Graduate student Lisa Bright was awarded the Society for California Archaeology Student Paper Competition in March (2016) for her paper titled “Differentiating Hospital Interred Individuals from the Larger Cemetery Population: The Curious Case of SCVMC’s Buttons.” She drew on data from 2012-2014 excavations of the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Historic cemetery (circa 1875-1935), which included 1,004 individuals. Her project centered on the separation of hospital direct interred individuals from individuals buried from the larger community via artifact and spatial analysis using the presence and absence of specific buttons types and patterns. Individuals with the hospital gown button pattern trended toward clustering, and had statistically significant higher rates of periosteal reactions and fractures.
The SCA Outstanding Student Paper Competition is open to papers where the student is the sole author, with priority given to papers that present the results of original research and papers that have new analysis or insights based on works with existing collections. The award has been presented at the meetings since 2001. Lisa plans on publishing the paper in the SCA Proceedings. Congratulations, Lisa!