southeastern United States, set new standards in the practice of archaeology. She was a professor at Washington University in St. Louis from 1969 to 2005 and is now a Distinguished University Professor Emerita.
Natalie Mueller received her Ph.D. from the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis in 2017 on her research "Seeds as Artifacts of Communities of Practice: The Domestication of Erect Knotweed in Eastern North America". She is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher with the Integrated School of Plant Sciences at Cornell University.
Gayle Fritz is a Professor of Archaeology with the Department of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. She works with archaeobotanical remains to answer questions about how people interacted with plants so that they could eat and drink well, manage their landscapes, restore and maintain health, perform rituals, negotiate trade relationships, and enhance many other economic and social activities. Much of her research focuses on processes of plant domestication and sequences leading to the development of agricultural systems worldwide, but especially in North America and Mexico.