List of Sessions & Round Tables


Interpreting the Archaeological Record

4000 years of world career – amber from the Neolithic to Iron Age

Organisers: Janusz Czebreszuk (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland), Mateusz Jaeger (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland) and Aleksandar Palavestra (University of Belgrade, Serbia)

Contact: jaeger[at]

It is well known that the amber was extremely important raw material distributed over vast areas of prehistoric Europe. Amber deposits of different richness are found practically in all regions of the Old World. From the point of view of cultural significance, however, sources stretching along the southern Baltic coastland were the most important. Succinite extracted in Jutlandian and Sambian centers dominated Neolithic and Metal Ages trade. Throughout the centuries a dense network of amber distribution in Europe was developed.

The aim of the planned session is to summarise the state of research on prehistoric amber and to word the most significant scientific questions for the near future. We hope to integrate specialists from different sciences working on the prehistoric amber.

Animal utilized, processed, depicted: large mammal exploitation by prehistoric hunter-gatherers

Organisers: Martina Lazničková-Galetová (Moravian Museum, Czech Republic), Stéphane Péan (Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, France) and Mietje Germonpré (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Belgium)

Contact: laznicko[at]

The general issue is to identify management modes of large mammal resources by prehistoric hunter-gatherers, through subsistence, technical and symbolic approaches. Methods are zooarchaeological analyses of raw osteological remains, typo-technological studies of osseous artefacts (from bone, ivory or cervid antlers) in mobiliary art and personal ornaments and studies of symbolic representations. Finally, it should bring into light the status of animals, from dietary and technical use to symbolic depiction.

Archaeological aspects of shamanism: iconography, artefacts, technology, and spiritual landscapes

Organisers: Emilia Pasztor (SEAC, Hungary), Herman Bender (Hanwakan Center for Prehistoric Astronomy, Cosmology and Cultural Landscape Studies, USA), Dragoş Gheorghiu (National University of Arts Bucharest, Romania) and George Nash (Spiru Haret University, Romania and University of Bristol, UK)

Contact: gheorghiu_dragos[at]

As ethnographic evidence shows, shamanistic activity represents a complex phenomenon, extremely diversified, its spiritual activity possessing a large variety of materializations in material culture.
In the archaeological record of all prehistoric and historic periods there are a series of visual representations and objects that could be ascribed to these different worldviews, therefore to a shamanistic cognition and activity.
From the representations of the terrestrial world, to those of the outer worlds, mythical beings, decorations of geomorphs or objects, or closed complexes, the material culture of shamanism reveals itself to the world as a multifaceted human spiritual and material activity.
Representation of the outer worlds and the cosmos frequently abound. Congruent with the cosmos, spiritual landscapes are manifest in the cultural context of both the real and spiritual realms of existence. Shamanistic practices and/or ceremonies were performed in a distinctive location, a place where the individual person intervenes, thus becoming a spiritual landscape, one blended into the physical world by producing a numinous experience for those open to it.
A rich iconography supports these practices, to cite only the abstract figures, the images of humans and animals, or the male and female sexuality. In the archaeological record there is evidence of organic materials that can produce altered states of consciousness; the best example is the fossil remains of opium poppy.
Last, but not least a subject that can bring significant data on the shamanistic behaviour in technologies, especially on those in relation with fire.
An important topic of this session refers to the modes of representation of the experientiality of the archaeologist facing shamanistic material culture. Since we believe that the theme of the present session could be a fertile subject for research, we invite archaeologists and anthropologists to contribute to the session and to take part in the discussions.

Archaeological Perspectives on the Thirty Years' War

Organisers: James Symonds (University of York, UK), Natascha Mehler (University of Vienna, Austria) and Pavel Vareka (University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic)

Contact: james.symonds[at]

The Thirty Years’ War (1618–48), which began and ended in Bohemia, has also been termed ‘the European Civil War.' Over the course of 40 battles, which ranged across the continent, the balance of political power shifted and the structure of modern Europe as a community of sovereign states was established. The causes of the war were complex. It is generally accepted that the war originated as a struggle over religious order within the Holy Roman Empire, but the conflict spread to become a more general struggle against the hegemony of the Spanish and Austrian Habsburgs, involving all of the early 17th century great powers The scale of the destruction unleashed across Europe by soldiers and mercenaries was unparalleled. Much of the fiercest fighting occurred in German regions and it has been estimated that 7-10 million Germans lost their lives. The social and economic impacts of this trauma were far-reaching.
In recent years new archaeological work on battlefields, shipwrecks, and destroyed villages, has generated a renewed interest in the war. In this session we will examine the Thirty Years’ War and its legacies today from a variety of archaeological and historical perspectives. By taking an interdisciplinary approach, which incorporates evidence of historical archaeology, palaeopathology, the new genetics, and bioarchaeology, we aim to create fresh insights into this most traumatic period of European history. We encourage multi-cited approaches which link events, processes, and the flow of people and materials and move beyond traditional site-bound or micro-regional interpretations. Papers are invited on, but not limited to, the following themes: artefacts and material culture studies; archaeological surveys and excavations of battlefields, urban and rural domestic settlements and industrial sites; underwater archaeology; the bioarchaeology of human, plant, and animal remains; heritage politics, legacies and representations of the Thirty Years' War.

Barrow Landscapes and GIS approaches

Organisers: Axel G. Posluschny (Roman-Germanic Commission of the German Archaeo­logical Institute, Germany) and Quentin P. J. Bourgeois (University of Leiden, The Netherlands)

Contact: posluschny[at]; Q.P.J.Bourgeois[at]

Barrows, as burial markers, are ubiquitous throughout North-Western Europe. In some regions dense concentrations of monuments form peculiar configurations such as long alignments while in others they are spread out extensively, dotting vast areas with hundreds of mounds. These vast barrow landscapes came about through thousands of years of additions by several successive prehistoric and historic communities. By building a monument they modified the visual structure of the landscape, however slightly. And by adding a new mound they created complex monumental landscapes with a distinct palimpsest character.
This session aims to gather ideas and approaches to deal with these monuments and understand their particular distribution. Our focus is on how GIS can help us understand the role of these monuments in the landscape. Of specific interest to this session are topics addressing the reconstruction of these landscapes using 3D models and analyses. We invite topics addressing novel approaches to visibility analyses. For example papers exploring the role of (specific?) monuments being visible versus invisible and the construction of social landscapes. We are particularly interested in papers addressing the time-depth of barrow landscapes and its influence on analyses using spatio-temporal GIS, as well as those addressing the issue of scale within the barrow landscape.
We also encourage papers that try to incorporate perceptual approaches in general in a GIS-driven analysis.

Bodies of Clay – On prehistoric humanized pottery

Organisers: Heiner Schwarzberg (Munich University, Germany), Valeska Becker (Münster University, Germany) and Krum Bacvarov (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria)

Contact: heiner.schwarzberg[at]

At least since the very beginning of the usage of containers made of burned clay, vessels have been associated with the general shape and the parts of the human body. And even in today’s terminology they are divided into elements like neck, shoulder and body.
This understanding culminated in prehistoric communities on one hand in the production of human shaped pottery which might be understood as a part of the spectrum of figural art as well as in the application of “everyday pottery” in special functional contexts related to the human body, e. g. in burials or used at exceptional occasions in the human life cycle.
Starting from the European Neolithic, this session aims to focus on diachronic archaeological patterns and contexts as well as on the theoretical background of this particular type of container in order to shed some light on similarities and differences through the ages and to understand possibilities and limits of interpretation.

Built environments and human use of space: theories, methods and case studies

Organisers: Monika Baumanová (University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic), Karolína Pauknerová (Charles University in Prague / Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic) and Hanna Stöger (Leiden University, The Netherlands)

Contact: monikabaumanova[at]

The session seeks to explore the mutual relationship between the built environment and the human use of space. In addition, it strives to further the dialogue between different theoretical concepts and analytical methods that have been developing in the present paradigmatic pluralism. We welcome presentations adopting a broad range of theoretical and methodological perspectives (Network analyses, GIS, Space Syntax, Semeiotics, SCA etc.). Past space can be examined at different scales ranging from methods focused on the distribution patterns of movable artefacts to the analyses of the spatial organisation of buildings and settlements, or whole regional complexes. We understand built environment, in a very general way, as an artefact; i.e. any spatial structure created/generated by humans. This can include individual houses, settlements and entire cities, and also burial mounds and enclosures, as well as building materials, styles and surface treatment, or even the spatial aspects of production and consumption of food and drink. The decisive factors linking the different approaches are the focus on space as an object of study in its own right and the mutually influential relationship between space and those who use and produce it.

The issues to be explored could include:
• What are the possibilities and limitations when reconstructing the built environments?
• Do archaeological data allow us to go beyond economy and topography? If so, in what ways?
• What is the relationship between the built environment and agency?
• Are past people’s phenomenological experiences of built environments available to us?
• How does the built environment reflect changing social rules?
• How should we interpret the process of building and how can we cross the boundaries between “function” and “style” when analysing structures and settlements?

The specific case studies presented can be focused on any period in the past and be taken from any part of the world. However, all proposed papers should clearly promote a spatial approach.

Chains of Citation: re-contextualization in the Viking Age

Organisers: Nanouschka M. Burström (Stockholm University, Sweden) and Howard Williams (University of Chester, UK)

Contact: nanouschka.burstrom[at]; howard.williams[at]

Re-contextualization and incorporation of objects and monuments into new associations is a well-known phenomenon from different periods in prehistory and history. During the Viking Age in Northern Europe it became ever more frequent, and seems to find new expressions. The returning to, and reuse of, monuments and graves is one prominent focus of Viking Age interest and a forum for human reconnection with the 'past in the past'. Also the use of objects in new contexts, and for new purposes, is common and includes visible traces of re-use, modification and additions which tell of changed uses and changed meaning contents. On another level paraphrasing, often perceived of as imitation of objects, patterns or shapes, seems to be part of the re-contextualization practices of the time. Re-contextualization could accordingly be considered as networks or chains of citation by which not only humans but also different materialities, scales, forms and decorations refer to each other.

Re-use of monuments, retrieval of objects, inclusion of early material in later contexts, and transfer of meaning as visible through all of these as well as through imitation, are archaeological entries into understanding the wider meanings of this practice.
Re-contextualization in the Viking period was not an isolated phenomenon but related to earlier practices as well as to contemporary ones. Still, it seems to be a fundamental component, almost an obsession, of Viking-Age culture which makes the period an important and potentially rewarding focal point for understanding the phenomenon.

The session will explore the theme out from three aspects: physical re-contextualization; physical alterations; and conceptual re-contextualization.

Children in the Prehistorical and Historical Societes

Organisers: Marta Chmiel (University of Szczecin, Poland), Katarzyna Orzyłowska (University of Szczecin, Poland), Paulina Romanowicz (University of Szczecin, Poland), Bartosz Karolak (University of Szczecin, Poland) and Aija Vilka (University of Latvia, Latvia)

Contact: paulina.romanowicz[at]

Children were present in each past society even if their presence is so poorly visible in archaeological material. The aim of this session is to bring together ideas and information to develop the European overview of the childhood and the role of a child in the prehistorical and historical societies. We would like to compare and confront various methods and theories for looking for children in the past. Our intention is to focus on the issue of how adults perceived children in different times and what was their influence for the lives of youngest participants of each society. We are interested especially in a material manifestation of the presence of children as well as in the functioning of children in the space around them.
We would like to invite researchers of different ages and archaeological subdisciplines.

Cold War in Context: Excavating the Contemporary World

Organisers: Wayne Cocroft (English Heritage, UK), John Schofield (University of York, UK) and Mats Burström (Stockholm University, Sweden)

Contact: wayne.cocroft[at]; john.schofield[at]

It is nearly twenty years since heritage agencies and other organisations began recording monuments of the Cold War, primarily in the UK and the US but extending swiftly to other countries on both sides of the former Iron Curtain. The novelty of this recent military archaeology quickly inspired other archaeologists to begin to extend their interest to other areas of contemporary life. After nearly two decades of this ‘contemporary’ archaeology, and with an emphasis on military and technological remains still often in evidence, this session aims to promote new agenda, by:
• exploring the specific contributions archaeology can make to the contemporary European past;
• critically assessing how an archaeological understanding of its buildings, monuments and artefacts can create new insights into a supposedly ‘familiar’ past; and
• presenting new examples of good practice that could provide indications of a future direction.
Contributions are welcome on any of the above, especially where new approaches are presented, or which illustrate potential through innovative and interdisciplinary studies. Archaeologies of the Cold War remain in vogue, as significant new contributions continue to be made to our understanding of this important period of history. But here we seek to contextualise it, exploring the various ways in which archaeologists – and others – can improve understanding through ‘excavating’ the contemporary world.

Comparative Perspectives on Hunter–Gatherer Archaeology of Northeast Eurasia

Organisers: Andrzej Weber (University of Alberta, Canada) and Peter Jordan (University of Aberdeen, UK)

Contact: aweber[at]

Europe forms the westernmost extension of the much larger super-continent of Eurasia, and while its basic archaeology is now well-studied, deeper insights into prehistory can be generated by drawing productive parallels with other parts of the world. This session aims to explore and advance such comparative approaches with regard to hunter–gatherer archaeology across northern Eurasia. The more specific focus is on Northeast Asia as it shares many geographic similarities with Northwest Europe: major river systems, complex and productive coastal areas, island chains, inland lakes, and northern seas. However, what is interesting from a European archaeological perspective is that the cultural histories in Northeast Asia are quite different including very early pottery, long hunter–gatherer sequences with evident long-term sedentism, high levels of social complexity, late arrival of farming and pastoralism, and extended forager–agropastoralist interactions into recent times. The session will present current prehistoric hunter–gatherer research in Northeast Asia placing it in a comparative context and drawing parallels with Northwest Eurasia. Papers will focus on processes of culture change, introduction and spread of various innovations, variation in human behaviour, dynamics of long- and short-distance interactions, movement of people and materials, all from the Late Pleistocene, through the Holocene and into historical times. We invite empirical studies and broader overviews as well as theoretical reflection. We anticipate and expect broad participation of scholars from Europe, North America, and Northeast Asia.

Comparative Perspectives on Paleolithic Socioecodynamics

Organisers: Jonathan Haws (University of Louisville, USA), Julien Riel-Salvatore (University of Colorado, Denver, USA) and Nuno F. Bicho (Universidade do Algarve, Portugal)

Contact: jonathan.haws[at]

The coarse-grained time scales of the Paleolithic archaeological record and the wealth of paleoecological information available for those periods lend themselves well to studies of integrated cultural and ecological phenomena operating in the 'longue durée'. As a result, complementary conceptual frameworks including, but not limited to, niche construction theory and resilience theory have recently been used to generate new insights on the intricate history of hominin-environment interactions. Most informatively, they have been able to explicitly show the range of ways humans have been active agents in shaping the various socio-ecological niches they occupied in the Plio-Pleistocene. This session will serve as a forum for the discussion and integration of various research projects that have given active hominin-ecosystem engagement a predominant place in efforts to reconstruct detailed behavioral adaptive models for hominins, with the goal to outline a coherent theoretical agenda for future investigations of Paleolithic socioecodynamics.

Deliberate fragmentation revisited. Assessing social and material agency in the archaeological record

Organisers: John Chapman (University of Durham, UK), Antonio Blanco-González (University of Durham, UK) and Jasna Vukovic (University of Belgrade, Serbia)

Contact: ablancoglez[at]

The definition and testing of the premise of the deliberate fragmentation of material culture has been researched for over a decade (Chapman 2000; Chapman & Gaydarska 2007). During this timespan the premise has witnessed a number of substantial developments and has also received some insightful criticisms (Brittain & Harris 2010). This research topic has been addressed in previous EAA Annual Meetings, giving special attention to its archaeological recognition and interpretation (Bournemouth, 1999) or focusing on the technical concerns for re-fitting (Cracov, 2006). Currently the social practice of fragmentation is inseparable from other intertwined topics dealing with the formation of the archaeological record. Thus, this session draws upon recent theoretical proposals such as the appraisal of intentionality in depositional practices, materiality, ritualisation and everyday behaviour, identity and personhood and alternative ontologies. This session is aimed at gathering together different approaches related with the fragmentation of material culture within a broad spatial and temporal framework. It is designed to discuss representative case studies involving both methodological and interpretative concerns. The proceedings of this session will be published as a peer-reviewed monographic volume edited by the organizers.
Prospective speakers in this session are expected to address some of the following research issues:
• Context-specific case studies for testing the deliberate fragmentation premise with a wide range of materials (fired clay/ceramics, stones from orthostats to microliths, metal, animal and human bone, wood, shell, eggshell).
• Purposeful/meaningful practices in the archaeological record: deliberate breakage, mobility of fragmented material culture (its dispersion and reassembly), selective and structured deposition.
• Taphonomical and biographical accounts, specially addressing the life cycle of objects prior to enter the archaeological record: life beyond the breakage; patterns for recognizing deliberate/unintended breakage; middening and other transitory depositional contexts; reuse of material culture; definite depositional contexts.
• Social interpretations of the patterns of intended fragmentation, mobility and deposition of objects in the archaeological record (tokens, relics/heirlooms, presencing, enchainment, quotation, etc).

East-West: the role of Central Europe in the Iron Age

Organisers: Natalie Venclová (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Czech Republic) and Maciej Karwowski (University of Rzeszów, Poland)

Contact: venclova[at]

Archaeology of the 21st century produced new data on the Iron Age, in Central Europe, in three research fields of archaeology, numismatics, and bioarchaeology. These data change the image of “East” Celtic Europe as a periphery to the western development, as it has been often suggested, presenting it as a territory where centres of primary importance existed throughout the Iron Age. The discovery of sites as Roseldorf or Němčice is not the only one that should be mentioned as strongly influencing the present model of the La Tene period evolution in Europe. Using the example of the Middle Danube region in its broadest sense, which historically more or less corresponds to the territory of the Celtic tribe of the Boii, the aspects of co-existence, collaboration and the mutual influences of individual Iron Age entities or territories are studied. Theoretical models concerning settlement pattern, subsistence and economy are constructed using results of the three disciplines given above.

Far From the Madding Crowd – Interpreting the Ephemeral Evidence for Rural Life (Round Table)

Organisers: Martijn van Leusen (University of Groningen, The Netherlands), Kayt Armstrong (University of Groningen, The Netherlands), Wieke de Neef (University of Groningen, The Netherlands) and Andrew Bevan (UCL Institute of Archaeology, UK)

Contact: P.M.van.Leusen[at]

Problem statement: Landscape archaeologists, and especially those who employ or study field walking, will be aware of the presence of large numbers of small, non-monumental, archaeological sites within the landscapes they study. Interpreting these rural sites is difficult precisely because the evidence is sparse, poorly preserved, and undiagnostic in terms of dating and function. Moreover, theoretical models tend to ignore rural subsistence activities in favour of 'more interesting' central places. As a result, rural sites and rural life in general are frequently neglected in the analysis of landscape-scale datasets; yet in quantitative terms, they make up the large majority of the evidence and of the local patrimony. Because these sites are so ephemeral, a key approach to understanding them involves investigating and mapping the geomorpohological and anthropogenic processes that affect their expression at and near the surface. Because the evidence is so dispersed, we need to find a cost-effective balance between invasive (coring, test-pitting, excavation) and non-invasive (intensive field walking, geophysics, remote sensing) methods.
The aim of this round table: To bring together diverse projects and researchers that study such ephemeral rural landscapes, to present and discuss models, approaches, problems and solutions to the interdisciplinary study that seems required to understand both past rural landscapes and current processes operating on the rural archaeological record. We will work towards a joint document describing the current state of research into ephemeral rural landscapes, and towards a common research agenda which may form the basis for future EU-funded studies.
Invitation: We want this to be a diverse round table in terms of techniques, regions and periods, drawn together by the common problem of studying and interpreting ephemeral rural sites. We believe the problem is widespread but 'invisible' because it is not often the main focus of research, and we therefore invite you to contribute your experience and ideas!

Fortified settlements of the 7th–10th centuries AD in different regions of Europe

Organisers: Hajnalka Herold (University of Vienna, Austria) and K. Patrick Fazioli (Medaille College, USA)

Contact: hajnalka.herold[at]

This session aims at comparing the archaeology of fortified settlements in different parts of Europe. By analysing the origins, forms, functions and symbolic meaning of these settlements, similarities and differences will be discussed in the development of European regions in the late phase of the early Middle Ages. Were defended communities typical in the early Middle Ages? When, where and why did they emerge? Who controlled these sites? What can we say about the structure of the defences? How was the space divided within the fortification? Were the inhabitants of these sites directly engaged in agriculture or did they rely on receiving agricultural products from neighbouring unfortified sites? What kind of craft production took place at these sites? What do the small finds tell us about their inhabitants? And finally, are there regions where power centres of the early Middle Ages were unfortified?

Garbage and (Non)humans

Organisers: Daniel Sosna (University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic), Lenka Brunclíková (University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic) and David Henig (University of Kent, UK)

Contact: dsosna[at]

For archaeology, garbage represents one of the most viable links between the present and the past. The strength of this link stems from the fact that humans always produce material waste, this waste is almost ubiquitous, and carries rich information about social life. Therefore, garbage of different age located in various places can be approached with a similar methodology to elucidate the life of humans. Since Rathje’s classic garbological studies, however, theoretical positions have diversified. Garbage became not only source of information about human behavior but also meaningful action, agency, global condition, materiality, or ‘life of things’ themselves. While some archaeologists have been moving away from artifacts or things to texts, social geographers and anthropologists have been moving in the opposite direction discovering the potential of materiality and things for understanding humans and emerging forms of life, sociality, and humanity. At the same time, the development of methods in natural sciences and the enhancement of technologies reinforced the strength of archaeology to generate new kinds of data and ask new questions.
This session invites papers that approach garbage as an invaluable resource for understanding human societies and their relationship to things both in the past and the present. We welcome wide range of contributions including theory, garbology of contemporary societies, studies of archaeological garbage, and non-archaeological views on garbage.

Gender identities in the making – prehistoric dress and network patterns in a supraregional perspective

Organisers: Sophie Bergerbrant (University of Gothenburg, Sweden), Karin Margarita Frei (National Museum of Denmark, Denmark) and Lene Melheim (University of Oslo, Norway)

Contact: sab35[at]

Dress, accessories and identity have long been a part of gender studies. A great variety of new information, mainly provided by new archaeological excavation methods and scientific analysis, have revealed a more complex picture than previously thought. For example, cutting edge analyses have demonstrated that raw materials and form do not always go together. Local raw materials may be shaped into forms that are foreign to the local material culture and textiles made according to local practice may contain raw materials from several different regions, from the immediate region as well as non-local to the retrieval site. Clearly, it was not only metal and stone that were exchanged in prehistory, as organic, more perishable materials also had their place in the trading networks. How does the new data influence our opinions about gender and gender identities in the past? Did factors like access to raw materials and different qualities of raw materials play a role in identity discourses related to dress and gender? Were past communities and individuals perhaps more flexible in their approach to dress and appearance than we tend to assume?
This session aims to promote a new look at prehistoric dress patterns based on the latest excavation results and new scientific analyses, combined with perspectives on gender, identity and exchange. Embracing a flexible approach to dress, and viewing textiles alongside a range of other traded goods like furs, skins, jewellery and weapons, the scope of the session is intentionally wider than that covered by traditional research on e.g. textiles or metalwork alone. Theoretical debates incorporating these aspects, as well as discussions introducing different case studies, are welcome.

Gendered violence in the past: Materialities and corporealities

Organisers: Uroš Matić (Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster, Germany) and Bo Jensen (Freelance archaeologist, Denmark)

Contact: uros_arheo[at]

This session aims to explore when and how violence is related to gender, and how we can recognize this in past societies.
We understand violence as both bodily and social. Bodies are mortal, vulnerable and exposed to gaze and touch of others (pace Judith Butler). Although violence is always embedded in culture, culture is not monolithic and self-explanatory given: individual life-experiences are shaped by the identity palimpsest of gender, age, ethnicity, race, status, sexuality and more. Violence does not randomly target just anybody. It is political and performative and becomes meaningful by reaching an audience, affecting even those not physically touched by it. It can be seen as an act of mastering the Other.
We invite speakers to consider when and how gender is related to legitimizations of violence; how acts of violence are structured and become politically meaningful through public display or erasure; and how material culture facilitate or hinder acts of violence. Potential aspects include traces of gendered violence such as human remains and trauma, unusual and mass graves; tools for violence, including the practical and symbolic distribution of weapons (e.g. in graves, hoards and wetlands); sites of violence, including battlefields and back alleys, arenas, public execution sites and fortifications; social narratives about gendered violence, e.g. in art, the display of trophies and symbolic distinctions between legitimate and illegitimate violence; and symbolic violence, effective in misrecognition and acceptance (pace Pierre Bourdieu). This last offers an ultimate challenge to archaeology, as the discipline primarily deals with the material remains of the past.

Geophysics in the studies of late Prehistory

Organisers: Branko Mušič (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia), Hrvoje Potrebica (University of Zagreb, Croatia) and Matija Črešnar (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, Slovenia)

Contact: matija.cresnar[at]

In the recent years remote sensing has made enormous progress when it comes to dealing with archaeological heritage throughout Europe and beyond. Projects including aerial imagery, lidar scanning and geophysics, and also integrated studies, are increasingly covering vast areas and are producing enormous amount of data. Landscape archaeology is thus becoming one of the most fast-developing fields within archaeology.
However, although trying to understand the whole landscape in all its depth, it is easy to forget that we are dealing with a palimpsest of imprints, which we have to understand as separate time-slices to open the gates to individual phases of its formation.
Focusing on geophysics, which incorporates a wide range of different techniques and methods, we can observe at least two different ways forward. One of them is heading towards the extensive collection of data, where we are encountering deficits in thorough data analysis, whereas the goals of the other are accuracy and precision when it comes to identifying buried archaeological structures.
When dealing with the Bronze and the Iron Age in the most regions of Europe, we come across diversified landscapes, which are followed by distinctive archaeological monuments which are in the most cases perfectly adapted to their environments. However, it is not only the better known hillforts and burial mounds known from the Iron Age in many parts of Europe that are important; there is much more that was and still is forming the (pre)historical landscapes.
We invite contributions which examine the ways geophysics can be used in researching late prehistoric landscapes. Geophysics can be presented as an independent method or as a part of integrated studies, dealing with wider landscapes, the complementary use of different techniques, with specific research questions; however, papers which deal with other similar topics are also welcome.

Indigenous Communities in Conquered Landscapes

Organisers: Aleks Pluskowski (University of Reading, UK), Heiki Valk (University of Tartu, Estonia) and Maciej Karczewski (University of Bialystok, Poland)

Contact: a.g.pluskowski[at]

Where colonisation has been accompanied by military conquest, it typically results in social and political reorganisation, the introduction of new cultural elements and shifts in the exploitation of colonised landscapes and seascapes. The cultural encounters between colonising and indigenous populations can result in the adoption and adaptation of select cultural elements, which are particularly well represented in material culture. Nonetheless, the colonising perspective is often over-represented in historically documented societies, where social reorganisation following conquest and colonisation was framed within imported political, economic and ideological structures, and accompanied by technological change and ethnic reconfiguration.
However, indigenous communities also had opportunities to select which cultural elements were adopted. The most important was expressed as ideological contest and inter-ideological relations; for example, in eastern Baltic Europe in the 13th century or the Caribbean in the 16th century, a clash of incoming Christian European and indigenous, non-Christian worldviews. In these cases, whilst the process of colonisation resulted in the development of towns, the indigenous population remained largely confined to the countryside. Rural communities are typically the most conservative and the longest to resist incoming political and religious trends, as well as imported fashions and technologies. So whilst cultural changes following conquest were reinforced by political, ideological and military hegemony, to what extent did this have an impact on indigenous communities, particularly those situated at the physical fringes of the new regime’s control? Moreover, what was the nature of this impact?
This session proposes to explore the material culture and practices of indigenous communities within conquered landscapes of different regions and time periods, in order to explore the value of a different perspective on the process of colonisation and the nuances of cultural encounters in regions of conflict.

Interregional contacts during the first millenium B. C. in the Europe

Organisers: Martin Trefný (Museum of the Říp mountain region and University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic) and Giovanna Bagnasco Gianni (University of Milan, Italy)

Contact: trefnymartin[at]

The proposed session is focussed on the presentation of the problems regarding the mutual interregional contacts and their interpretation during the late bronze age and the iron age in the Europe. These problems have already been in the past the subject of the significant studies. A substantial part of them, however, was focused on the relationships between the developed areas of the ancient Mediterranean and the cultures of the transalpine Europe. In spite of the fact, that these problems constantly represent the important part of such studies, the proposed session could aim also on the various forms of the relationships between for example individual regions of the Celtic Europe, as well as between significant culture areas of the ancient Mediterranean. Such proposal aims not only to the studying of the interrelations between the developed „Mediterranean South“ and the „barbarian North“ but also between any European regions, which show a certain level of such connections. This conception thus allows the studying of the interregional contacts in many other levels, than only in the basic dual division, as stated above. Such concept at the same time understands the Europe of the first millenium B. C. as the unique region of the various civilizations or cultural groups with frequent mutual contacts and influences, affecting their everyday life.

Landscapes of complexity in Bronze Age central Europe

Organisers: Timothy Earle (Northwestern University, USA), Viktória Kiss (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary), Gabriella Kulcsár (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary) and Vajk Szeverényi (Móra Ferenc Múzeum, Szeged, Hungary)

Contact: kulcsar.gabriella[at]

Settlement systems and associated cemeteries have always been important targets of prehistoric archaeological research in central Europe. In most of the 20th century, however, interest focused primarily on cemeteries, large central sites, tells and fortified settlements. In the past decades a fundamental change in regionals studies has occurred in central Europe: settlements are now rarely investigated in isolation and emphasis is often placed on settlements within the wider micro-region. This approach seems to be especially promising in the research on the Bronze Age in central Europe, where societies created increasingly complex networks of settlements.
Emphasizing theories with top-down dynamics, researchers have thought these regional polities to be characterized by hierarchical political economies whereby elites controlled key elements of subsistence, production, exchange and distribution of specialized goods, and/or ritual knowledge . Another strand, emphasizing bottom-up dynamics, however, has shifted to investigating the role of everyday people using concepts of practice, agency, memory and ritual in political and identity formation processes, and the role of landscapes creating socially meaningful lives. Central Europe provides ample evidence for emergent complex societies in the Bronze Age with significant wealth differences in cemeteries, two or three-tiered settlement hierarchies, and emergent craft specialization.
Understanding various aspects of the use of the landscape – through dwelling or any other activity – is possible only through well-designed research projects. The aim of our session is to provide an opportunity to present relevant research results as well as methodological improvements, with an emphasis on issues like the identification of political centers and integration, differences in settlement types and activities, political processes, the ideational aspects of landscape, mortuary landscapes, ritual and society in the Bronze Age of central Europe.

Managing lithic tools: The contribution of technological and functional studies to the understanding of stone tool management during the Neolithic

Organisers: Jimmy Linton (Université de Bourgogne, France), Juan F. Gibaja (Institució Mila i Fontanals, Spain), Niccolo Mazzucco (Institució Mila i Fontanals, Spain) and Loic Torchy (Université de Toulouse le Mirail, France)

Contact: jimmy.linton[at]

The development of technological, functional and petrographic studies on Neolithic stone tool assemblages since the end of 20th century has led to the description of several strategies of tool production, supply and use. In many cases, the development of specialised productions with a high level of know-how resulted in differentiation between producer and consumer. Long range supply networks gradually developed, which sometimes extended beyond the regional framework of producer cultures. At the same time, simple domestic production also existed, which relied on a much lower level of know-how. Several analyses have shown that, from the beginning of Neolithic in the Near East, to the last Chalcolithic cultures in Western Europe, tool management operated at different levels, revealing the complexity of the social and technical organisation of Neolithic societies. These different levels of management can be observed in every component of lithic assemblages, and at every steps of the "chaîne opératoire", from raw material acquisition to used tool recycling.
The aim of this session is to contribute to a better understanding of the different levels of management of lithic tools, through integrated and cross-data analyses. We shall examine the ability of archaeologists to reconstruct these different levels of management and what this reconstruction can teach us about the social, economic and technical organisation of Neolithic societies.

New Perspectives on Lithic Scatters and Landscapes: Different scales, different approaches?

Organisers: Marijn Van Gils (Flemish Heritage Institute and KULeuven, Belgium), Eelco Rensink (Cultural Heritage Agency, The Netherlands) and Clive Bond (University of Winchester, UK)

Contact: marijn.vangils[at]

Many open-air ‘sites’ of the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic appear to be the result of long-term, intermittent or permanent, occupation at the same location. Sites are often very large in size and show a strong correlation to certain natural landscape features, topography or hydrography. This relationship with the landscape constitutes an important aspect to these sites. Consequently, it can be argued that lithic scatter studies are best conducted at a landscape scale.
At other locations only limited human activity has taken place, resulting in much smaller sites or even isolated scatters or artifacts. These sites may represent a different set of prehistoric activities and are more likely to contain homogenous assemblages representing limited occupation phases. How do we approach and reconcile both scales?
What type of information can be obtained from each scale; how can they complement each other; how can we interpret them? With this in mind, how do we incorporate each scale in commercial, ‘preventive’ archaeological procedures? Large surface sites can be surveyed relatively easily and are sometimes predictable in their location. Small sites often remain undetected, especially when covered with sediments. Alternatively, small sites are more manageable to excavate, whilst very large sites can be impossible to excavate completely. What is the value of different scales of intervention on large scale sites/landscapes?

Discussion topics may include:
• ‘Information value’ of large and small scale sites and projects
• Scale in the prehistoric landscape
• Selection principles for research on large sites
• Approaches towards surveying small sites and for excavating large sites
• Scales of analysis between lithic assemblage, scatter and landscape.

Nobility versus artisans? The multiple identities of elites and ‘commoners’ viewed through the lens of materials and technologies during the European Bronze and the Iron Ages

Organisers: Ann Brysbaert (University of Leicester, UK), Alexis Gorgues (Université de Bordeaux 3-UMR 5607 Ausonius, France) and Barbara Armbruster (CNRS UMR 5608 TRACES, France)

Contact: alexis.gorgues[at]

In Bronze and Iron Age Europe hierarchic societies arose and developed technological systems/processes in the production of objects related to everyday use, on the one hand, and items of religious and symbolic character, on the other, while both types of objects may not always be clearly distinguishable. The establishment of technological domain systems differed in time and space during the latter part of prehistory.
This session deals with the question of how these productive systems/processes reacted to the demand connected with the elite’s identities. Innovations and the development of new technologies designed to satisfy the needs of ostentatious behaviour and achieving prestige are key issues of the session. How can we identify the consequences of such processes and how can we define the role(s) that the craftspeople played in such contexts? The aim is to investigate the economic, socio-political, as well as the technological contexts and background of the make-up of material culture and technology in these periods. We intend to examine which role(s) artisans may have played in status and identity formation processes, in rituals and in symbolic performances, in other words, in each aspect of life and death of Bronze and Iron Age populations.
While this theme may be considered fairly traditional in its content by some, we believe that many aspects of the social interaction patterns between the different groups of people in those periods have not been adequately discussed and investigated yet, especially since the main emphasis in such debates primarily falls on the elites while artisans play equally important role(s) as well. This session, therefore, aims, first, to redress this imbalance and, second, to open up our thinking about the multiple social groups that may have been at work simultaneously in those periods.

Outstanding Biographies: The Life of Prehistoric Monuments in Iron Age, Roman and Medieval Europe

Organisers: Marta Díaz-Guardamino (University of Southampton, UK), Leonardo García Sanjuán (University of Seville, Spain) and David Wheatley (University of Southampton, UK)

Contact: M.M.Diaz-Guardamino-Uribe[at]

Some Prehistoric stone monuments accrued complex life-histories that spanned over millennia. Their ‘aura’ and material properties, namely, their large scale and durability, fostered their involvement in complex historical settings in which competing ‘world views’, cultural traditions and identities transformed them in places of especial significance. In these contexts, prehistoric monuments have played active roles in the institutionalization, contestation and negotiation of memories, ideologies, values and power relations. This session seeks to explore the role of prehistoric monuments in these processes of cultural and social production (i.e. hybridization, resistance, assimilation) through the adoption of a biographical approach. In particular, through the examination of the biographies of selected paradigmatic megalithic monuments, stelae and statue-menhirs, and Rock Art sites in various regions of Europe, this workshop will be aimed at examining the role played by some prehistoric monuments in the unfolding of the complex social processes that lie behind traditional concepts such as ‘Orientalization’, ‘Romanization’ or ‘Christianisation’.

Partners – Rivals – Enemies. Archaeological record of interaction between two differently structured entities and its interpretation variability

Organisers: Balázs Komoróczy (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Czech Republic), Thomas Grane (Frederiksberg, Denmark) and Jiří Musil (University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic)

Contact: komoroczy[at]

The example of the Roman Empire and tribal barbarian communities living beyond the Roman world during the first four centuries AD reflect complexity and ambivalence of relations between two structurally different worlds. Spatially and temporally variable political powers, social and economical parameters of the barbarian tribal structures on the one hand and development dynamics of the complex society on the other constitute specific conditions for development of mutual interrelations. It is endeictic, that archaeological science in the former barbarian territories, stretching from the Great Britain through the Scandinavia up to the northern Pontic region, delimitates itself by interpretations of these relations. Usually, the fundamental constructions of historical development in the individual regions, including chronological and ethnical identification issues, are derived solely from archaeological and written sources of mutual relations with the advanced civilization, they had never been part of. This tradition of following and interpretation of interrelations methodologically connects through the research in the individual European countries and regions. Frequently, this approach leads to higher rate of generalization that may not always reflect specific local context of archaeological record, which necessarily assign different interpretation possibilities to seemingly identical manifestations of interactions. Intention of the session is evidence and confrontation of individual manifestations of wide range of forms of interaction, particularly in the barbarian parts of the European continent during the 1st half of the 1st millennium AD. The objective dwells above all in identification of archaeological record of the relations, including political and business relations and all sorts of confrontations, as well as broad discussion of its interpretation possibilities.

Persistent economic ways of living – Production, Distribution, and Consumption in the Iron Age and Early Medieval Period

Organisers: Alžběta Danielisová (Institute of Archaeology CAS, Czech Republic), Manuel Fernández-Götz (Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Baden-Württemberg, Germany) and Kerstin Kowarik (Naturhistorisches Museum, Austria)

Contact: danielisova[at]

This session aims to focus on long-term economic structures which are closely related to the social structure and organization of past societies. Exploitation of natural resources, together with agricultural and craft production, are the most important aspects for the gradual growth of social complexity. Extended focus on subsistence strategies involving beside actual food production also redistribution, exchange, and specialisation are among the most intriguing themes in archaeology. The real challenge, however, is to explore and understand the ways how resources were exploited and managed and what social, political and cultural institutions organized and structured them.
Unfortunately, such questions are usually dealt with only in scope of individual time periods or geographic regions. In this session we seek to broaden the investigation of economic aspects of societies by bridging research topics from different places of origin. Although seemingly different, they in fact share many fundamental issues showing strong underlying continuities despite their various cultural identities.
The aim of this session is to find inspiration for further development of theories concerning past exploitation of environment, natural resources and production and distribution processes from Iron Age to Early Medieval period. We would like to discuss economic themes which transcend time and space and bring together different research experiences.
Archaeological and interdisciplinary case studies concerning complex research projects as well as individual research topics are welcome. We encourage participants to present papers that focus especially on:
• Production and consumption aspects of subsistence strategies related to the interactions of central places, common settlements and their environments (material collections, settlement structure, environmental data).
• Exploitation of natural resources and redistribution processes (mineral ores, salt, forests, charcoal, potter´s clay, etc.).
• Complex craft production processes, technology transfers, chaînes opératoires etc. in different social environments (centres, country side, marginal areas…).
• Exchange and redistribution mechanisms.

Relative vs. Absolute Chronology of the Neolithic of the Carpathian Basin and South Eastern Europe

Organisers: Wolfram Schier (Institut für Prähistorische Archäologie der Freien Universität Berlin, Germany) and Florin Draşovean (Muzeul Banatului Timisoara, Romania)

Contact: wolfram.schier[at]

Ever since Oscar Montelius developed the typological method, archeological cultures and the phases of their evolution have been distinguished and brought into a chronological order by means of an analysis of the characteristics and typological evolution of artifacts. However, the relative chronology thus established has certain limitations and inconsistencies, which have become far more obvious since the establishing and refinement of absolute chronology, especially by radiocarbon dating.

Research undertaken over the last decades has shown that the chronological sequencing of some Neolithic and Eneolithic cultures in the Carpathian Basin and South-East Europe is not consistent with the increasingly numerous and precise dates yielded by the C14 method. These differences stem from the fact that the existence of certain typological features of an artifact does not necessarily also imply a chronological difference, and some of the phases thus established may represent local or regional variants of the same cultural manifestation. A careful analysis of the cultural contents of certain phases, corroborated with the absolute dates available, is at present needed in order to better understand the Neolithic cultures of this geographical area.

The proposed round table aims to bring together specialists working in this field, who will engage in a discussion of what we have come to consider the “classical” chronological sequences, in close relation with the dates of absolute chronology, and, where it is the case, will operate the necessary changes in the chronological and cultural timeline of the 6th-4th millennium BC in the Carpathian Basin and South-East Europe.

Social archaeology of death in the Roman world: New data and perspectives

Organisers: Llorenç Alapont (Colegio Oficial de Doctores y Licenciados de Valencia y Castellón, Spain), Luigi Pedroni (Colegio Oficial de Doctores y Licenciados de Valencia y Castellón, Spain) and Gaël Brkojewitsch (Pôle Archéologie Préventive de Metz Métropole, France)

Contact: luipedro1966[at]

“pallida mors aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas / regumque turres” (Hor. Od. 1.4.13)

How it is well known, death has always touched everyone, directly or indirectly, regardless of age, gender, social position and wealth. In particular, in Roman world the moment of transition, culminating in the funeral and in the deposition of the body of the deceased, or more generally of his remains, assumed different aspects depending on various factors. The archaeological excavation is often the only process that permits us to recall the ancient ritual gestures associated with death. However, sometimes the human remains are the best source we have to derive information on the social life of the deceased.
This session aims to explore the various ways of interpreting the archaeological material sources, including the human remains, in order to deepen our knowledge of how death impacted politically, socially, and religiously on Roman ancient society. Therefore, we will try to bring new examples in order to illustrate the methods of management of the death body in Roman times, to highlight the material traces of the ancient approach to death, and, finally, more in general, to outline our perspectives on the interpretation of ancient human remains.
We invite fresh contributions and innovative interpretations on any aspect of death and deposition in the Roman world in the period between the fourth century BC and the fourth century AD.

Social dimension of burial mounds

Organisers: Petr Krištuf (University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic), Tereza Krištufová (University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic) and Hrvoje Potrebica (University of Zagreb, Croatia)

Contact: pkristuf[at]

Burial mounds as artefacts of human culture represent a wide range of people’s actions and intentions. Not only they emphasize the funerary event but also reflect the social relations between the living community and ancestors. Throughout the Prehistory and Early Middle Ages burial mounds were created as well defined monuments and played an important role in manifestation of both personal, as well as, collective identities. Their spatial structure, form and dimensions usually reflect variety of social relations including family bounds, social position and gender categories. Through the research on burial mounds we may better understand the relationships between domestic and funerary components, as well as, cosmological significance of individual monuments and whole funerary areas.
The current studies in Central Europe suggest there are distinctive relations among the spatial position of individual monuments within cemeteries reflecting the social and familial ranking. The isolation and outstanding size of particular monuments may rather emphasize a special social status of the buried individual. The variability of burial monument dimensions may reflect the gender differences. The choice of internal burial construction and funerary ritual (inhumations/cremations) also represent a certain level of social differentiation, such as in Middle Bronze Age of Early Iron Age.
The session aims to discuss the social issues of Prehistoric and Early Medieval communities in the light of our current knowledge on creation and further development of burial mounds and other types of funerary monuments in whole Europe and beyond.

Some Assembly Required: Assembling People, Objects, Discourses, and Landscapes in Archaeology

Organisers: James A. Johnson (University of Pittsburgh, USA), Kathryn J. Franklin (University of Chicago, USA), Emily Miller Bonney (California State University, Fullerton, USA) and Ladislav Šmejda (University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic)

Contact: jaj41[at]

The term ‘assemblage’ has had a long and varied history in archaeology. Referring to archaeological objects from botanical data to grave goods to settlements, the term has been used in pre-determined, a priori and a posteriori ways; with the final output – “the assemblage” – being both the subject and the outcome of critical thought and analysis. In this sense, assemblage is often presented as a totalizing fact to be encountered, a known and quantifiable entity that might only be “theorized” subsequent to discovery. We suggest that we turn the critical lens towards the process of ‘assembling’ rather than the end product of assemblage. In so doing we would move from static assemblages that have long acted as placeholders for past action and mobility, to an examination of those movements themselves, acts of assembling, and reconsideration of things susceptible of being assembled, to not simply objects but techniques—systems of practice—discourses, and landscapes.
In this session we would invite participants to ‘shake up’ such longstanding approaches to assemblage by thinking about the ways in which meaning was made in the past through the movement (and moving) of people, objects, techniques, and discourses. Further, we open the session to discussions of the ways in which meaning is actively constructed through assembling in processes of archaeological analysis. Potential topics include:
• Mobility and social production
• Fragmentation and re-assembly
• Collections/Museology
• Entanglement
• Community
• Body and identity

We seek session participants that will more critically examine, evaluate and engage in dialogues with the production of meaning through acts of assembling in the archaeological record. We see no need for defining specific time periods of interest for such a topic as acts of assembling and the production of meaning pervade the archaeological record, as well as contemporary archaeological thought and practice. As such, the session is open to prehistoric archaeologists to art historians to museum collection specialists.

Something out of the ordinary? Interpreting the diversity in the uniformity of the Early Neolithic Linearbandkeramik in Central and Western Europe

Organisers: Luc Amkreutz (National Museum of Antiquities, The Netherlands), Ivo van Wijk (Archol BV, The Netherlands) and Fabian Haack (Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany)

Contact: l.amkreutz[at]

Research into the Early Neolithic Linearbandkeramik (LBK, 5500–4900 cal BC) has over the past two decades presented us with a wealth of new information regarding the settlement and social structure of the earliest farmers in large parts of Central and Western Europe. Apart from traditional excavation archaeology, both isotope and aDNA research recently added a distinct perspective regarding life histories and mobility of humans and animals. This has brought us closer to the dynamics of early Neolithic life in this area and moreover demonstrates the presence of distinct spatio-temporal variation in its regional cultural characteristics. The longstanding formal uniformity of the LBK is gradually yielding and reveals an underlying diversity that is becoming increasingly data-rich.
The development of these new dimensions in our understanding is anchored in archaeological research ranging from burial customs and deposition practices, to social issues of settlement structure, raw material networks, violence, and mobility. These present the basis for creating a more heterogeneous picture of Early Neolithic groups contrasting with the well-known image of uniform loess-based sedentary farmers with linear ware. In this session papers are invited to discuss LBK diversity in relation to four broad themes:
• Regional and local inter- and intra-site patterning highlighting particularities in site location choice and settlement structure
• Expressions of regional style and choice in pottery fabrication and decoration, food economy and raw material (networks)
• Mortuary and deposition practices that offer a perspective on the manifold choices regarding ritual expressions
• LBK-life dynamics, isotopic, aDNA and associated research highlighting diversity in (community) life histories

Contributors are requested to present their research into the aforementioned topics, but also to specifically reflect on how their results relate to our common knowledge of the LBK and to what extent the diversity documented rather befits a difference of degree or of kind.

Studies on settlement archaeology in the eastern area of distribution of the Bandkeramik

Organisers: Andrzej Pelisiak (University of Rzeszów, Poland) and Thomas Saile (University of Regensburg, Germany)

Contact: thomas.saile[at]

The first Neolithic communities in Central Europe are reflected archaeologically by the Bandkeramik (LBK). It has been demonstrated that there are significant similarities as well as distinct regional differences within the LBK complex, which stretches from Paris to Kiev and from Szczecin to Budapest. The proposed session will be dedicated to the eastern area of distribution (e. g. Gniechowice, Zofipole, Notenkopf, Želiezovce etc.). We would like to discuss questions referring to chronology, spatial patterns and intra-site organization. Other important subjects for debate will focus on the beginning and disappearance of the LBK in the eastern area of distribution and the role of LBK communities in the genesis of the Trypolie culture. We would also like to call attention to the question of contacts both within the LBK complex and between LBK settlers and their outside world. One of the main aims of the session will be to report on recent developments in research on the eastern area of LBK distribution.

Taking on the transition: new perspectives on continuity and change between the Late Bronze Age and Iron Age in Europe

Organisers: Katharina Becker (Bradford University, UK), Ian Armit (Bradford University, UK) and Phil Mason (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, Slovenia)

Contact: k.becker[at]

The transition between the Late Bronze Age and the Iron Age is one of the major turning points in European prehistory. In many regions, the cultural ‘golden age’ represented by the Late Bronze Age is followed by apparent discontinuity in the settlement and mortuary record, or by a phase of relatively modest archaeological expression, which seems to stand in stark contrast to the fact that one of the most fundamental technological innovations – iron working – signifies its beginning. This apparent lull has often been linked with the apparent climatic change around the same time. Also, while strong notions about social and cultural identities in the later part of the period dominate archaeological debate, discussion of this issue in the earlier part of the Iron Age is relatively rare. Over the last couple of years, refinement of typo-chronological sequences of sites and artefacts in several parts of Europe, as well as new archaeological data and methods, provide opportunity to re-assess and rethink the crucial issue of technological, stylistic and cultural change and its mechanisms, as well as the role of environmental and demographic change around the end of the Bronze Age. This session invites papers that deal with the transition from a range of different perspectives, focusing, for example on settlement patterns, technology, mortuary practice, climate, or various forms of cultural expression. Regional or thematic case studies and papers that approach the methodologies and concepts used in current archaeological research dealing with transitions are also invited.

The Life of Lithic Tools in the Palaeolithic: Identification and Interpretation

Organisers: Petr Neruda (Moravské zemské muzeum, Czech Republic) and Andrzej Wiśniewski (Uniwersytet Wrocławski, Poland)

Contact: pneruda[at]; andrzej.wisniewski[at]

Archaeological artefacts are static objects that were left behind or lost at a specific place (archaeological site). Many Palaeolithic artefacts are results of complex behaviour connected with dynamic activities of humans. In view of this fact, the main question of Palaeolithic archaeology is how to uncover the traces of previous modifications, thereby shifting static objects into the category of dynamic evidence. Identification of the life of lithic artefacts gives us an opportunity to reconstruct the human behaviour from the historical point of view. A good illustration of the importance of this issue is the recent study of Neanderthals' technical planning depth, which seems to be more complex than we thought previously.
The objective of the session is to summarize the possibilities of identification and measuring the extent of reduction, and consequently of interpreting the obtained results. Apart from refitting and use-wear analysis, there are several methods of studying of tool reduction that have been applied for example on Middle Palaeolithic side scrapers or notched tools by H. Dibble, N. Rolland, S. Kuhn and others. Nevertheless, the life of other artefacts (i.e. cores, bifaces or burins) can be reconstructed as well. These items carry information about their manufacture and use, and through decoding of their history they can be utilised for the description of behaviour of our ancestors. It could be helpful to summarize various approaches (use-wear analysis, hafting, refittings, re-sharpening, reduction models etc.) and experience of scholars, and this way to demonstrate the usability of various methods.

The many faces of the Gravettian

Organisers: A. Verpoorte (University of Leiden, The Netherlands) and György Lengyel (University of Miskolc, Hungary)

Contact: a.verpoorte[at]

The Gravettian phenomenon (ca 34,000 to 24,000 years ago) is a complex biocultural adaptation to cold and arid glacial conditions, evidence of the remarkable adaptive flexibility of anatomically modern humans. The Gravettian is spread across Europe from Portugal to the Urals. Why does the Gravettian matter? With the focus on the 'origins' of modern humans, we have almost forgotten the evolutionary patterns in later Homo sapiens. The many faces of the Gravettian form a rich source of information on modern human evolution and the social and cultural adaptations developed during the Upper Paleolithic of Europe. The session aims to address this issue and discuss current research in terms of 1 theoretical frameworks, 2 proxies for behavioural variability, and 3 fieldwork strategies (especially sampling strategies and scientific methods).

The use and perception of caves and rock shelters in Early Medieval Europe (400–1200 AD)

Organisers: Knut Andreas Bergsvik (University of Bergen, Norway) and Marion Dowd (School of Science, I. T. Sligo, Ireland)

Contact: knut.bergsvik[at]; dowd.marion[at]

Caves and rock shelters in Europe have traditionally been associated with prehistory, and in some regions cave archaeology has become synonymous with the Palaeolithic. However, there is abundant evidence that caves and rock shelters were important foci of activity in historic times. During the Early Medieval period (c. 400–1200 AD) caves were used for short-term shelter, habitation (sometimes associated with particular activities such as hunting or fishing), specialised craft activities (eg. metalworking), storage, as hideaways and for tending animals. Caves at this time were also used for religious purposes – for instance, as places of spiritual retreat or pilgrimage, and as funerary sites.

In this session we want to focus on this neglected field of research. Several questions can be raised: what can be elucidated of those who utilised caves in terms of social status, ethnicity, economy or gender? How caves were perceived is likely to have differed between local populations versus immigrants. How did such differences manifest? Is there a correlation between cave morphology/location and specific usages? Did the use of caves/rock shelters change over time, and how did these changes relate to social, economic, or religious changes within society? Papers addressing one or all of these issues are welcome. Information from manuscript sources and historical documentation provide valuable insights into the archaeological data. For this reason, we believe that colleagues from related disciplines have an important contribution to make to the discussion and session.

The use of caves and rock shelters is a pan-European phenomenon. Archaeologists in almost all regions and countries work with caves and face many of the same challenges. We believe that it is important to bring these archaeologists together to exchange results and ideas, as well as to discuss theoretical and methodical approaches, in this instance focusing specifically on the period 400–1200 AD.

Thinking about health and diseases in archaeology

Organisers: Darek Błaszczyk (Museum of the First Piasts at Lednica, Poland), Magdalena Domicela Matczak (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland) and Héléne Réveillas (INRAP Grand Est Sud, France)

Contact: mmatczak[at]

The session seeks to consider, rethink and discuss studies on health and diseases conducted in various archaeological sub-disciplines, e.g. bioarchaeology, medical archaeology, archaeology of disability, humanistic archaeology, etc.

Firstly we will consider terminology: can we really name people with diseases as disabled or impaired?; as well as specific methods and type of materials used for these kind of studies. Secondly, the discussion will focus on interpretation: what does it mean to be ill and healthy within a given society? Themes considered will include: perception of the diseased and the healthy; the social status of people with health problems during their life and after the death; identities related to sex/gender, age, profession and religion; and last but not least emotions and feelings of people who lived through with diseases. As a third objective of the session we will explore and evaluate theories that can be used for explaining and interpreting patterns of disease in archaeological and osteological materials.

We invite papers examining cultural remains such as artefacts and art, documentary evidence, the biological remains such as skeletons and mummies from all prehistoric and historical periods.

Towards a real representation and interpretation of spatio-temporal data in Archaeological Record

Organisers: Alfredo Maximiano Castillejo (Universidad de Cantabria, Spain), Enrique Cerrillo Cuenca (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Spain), Xavier Rodier (Université François Rabelais-CNRS, France) and Bastien Lefebvre (Université de Tolouse II-Le Mirail, France)

Contact: maximianoam[at]; enrique.cerrillo[at]

Nowadays, an increasing interest for spatio-temporal analysis in archaeological issues can be appreciated in archaeological literature (i.e. Johnson 2004; Santiago 2008; Huisman et alli 2009; Llobera 2011, among others). The continuously evolving field of computing applications in Archaeology is here presented as the most opportune, but not the only, framework to manage spatio-temporal data in terms of representation (for instance graphical visualisation in a GIS application) and analysis. On the other hand, the archaeological record seems to be an optimal background to implement spatio-temporal methods, since due to its nature, archaeological features can be represented in terms of location, spatial relationships, and temporal components (distributions or artefacts, structures, etc).

In this regard, an extensive spatial-temporal analytical methodology is being applied in others social disciplines (i.e. “Spatio-Temporal Kernel Density Estimation” or “Spatio-temporal Scan Statistics” in Nakaya & Yano 2010). Nevertheless, these issues have not been fully implemented in archaeology because we probably cannot define our spatial (and temporal) problems in adequate directions. Under this panorama, it would be interesting to re-formulate our perception of variance in space and time; and what is more important, we should be able to define a heuristic solution about our spatial and temporal problems in key of perception and interpretation of this variance.

For example, an important subject is the massive incorporation of calibrated dates, which offer a temporal congruence in terms of numerical chronology (in front of classical chrono-cultural series). This concern could represent an improvement to establish a chronological definition of archaeological events in terms of succession. But are we managing the integration of chronologies with spatial data in a coherent manner?

Focuses in this session are:
i. To discuss the opportunity to establish stronger links between archaeological theory and methods, regarding to the analysis of spatio-temporal data.
ii. To deliberate about possibility of spatio-temporal methodology in archaeological circumstances, independently on the use, regardless of the use of concrete computing solutions (GIS, statistical packages, etc).
iii. To generate an open discussion on a adequate and congruent way of thinking about spatial-temporal variance. Moreover, how consolidate the approach and limits of this proposals.

Cases studies are welcome on this session: intra-site analysis, surface survey, landscape analysis and any other archaeological field that could be analysed through spatio-temporal variables. Oral presentation should focus on which could be the best way to illustrate the real opportunities of space-time perspective in Archaeology. In this sense, we are interested in contributions that put the stress on theoretical reflections (from archaeological objects to spatial and time information) , as well as methodological arguments (mathematical algorithms, analytical visualisation procedures…).

“Transversal World” – Focus on the Early Middle Ages in Central Europe (ca AD 600–1050)

Organisers: Jana Maříková-Kubková (Archaeological Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Czech Republic) and Pascale Chevalier (Blaise Pascal University, France)

Contact: marikova[at]; paskvalinac[at]

The interpretation of the history of Early Medieval States forms an integral part of the cultural identity of the present European nation states. Through the development of research in this field and recent political development those – over a long period built – paradigms have become subject to changes. The topic of this section is based on the needs of the project “Cradles of European Culture” (Program Culture 2007–2013), and we have to ask, whether it is possible to change our traditional view of early statehood in Central Europe and its bindings to the territory within the frontiers of the limes romanum and the subsequent Frankia on grounds of new findings in archaeology and history. Territory of interest are mainly the so-called dependencies according to the Treaty of Verdun from 843.

Individual contributors will be asked, whether they consider it possible on grounds of revision excavations of various sites, with the contribution of findings from a broadly conceived interdisciplinary study to re-define the basic chronology. Further topics are confined to the comparison of the formation of early settlement structures, the comparison of the processes in connection with the hill-forts and the so-called incastellamenta, possibilities of the research of trade and the spread of artistic, building, and production technologies. Important is also the process of Christianisation, which is considered a basic manifestation of the entrance into the realm of European culture.

Unexplained archaeological off-site features

Organisers: Vincent Riquier (INRAP, France) and Eileen Eckmeier (University of Bonn, Germany)

Contact: vincent.riquier[at]

Man-made structures that occur outside of archaeological settlement areas are usually grouped under the term off-site features. They are, in many cases, also chronologically disconnected from other archaeological features. Most of these features are pits which do not contain any artifacts or other anthropogenic relics that could be used to date or characterized them. Therefore, their function remains unexplained. Among these unexplained features are the so-called “Schlitzgruben” or “Slot pits”, which appear in several European regions. The combination of archaeological and pedological methods can help to reveal functional aspects of those pits. Additionally, the analysis of the ancient topsoil material preserved in the pits potentiallly allows for environmental or land-use reconstructions. We would like to invite archaeologists to share their experiences and hypotheses about these unexplained pits and other off-site features. Also studies related to environmental and geoarchaeological issues are welcome.

What Is Changing and When – Post-LBK Life in Central Europe

Organisers: Harald Stäuble (Landesamt für Archäologie, Germany), Jaroslav Řídký (Archeologický ústav AV ČR, Czech Republic) and Petr Květina (Archeologický ústav AV ČR, Czech Republic)

Contact: Harald.Staeuble[at]; ridky[at];

In the first half of the fifth millennium B.C., about five hundred years after farming being introduced, it is generally presumed that Central Europe was undergoing a change, which some see as a fundamental one, others see it as a continuous development. Within the geographical area of Linear Pottery Culture (LBK) distribution, so far quite homogeneous in its material and structural finds, the cultural markers seem to split up into individual regions.
Despite this view of diversification and the increasing heterogeneity of Post-LBK cultures, it is possible to trace some common and unifying phenomena. Among the most notable one must mention the circular ditch enclosures (rondels). Their ground-plan was quite standardized not regarding boundaries of different archaeological cultures of that time.
The aim of the session is to ask if the cultural change from LBK to SBK as well as the development during Post-LBK period is a slow continuous process, which might reflect an immanent cultural development or whether cultural change was sudden, mainly caused by influences from outside. On the other hand we like to confront general trends with regionally different processes within the Post-LBK period.

This will be done in three thematic blocs:
1) Theoretical aspects of culture change from LBK to Post-LBK: fact or artefact, local or general, slow or fast.
2) Intra-site patterns and social complexity within Post-LBK: spatial distribution and relation of settlement structures.
3) Long-distance contact and exchange during Post-LBK: ceramic imports, mining and distribution of stone implements.

We expect to map the present state of knowledge which is meant to go beyond basic questions regarding chronological problems. We aim for a broader interpretation of a larger geographical area. Key presentations will be selected for the section. Others will be asked to give a short presentation of a poster.

What should a PhD in Archaeology be all about?

Organisers: Arkadiusz Marciniak (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland) and Ian Ralston (University of Edinburgh, UK)

Contact: arekmar[at]

The Bologna agreement has had much success in aligning university curricula widely over Europe around a common (bachelors + masters + doctorate) pattern and in simplifying university qualifications across the continent in order to favour mobility, but there remains much variability concerning the nature of the PhD. In this session, proposed by the EAA Committee on the Teaching and Training of Archaeologists, we welcome papers which explore this variability, from PhD students, recent PhDs and those who supervise or examine PhDs. Themes may include:
• should PhDs be graded beyond pass/fail?
• what is suitable content for a PhD (e.g. are site reports appropriate content?)
• the relation of PhDs to professional practice
• what can reasonably be expected in three years of work, especially in terms of new, ‘original’, research?
• comparisons of different systems;
• the question of how far content can deviate from Archaeology and still be considered a PhD in Archaeology;
• and specific discussions of the organisation of PhD supervision and examination, especially regarding those systems where PhD study can take place outside a University.

When the potters make the story: what can pottery tell us about the people who made and used it?

Organisers: Laure Salanova (CNRS, France) and Alison Sheridan (National Museums Scotland, UK)

Contact: laure.salanova[at]

Pottery is the main component of many archaeological assemblages and, for over a century, it has been one of the main tools used to define cultural identity and to characterize culture change. But the simplistic equation of ‘Pots = people’ has rightly been challenged, and in the meantime a huge ethnohistoric literature has grown up around the question of what technical and stylistic traditions actually mean to the people who make and use pots. Such studies indicate that several different aspects of identity can indeed be conveyed through the design and manufacture of pottery – and that there is also much more that pottery can tell us about society (e.g. through examining its uses, the organization of its production, its symbolism, its movement, etc.). These studies also make it clear that choices in the chaîne opératoire of pottery manufacture are not determined by the function of the end product – something that was illustrated during the 17th Annual Meeting of the EEA in Oslo, in a session that focused on the link between function and ceramic technology.
Pottery clearly does have a role to play in understanding the nature of prehistoric society. This session poses the question: are we, as archaeologists, making the most of what pottery can tell us about its makers and users? Are we asking the right questions and using the correct approaches when we study it? Can we enhance its heuristic value? What kind of history does the study of pottery reveal to us? Examples of informative approaches will be presented, extending from prehistory to the present to offer a longue durée perspective. This session will be a joint initiative of the Société Préhistorique Française and the Prehistoric Society.

Archaeological Heritage Resource Management

Adding technology: the multidisciplinary study of historical buildings

Organisers: Lília Basílio (iDryas / Dryas Octopetala, Portugal), Ioan Marian Tiplic (University of Sibiu, Romania), Miguel Almeida (Morph / Dryas Octopetala, Portugal), Jorge Dinis (Universidade de Coimbra, Portugal) and Giuseppe Stella (iDryas / Dryas Octopetala, Portugal)

Contact: lilia.basilio[at]

The role of Archaeology in the safeguard of historic towns has been recognized and established in several normative international documents dedicated to the preservation and management of cultural heritage. Archaeology has been ascribed, and positively accomplished, an important responsibility in the process: to recover and study the buried remains of the towns' multiple pasts.

However, Archaeology's potential to produce relevant information to document the urban centers' history is yet to be fully explored through its application to standing structures. In fact, having been successively occupied throughout time and continuously adapted, historical buildings result in complex layered structures, i.e. stratified objects, adequate for archaeological approach.

Consequently, prospective methodological research regarding the study of historical buildings should combine:
• the thorough analysis of all existing historical documentation;
• recording the architectural, stylistic and constructive information of the building;
• developing and implementing systematic sampling and protocols for the characterization of building materials and techniques (including new dating procedures);
• recovering the building's diachronic evolution through stratigraphic analysis;
• incorporating state-of-the-art technologies (such as laser scanning, photogrammetry, geo-radar, micro-resistivity, thermography, etc.) for structure analysis and documentation; and
• developing new interpretative skills based on innovative tools such as virtual reality, augmented reality and BIM technologies.

The goal of the virtual reconstruction of historical monuments using archeological and architectural data, then the animation of the model is to provide many possibilities in reexamining the building and to be observed from different angles, “flying” in time and space throughout the medieval monument, and to offer a better understanding of a sequence of the transformation and the changes of the monument during the centuries.

Resulting methodological protocols should be based on the principle of approaching buildings as irreplaceable documents for the construction of knowledge regarding past urbanism and the history of architecture, engineering and the urban centers themselves. Particular attention should be accorded to the analysis of civil architecture within preventive and emergency projects.

The innovative potential of such multidisciplinary perspectives, necessarily combining the work of archaeologists, art historians, geologists, physicians, computer scientists and others concerns:
• the quality of the recovery of relevant historical information from standing buildings;
• the study and dating of ancient construction techniques and characterization of used building materials;
• the potential impact on reconstruction projects and management of historical urban areas; and, finally,
• the dissemination of information to a broader public.

Archaeological Sites in Forests – Strategies for their Protection

Organisers: Grietje Suhr (Independent Scholar, Germany), Walter Irlinger (Bavarian State Conservation Office, Germany), Jan John (University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic) and Ondřej Chvojka (University of South Bohemia, Czech Republic)

Contact: grietje.suhr[at]

Forests are rich in prehistoric and historic monuments. To protect this cultural heritage, an intensified cooperation of Heritage Conservation and authorities of Forest Administration has been established in many European countries during the last decade. This session aims at summarizing what has been reached up to now. Contributions should concentrate on questions as: How are data on this special kind of monuments collected and stored? How are they documented and/or mapped? Which concepts exist for the preservation and care of prehistoric and historic monuments in woodland? How is the cooperation between Heritage Conservation and Forest Authorities organized? Contributions should preferably summarize both the perspectives of Heritage Conservation and Forest Administration.
Most welcome are also contributions concerning the adaptation of woodland to climatic changes, the analysis of data collected by Airborne Laser Scans (ALS) and on public relations concerning archaeological monuments in forested areas.

Archaeology and cultural heritage during and after armed conflict

Organisers: Emily O’Dell (American University of Beirut, Lebanon), Britt Baillie (University of Cambridge, UK) and Tera Pruitt (University of California, Los Angeles, USA)

Contact: emily.odell[at]

This session discusses archaeology and cultural heritage in the context of armed conflict, revolution, occupation and drone warfare in the 21st century. It seeks to disentangle the way that heritage is impacted during and after the rupture of conflict. This session is divided into two sections.

Section 1: Impact and Ownership of Heritage During Armed Conflict This section considers how cultural heritage during times of armed conflict becomes ensnared in a web of hostilities that threatens not only its preservation but its very existence. We ask, in times of violent political rupture and chaotic social upheaval in the 21st century, how has material culture been used as a weapon, and how has it suffered as a 'victim'/target? In a post-ownership world, what claims do foreign governments, international cultural organisations, archaeologists, and religious scholars make to heritage sites to save them from destruction, and on what grounds? To what audiences and by what media do archaeologists attempt to explain conflict, the necessity of preservation, and whether or not their roles must change during times of armed conflict from preservers to protectors?

Section 2: Re-Imagining Heritage After Conflict When the violent conflict ceases, can we disentangle the way that the past, present and future of heritage is changed or re-imagined? What role does 'orphaned heritage' play for the 'new' communities that live around these sites today? How can heritage interpretation in tense post-war 'transition periods' move beyond reified ethnic categories like 'perpetrator/victim' to more nuanced understandings of identity and roles such as: collaborators, boundary crossers, bystanders and witnesses? How have forms of alternative heritage such as pseudoscientific pyramids, memorials of pop-cultural icons become popular? How are the needs of war tourists shaping the 'post conflict' 'heritage package'? How are technology and media being used as tools to (re)fashion heritage and offer counter-narratives?

Archaeology and heritage management in Europe after two decades of the Valletta convention (Round Table)

Organisers: Sergiu Musteata (Romanian Academy, Iasi branch, Romania) and Penny English (Anglia Ruskin University, UK)

Contact: sergiu_musteata[at]

The Valletta Convention (The revised European Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage, 1992), the ICOMOS Charter for the Protection and Management of the Archaeological Heritage (1990) and other important European and International Conventions are playing an important role in the process of archaeological heritage research and preservation.
After two decades of Valletta Convention (Malta, 1992) is the time to do a large evaluation of its implementation. During this Round Table would great opportinitz to discuss from comparative perspectives how is developed archaeological heritage preservation in the countries which have signed, ratified and brought into force the Valletta Convention during two decades of its existence.

Creating Landscape Visions: managing the past while imagining the future

Organisers: Gavin MacGregor (Northlight Heritage, UK), Kenneth Bropy (University of Glasgow, UK), Chris Dalglish (University of Glasgow, UK), Benjamin Grahn-Danielson (Rio Kulturkooperativ, Sweden), Gerhard Ermischer (Spessart-Projekt, Germany), Alan Leslie (Northlight Heritage, UK) and Aphrodite Sorotou (Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos, Greece)

Contact: gmacgregor[at]

Landscapes are living, actively created through current practices, in response to the conditions bequeathed by the past. Some practices manage and maintain the character and condition of landscapes, others gradually erode them, but in some cases practices can focus on delivering a positive, creative vision for the future.

We wish to explore ways in which landscapes can be actively and creatively re-imagined, managed and transformed. Are there examples of landscape visions where the landscape’s ‘pastness’ is fundamental as a driver for a positive future beyond sterilisation through protection measures? What creative strategies might be deployed to realise these visions? Or are there particular visions for landscape that require ‘pastness’ to be swept away?

We welcome contributions which explore the creative practice components of past and current landscape visions. These could comprise:
1) Archaeological examples of landscape visions which were actively and creatively delivered in the past (e.g. Roman / Greek Emporia; Medieval ‘deer parks’; 18th / 19th century designed gardens; 20th century allotments).
2) Examples of contemporary visions for landscapes which address the past component of the landscape within the framework of creative landscape development (e.g. rewilding, reafforestation, post-industrial regeneration).
3) Reflections on the role of the past in the creative process of imagining future landscapes and formulating landscape visions.
4) Insights and reflections on artistic practices which engage with past components of landscapes and on how they may or may not contribute to future visions. How do artistic engagements with landscape (e.g. through land art, environmental art and art in the public realm) connect with the past and help define, support or challenge visions for the future of particular landscapes?

Contributions of 20 minute papers, short films or other forms of presentation are welcomed.

Discovering the Archaeologists of Europe ... and of the World (Round Table)

Organisers: Gavin MacGregor (Northlight Heritage, UK), Kenneth Aitchison (York Archaeological Trust, UK) and Heleen van Londen (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Contact: gmacgregor[at]

Discovering the Archaeologists of Europe is a project supported by the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union that is bringing together participants from nineteen European states to identify how archaeology is defined as a profession in those countries. It is seeking to find out what they do, how they are qualified and rewarded, and most importantly, how to maintain the skills of professional archaeology in the post-2008 economic situation we all find ourselves in.
This session seeks to expand discussion beyond the project participants, to bring together anyone who has anything to say about employment and training in professional archaeology. Contributions are sought from all countries in Europe – and beyond – and from all sectors of archaeology, whether applied, academic, fieldwork focussed or administrative, looking to stimulate discussion on how archaeology can be delivered and sustained.

Heritage Issues in Europe's Historic Cities

Organisers: Valerie Higgins (The American University of Rome, Italy) and Donald Henson (Freelance Consultant in Public Archaeology and Education from York, UK)

Contact: v.higgins[at]

The historic cities of Europe are considered by the rest of the world to be heritage jewels, vital to local and national identity and an important source of revenue through tourism. However, in reality they present many problems. The growth of international tourism has often led to gentrification and rising prices which have pushed out local people and can result in the historic centres being deserted in the evening. The narrow streets and small squares are easily overwhelmed by tourist groups that destroy the very atmosphere that they have come to enjoy. Conservation costs can soon outstrip income raised. In addition the changing political configuration of Europe after the 2nd World War and after the fall of Communism has led to changing perceptions of identity and/or sites of contested heritage. This session will explore the heritage issues experienced in historic cities and explore the role historic cities should play in the future.

Identity and Heritage: Contemporary Challenges in a Globalizing World

Organisers: Hilary Soderland (University of California, USA), Doug Comer (Cultural Site Research and Manangement, USA /ICOMOS) and Christopher Prescott (University of Oslo, Norway)

Contact: christopher.prescott[at]

Session Sponsorship: The International Scientific Committee on Archaeological Heritage Management (ICAHM), a scientific committee of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)

The proposed session is the second of a two-part biennial series and represents an initiative between the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) and the European Association for Archaeologists. The 2013 sessions not only explore the various sides of identity and heritage issues but also try to explicate contentious issues facing archaeology and heritage management in a dramatically changing world. The objective of the EAA session is to present variable experiences from a New and Old World, but also to discuss the need in “a shrinking world” to look beyond national and regional contexts. If the heritage sector and archaeology are to remain relevant in our contemporary world and in the near future, then there are a number of questions concerning the politics, practices and narratives related to heritage and identity that should be addressed. The relevant concerns do not necessarily pull in one direction. Questions of relevance in an affluent, cosmopolitan setting are at odds with those relevant for a region emerging from civil war or ethnic strife, or a national minority battling oppression or ethnic cleansing. A premise is that heritage represents a broad scope of empirically and theoretically sound interpretations, but also that heritage is a response to contemporary contexts, as much as data. It is therefore necessary to evaluate constantly what is scientifically accurate, and also what is valid and relevant and what can have a contemporary impact.

Integrating non-destructive methods of archaeological resources prospection: implications for research and protection

Organisers: Janusz Budziszewski (Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Poland), Zbigniew Kobyliński (Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University, Poland) and Lucie Čulíková (Univerzity of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic)

Contact: zbigniew.kobylinski[at]

Aerial reconnaisance, geophysical measurements, systematic fieldwalking, LiDAR scanning and geochemical analyses nowadays offer unexpectedly new opportunities of detecting archaeological sites, especially when these methods - usually employed separately - are integrated within a complex programme of non-destructive prospection. Methodology of such a complex programme still however needs to be developed. These new opportunities have also important consequences for the whole discipline of archaeology, both in the research aspect and in relation to necessary protective measures. Aerial archaeology discovers new types of archaeological sites, previously unknown in many regions of Europe, such as linear pit alignements or circular enclosures. LiDAR scanning enables to read history of forests, previously being beyond archaeological visibility. Concept of sites, as isolated places of human past activities, which should be legally protected and managed by conservation services, needs to be rethought in context of aerial archaeology and LiDAR scanning, which in many cases show spatially continuous patterns of landscape use by the past communities, which cannot be easily delimited and protected. Is our discipline prepared to use these new methods in full for the benefit of knowledge and conservation - this is the question we would like to ask during the proposed session.

Methodology in Preventive Archaeology: Mechanization in evaluations and excavations

Organisers: Pascal Depaepe (The French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research, France), Alain Koehler (The French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research, France), Surja Lela (Archaeological Service Agency, Albania), Albana Hakani (Archaeological Service Agency, Albania) and Harald Stäuble (Archaeological Heritage Office Saxony, Germany)

Contact: kai.salas-rossenbach[at]

The process of mechanization in archaeological evaluations and excavations is an unavoidable phenomenon.
In Europe, this is very variable, well advanced in some areas but ineffective in others. The concept of mechanization is often perceived only in the context of the earthwork (dig, move, fill, evacuate...) and must be placed in a broader context: Mechanizing is using a machine in an activity, and if the necessary energy for machines operating is thermal or electrical, control remains human. One can thus imagine that the use of vacuum to excavate a burial is a form of mechanization, replacing use of tools such as brush and small shovel. Ways to change is always accompanied by fear, reluctance, especially when that particular change is not initiated by the users themselves: Fear of deterioration in the quality of produced information, reluctance to change habits, acquire new skills. The effective risk of a simplistic vulgarizing of mechanized tasks, therefore inevitably unsuited, must not be an obstacle for mechanization, but should be considered for what it is. In addition, the minuteness of a hand search doesn’t guarantee its quality, and some radical positions will probably end. This means the demonstration of the validity of the practice is well given by the operators involved in the process of mechanization.. And then, there can’t be two schools, one of the "all manual" and the other "all mechanical", equally inappropriate as the other one: the best solution is in their complementarity, balanced in each case. The use of machinery is not a solution "plug and play" but must be integrated into a controlled process of scientific objectives. Machines can be directly employed in the search of archaeological remains ("search workshops"), either in the detection (metal detector, core drill), in digging and stripping (small excavators, jackhammers), cleaning (vacuum cleaners, mechanical brush rollers), removing (treadmill, trucks, wheelbarrows mechanical caterpillar and other handling equipment, crane), photographing (UAVs), measuring (tachymeter, pantographs) etc.
They can also facilitate or permit search workshops: transport equipment, levies, remove, arrange access, carry out works to clean up the site, put up barricades to protect, etc.
Finally, mechanization should be considered for its qualitative gains, too often forgotten. It is not dogmatically imposing new ways of doing things, judged rightly or wrongly to be the most appropriate, but to be part of the movement continuously improving our ways of doing, as well as improving the quality of field observations and thoughts associated with them.
The session aims to discuss these aspects of the introduction of mechanisation into field processes of different context and objectives undogmatically and in a general overview.

Mission accomplished – what may Archaeology expect from the new CAP after 2014? (Round Table)

Organisers: Ján Beljak (Archaeological Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia), Noémi Pažinová (Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Slovakia), Thomas Westphalen (Archaeological Heritage Office in Saxony, Germany) and Michael Strobel (Archaeological Heritage Office in Saxony, Germany)

Contact: michael.strobel[at]; thomas.westphalen[at]

For three years the EAA and EAC Working Group on Farming, Forestry and rural Land Management has been observing the process of remodelling the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) that should become effective as of 2013. Some serious attempts were made to bring the interests of a sustainable archaeological heritage management into the decision making on a European and national level. These interests have been articulated as well during a public hearing initiated by the European commissioner Dacian Cialoş in 2010. The final report summing up the results of the debate notes explicitly the importance of the cultural heritage that has been emphasized by many experts and scientists / scholars.
Now the negotiations have reached an advanced and critical state between Commission, European Parliament and Council, but are still far away from the final resultat. As the new CAP will probably not take effect before 2015, the working group should continue influencing the discussion.
Four years after starting to lobby this process, time has come to hold a further inventory, to reconsider the individual EU Member States, especially the Eastern European Countries and to discuss futures strategies. The round table should have the following agenda: • Which chances, which risks are arising from the proposals discussed by the EU Commission, Parliament and Council until 2013 for the archaeological heritage? Are there substantial improvements in comparison to the current EU CAP-framework 2007-2013?
• Is there still any possibility to influence the political decision making process?
• Where could the working group lobby for cultural heritage and sustainable land management in the future?
• For a long time Western European farmers, companies and landowners have been investing in Eastern European countries: Which structural differences, which practices of land management, which problems are characterizing the situation in the Baltic countries, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria? Which requirements have to be taken into consideration?
• What will be the achievements in the Western European countries until 2013? What could these countries expect from the coming CAP? How is the European framework implemented on the national or even federal level?
Especially participants from Eastern Europe states as well as non-members are invited to present their view on the situation in their countries.

New digital developments in heritage management and research

Organisers: Julian Richards (Archaeology Data Service, UK), Franco Niccolucci (PIN, Italy) and Elizabeth Jerem (Archaeological Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary)

Contact: julian.richards[at]

European archaeologists are developing a number of new digital tools for heritage management and research, and dissemination. This session will examine issues of shared concern – including freedom of information, the implications of open and linked data, the need for digital archives and research infrastructures, European data standards and interoperability, and the development of new forms of information dissemination, including open access online publications, virtual archaeology, social media, and serious games for cultural heritage. Our goal is to show how cutting age digital technologies extended the number of tools and actions which archaeologists should use in managing, researching and presenting sites, monuments and artifacts.

Round Table of the Committee on Archaeological Legislation and Organization (Round Table)

Organisers: Jean-Paul Demoule (University of Paris I, France) and Christopher Young (English Heritage, UK)

Contact: jpdemoule[at]

With recent political changes and also the present economic and financial problems, the situation of archaeology, and specially preventive archaeology, in Europe has to be examined. This round table will look at such changes and evolutions in various European countries. Special attention should also be given for better statistical information on the impact of change and development on archaeological resources and the nature and scale of responses to these pressures. The session will be organized for half a day, with examples from particular countries from on part, and with some more general and synthetic papers. The situation in non-European countries will be also briefly examined.

The Archaeology and Heritage of the Prisoner of War experience: researching and managing a fragile resource

Organisers: Harold Mytum (University of Liverpool, UK) and Marek Jasinski (Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway)

Contact: hmytum[at]

There has been a recent rise in interest in the archaeology of recent military conflict. One aspect of increasing importance is that of prisoner of war camps, and also the many military and other infrastructural features of the landscape constructed by prisoners of war. Museums also house important collections of artefacts made and used by prisoners whilst imprisoned. This session builds on the success and interest of Prisoner of War Archaeology (19th and 20th centuries) at the 15th EAA 2009 at Riva del Garda. Now we consider the role of recent fieldwork locating and interpreting the physical evidence, memory work linked to sites or artefacts, public interpretation of prisoner of war sites and artefacts, and the management issues related to this important though often fragile resource. Papers cover archaeology of the period from the 18th century to recent times. This session is sponsored by the Society for Post-medieval Archaeology.

The roles and benefits of professional associations in Europe and beyond

Organisers: Gerry Wait (Nexus Heritage, UK), Kenneth Aitchison (York Archaeological Trust, UK) and Vesna Pintaric (University of Primorska, Slovenia)

Contact: gerry.wait[at]

Archaeological bodies and organisations exist in a variety of types all over Europe – and beyond. In some countries there are ‘professional associations’ – for archaeologists and other disciplines. Such associations have a particular role in self-regulation, and provide a range of benefits to the wider public and to their members. It is commonly argued that the need for professional associations is not universal, and that they are only needed in certain cultural, legislative and judicial traditions. But is that true? This session will focus on the special characteristics of professional associations – where professional members voluntarily subscribe to an ethical code, comply with a requirement to demonstrate competence, are prepared to be investigated (and punished) by their colleagues for transgressions, and agree to place the interests of the public and clients above their own. It will explore whether this sort of professional self-discipline is only useful where regulation of archaeology by the state is limited or absent, or whether the principles might have wider application to a more prominent profession producing more valuable benefits to the general public in whose name most archaeologists ultimately work.

Theory and paradigms in Archaeology

An Archaeologist at the Centre of Europe: A Symposium in Honour of Evžen Neustupný

Organisers: John Bintliff (Leiden University, The Netherlands) and Kristian Kristiansen (University of Gothenburg, Sweden)

Contact: johnlbintliff[at]

This session will celebrate the many important contributions made by Professor Neustupný in archaeological method and theory in his long and eminent career, through contributions by colleagues, friends and admirers which will link up to the major topics he has discussed and often pioneered in European Archaeology.

Archaeology of religion: methodological issues

Organisers: Tonno Jonuks (Estonian Literary Museum, Estonia) and Ester Oras (University of Cambridge, UK)

Contact: tonno[at]

Studies of ritual and religion are by no means a foreign country or pristine study area for archaeologists. Several projects, papers and talks discuss the questions of past religions varying from theoretical and terminological issues to chronology-specific or regional problems. Although in many terms archaeology of religion and ritual is constraint in spatial and temporal terms there are numerous topics that diminish those borders. One of such themes is methodology.
We are calling papers to discuss the current traditions of both theory and method in the archaeology of religion and ritual: what are the methodologies in and from different social and natural sciences that can be used for studying religion-related archaeological sites and objects? Which of them have been most fruitful, dismissed or gained far too little attention? What sources can be used for studying past religions? How can we combine different sources and approaches that come from literary, oral or archaeological background? What scientific methods have been and can be used for studying religious and ritual sites and objects? Could scientific approaches draw our attention to new and otherwise dismissed problems and interpretations? These questions are expected to cover different case studies of all religion and ritual related archaeological sites, landscapes and artefacts.

Biography and Histories of Archaeology: present state and future scopes

Organisers: Ingrid Berg (Stockholm University, Sweden), Ulf R. Hansson (University of Texas at Austin, USA) and Anna Gustavsson (Swedish Institute of Classical Studies in Rome, Italy)

Contact: ingrid.berg[at]

Historians of archaeology have since the early days of the discipline used biography as a narrative tool when analyzing and explaining the emergence and development of archaeology. The traditional use of biography in the history of archaeology has resulted in series of publications on the great men (and occasionally women) of archaeology, often focusing on the individual scholar, creating an unbalanced focus on the spectacular person and the spectacular discovery.

In recent times, the concept of biography in archaeology and material culture studies has been used to discuss the life-histories of places and the biographies of objects, as part of a turn towards the recognition of pluralistic meanings and negotiations of material culture. Studies drawing on Actor-Network Theories (ANT) have high-lighted the role of institutions and social networks in the production of archaeological knowledge. In the field of the history of archaeology, we also see the emergence of a number of innovative studies using various forms of biography to critically explore the limits of the discipline, making past archaeological practices relevant in the present. By combining material culture studies and network theories with aspects of the history of archaeology, we can find new ways of integrating various types of biographies, not only of the archaeologist as individual, into our research.

This session will critically discuss the potential and limits of biography as a tool for writing histories of archaeology. We invite papers on all aspects on biography and the history of archaeology, especially biographies of publications, biographies of institutions, biographies of archaeological sites, excavation projects and landscapes, network biographies and life-writing.

Collapse and regeneration of past societies

Organisers: Miroslav Bárta (Czech Institute of Egyptology, Czech Republic), Per Lageras (Swedish National Heritage Board, Sweden), Lars Ersgard (Swedish National Heritage Board, Sweden) and Caroline Arcini-Ahlström (Swedish National Heritage Board, Sweden)

Contact: miroslav.barta[at]

Collapse, crisis and transformation of cultures and civilisations are integral parts of human history. Underlying causes to crises may be searched for in internal factors within society itself, in external factors, or in a combination of both. While negative effects may be evident – like starvation, epidemics, social unrest, war, natural disasters, overexploitation of natural resources, etc. – causal relationships are often complex and difficult to sort out. The ability to cope with crises has varied between societies and through time, and has depended on internal social and cultural factors. Crises may in some cases have led to societal collapse but may also have resulted in regeneration and social reforms that enabled further development and growth.

The rise, peak, decline, collapse and regeneration of cultural complexes and civilizations are the main topic of this session. We will discuss societal crises from an archaeological and interdisciplinary perspective, and we welcome contributions, both theoretical and empirical, regardless of their geographical or chronological context. By comparing individual studies we aim to identify and evaluate the similar if not identical patterns and processes in the history of human culture and society. Therefore, what should also stand in the focus of the session is the dark periods which followed after the so called “collapse” event. because “collapse” means in most cases nothing else but a major loss of complexity and a deep transformation of the processes which exhausted their former potential.

Examining Social Complexity within Bronze Age Eurasian Steppe Societies

Organisers: Bryan Hanks (University of Pittsburgh, USA) and Roger Doonan (University of Sheffield, UK)

Contact: bkh5[at]

Characterizing social complexity has been an enduring focus within archaeology for over a century. Virtually every class of archaeological material and data has been used, at some point, in studies to inform understandings of social development in early societies. Among the most common evidence used is settlement and mortuary patterning, technological practice, and exchange networks. In turn, such data have come to be seen as proxies for social development and the means through which social structure can be characterized and then compared. However, the relationship between field evidence, social structure, and data should not be assumed to be simple and as such the central importance of effective methodologies coupled with comparative theoretical frameworks must be explicitly acknowledged and continuously evaluated.
This session draws together a number of papers that have sought to establish such matters in the Middle Bronze Age (2100–1700 BCE) of the Southern Urals, Russia. The central theme of the session explores how specific studies are incorporated within a wider project methodology that allows for the integration of diverse datasets ranging from wide area pedestrian survey, targeted high resolution geochemistry, geophysics, and targeted excavation. The session will review the outcomes of a number of studies which have sought to characterise Sintashta communities using a variety of field and post-excavation techniques and application of comparative models examining social complexity.
It is argued that conventional studies have too often developed elaborate theories of social development and interaction without undertaking the necessary gathering of new data or the critical review of existing data. Too often fragmentary and dispersed datasets are used to build grand syntheses of Eurasian communities which when critiqued cannot be supported. The session seeks to review contributions to date and sets out an agenda for future action in this area.

Gender in flux

Organisers: Nancy L. Wicker (University of Mississippi, USA), Elisabeth Arwill-Nordbladh (University of Gothenburg, Sweden) and Kristin Armstong Oma (Oslo University, Norway)

Contact: nwicker[at]; e.nordbladh[at]; k.a.oma[at]

Studies of gender in archaeology are experimenting with new ways of theorizing and conceptualizing the role of gender by incorporating different ontologies, epistemologies, theories, and kinds of data sets into the archaeological discourse. The AGE (Archaeology and Gender in Europe) sessions presented at EAA the last couple of years bear testimony to this. A decade ago, several volumes were written that set out a framework and objectives for gender archaeology. Since then, the field has grown considerably and is expanding in several directions.

Gender studies are currently somewhat in flux, and the present willingness to branch out into new fields can potentially lead to new and interesting paths of research. This might include, as archaeological issues, explorations of gender’s intersection with hegemonic orders of power like heteronormativity, bodynormativity, androcentrism, racism, social stratification, and human dominance over animals or other subaltern categories. The session seeks to address the future of gender research and its role in the wider archaeological practice, research, and discourse. The aim is to provoke a discussion of where gender studies could and/or should go from here. We welcome both visionary position papers and case studies based on empirical analyses that challenge the fringes of the theme.

The session is organised by members of AGE, a working party of the EAA.

(Several researchers who about a decade ago wrote monographs exploring the concept of gender, as well as some who have offered more recent contributions, will be invited to reflect on the development of the field and the future of gender research. In addition, contributions will be encouraged from the EAA membership.)

Humanity and Creation

Organisers: Gail Higginbottom (Australian National University, Australia) and Philip Tonner (University of Glasgow, UK)

Contact: gail.higginbottom[at]

This session intends to involve open debate around the possibilities of archaeological interpretation at the fundamental level – that of the theory(ies) of existence and materiality. We invite papers that discuss philosophical notions in a challenging and thought-provoking way and which show us how these notions can be used in interpreting life and ideas in the past. Thus we would like papers that offer conceptual depth where the core concept, and the application thereof, can tell us something about what it is to be human generally as well as to create a defensible contribution to the period it endevours to understand. Your papers will therefore demonstrate this either through argument alone or by argument and material application.

Orders of knowledge. Disciplinary Powers in the Archaeological Discourse (Round Table)

Organisers: Thomas Meier (University of Heidelberg, Germany), Karin Reichenbach (University of Leipzig, Germany) and Sarah Tarlow (University of Leicester, UK)

Contact: thomas.meier[at]

A reflection on academic disciplines as structures, places and orders of power has long been introduced by several authors, most famously by Michel Foucault. These concepts, however, have not yet been intensively applied to the humanities, let alone debated within archaeology/ies. By this Round Table we aim to fuel an overdue discussion about the orders of discourse and the ways they exert disciplinary(-ian) powers.

On a general level we would like to examine the nature of discoursive orders. E.g. behind the academic ideal of an archaeology oriented towards science (empiricism, fieldwork, materiality) are hiding anxieties towards the uncertain, the pluralism and multiperspectivity. The Cartesian world-view with its clear-cut dichotomies and its objectification of nature and the other restricts and structures the contents and forms archaeology can be conducted “correctly”. In daily practice it is the institutions and cemented procedures that – as dispositifs in the sense of Foucault - reproduce the disciplinary orders as well as they are determined by these discourses, as e.g. peer-reviewing systems, grant assessment, academic hierarchies, graduate schools and research clusters, heritage legislation etc. Here, discourse orders can be traced revealing the ways actors strategise for belonging to the community of those being “within the true” and thus leading to a mainstreamisation of archaeology. Interacting with intra-disciplinary orders are transdisciplinary orders of discourse, unconsciously or rigidly influencing the former. Political correctness or the commitment of research to civil aims are merely two aspects of claims by politics and society not only restricting the forms of saying, but also the contents of the sayable. Not least this fosters the differentiation into archaeological subdiscourses of universities (producing truths), heritage boards (protecting antiquities) and museums (cost-effectively informing the public) and their multiple institutionalisation.

We look forward to a discussion exploring archaeology's discourses of power in historical depth, but we especially want to focus on today's situation within the discipline.

Stuff or words? The interdisciplinary study of Medieval Material Culture, a theoretical debate

Organisers: Dries Tys (Brussels Free University VUB, Belgium) and Russell Ó Ríagáin (University of Cambridge, UK)

Contact: dtys[at]

Medieval archaeology is a full-fledged sub-discipline of archaeology with everything this entails in terms of its modus operandi, object(s) of investigation, methodology and the development of its epistemological underpinning. While there is little to differentiate it from mainstream archaeology as a whole in terms of its general theory and methodology, one salient point of divergence does exist: the existence of readily available written sources of information. This situates the discipline as part of the broader field of Medieval Studies, a field where medieval archaeology has for much of its history been subservient to investigatory agendas and interpretative contexts set by textual specialists. In the past, this has often, but not exclusively, militated against the large scale usage of the theoretical developments elsewhere in archaeology.

However, the situation has changed significantly in recent decades, and today medieval archaeology and medieval historiography are seen as complementary in the study of medieval social practices. The artefacts studied in medieval archaeology are not mere reflections of history but are active and even interactive forms of material culture that can only be understood by an integrated contextual approach, fully utilizing the benefits offered from other categories.

It is hoped that this session will contribute towards the development of good practices and rethinking of conceptual frameworks within medieval archaeology. It is also intended to contribute towards a thorough social understanding of medieval society through an open, critical interdisciplinary view of sources of information, independent from the preconceptions of traditional historiography, by facilitating the comparison and discussion of the use the full range, or conversely, lack, of contemporary theoretical and interdisciplinary approaches in medieval archaeology.
Papers are encouraged from a wide range of theoretical approaches across the interpretive spectrum searching for symbolic markers, social spaces, social fabrics and ideological practices; without limitations on the artefacts or topics.

Transfer of Knowledge in Archaeology

Organisers: Staša Babić (University of Belgrade, Serbia) and Raimund Karl (University of Bangor, UK)

Contact: sbabic[at]

From the inception of archaeology as an academic discipline up to the present, many of its basic assumptions and concepts have been introduced from other fields of research, ranging from humanities to hard sciences These transfers of ideas have decisively influenced the main directions of research and have caused periodical massive changes, sometimes described as paradigm shifts. However, more often than not, in the process of transfer from one setting to the other, the original ideas were adapted for the purposes of different disciplinary requirements. At the same time, these modified concepts gained the value of indisputable truisms, not to be tested, but additionally petrified by archaeologists. The result is a string of widely held beliefs, both in scholarly and general public, about the functioning of the human society.
On the other hand, these fundamental events have been taking place mainly in the academic settings of Western Europe, reaching other parts of the archaeological community with significant delays. Furthermore, this second round of knowledge transfer has induced additional distortions of the original concepts, in order to meet the demands of the different cultural and intellectual traditions and the present context. The session seeks to explore these processes of knowledge transfer operating between archaeology and other fields of inquiry, and the subsequent reception of thus conceived concepts in various academic settings inside the discipline itself. The aim is to approach the vital question of the mechanisms of the construction of archaeological knowledge by investigating the processes of inter/intra-disciplinary exchanges of concepts and the adaptations taking place along the way.

Public Archaeology

Archaeological Sites as Space for Modern Spiritual Practice

Organisers: Raimund Karl (Bangor University, UK), Jutta Leskovar (Oberösterreichisches Landesmuseum, Austria) and Doreen Mölders (Universität Leipzig, Germany)

Contact: j.leskovar[at]

Archaeological sites, objects, and texts produced by professional archaeologists are used by a variety of modern spiritual phenomena, such as neopaganism, modern shamanism, goddess spirituality and others in the production of their own belief systems, frequently using archaeology as the 'real-world' basis of their arguments. This session aims on collecting scholarly views about those phenomena from as many different European regions/countries as possible, to get an overview of one of the most direct and influential appropriations of archaeology in the present. Direct in that groups holding such beliefs frequently lay claim to ownership or at least usage rights regarding archaeological sites and objects, which they claim as holy places or relics of their own religious (or other) beliefs; and thus (can) come into direct contact - and sometimes conflict - with professional archaeologists (and their plans for these sites and objects and their interpretation). And influential in that this segment of the public is receiving more and more attention by both journalism and the tourism industry, and thus is able to exert increasing influence on perceptions of the past held by the general public.
European archaeology should be aware of the different kinds of those modern phenomena, and examine what is driving those who follow such belief systems to search for 'confirmation' of their beliefs in (most often) the long distant past, as well as appropriating that past, its places and its objects for their own goals and purposes. Differences and similarities among the various strands of the phenomenon shall be explored, and strategies to deal with such beliefs and believers as professional archaeologists be discussed.

Archaeology meets modern art: artists’ approaches to prehistoric data

Organisers: Estella Weiss-Krejci (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria), Edeltraud Aspöck (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria) and Mark Anthony Hall (Perth Museum & Art Gallery, UK)

Contact: Estella.Weiss-Krejci[at]

Modern artists’ interpretations of archaeological data are one way of how archaeology frequently presents itself to the public. The recreation and reinterpretation of ancient objects, e.g. by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei and video artist Sharon Lockhart, or documentaries such as Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams, constitute subjective and sensual approaches to prehistoric peoples' objects and mindscapes. Usually in such projects, what we call archaeological context and scientific method play a subordinate role and are secondary to a creative engagement with the past in the present.
The goal of this session is to invite presentations to form a selection of modern art projects relating to and using archaeology. These art projects bring to the fore a number of intriguing questions to the discipline of archaeology. First and foremost, in archaeological research we use the data aiming to reconstruct and understand the past – what do artistic interpretations of archaeological material aspire? Is there a dividing line between artistic and archaeological interpretations of archaeological data – and how is it defined? While papers concerning archaeological research have a rather small audience, artistic interpretations of the past, together with exhibitions and popular science articles often reach a far greater audience and exert a far greater influence on the public. How can we as archaeologists deal with the materiality of the past in the present in such a format? Which types of artistic approaches exist and what role does the archaeological context play in the artworks? In what way are such approaches to the past relevant to our field and what can archaeology gain from such interactions?

Digital heritage: cross cultural conversations or nationally embedded soliloquies?

Organisers: Don Henson (University College London, UK) and Diane Scherzler (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ur- und Frühgeschichte/German Society of Pre- and Protohistory, Germany)

Contact: d.henson[at]

Digital technologies are commonly used by archaeology and heritage organisations to impart knowledge and communicate with various audiences, such as fellow professionals and members of the public. People who would not normally visit heritage sites will engage with heritage online, and ICT can produce powerful interpretive experiences that attract new visitors to sites. While archaeological and heritage sites are locally situated, their potential audiences are far wider. Digital technologies can address people from more than one country, and allow us to place our local sites into a wider cultural context that often crosses international borders.
This session seeks to explore how far the potential for digital technologies to encourage cross-cultural exchange of ideas and approaches is being realised, and the issues that lie behind this as an aim of heritage interpretation; such as increasing mutual cultural understanding. We are also interested in how engaging with audiences through digital communications can help inform archaeologists' own understandings of their work through stimulating self-reflexivity. Does this require a different perception of the role of the archaeologist, not so much as the expert but as the facilitator of people's explorations of the past. We believe that open access to knowledge and skills has the potential to strengthen both society and the research community.
We welcome papers from academics and heritage practitioners interested in this issue. Can national traditions of archaeological practice and heritage management be provided with a trans-national context? Are we really interested in reaching international audiences? Are there cultural barriers in the way of understanding or appreciating other countries' heritage? What are the political barriers to international heritage outreach? Can digital technologies allow us to overcome language barriers? We are especially interested in whether the digital age is really allowing cross border and cross-disciplinary perspectives or only perpetuating existing national archaeological communities.

Public Archaeology from the Ground Up (Round Table)

Organisers: Jaime Almansa-Sánchez (JAS Arqueología SLU, Spain) and Lorna Richardson (University College London, UK)

Contact: almansasanchez[at]

Although Public Archaeology has grown as a distinct discipline in archaeological practice during the last decade, there is an urgent need to explore, rethink and define the terms we are working with. The theoretical basis of Public Archaeology is still extremely weak and poorly understood outside the Academy. Yet Public and Community Archaeology is a growth area, as engagement, participation, community and dialogue become political buzzwords in a difficult economic climate. As a discipline, we cannot continue to expand without a clear framework of theoretical understanding and working concepts. Several initiatives have already started that seek to address these issues, and the support and involvement of the European Association of Archaeologists is central to these ventures.

This round table session will discuss current aspects, issues and problems facing the discipline, and sketch out the future aims of Public Archaeology, in order to understand where we are and decide where we want to go. As a starting point for the definition of the discipline from our European perspective, we are seeking debate around the concept and practice of Public Archaeology, its theoretical framework, the social and ethical implications of our work and the tools available for sharing and developing the discipline internationally.

The session will also host the elections and first meeting of the new Committee of Public Archaeology.

Archaeology of food and drink

Integrated novel applications for dietary reconstructions in prehistory

Organisers: Domingo Carlos Salazar García (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany), Cynthianne Debono Spiteri (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Germany) and Beatrice Demarchi (University of York, UK)

Contact: domingo_carlos[at]

Dietary reconstructions are key to understanding past patterns of subsistence, which inform about population dynamics and socio-cultural characteristics of different communities. The poor preservation of organic material adds to the complexity of this field of research. However, over the last few decades, novel techniques have contributed considerably to our knowledge of ancient diets, as attested by the wide array of publications on the subject. Biogeochemical techniques in particular, have shown a remarkable adeptness at acquiring data from a variety of archaeological artefacts (e.g. ceramics, lithics, textiles, sediments, plant remains, human and animal tissues), including material which was not routinely targeted before now, such as dental calculus. Biomarker and isotopic analyses are at the forefront of this research. These techniques allow an intensive exploitation of archaeological material that is often available only in small quantities, and would otherwise not have been considered viable for analysis. This session will focus on novel approaches to dietary reconstructions in prehistory that are integrated with archaeological data, including multidisciplinary projects that address research questions from different perspectives. Studies using high resolution microscopy, proteomics, genetics, isotope and organic residue analysis are welcome. Submissions addressing pitfalls in the analytical techniques utilised are also encouraged, as well developments on less destructive sampling techniques.

Meat as food, offering and identity

Organisers: Ladislav Rytíř (Labrys, o.p.s. – Archaelogical Public Service Company, Czech Republic) and Branislav Kovár (Archaeological Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia)

Contact: rytir[at]

Meat is an important part of human diet. In many periods of the past meet was valued not only for its high nutrition value but also as a symbol of wealth and social status. The consumption of meat was indicative of the social elite and it often occurred also as an offering in the burial context. These are for example funerary feasts of the Hallstatt Period aristocracy or much earlier meat dishes in the burial contexts of the Corded Ware and Bell Beaker population. The choice of animal species and cut of meat, the way of its cooking and serving may also be one of the important signs of communal, regional and ethnic and gender identity. Meat was also important object of exchange and trade. Frequently during the Prehistory and Middle Ages the specific meat consumption or its taboo was used as an important symbol of differences between communities and religious groups. The funerary and domestic evidence of meat consumption is essential for understanding of methods of animal husbandry, as well as, symbolic significance of different species and types of meat for social relations of its consumers. In this session we are going to discuss the changing context of production, choice, butcher practices, preparation, consumption and deposition of different kinds of meat throughout the Prehistory to the Modern Era. Particular attention will be paid for the meat offerings in Prehistoric burial contexts and their social, ritual and identity significance.

Medieval and early modern glass as seen through the context of dining

Organisers: Georg Haggrén (Universtiy of Helsinki, Finland), Hedvika Sedlácková (Archaia Brno, o.p.s., Czech Republic) and Hugh Willmott (University of Sheffield, UK)

Contact: georg.haggren[at];[at]; h.willmott[at]

In the 21st century glass is one of the most common materials we all use. Glass vessels, bottles and other items made of glass, as well as the windows around us, are an inseparable part of our material culture. This has not always been the case. Until recently, scholars treated glass as more or less of a luxury not only in the Middle Ages but up until the 16th and 17th centuries. However, this impression based on written sources has recently been challenged by the continuously growing archaeological material, not only from noble and urban sites, but from rural environment too.

The aim of this session is to analyse the affordability, distribution, and consumption of glass vessels in the context of material culture and dining. The production of glass was concentrated on certain areas such as mountainous regions in Bohemia (Czech Republic) and in Hesse (Germany) as well as cities like Venice andAntwerp. From these centres glass was exported over vast areas and beginning from the 16th century to overseas colonies on other continents too. Through glass vessels and material culture it is possible to analyse trade and commercial networks reaching every corner of Europe.

Literally looking through glass it is possible to analyse the dining culture and table manners but also to interpret the hidden values and symbolism behind elegant goblets, fancy glasses and humble beakers, all representing ”things” of great fragility. In contrary to for example metal vessels the resources spent on glass items were lost totally when they were broken. Shards of glass reflect conspicuous consumption better than any other material.

This session shall gather recent research on medieval and early modern material culture, and glass in particular. Papers from all parts of Europe (and beyond) are welcome to contribute this discussion.

Mesolithic survivals: Origins and perpetuation of wild resource use

Organisers: Karen Hardy (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain), Raquel Pique (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain) and Lucy Kubiak Martens (BIAX Consult, The Netherlands)

Contact: karhardy[at]

The archaeology of the past is split into hunter gatherer and agricultural subsistence methods; however the survival of wild resources in the diet is well documented throughout prehistory and history. Examples still alive in Europe today include the continued knowledge and popularity of wild mushrooms, marine resource retrieval and collection in many coastal regions, the perpetual fascination with honey evidenced in prehistoric contexts through the many cave paintings as well as the continued use of plants to treat selected ailments.

Paleodietary reconstruction has largely focused on visible remains such as bones and shells or macroscopic remains of a small number of species of, normally domesticated, plants. But do these really offer a true representation of post-agricultural diet? A glance at diets from non-westernized countries suggests that diet is frequently nutritionally enriched by inclusion of seaweed and insects, and a wide range of resources not normally visible in archaeological contexts such as leaves as well as mushrooms, and fungi, which can be ingested either for food or for other purposes, such as medicine or to induce altered mental states. The use of raw materials also survives as horn; shells, wood, bark and leather continue to be used in numerous contexts.

In this session we wish to encourage the documentation and analysis of wild resources not only in the hunter gatherer but also Neolithic and later contexts. Examples include identification of normally degraded items in waterlogged contexts, analytical methods to identify non-visible items and nutritional perspectives on non-mainstream resources.

Salt of the Earth: an invisible past in European Archaeology

Organisers: Robin Brigand (Lab. Chrono-Environment – UMR 6249, MSHE Ledoux – USR 3124, France and Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Romania), Olivier Weller (CNRS, Lab. Trajectories, UMR 8215, MAE, France), Marius Alexianu (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Romania) and Roxana Curca (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Romania)

Contact: robinbrigand[at]

With today's standardization of food habits, salt loses its importance, typical of preindustrial societies. In certain regions, it still plays an indisputable social role, with practices ranging from punctual harvesting to a true industry. Studying salt in the ancient societies requires a multidimensional approach. What tools and methods would be use to take into account all its social, politic, economic and symbolic dimensions? How would an integrated approach between past and present allow us to consider salt in all its social complexity?
This session intends to review our current understanding of the salt production process, by assessing the archaeological, historical and ethnographical evidence as well as current interpretation and theories in this topic area. Two complementary questions should be explored. The first one is an approach of today's uses and context of salt production and circulation. It is fundamental because it deals with practices that will soon have disappeared and can offer some predictive models for archaeologists. The second one is an archaeological approach of the uses and social strategies developed around this resource and his remains (ceramic technology, experimental archaeology, paleoenvironmental, chemical or geoarchaeological studies). It allows us to track the technical and economical behaviors, but also to highlight competition and societal choices caused by the availability and circulation of salt.
The quality and quantity of new data in the last decade call for a necessary standpoint about salt uses, exploitation, as well as its socioeconomic impacts. The comings and goings between past and present, between archaeology and ethnography, allow us to sketch a history of relations between man and this specific resource over the long term.

What's for Dinner?: Archaeological evidence of food production and consumption

Organisers: Linda Scott Cummings (PaleoResearch Institute, USA) and Mária Hajnalová (Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra, Slovakia)

Contact: linda[at]

Food, defined as anything consumed, is part of our daily lives and represents a substantial part of human culture. The efficiency of food acquisition and production in pre-industrial societies determines the time available for all other social and cultural processes. Yet finding evidence of and interpreting the prehistoric record of that food, whether acquisition, processing, or consumption, has challenges. This section focuses only on one the aspect of the question, which is plant food.

Plant remains may be represented by microscopic remains (pollen, starch, phytoliths) or macroscopic remains (seeds, plant parts, charcoal). Even chemical signatures may be recovered that represent foods. Preservation is not universally predictable, so often the microscopic data set is ignored under the assumption that if there is evidence it will be obvious in the macrofloral record. Micro and macro data sets, as well as chemical signatures, are important in reconstructing past diet and perhaps even cuisine. They can also provide evidence of different strategies of food/agricultural production, storage, trade or exchange.

Main themes:
• interaction between people and plants
• possibilities and limitations of knowledge: methods suitable for the recovery of plant material from archaeological sites (records?)
• social and cultural factors of food production and consumption
• strategies of plant acquisition and processing
• the role of soils, climate, water supply and other environmental factors in food production
• food as an element of culture

Archaeological Science

Deciphering agricultural footprints: New multidisciplinary studies of human-environment interactions

Organisers: Shawn A. Ross (University of New South Wales, Australia), Adéla Sobotková (University of New South Wales, Australia), Attila Gyucha (Hungarian National Museum, Hungary) and Amy Nicodemus (University of Michigan, USA)

Contact: shawn.ross[at]

Changes in the natural environment have profoundly shaped human society, and people have had a significant impact on the environment. Detecting this impact, separating anthropogenic from natural processes, and assessing environmental effects on human activities, however, is not straightforward. People do not respond deterministically to environmental changes, while the environmental consequences of human activities can vary widely. Complex feedback loops exist between environmental and human systems. Assessing interactions between people and their environment requires a combination of diverse scientific and humanistic archaeological approaches.

This panel presents the results of the Tundzha Regional Archaeological Project (TRAP;, an international, multidisciplinary campaign examining regional, diachronic human-environment interactions in the Thracian Plain, Bulgaria. We also invite submissions from other multidisciplinary projects across Europe. Our research indicates how environmental conditions combined with the practices of early farmers to shape the spread of (small-scale, intensive) agriculture beyond the Aegean. It also explores how economic and cultural developments led to much greater human impact on the environment in the Middle and Late Bronze Age – and how that altered environment in turn shaped subsequent societies. This story cannot, however, be reduced to a simple narrative of environmental “degradation” or “unsustainability” – the Thracian Plain has boasted a dense settlement network for at least the last three millennia and remains remarkably fertile to this day.

Attaining even a provisional understanding of the complexities of long-term human-environment interaction has required analysis of existing data from excavations, new research in landscape archaeology, and a range of scientific approaches (palynology, palaeobotany, geoarchaeology, environmental charcoal and soil magnetism studies, etc.). TRAP participants will present four 15-minute papers that combine these approaches to address major questions (rather than simply reporting results), and we solicit a similar number of papers from others to contexualise our work. Ample time for discussion will be provided.

Fluid metals and frozen analytical forms – addressing provenance problems and possibilities in the interpretation of lead isotopes in Bronze Age studies

Organisers: Johan Ling (University of Gothenburg, Sweden), Lene Melheim (University of Gothenburg, Sweden), Christian Horn (University in Kiel, Germany) and Zofia Anna Stos-Gale (Independent researcher, UK)

Contact: johan.ling[at]

This session aims at highlighting the importance of both form and content with regard to provenance studies of Bronze Age copper-alloys. This involves reassessing links between object types and ores. In order to understand the complexity of Bronze Age metal production and the human relations involved, we need to challenge both ‘frozen’ analytical forms and ‘frozen’ archaeological concepts of mobility and interaction. In a sense one may say that Bronze Age research is still stuck in forms, while the metal is indeed fluid. Recent lead isotope studies strongly challenge traditional ideas of forms, chains of action, metal routes and origins and suggest a far larger variety than earlier assumed.
It seems that the major flow of metal in Bronze Age Europe was not that of finished objects, but rather of ingots, which were later alloyed and cast into forms corresponding to regional social and ritual needs and norms. From this follows that artefacts/forms and metal/ingots derived from different local contexts of production. However, they were interwoven in the same social fabric through human relations and interaction. Revitalised by separation from the language of diffusion of images and objects, new models stressing Bronze Age connectivity suggest that we are dealing with ‘worlds in creolisation’ and hybrid practices rather than fixed systems of production and exchange.
This session calls for papers addressing problems and possibilities involved in archaeological interpretations of data from lead isotope analysis. How can lead isotope data enhance our understanding of production processes and the mobility of artefacts and humans in the Bronze Age? Topics of particular interest are: boundaries and flows, import versus local extraction, alliances and networks, the transportation and circulation of metals, shifts in metal supplies as well as relations between bronze workshops and copper producers.

Human DNA and Archaeology

Organisers: Phillip Endicott (Musée de l'Homme, France), Eliska Podgorna (Institute of Archaeology, Czech Republic) and Viktor Cerny (Institute of Archaeology, Czech Republic)

Contact: phillip.endicott[at]; ell.6[at]; cerny[at]

Understanding the relationship between people and material culture remains a core issue in Archaeology. Whilst the recovery of degraded DNA from human skeletal material offers important insights into populations in the past, to be effective, studies require a large number of well-preserved samples and the production of reliable sequence data. Recent methodological and technical developments in the field of ancient DNA suggest that it is now possible to meet both these requirements in some cases, provided care is taken to avoid contamination of samples and extracts. Nevertheless, not all DNA results are equal and the authenticity of published data is still difficult to ascertain by the lay reader. This session aims to provide an explanation of the current potential and limitations of ancient human DNA studies, using a range of case studies. It also hopes to promote better inter-disciplinary understanding leading to improved project planning and execution. Together with the ancient DNA studies the archaeogenetics deals today also with the genetic diversity in the contemporary human populations revealing important demographic events in the past and their relations with changes of subsistence pattern in the Neolithic. These studies signifiantly improved our current understanding of the human population history not only in Europe but on the world-wide scale.

Iron and change in Europe the first 2000 years

Organisers: Peter Halkon (University of Hull, UK), Bernt Rundberget (Kulturhistorisk museum, Norway) and Claudio Giardino (University of Salento, Italy)

Contact: a.p.halkon[at]

The period 1000 BC to 1000 AD is pivotal in the development of Europe, in which the mastery of iron was a crucial but often ignored factor. Iron facilitated production of efficient and powerful weapons and tools enabling the transformation of past societies and environments. Study of iron in its own right has often been overlooked completely by the archaeological “mainstream”. Europe-wide research has enabled archaeometallurgy to advance beyond the Chaîne opératoire of iron production to a state in which its study can make a major contribution to the wider understanding of the human past. It is now possible to identify the origin of ores used in an iron object and place of manufacture. Its find spot can reveal patterns of communication. With this new methodology we can revisit much of the history of this period with a new understanding of the connections that existed between people and places.
Although there have been a range of international conferences on archaeometallurgy including the study of iron, these have tended to consist of disparate, often site based presentations which seldom venture beyond quantification or analysis of slag or iron objects. A unified approach is essential to enable the sharing of innovative scientific methodologies allowing the subject to move forward, engage with archaeologists and historians of these periods and give the prominence to the subject that it now deserves.
This multi-disciplinary session aims to bring together all those interested in early iron, its production, use and impact, with a view to embedding its study more firmly. This session will follow the successful workshop held in London in 2010 sponsored by the European Science Foundation which involved participants from 14 European countries
Already representatives of eight countries have expressed an interest in participating and we aim to consolidate and extend this network.

Putting lithic mining tools in their place

Organisers: Michael Brandl (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Austria) and Maria M. Martinez (University of Texas at Austin, USA)

Contact: michael.brandl[at]

Inherently, lithic mining tools are common finds at prehistoric and historic quarrying sites. However, these artifacts often go unrecognized in the archaeological record because they are misidentified as “by-products” of extraction. In many cases this stems from the difficulty to accurately determine and recognize such stone implements. Case in point, apart from extraneous material, such as antler and in later times metal, researchers often confuse stone implements for mining with debris material produced during quarrying activities. This misidentification constitutes a major problem, especially in cases where artifacts lack a distinct shape and/or obvious usewear traces. Subsequently, such a priori assignments can have serious consequences in the interpretation of mining processes, as it results in erroneous assessments concerning the underrepresentation and in some cases absence of specialized mining tools.
This session focuses on the establishment of a reliable attribute system by which to identify mining artifacts in both, prehistoric and historic contexts. We would like to incorporate case studies of wide spatial and temporal scope concerned with problems, solutions, and future prospects in the research field.

Sediment stratigraphy as the record of human impact

Organisers: Piotr Szwarczewski (University of Warsaw, Poland), Ewa Smolska (University of Warsaw, Poland), Peter Barta (Comenius University, Slovakia) and Mariusz Błoński (Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland)

Contact: pfszwarc[at]

The main aim of this session is to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the presentation the results of the studies carried on the correlation between facial diversity of the deposits (of various origin) and economic human activity. These studies could have been carried in various regions with various archaeological and historical past.

Stratigraphical analysis of archaeological excavation, geological exposures or material from drilling can reconstruct the natural and anthropogenic changes that have taken place in the natural environment in the study area in the past – thus provides information about both the environmental conditions of the settlement and environmental consequences of human presence. The development of a detailed analytic methods (extremely quick from 80s and 90s especially in increasing number of publications) allows for distinguishing the macroscopically homogenous levels into smaller sediment units. It is possible due to the application of research methods used in the sedimentology, geochemistry, geophysics, paleobotany, et al. Very often, these interdisciplinary research techniques allow to discover new, unknown periods of economic activity that are not recorded in artifacts and/or divide them into phases. They are also an additional source of material about the environmental and human past of the area.

Interdisciplinary research conducted at archaeological sites and their vicinity show that the archaeological finds are not the only economic record of human activity in prehistory and historic times. The former processes of land use change, development of agriculture or metallurgy is recorded in facial differentiation of sediments accumulated in subsidiaries landscapes, such as valley bottoms, the base of slopes or lake basins.

To participate in this session, we invite representatives of various fields of knowledge that are involved in the reconstruction (or analysis) of the human economic activity from the stratigraphical diversification of the sediments.

EAA-Executive Board sponsored session: Isotopes and aDNA – Windows on the Past

Organisers: T. Douglas Price (University of Aarhus, Denmark) and Corina Knipper (Mainz University, Germany)

Contact: tdprice[at]

This session on archaeological science, sponsored by the EAA, will focus on recent developments in aDNA and the application of isotopic analysis to archaeological materials. These areas of research in recent years have provide exceptional new information on human characteristics and behavior in the past. Isotopic studies will focus on questions of mobility and will in some cases be combined with aDNA information on genetic relationships among individuals.

Testing Time: new approaches to archaeological chronologies, radiocarbon dating, and 14C data

Organisers: Nicki J. Whitehouse (Queen’s University Belfast, UK), Ben Gearey (University of Cork, Ireland) and Martin Hinz (Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, Germany)

Contact: n.whitehouse[at]

In recent years, major advances have been made in our approaches to using not only radiocarbon data to construct general archaeological chronologies, but also in understanding their specific qualities, strengths and limitations. We have seen improved dating of early archaeological sites due to refinements in methods, whilst advances in understanding the effects of ‘old wood’ on cremated bone and charcoal and compound-specific dating have highlighted important issues in sample selection. The consideration and screening of suitable material in the construction of archaeological chronologies has achieved renewed rigour through the use of Bayesian approaches. These approaches to archaeological sites and palaeoenvironmental sequences allow more precise site chronologies to be constructed and have facilitated major advances in our understanding of chronological relationships both at a site-specific scale and broadly at the regional and period level. Improving our knowledge of the temporal relationships between archaeological activity and ecological change has been particularly important in situations such as the introduction of agriculture and human-environmental relationships, although thus far such combined Bayesian approaches have been few and far between. What are the lessons to be learned in creating and using site specific and spatially diverse chronologies?

Archaeologists have also been exploring the use of 14C dates as data, (e.g. to infer population histories or intensity of human activity), and examining the relationship between temporal trends and wider archaeological and/or environmental/climatic patterns. Such approaches are providing important new insights but are not without their issues. How valid are such approaches and what interpretative and taphonomic limitations may require consideration?

In this session, we invite contributions which explore these areas; although we are particularly interested in advances in radiocarbon data and associated approaches, we also invite abstracts that address advances in other chronological tools (e.g. dendrochronology), especially where these link with the themes addressed above.

The bioarchaeology of the neolithic Carpathian Basin

Organisers: Eszter Bánffy (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary) and Kurt W. Alt (University of Mainz, Germany)

Contact: banffy.eszter[at]

By the beginning of the 6th Millennium cal BC, the first farmers reached the Carpathian Basin where the last transition to food production and sedentary life took place. The early neolithic groups became restructured both in their cultural and genetic composition in the 6th and 5th Millennium BC, affected by at least five major Northern Balkan impulses. The western part of the area became a major communication zone, mediating between South Eastern and Central Europe. Our working group has been focusing on this early population history of Eastern Hungary and of Transdanubia, developing and comparing ancient DNA, stable isotope, osteological and archaeological data gained from not less than 600 neolithic skeletons (6000–4300 cal BC).

In the session we would like to give an account of the DNA and stable isotope (SR, N, C) analysis, carried out within the frames of a three-year interdisciplinary project funded by the German Research Foundation along with the co-evaluation of these results with osteology and zooarchaeology, as well as giving a comparative interpretation of all these data within our present socioarchaeological knowledge.

Towards new horizons. Advances in provenance methods and their repercussions in archaeology

Organisers: Deborah Olausson (Lund University, Sweden), Anders Högberg (Linnaeus University, Sweden), Richard E. Hughes (Geochemical Research Laboratory, California, USA) and Eva Hjärthner-Holdar (Geoarcheological Research Laboratory, Uppsala, Sweden)

Contact: Deborah.Olausson[at]

The introduction of physical sciences methods and techniques into archaeology over the past few decades provided archaeologists with baseline provenance data to infer the movements of raw materials (and people?) at various times in the past. The aim of this session is to gather archaeologists who use provenance analyses to describe: 1) how the method(s) used have resulted in new understanding(s) of the specific archaeological questions asked, and: 2) to evaluate the extent to which proxy (provenance) data can be used to distinguish among alternative modes of material movements (trade, exchange, mobility) which carry different repercussions for interpreting the overall role of conveyance in different social settings at different times in the past. Exploring and understanding this latter variability has the potential to elevate material conveyance studies from a “this is where it came from” practice to becoming an integral component of information on the overall social and economic articulations of different groups of peoples at different points in time. These are some of the “new horizons” we will explore in this session.

Where east meets west: the impact of the Mongol invasions on the landscapes of Central and Eastern Europe – integrating science, archaeology and history

Organisers: Alex Brown (University of Reading, UK) and Jozsef Laszlovszky (Central European University, Hungary)

Contact: a.d.brown[at]

In the early 13th century, nomadic Mongol warriors from the Inner Asian Steppes waged a relentless and destructive war against the settled kingdoms of Eurasia, creating the largest contiguous land empire in history stretching from Europe to China. In 1237, the full force of the Mongol invasion of Europe fell upon the Russian Principalities in the east, who were to remain under the yoke of the Mongols for the next 250 years, and subsequently the Kingdom of Hungary following the invasion of central Europe in 1241. These conquests, of a scale never before witnessed, had significant political, social, religious and economic impacts and mark a turning point in the history of the respective territories.

Despite the ferocity of the attacks, there has been comparatively little consideration, beyond the documentary sources, of the potential impact of these invasions on the landscapes of Europe. This session aims to consider the opportunities for developing a holistic approach towards modelling the comparative impact of the Mongols on the landscapes of Central and Eastern Europe, and to consider some of the key research questions and themes concerned with integrating these sources of data. Particular emphasis is placed on the application and integration of scientific analytical techniques, archaeological data and historical sources focusing on the potential ecological consequences of the invasion, evidence for population reduction, settlement abandonment and agricultural decline. What are the challenges and potentials of integrating often divergent sources of data? Papers are welcome on both methodological issues and reviews of existing or emerging data relating to the Mongols across central and Eastern Europe. Papers are also welcome on similar themes related to the Cumans, Turks and Ottoman Empire.


Connecting Students in Europe (Round Table)

Organisers: John Saecker (DASV e.V., Germany) and Katrine Frydendal Nielsen (University of Aarhus, Denmark)

Contact: foerser[at]

This Round Table tries to discuss how it is possible to connect better students in Europe. In Austria, Germany and Switzerland the DASV e. V. made some experiences how to organize students. But this example might not work as a european organisation. So the aim is to discuss ideas and start to realize them afterwards to get students connected throughout europe. The organizer will shortly present some proposals, but the idea is not that the organizer is preparing a ready elaborated proposal. This is important, because there can be different views to which end you should connect. Do you want a sientific exchange? Do you want a connect to care about politics? And of course, there can be a lot of more reasons. Another question is, what kind of connection will it be? Will it be a Round Table on the EAA conferences? Or will there wider organization?

EAA Student Session

Organisers: Dagmar Vokounova Franzeova (University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic), Alice Koziskova (University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic) and Peter Tóth (Archaeological Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences, Slovakia)

Contact: franzeov[at]

The Student Session should serve particularly to students of Master's and PhD. degree to present their work or research, related for example to their diploma or dissertation work. The session has got no thematic restrictions. The purpose of the session should be to provide students the opportunity to present their own work or research, to establish cooperation with other students and specialists or getting to know colleagues from other departments and universities all over Europe. Equally important is an ability to compare approaches and selected methods. We believe that the opportunity to compare different approaches is very useful and important and its usage for further scientific work could be very helpful. Last and certainly very important benefit is an establishment of interdisciplinary collaboration. We, as organizers of the Student Session, will aim on seeking for financial support for all the participants of this session.

Gender and care – Session of “Archaeology and Gender in Europe”, working party of the European Association of Archaeologists

Organisers: Eva Alarcón-García (University of Durham, UK) and Sandra Lozano-Rubio (University of Complutense, Spain)

Contact: eva.alarcon[at]; sandra.lozano[at]

Mainstream discourses about the past have traditionally downplayed the importance of care to the survival and development of any social group. By care we do not only mean health care and treatment, but also all kind of life-supporting activities connected with the welfare of every member of the social group. Although caring abilities have been claimed to be a distinctive feature in early hominids, they do not seem to have any role in later times, or at least not a role worth exploring. To some extent, this is a consequence of the pervasive androcentric bias that fosters and prioritizes those values considered to be masculine in our current gender ideology. Care-giving has traditionally been regarded as a responsibility of women and limited to the domestic sphere.

However, we do know that the practice of care is a basic requirement to ensure social stability, cohesion and reproduction, and, therefore, it must be present in any detailed account on social life.

Recently, however, following the emergence of feminist and gender archaeology, there has been an increasing interest in the topic of care and the activities related with its performance. Advances in physical anthropology have likewise benefited the knowledge of pathologies and individuals requiring care.

The purpose of this session is to reflect on:
• Different caring practices and their influence on socio-historical developments
• The role of caring activities on gender configuration
• Different methodologies employed to the study of care in archaeology

The organizers of the session will welcome contributions addressing these questions as well as offering different insights in the study of care in archaeology.

General session

Paper and poster proposals presenting topics which do not correspond to the content of thematic sessions.

Hidden Worlds – a photographic exhibition

Organisers: Lisa-Marie Shillito (University of Edinburgh, UK) and Julie Boreham (Earthslides, UK)

Contact: lisa[at]

This proposal is to hold a photographic exhibiton, that we would like to have displayed over the whole conference if possible. Rather than posters or individual papers, this will be an exhibition that displays set of posters of high resolution digital photographic images, urging viewers to discover the hidden worlds of the microscopic archaeological record. The aim is to highlight the type of information that can be gained from this approach, and bring together a diverse set of case studies from Europe and beyond. This poster presentation takes the form of an art exhibition, complete with catalogue, that demonstrates the archaeological information that we can gather by viewing sediments under the microscope. We are showcasing a case study from Paisley Caves, Oregon, USA. Micromorphology of the sediments provides a history of the human use of the cave, and the formation processes of the archaeological record. Other examples include deposits from Catalhoyuk, Turkey, highlighting evidence that the inhabitants used external 'midden' areas for intensive activities in the later levels of the site. Depending on the space that could be allocated to such an exhibition, further contributions will be sought from colleagues in Spain, the Netherlands, Greece and the Czech Republic.