Michigan Archaeological Society Annual Meeting 2018 Editor’s Report
Please accept my apologies for not being able to make it to the MAS annual meeting and being able to present the Editor’s Report in person. I am currently in the field running a logistically challenging data recovery project with many non-archaeological-related issues. My new employer had made provisions for me to be off this weekend, but difficulties associated with protesters, supervisory staff being unexpectedly away from the project, and other issues have made it impossible for me to get away. Believe me, I would rather be enjoying the company of you all today than what I am dealing with. Please accept the following written report.
Volume 57 is out and hopefully everyone who should have gotten it has. If not, please contact me or Donna so we can get it to you. Putting this issue together was fraught with many problems, most of which, as is so often the case, revolved around making sure the figures were correct, integrated into the text, and were of sufficient quality for printing. That being said, I think it turned out pretty good. I am particularly grateful to Jan Brashler for choosing The Michigan Archaeologist for publishing her article on the cache of Jack’s Reef preform; a manuscript that would have been suitable for other “higher profile” journals such as the Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology.
The next issue, Volume 58 (2012), is in production and I expect it to drop in people’s mailboxes in about 3 weeks. The issue features a report on excavations at a Middle Woodland site in the Traverse City area, certainly an under-reported part of the state that has some fascinating archaeology. It also has a report on excavations at a 20th century Ottawa site near Manistee that illustrates the interplay between archaeology, oral history, the historic record, and living descendent communities. There were some unanticipated delays once again with the imagery for the issue, but these have been resolved.
Going forward and working with Dan we have developed a schedule and content for each sucessive issue to get the journal up to date by the end of the year. What we have lined is as follows:
Volume 59 (2013) will feature a data recovery excavation of tavern and other nineteenth century historic deposits in Berrien Springs by Mark Branstner. This issue will compliment a much earlier issue of The Michigan Archaeologist on the Berrien Springs Jail by Steve Demeter and William Lowery back in 1977. This issue is about 60 percent ready to go to layout. I have to do one final edit through the manuscript and I am waiting on Mark to see if he has the original photographs. I should have an answer on that in a week or two. If not, the collection is readily available for re-photographing the artifacts. We anticipate this issue to be out in June.
Volume 60 (2014) will probably be the Upper Buff Creek site, an early Late Woodland occupation in the Au Sable River Valley. This is a site that was excavated by Sean Dunham and written up by Peg Holman and myself. We anticipate this one to be out in late July or early August.
Volumes 61 and 62 (2015 and 2016) are slated for the report on the excavations conducted by Commonwealth Heritage Group at the Converse Mounds locale in Grand Rapids prior to the reconstruction of the S-Curve bridge. This important report is being guest edited by Jan Brashler. She is working through the errors that crept in from translating old Word Perfect files into a Word document. Once Jan gets past final exams and grades, her and I will have a detailed conversation about what needs to be cut from the original technical report to get it to our approximate 100 page count per volume of the journal.
Volume 63 (2017) will possibly be a report on work at the Old Orchard Park site, an Archaic occupation on the Au Sable River and/or several manuscripts submitted by John Halsey. One of these explores the issues of mounds that are only known through nineteenth century newspaper accounts, while the other is about tree-ring dating in the Midwest that was co-authored with Richard Ford. The exact composition of this issue will be dependent on how long the Orchard Park report is once it is extracted from the original technical report and finding imagery to go along with the manuscripts by Halsey.
Finally, Volume 64 (2018) is scheduled to be a thematic issue on underwater archaeology compiled by Wayne Lusardi.
Some of the content for these issues may change as manuscripts that people have committed to come in. For example, at the SAAs Krysta Ryzewski at Wayne State University advised me that she and some of her students are in the near final stages of putting together a series of articles on their work in Detroit. This should be a cohesive set of articles that will consume most of a volume. This one may bump the Upper Buff Creek volume or serve as filler if there are unexpected delays with the S-Curve volume.
I have also recently received a MA thesis on the Late Woodland Erhinger Hill site in the Saginaw Valley by Pat Lawton and a MA thesis on a Late Woodland biface manufacturing site on the Manistee River by Russ Snyder (Huron-Manistee National Forest) for consideration for The Michigan Archaeologist. MAS member Mark Lange has also submitted several short manuscripts on Michigan fluted points in his possession for the journal. Sean Dunham has also submitted a manuscript on a Middle Woodland site in the west unit of the Hiawatha national Forest. Bill Lovis has also made a commitment to submit several articles on forensic recovery and analysis of prehistoric sites that he has worked on over the years, probably by the end of the summer or early fall.
It has been a long time coming, but for the first time since I became involved in the editorship of The Michigan Archaeologist I can say that we have enough content to get the journal caught up and a little more. This does not mean that there isn’t a lot of hard work ahead. Depending on the condition of the submitted manuscripts it takes on the order of 100 hours up to several hundred or more hours of work to make it all happen and maintain the high standards that our journal is known for. I expect that as more issues come out we will continue to receive more manuscripts for consideration. I would like to get back to a point where we have more short to medium-length manuscripts to draw on to mix in with occasional longer manuscripts. We will see what we get and run with it. I will continue to ask the membership to think about and get busy writing up some of their collections and work. We do have an editorial committee and several people have volunteered to help people with their manuscripts. Please take advantage of it. You all, as members of the avocational and professional archaeological community, have lots of important information to share with the rest of the membership and I do believe that they are interested in not just hearing about it, but reading it in the pages of The Michigan Archaeologist.
Once again, my apologies for not being able to make the meeting. It is one of the high points of my spring, but a very difficult project out east required my attention. It is nonetheless my honor to serve as the Editor of The Michigan Archaeologist and I will continue to serve as such at the pleasure of the Executive Board.
Michael J. Hambacher