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Each paper should have maximally 15 minutes (10 minutes of the presentation + 5 minutes of a discussion).

List of Sessions


1. Global Perspectives on Rock Art

1. The artists behind the art: Rock art created by known artists (Session)

Chaired by Ndukuyakhe Ndlovu (University of Pretoria, South Africa) – the session originally proposed by Joakim Goldhahn (Linnæus University, Sweden), Sally Kate May (Griffith University, Australia)

This session will explore rock art created by known artists and the contribution such studies can make towards the archaeology of rock art. While globally most rock art studies focus on the vast array of rock art representing particular styles, geographical areas, time-periods, and so forth, rock art continued to be created throughout the recent past and, in some areas, is a continuing part of cultural traditions. Yet, much rock art from the recent past remains ‘unidentified’ to an individual level. For this session, we have gathered papers presenting unique case studies of rock art created by known artists from any time period. In particular, the papers focus on biographies of known artists and their work, artist (or descendants) reflections on their life and work, and/or researcher reflections on witnessing rock art being created and the broader implications of these experiences for rock art and archaeological studies.

While traditional rock art research often played around with possibilities to identify ancient artists, anthropological, historical or ethno-archaeological studies has occasionally been able to document individual artist creating rock art. So far, this has been treated as a curiosity among rock art scholars, which left us with an unused potential to unfold the life and legacies of known rock art artists and its wider implication for rock art studies based on formal methodologies.

Keywords: Rock art, Identity, Indigenous, Artist, Ethnography

2. Multidimensional Materials: Rock Art, Relationality, and Change Through Time and Space (Session)

Organised by Rebecca O'Sullivan (Jilin University, China), Courtney Nimura (University of Oxford, United Kingdom), Liam Brady (Monash University, Australia), Jamie Hampson (University of Exeter, United Kingdom)

Rock art research over past decades has seen a growing plurality in interpretations and approaches that acknowledge the complex natures of the images and sites and their ties to current events and wider landscapes. In many instances, a rock art assemblage or individual motif has been used as evidence for human-animal-object-environment relations, changes in social and cultural networks, and long-distance connections. Also embedded in discussions of the multidimensional nature of rock art is the idea of change – namely that the meaning, behaviour, and nature of rock art changes as the communities that engage with it also change. This directly challenges approaches that place rock at interpretations in a static setting. For instance, Bronze Age petroglyphs in Korea were integrated into state-founding myths in the sixth century, in South Africa rock art was incorporated into the new coat of arms, and in Australia the preservation or state of rock art is sometimes used as a symbol referencing the contemporary health and well-being of Indigenous communities and their Country. Engaging with ideas of multidimensionality and change also demands attention be paid to the mechanisms that potentially drive this process (e.g. political, ideological), and the chronological and geographical scales at which this process occurs. Thus, in this session, we challenge contributors to consider the complex relationship between the interpretation and significance of rock art, and aspects of change (or lack of) to better understand rock art’s dynamic role(s) in understanding the past and present. We encourage participants to consider rock art at a range of scales and draw on prehistoric, historical/contact-themed, and contemporary rock art. In considering rock art as a multidimensional material, we also ask contributors to think about the potential implications of identifying the changing role(s) of rock art and what that might mean for rock art research more generally.

Keywords: rock art, multi-dimensional, multi-scalar, global comparison, relationality

6. Revisiting regionality to understand world rock art (Session)

Organised by Ndukuyakhe Ndlovu (University of Pretoria, South Africa), Inés Domingo-Sanz (University of Barcelona, Spain)

Rock art is a global phenomenon used by many generations of artists and their counterparts at different points in time to pass down and preserve knowledge on the natural, the cultural, and the symbolic worlds on more lasting formats.

This singular and vulnerable heritage has attracted major interest over the years. To improve our understanding of rock art, there have been many theories applied in the study of rock art throughout the world. In some specific cases, ethnographic records have also played a significant role in the study of rock art. At the core of these many approaches has been the interest to learn about the content, dating, interpretation, and authorship, based on the analysis of particular bodies of rock art. In this session we are interested in exploring both the local and the global. By bringing together scholars addressing questions on the emergence, the evolution, the changes over time and space, and the driving forces behind those changes in particular parts of the world, this session aims to instigate debates on both rock art variability and rock art universals, with potential to inform on regional and global patterns on human behavior.

Other issues of global interest such as dating and how it is challenging our previously held views on authorship and meaning of rock art, the reviewing of rock art content to improve our understanding of its meaning, the use of style in the study of rock art, and new developments in the study and interpretation of rock art, are also welcome.

Keywords: World, Rock Art, Archaeology

7. From within: current approaches to the study of human/other-than-humans in (rock) art studies (Session)

Organised by Ana Paula Motta (Centre for Rock Art Research and Management, University of Western Australia, Argentina), Jo McDonald (Centre for Rock Art Research and Management, University of Western Australia, Australia), Sven Ouzman (Centre for Rock Art Research and Management, University of Western Australia, South Africa), Martin Porr (Centre for Rock Art Research and Management, University of Western Australia, Germany)

The role of other-than-human beings in the construction of past and present identities has been widely acknowledged in archaeology and rock art studies. In Western archaeological practice, however, the role of non-humans in the constitution of social life has often been neglected or viewed in simplified functional terms, such as food resources, objects of rituals and ceremonies, and as reflections of symbolic communication. Such simplification stems  from a division between nature and culture rooted in Cartesian and Enlightenment ideas about what it means to be human and the conviction that humans are more than just animals. Consequently, non-humans have been studied from a human vantage point that neglects their motivations and sense of being. Perspectives that challenged this orientation have emerged in the past decade with the advent of the so-called ontological turn that influenced the conceptualisation of animals and human-animal relationships. This session aims at furthering ontological and epistemological approaches to the study of non-human beings with a focus on diverse art traditions and an interrogation of how human/non-human studies can be deepened by taking into consideration new theoretical approaches. Themes to be explored include:

  • the role of non-human beings in the construction of social identity;
  • new theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of other-than-human beings;
  • redefinitions of human/non-human entities through the advancement of new methodological approaches;
  • the exploration of relational ontologies in order to overcome nature/culture dichotomies; and
  • the role of hybrid or multi-component figures in art.

We invite presenters to reflect on the processes of the mutual influence and constitution of non-human and human beings. How would an archaeology focused on other-than-human beings look like? What can we learn about human/non-human encounters through the study of diverse artistic materials (rock art, mobile art, body decorations, etc)?

Keywords: non-humans, (rock) art, identity, relational ontologies, culture/nature

2. Why Archaeology Needs Ethnoarchaeology

1. Archaeology and Caravans in Comparative Prospective (Session)

Organised by Mario A. Rivera (ICOMOS Chile, Chile), Olga Gabelmann (University of Bonn, Germany)

Caravans existed for millennia crossing mountains and deserts, supposedly organized on a domestic or village level in most prehistoric periods. Not only were they relevant for transporting goods, but also for spreading information and connecting people and cultures over great distances. Nevertheless, caravan leaders may not always have been welcome, especially when crossing regions inhabited by different ethnic groups. Over the millennia, the modes of caravanning been modified according to a more or less centralized political and economic organization; most drastically, it changed in Inca times with state-controlled mobility and in the subsequent colonial period.

A wide range of colonial documents deal with the descriptions of caravans, but archaeological evidence is scarce because nomadic life leaves only ephemeral traces other than numerous trails that cover the mountains. Thus, ethno-archaeological studies have been the most appropriate approach to reason by analogy for prehistoric caravanning. Especially in the South-Central Andes, certain case studies present different local patterns but all combine with the general aspects of caravanning.

Taking the Andes as central point we are interesting in promoting comparative issues related to herding and caravans elsewhere, for instance in Africa, e.g. in the Western Sahara, where also salt blocks were transported for barter (McDougall 1990)) or in Western Egypt (Förster and Riemer 2013). For this reason, we would like to contrast information on caravanning also from other parts of the world. Thus, the herders and nomads of Central Asia (Khazanov 1994) may also be of great interest, considering they were eventually responsible for transporting goods along the Silk Road.

Focal points for comparisons are: a) reasons for herding/caravanning in the different areas, b) the relation of man and transport animal and the respective environment, c) socio-political organization of caravans in relation to economic systems.

Keywords: ethno-archaeology, prehistoric caravanning, Andean region, Sahara region, Western Egypt

2. Breaking Bread and Raising a Glass: Bridging Ethnoarchaeological and Archaeological Research on Food and Culinary Habits (Session)

Organised by John Arthur (University of South Florida, United States), Soultana Maria Valamoti (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)

Ethnoarchaeological and archaeological research on food and culinary habits over the last several decades has contributed significantly to major discoveries in archaeology, such as the deciphering the earliest evidence of bread and beer as well as to ritual, economic, health, gender role, and technological changes. A major theme in this symposium is to address the role ethnoarchaeology has had in contributing to a more comprehensive understanding regarding how to interpret ancient food studies in the archaeological record. The technological achievements of food production and the wide-ranging contexts of serving and consumption among Indigenous societies today allow ethnoarchaeologists to provide archaeologists with new alternative interpretations. Ethnoarchaeologists and archaeologists working in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas reveal their diverse food research. Food and the act of making a meal, serving, and eating either in a ritual or as a daily meal remains a vital symbol in determining changes of cultural identity. This symposium’s goal is to bring ethnoarchaeologists and archaeologists together working on the subject of food and culinary habits, thus generating a lively dialogue on the different lines of evidence for approaching food research.

Keywords: Food, Subsistence, Ethnoarchaeology, Ritual, Technology

3. Global Perspectives on the Archaeology and Ethnoarchaeology of Salt (Session)

Organised by Paul Eubanks (Middle Tennessee State University, United States), Marius Alexianu (Universitatea Alexandru Ioan Cuza Iasi, Romania)

For thousands of years, salt was one of the world’s most precious and coveted commodities. Not only did this mineral play a vital role in keeping people alive, it also encouraged trade, provoked wars, and even helped lead to the rise and fall of empires. Despite its importance, today this substance is often taken for granted, and it is frequently overlooked by members of the scholarly community. However, over the past several decades, interest in the relation between salt and society has been growing among both Old and New World archaeologists. For those seeking to explore the production, exchange, or use of salt in the pre-modern past, there is a critical issue to consider—unlike more durable materials such as shell, pottery, stone, and metal, salt, given its soluble nature, is all but invisible in the archaeological record. As a result, archaeologists have found it essential to draw upon ethnoarchaeology in order to make sense of their data.

In this session, we explore the importance and role of salt in both the ancient and modern worlds. Although the societies we discuss are separated by space and time, we address a series of related questions critical in understanding the economic, political, social, and religious impacts of salt. These include what techniques were used to make salt, who was responsible for producing it, how was salt used, what impact did it have on settlement patterns and emerging complexity, and how did economies of salt influence cross-cultural exchange. In exploring these topics, the papers in this session highlight the value of ethnoarchaeology to the study of salt while also shedding new light on the contribution of salt to the development of human societies from across the globe.

Keywords: Salt, Ethnoarchaeology, Cross-cultural Comparisons, Resource Procurement, Exchange

4. Ethnoarchaeology and Later European Prehistory – Venturing the Ridge between Hypothesis, Plausibility, and Evidence (Session)

Chaired by Claire Smith (Flinders University, Australia), Gary Jackson (Flinders University, Australia) – the session originally proposed by Holger Wendling (Salzburg Museum/Keltenmuseum Hallein, Austria), Ulrich Veit (University of Leipzig, Germany)

In the early days of prehistoric research, ethnography and archaeology were inseparably linked in a broader field of cultural anthropology. With the multiplication of evidence in both fields this research perspective was largely forgotten. What remained was a descriptive ethnoarchaeology of Palaeolithic and Mesolithic populations, which dealt with analogous "Stone Age" cultural phenomena in present and past. Ethnoarchaeological approaches that sought comparative links between recent European prehistory and traditional contemporary cultures in a global perspective were – quite rightly – criticized for an apparent lack of comparability and "conclusiveness". But despite severe epistemological, ethical and methodological problems of ethnoarcheological reasoning in prehistoric archaeology there is no doubt that comparative approaches of this kind broaden our perspective and therefore help us to improve our understanding of archeologically documented historical contexts.
This becomes clear from recent studies in archaeology of death and burial, settlement and economic archaeology, and even in archaeology of religion, which use ethnographic materials to interpret the material record of past societies. Within the framework of a global conceptualization of material culture studies, ethnoarchaeological interpretations have gained a firm place in the methodological repertoire of later European prehistory. Through the presentation of case studies from European Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages (c. 6000–50 BC), the session aims to explore the possibilities and perspectives of ‘ethnoarchaeological’ interpretation in contemporary archaeology based on a variety of case studies and methodological issues. In a wide range between direct historical approach, identification of technical aspects, the collection of explanatory examples, and the interpretative analysis of broad social and economic issues, ethnoarchaeology of Later European Prehistory offers intriguing prospects far beyond traditional approaches. At the same time, methodological challenges and possible pitfalls of an "ethnographically oriented archaeology" will be addressed and discussed.

Keywords: Ethnoarchaeology, Later European Prehistory, ethnographic analogy, material culture studies, cultural anthropology

5. Ethnoarchaeology: From Research Tool to Foundational Archaeological Epistemology (Session)

Organised by Alok Kumar Kanungo (IIT Gandhinagar, India), Sharada V. Channarayapatna (IIT Gandhinagar, India), Jordan Ralph (Flinders University, Australia)

Ethnoarchaeology is one of archaeology’s best tools for inferring patterns in past material cultures, and over time it has attained a larger importance in the comparative ethnography of different geo-cultural zones. However, too often the dynamic and intangible contextual meaning of the artifacts is lost. Too often archaeologists engage only cursorily with ethnoarchaeology, or worse still, relegate its rich disciplinary potential to mere ‘ethnographic’ surveys.

To re-vitalize ethnoarchaeology’s potential to interpret the past, we ask: How can ethnoarchaeology address the knowledge systems that underlaid ancient forms of material and spatial production? Why is it that as archaeological agendas move to political agendas of decolonization and indigeneity – there has been less and not more interest in the traditions and insights of ethnoarchaeology from the global south? The proposed session invites contributions that speak to these enduring asymmetries in the praxis and purpose of ethnoarchaeology from different regional scholarly traditions, particularly those from the Global South. We invite studies that can revise current understandings of archaeological problems, and be applied to the problems of the present. We are particularly interested in reflections that incorporate scientific approaches; including those that involve geological, botanical, zoological, technological know-how.

Keywords: Ethnoarchaeology, Scientific Approach, Global South, Epistemology, Ancient Crafts

3. Contemporary Archaeologies

1. Archaeology, resistance and engagement: the archaeology(ies) of contemporary past under dictatorship (Session)

Organised by Leila Papoli-yazdi (School of Arts and Communication, Malmö University, Sweden), Maryam Dezhamkhooy (CAPAS Institute, Heidelberg University, Germany), Omran Garazhian (Freelance archaeologist, Iran)

In his influential contribution ‘Archaeology as Political Action’ ,Randell McGuire discusses emancipatory archaeologies. Trying to exemplify the case he discusses some contemporary archaeology projects as engaged ones. The archaeologies of contemporary past have been developed in various directions, but almost all branches of the subfield pursue socially and politically engaged agenda.

Generally speaking, the archaeologists of contemporary past who are working on conflict and violence can be evidently divided into two major groups. The first, archaeologists who are studying post-colonial, post-dictatorship violence and secondly the archaeologists working under a dictatorship regime. Crucially, the second group has to interlace resistance and academic career together. They may suffer diverse sorts of political pressure and restrictions. But it can bring these archaeologists even worse consequences such as losing their jobs. But if s/he remains in the field, for such an archaeologist, the very methodology of work and retaining engaged under dictatorship would be a field of struggle.

Working on contemporary past is considered actually as a sensitive issue where tyrants rule. For the dictator, the shovel of archaeologists is ironically a weapon in the hands of an opponent who may challenge the dominant (Meta) narrative and constructed past which is usually highly-charged with nationalism and conformity.

Our unique experiment of studying contemporary past under dictatorship brought us this very question whether the practice of the archaeology of contemporary era, methodologically and academically, in the long term in such a context is possible.

To answer this question, we kindly ask all archaeologists from both groups to share their experiences with us. All the archaeologists who have the experience of working under and after dictatorship or colonial regimes are highly welcomed to share their insights, field work experiences or their challenges by publication and presentation of results.

Keywords: archaeology of recent past, postcolonialism, dictatorship, methodology, engagement

3. The Archaeology of Zoos – Reloaded (Session)

Organised by Cornelius Holtorf (Linnaeus University, Sweden), Kola Adekola (University of Ibadan, Nigeria)

Zoos are an important part of heritage as they are the most frequently visited types of museums in the world and also have a broader cross section of visitors than any other museum category.

Beyond caging the animals, zoos also reflect changing human values and preferences in society in contemporary times. There is a clear trend within Zoos and Animal Parks towards providing ever more extraordinary experiences for visitors through memorable, staged events. Examples range from ‘meet the keeper’ to ‘behind the scene’-tours and from ‘spend a night at the zoo’ to ‘swim with dolphins’. Visitors are invited to experience animal-related dreams thus escaping the routines of their everyday lives.

Almost two decades later, the session revisits the topic of a session on ‘The Archaeology of Zoos’ at WAC 5 in the United States in 2003. What has changed since then in terms of Zoo patronage by the different strata of human society? What are the perceptions of a Zoo visit by different groups across the world in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Australia and Europe? Are Zoos having any significance around the world in the current context of globalization which tend to make travels faster, easier, and perhaps more interactive due to various social media platforms? What are the effects on Zoos of decolonization, climate change and the proliferation of the heritage industry?

Focusing on archaeology, heritage and the zoo, this session aims to bring together participants across various fields to discuss the zoo as a living museum. All papers that conceptualize and problematize the zoo as heritage are welcome. We encourage specific case studies from different parts of the globe.

Keywords: Zoo, Conservation, Globalization, Decolonization, Heritage

5. Contemporary Approaches to the Study of Cultural Erasure (Session)

Organised by Brian Daniels (University of Pennsylvania, United States), Zoya Masoud (Technische Universität Berlin, Germany)

Cultural erasure can be understood as the intentional destruction or theft of heritage objects and sites through direct action or intentional neglect. Addressing this social practice by reviving memories, reconstructing sites, and calling for collective mourning and/or active remembering creates new frames for the work of memory-making, collective memorialization, reconstruction, and object conservation and analysis. Here, we propose that cultural erasure is a heuristic lens of study for the practice of contemporary archaeology.

This panel aims to examine the variety of methodological and theoretical approaches that have been employed to understand a social phenomenon as diverse as cultural erasure. Its participants employ a variety of archaeological, ethnographic, epistemological, and sociological methods in their case studies. By examining how archaeologists and researchers from allied fields take up this topic, this panel also aims to understand how the rigorous study of cultural erasure can contribute to projects of cultural recovery, heritage preservation, and the development of research endeavors linked to current socio-political issues such as trauma, exile, violence, discrimination, and theft.

Because cultural erasure is a widespread social practice, studying it demands exploring it in multiple dimensions. Whether it was the result of a misfortune or an organized crime, it marks symbolically an action of barbarism. How can researchers localize this sense of loss? What can be replaced and what can be relocated? How do local communities remember, commemorate, or forget the loss? What feelings do they prompt? What may be said about variability across urban and rural spaces? Who has the agency to remember and who produces memory? Are there ways that cultural erasure can be overcome? We ask these questions through case studies from different countries and diverse cultural settings including Syria, Iraq, Georgia, the United States, and Mexico, and at the level of the landscape, city, site, and object.

Keywords: cultural erasure, cultural heritage, contemporary archaeology, destruction, reconstruction

6. Archaeologies of Contemporary (Political) Global Settings / Arqueologías de contextos políticos contemporáneos globales / Arqueologias de Cenários Globais Contemporâneos (Políticos) (Session)

Organised by Dante Angelo (Universidad de Tarapacá, Chile), Andrés Zarankin (Universidad Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil)

This session aims to inquire on the different political aspects that an archaeology of the contemporary past can focus on and provide evidence and an understanding of structural violence, inequalities, and possible ways to contest them. When it comes to “an archaeology of us”, this engagement seems to be unavoidable since, in our attempt to “uncover” the realities we study, we immerse ourselves in them. This rings as particularly relevant given the current global social unrest (generally responded with violent repressions on the side of the states), post-political divisive science and overwhelming capitalism. But, how do we define and construct the political? What evidences allow us to contest and challenge structures of power, domination and marginalization? Are artifacts and things enough? In which ways we are able to, simultaneously, inhabit and study the spaces and practices of deliberation and confrontations that constitute the political? Are current theoretical frameworks fit to interrogate this concept and, more importantly, provide alternatives to shape emancipatory politics?

We are interested in knowing more about how archaeological methods (combined or mixed with other disciplinary or undisciplined methods) and conceptual understanding, become tools to inquire on the political in its many facets. Contributions presenting different scenarios through which the political is or can be reconstituted, (re)defined and scrutinized are welcome. Whether is called dissident archaeology or archaeology of repression and resistance, or tackling a wide array of subject such as climate change or consumerism, modern conflict, homelessness, migration and displacement or other(s), we propose to discuss lines of scrutiny that could bring together efforts from distant and yet proximate places in the global south and north. Our goal is to provide material connections that illuminate the political spectrum framing social conditions of power and resistance, the abuse of the former and the efficiency of the latter.

Keywords: Political practice, Democra-things and engagement, Positioning and participation

7. Archaeologies of pain and resistance: unveiling subaltern stories (Session)

Organised by Caroline Murta Lemos (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil), Denise Neves Batista Costa (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil), Nicole Fuenzalida (Centro de Estudios Culturales Latinoamericanos, Universidad de Chile, Chile)

The Archaeology of Violence is a line of research that was born as the Archaeology of Battle or War, whose studies were consolidated mainly from the 1980s in the United States and Europe. Initially focused on the analysis of battlefields, forts, and specific objects such as weapons, uniforms, etc., this line of research expanded and diversified, especially from the 2000s onwards, turning to other types of sites and materialities, as well as to other forms of conflict besides wars. In other words, Archaeology began to analyze the forms of violence that are also present in everyday life and that are products and agents in social, cultural, political and economic constructions. Within the scope of Historical and Contemporary Archaeology, this critical bias has also resulted in the recognition that discussing processes, contexts and events of violence (political, racial, ethnic, gender, religious, etc.) often means addressing stories that have been or are still minimized, distorted and silenced by narratives and policies linked to the structures of power that were built from this violence. So, it became clear that by doing Archaeology of Violence, we are practicing an archaeology committed to make these subaltern histories visible and to build a critical understanding of the inequalities, injustices and resistances linked to these traumatic contexts.

Therefore, this symposium aims to bring together proposals that: a) provoke reflections on the contributions that Archaeology of Violence can provide for the understanding of the modern and contemporary world formation; b) discuss the political and social role that this research line can play by making room for subordinate stories; and c) present new ways of approaching violence in methodological and reflexive aspects, from the current situation that involves the theme for our contexts and global policies, until thinking about the situated knowledge and the enunciative places that question us.

Keywords: Archaeology of Violence, Historical Archaeology, Contemporary Archaeology, Traumatic past

4. High-Spirited Gatherings or Lightning Sessions

1. Lightning Strike Wakes Archaeologists and they Challenge Colonial-Indigenous Master Narratives! (Session)

Organised by Kathryn Weedman Arthur (University of South Florida, United States)

The historical privilege of western academic science has situated archaeologists as experts trained to appraise and brand materials, events, ideas, and people of the past. If unchallenged, we are complicit in creating and sustaining master narratives, too often closely aligned with a settler-colonial and post-colonial institutionalized violence aimed at Indigenous peoples, sovereignty, and self-determination. We are among a growing cadre of anthropologists, academics, and activists who resoundingly declare “No More!” and question our discipline’s hallowed and exclusive practice of creating narratives of the past for contemporary and future consumption. Join us as we unsettle and disrupt business as usual.

Keywords: institutionalized violence, sovereignty, master narratives

2. The Archaeology of Coincidence? (Session)

Organised by Larry Zimmerman (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, United States), Stephen Loring (Smithsonian Institution, United States), Gary Jackson (Flinders University, Australia)

Sometimes archaeological practice produces strange and wondrous aspects that lead to narratives that aren’t so much strictly factual as they are extra-sensorial and engaged with a world experience that is rooted in a humanistic perspective and paradigm. “Scrubbing away” the narrative of fieldwork for just facts and descriptions to produce good archaeological science requires the adoption of a no-nonsense, serious demeanor when so much of the passion and ambiance of work is entwined in the people, places and experiences surrounding the production of knowledge. “Story-telling” rather than reporting as stories—as we all know—are the real currency of the world, especially when collaborating with descendant communities. This lightning session seeks to examine what might be called spectral experiences: seeing the familiar become strange while we wonder at seeking and/or thinking about explanations. Many archaeologists have such experiences, but rarely write about them, yet, in trying to understand them, informally discuss them with community collaborators and trusted colleagues. While the incidents are in themselves fascinating, the session seeks to address how the occurrences affect the archaeologist. How do archaeologists go about processing these non-ordinary experiences? As scientists, do we have an obligation to report or to explain the episode? How do Indigenous archaeologists deal with such matters? Do we believe that the incidents really happened, or was it just the power of suggestion or coincidence? Do we or should we alter our practice in some way? How did we feel about ourselves as scientists if we can’t “explain it away?” Addressing these questions more openly may provide lessons and insights about different ways of experiencing things that speak to consequences and responsibilities in archaeology.

Keywords: story-telling, coincidence, explanation, non-ordinary, spectral


5. Evaluating Archaeological Knowledge

1. From Ethics to “New Ethics” – Theory and Praxis (Session)

Organised by Talia Shay (Technion Institute of Technology (former), Israel), Marie Pyrgaki (Universite Paris 1, Pantheon-Sorbonne, Greece), Lilen Malugani Guillet (Universidad Nacional de Catamarca, Argentina)

Generally speaking, there are two approaches to archaeological research today: the old, phenomenological approach and the “new materialistic” one which is the outcome of recent developments in science and technology. The common idea behind both of them is the criticism of modernity and its Cartesian rationality, which separates mind and body, nature and culture, and past and present. However, the object of criticism is different in each case. The phenomenological approach focuses on the nature of individual experience and directs its criticism towards ethical and political issues; the “new materialistic “approach focuses on the material itself and directs its criticism towards the ethical assumptions behind the old phenomenological approach. It offers, instead, “a new ethics”, that is, an alternative way of thinking about the past and about materiality by seeing things as inspiration for contemplation of time, space, and the remains of the past.

This session seeks to investigate the advantages and disadvantages of each of these approaches. We present case studies of both of them at work and examine how they influence, direct, and structure archaeological inquiry and inquiry in related disciplines, such as anthropology and history. The different case studies presented will enable us to clarify some theoretical and practical issues raised by the “ontological turn” from the phenomenological approach to archaeology to the “new materialistic” one.

Keywords: new-materialism, ethics, new-ethics, archaeology, Phenomenology

3. Indigenous Peoples and New Techniques for Provenance Research: Opportunities, Challenges and Risks (Session)

Organised by Paul Turnbull (National Centre for Indigenous Studies, Australian National University; University of Tasmania, Australia), Edward Halealoha Ayau (Former Executive Director, Hui Mālama I Nā Kūpuna O Hawai‘i Nei, United States), Lyndon Ormond-Parker (Indigenous Studies Unit, Centre for Health Equity, University of Melbourne, Australia)

The past thirty years have seen remarkable developments in techniques for gaining new knowledge of the lives and ancestry of human populations from bones and other bodily remains of individuals that, in many instances, have lain unexamined in storerooms of museums and university medical and anthropological collections for near a century. By the early 1990s, advances in desktop computing and programming languages had enabled the development of computer-based shape analysis algorithms and multivariate statistics for determining the geographic origins of crania and other bones. Biological anthropologists and archaeologists have since routinely used programs such as CRANID and FORDISC with the aim of identifying the probable ancestry of unprovenanced remains, and what ancestral identification may disclose about the life experiences and cultures of historical populations. There have also been developments in the analysis of DNA variations. Until recently, genetic studies of past human populations were limited to the study of contemporary partial or complete mitochondrial genomes. These studies have provided useful information about the population structure of people living today, but the analysis of mitochondrial genomes has proven insufficient to identify the origins of ancient remains to a high level of accuracy. However, new techniques for sequencing of ancient nuclear genomes together with ancient mitogenomes, and interpreting the results by sophisticated bioinformatic analyses, has opened up the possibility of confirming the origins and ancestry of remains until now largely neglected in medico-scientific collections.

And yet the use of these new analytical techniques raises questions in contexts of Indigenous peoples seeking to identify Ancestors long held in museums or discovered in the course of archaeological projects. In these two panels, ten Indigenous and non-Indigenous researchers experienced in the identification of Ancestral Remains address, among questions, the potential of new craniometric and DNA technologies and the ethical risks they present.

Keywords: Repatriation, Science, Craniometrics, DNA Analysis, Ethics

5. ‘What have the Romans ever done for us?’ The Roman Past and 21st Century Politics (Session)

Organised by Emily Hanscam (Linnaeus University, Sweden), Russell Ó Ríagáin (Queen’s University Belfast, UK)

There has been a long ongoing conversation about the relationship between the Roman past and contemporary politics, centred on the debate over Romanisation that began during the mid-90s in the UK but has since become global. While global politics have changed greatly over the past few decades, and theoretical approaches in Roman archaeology have likewise diversified alongside the postcolonial critique, discussions about the politics of Roman archaeology frequently still revert back to the Romanisation debate.

We recognize that the political situation for all archaeology, not just Roman, has grown increasingly complex and nuanced across the world over the past few years with the rise of nationalism and populism. Furthermore, it would be a mistake to assume that we can normalise the politics of the Roman past given the many different local social contexts. While Romanisation does persist in certain cases, the many different research traditions and political histories across the world also bring a diversity to how the Roman past—represented via archaeological research, textbooks and museum displays (among others)—relates to contemporary politics.

We first organised this session at EAA 2019 in Bern, and now for WAC we aim to include more voices, expanding the discussion of the politics of Roman archaeology beyond Europe. The aim will be to create a dialogue which both challenges ongoing presumptions about Romanisation and highlights the need for an ongoing critique of the politics of the Roman past. We welcome contributions addressing the politics of Roman archaeology on local, regional, or national scales globally.

Keywords: Roman archaeology, politics of the past, Romanisation, nationalism, populism

6. WAC Archaeological Ethics Bowl (Round Table)

Organised by Kenneth Aitchison (Landward Research, United Kingdom), Deb Rotman (Register of Professional Archaeologists, United States)

The Register of Professional Archaeologists invites graduate and undergraduate students to organize teams of 3 to 5 participants with a faculty mentor to take part in the first WAC Archaeological Ethics Bowl.

The WAC Archaeological Ethics Bowl is a debate competition for undergraduate and graduate students where teams from different universities compete by debating solutions to the ethical dilemmas archaeologists face in our day-to-day lives. Hypothetical cases are developed using real-life experiences and suggestions from academic, development-led, and avocational archaeologists around the world. Ethics Bowl teams then formulate and defend reactions and solutions to these ethical dilemmas using their academic knowledge of numerous ethical guidelines and laws, as well as their personal research and fieldwork experiences. Judges drawn from professional and eminent archaeologists grade the teams on their responses, throw them surprise questions that extend or change key components of the cases, and decide which teams advance to the final round to compete for prizes. It’s an awesome experience and a great opportunity to practice ethical decision making before being placed in a hard situation in real life. Ethics Bowl contestants candemonstrate stronger ethical decision-making skills than many working archaeologists have sometimes shown. All rounds are held in front of live audiences.

If your university* is interested in participating, please contact Deb Rotman ( or Kenneth Aitchison ( by [**CLOSING DATE**]. To register for this event, send an email to the organizing committee with the names and email addresses of the 3-5 members of your team and your faculty mentor. Please designate a chief contact (team member or faculty mentor) to receive emails and instructions on behalf of the team.

*Note: Teams made up of more than one institution are allowed. All team members must be registered for the WAC-9 in order to participate. 

no actual presentations, instead series of mini-debates

Keywords: archaeological ethics, undergraduate/graduate students, professionalism

6. Discrimination and Injustices

1. Thirty years on: has the Vermillion Accord steered change? (Session)

Organised by Wendy Black (Iziko Museums of South Africa, South Africa), Morongwa Mosothwane (University of Botswana, Botswana)

In 1989, delegates from more than 20 countries and multiple indigenous groups met at the World Archaeological Congress (WAC) in Vermillion, South Dakota to hold an internal symposium on ‘Archaeological Ethics and the Treatment of the Dead’. Thirty years later, we see marked changes in archaeological strategy and it seems that initiatives like the Vermillion Accord have had far-reaching effects that have guided change in the discipline. Although some immediate action was observed shortly after the accord, particularly in the USA and Canada, many in the archaeological and anthropological community viewed it negativity, perhaps fearing the loss of scientific access. WAC’s First Code of Ethics from its congress in Venezuela in 1990 further encouraged the scientific community to accept change. Today, many professionals engage with indigenous peoples and, in some countries, they confront and participate in decolonization and transformation activities. This has led to a number of collaborative and inclusive studies that are providing new avenues of scientific inquiry, and productive and diverse research. Change is not limited to academia. Globally, the broadly-defined heritage sector is undergoing organisational transformations that include redressing cultural violations that resulted in unethical collecting and research practice on human remains and sacred objects. There has also been progress in legislation, initiating changes across continents that protect, conserve and in many cases, return objects and people from institutional collections. Some of these actions have been successful while others have failed but most archaeologists, heritage practitioners and museum workers agree that the establishment of such legislation has been essential, despite the challenges. This session will review the current state-of-play, and define aspirational goals.

Keywords: Vermillion Accord, transformation, decolonization, repatriation

4. Decolonization of Classics and Classical Archaeology (Session)

Chaired by Charina Knutson (Linnaeus University, Sweden) – the session originally proposed by Louise Hitchcock (The University of Melbourne, Australia), Christopher Hale (O.P. Jindal Global University, India)

As a revolutionary “undoing” of colonialism, the practice of decolonization has been around for centuries. In the academy, it is not a rejection of what are termed “western” values rather it represents an ethical practice to reinscribe what has been excluded in the non-west as central. Archaeology and Classics are disciplines with their roots in Europe. Decolonizing practices in archaeology sought to improve the accuracy of Indigenous representations, but the moment we open ourselves to the term representation, we are already in danger of imposing colonial mentalities on the past. Still, decolonizing practices were well in place in world archaeology by the late 20thcentury. Crudely speaking, a project of decolonizing means to de-center the domination of white-male Euro-centric perspectives. However, Euro-centrism is not limited to white males, just as feminism is no longer the domain of females. How should one view the Classics and classical archaeology? Is it an aspirational goal for people of color wanting to partake of white privilege, through rendering them visible in the past? Or, should we embrace Black Athena: the book by Martin Bernal, who embarked on a project of arguing that the inscription and fetishization of Greece as the fount of European civilization by classicists and historians excluded the earlier contributions of Egypt and the Near East. The study of Greek and Near Eastern interconnections has begun to gain traction and acceptance in recent years and the discipline of Classics has sought to decolonize itself by arguing for more diversity in terms of practitioners and research. However, it can be argued that the privileged position of Classics can only be de-centered externally as the preference for the study of Classics already carries an inherent bias of fetishism. This session seeks scholars of all ethnicities and genders to address the issue of decolonizing classics.

Keywords: Decolonization, Classics, Classical Archaeology, Ancient Near East, Black Athena


7. Community Approaches to Archaeology and Heritage Management

1. African Archaeologists, African Heritage Managers (Session)

Organised by Emmanuel Ndiema (National Museums of Kenya, Kenya), Kenneth Aitchison (Heritage Management Organization, United Kingdom)

Who works in African archaeology and heritage management? This is not a question about academic visitors from the global north, but who is actually doing the day to day work of conserving, interpreting and managing  Africa’s rich heritage?

Taking a global perspective, this session explores the different traditions of practice across the African continent, and considers how deep and recent histories have influenced the engagement of Africans with the past. How is heritage managed when there is no dividing line between heritage and culture, how do African practitioners engage with heritage’s place in the economic development process?

Papers during this session will explore how heritage and cultural management are undertaken in different African contexts, and will explore how archaeology and heritage management have places in delivering economic and social good – by understanding the status of human capital in African institutions and how African archaeological and heritage management capacity can be built.

Keywords: Africa, heritage management, economic development, employment, capacity building

2. Straight talk: What does and what does not constitute community archaeology? (Round Table)

Organised by Peter Schmidt (University of Florida and University of Pretoria, United States), Jagath Weersinghe (PGIAR, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka)

This round table explores critical issues embedded in the practice of community archaeology around the globe. Over the last decade interest in community archaeology and heritage work has exploded amongst archaeologists. It is common to find multiple sessions at major meetings devoted to community archaeology and community heritage studies. Yet popularity is not an index into quality or appropriate practice. Critical scrutiny of community archaeology studies reveals disquieting self-congratulatory perspectives, mostly positive descriptions of results, little critical appraisal, and a disturbing acceptance of the notion that archaeologists or heritage experts know the best approach for community collaboration. Confusion with public archaeology practices also leads to short-term engagements that stress the goals of investigators rather than community members. The absence of full participation of community members in setting research agendas, mapping out investigatory strategies, and participating in the preparation and writing of results is often overlooked to achieve an expedient publication. These and other, related issues will be the focus of a panel of archaeologists and heritage practitioners who are known for their straight talk in identifying the deficiencies in contemporary practice while simultaneously presenting positive alternatives that overcome problems that impact our practice.

Keywords: Participatory Approaches, Community Archaeology and Heritage, Community Engagements

3. Heritage as An Action Word: Uses Beyond Communal Memory (Session)

Organised by Kelly Britt (Brooklyn College, CUNY, United States), Susan Shay (Cambridge University, United Kingdom)

For academic researchers, there is no limit as to what constitutes heritage. By definition, heritage is the use of the past for present purposes. Yet to any given group or population, heritage can be a multitude of things, and can serve a variety of purposes. Based on shared memory, heritage can be tangible or intangible, boundless in variety and scope: it can be food or clothing, music or dance, sites or statues, monuments or buildings. Importantly, however, heritage also has many and varied uses and powers. It can be used to control, to unite, to engage, and to empower people, communities and nations. In this far-reaching, interdisciplinary session, we explore how different communities, nations and groups use heritage, and how it can be the basis for identity and a sense of belonging, but also a valuable and significant tool for political, economic and social change.

This session welcomes presenters who are working in a variety of areas pertaining to heritage as social memory, such as, but not limited to, nationalistic political use of heritage, or heritage used as resistance to those political powers; traditional knowledge as environmental science; heritage as a tool for legal and community action; diasporic food ways for a sense of belonging; digital 3D forms as virtual memory to aid in healing; digital tourism and its impacts; and new ways of exploring the memory of the past through phenomenological methods. The goal of this session is to move beyond seeing heritage as only social memory, a mere interpretation of static past events, people or places, and instead to explore critically the variety of ways heritage is engaged in the present and can be the future.

Keywords: memory, resistance, tangible, intangible, community action

4. How Should We Carry Out a Public Archaeology Project? Towards a Methodology for Public Archaeology in the context of Development (Session)

Organised by Daniel Dante Saucedo Segami (Ritsumeikan University, Japan), Agathe Dupeyron (University of East Anglia, United Kingdom)

Public Archaeology, as a field that focuses on studying the role of archaeology in modern society, has become popular in the ‘Global South’ since the second half of the 2000s. Several projects aiming to improve the management and use of archaeological remains as tourist resources to enhance local economies have been labeled as ‘public archaeology’ to make them look inclusive towards other stakeholders. However, these are mainly ‘archaeology for development’ projects aiming to encourage awareness on the protection of archaeological remains or build tourist infrastructure, where the participation of these stakeholders is usually limited by the decisions taken by archaeologists.

In this context, we can ask ourselves the following question: Is it possible to carry out a Public Archaeology project that challenges the role of archaeologists as stewards of the past to become facilitators of the different perspectives about archaeological remains in developing countries? A possible way to answer it is to critically analyze different projects and their results, to observe the extent to which Public Archaeology can reach its goals and provide a more horizontal platform to value and manage remains from the past.

In this session, we will compare different case studies, focusing on the challenges, successes and failures faced by archaeologists. Participants are encouraged to introduce these examples using methods of monitoring and evaluation, aimed to discuss different tools that can be used on public archaeology projects.

Keywords: public archaeology, methods, development

5. From community engagement to engaged community: lessons from public archaeology for sustainable heritage (Session)

Organised by József Laszlovszky (Central European University, Hungary), Petar Parvanov (Central European University, Bulgaria)

The attempts for public outreach and better exposure of local people to heritage are universally acclaimed goals of current archaeological thinking. Concepts and practices in public archaeology are very relevant for these approaches. Commitment to accessible knowledge and participatory initiatives are convincingly presented by heritage practitioners to be the way forward in protecting and studying heritage worldwide. In this respect, the promotion of cherished heritage or recent fieldwork results is not unfamiliar aspect of the archaeological work. Arguably the bigger issue remains how to successfully expand on the success or failures experienced. This session will go beyond the best practice label and explore what happens after the involvement of the public and what approaches and roles heritage professionals can assume in the process. Critical for the improvement of our practice is to consider the situations when conflicts and misunderstandings occurred. The presentations will focus on the challenges raised by the involvement of multiple stakeholders and the (un)successful relationships negotiated over their common interest. Special attention in the discussion will be given to the handling of contradicting public focus and research priorities. They may originate from unprepared social actors, ignorant policies or unrealistic expectations in the diverse and often divisive social, economic and political landscape in the world. Resistance from professionals also often recurs based on administrative, legal or academic constrains. The individual presentations will elaborate upon case studies from development-led excavations, volunteering on symbolic national sites, repatriation of cultural objects and remains or the struggles of community engagement. Nonetheless, the session is open to possible speakers willing to reflect on long-term strategies reconciling cosmopolitan theories and local attitudes in the quest for sustainable and inclusive heritage.

Keywords: public archaeology, problem-solving, communities, contested heritage

6. Recipes for community-engaged art and archaeology (Round Table)

Organised by Yasuyuki Yoshida (Center for Cultural Resource Studies, Kanazawa University, Japan), Ilona Bausch (Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, Netherlands)

Archaeology has accompanied art since the beginning of archaeology as a modern science. For archaeology, one expectation from art has been to provide aids to explain or represent archaeological findings. Meanwhile, the field of art has been variously inspired from archaeological findings. In this sense, both fields use each other for their mutual benefit, but their relationships are not particularly collaborative. Recently, the rise of community-engaged art is leading artists into research-based activities, and occasionally making them engage with archaeological ideas, methods and inspirations. Some archaeologists are engaging with local residents through public archaeology. Thus, art and archaeology are accompanying each other in newly emerging contexts and becoming increasingly involved in collaborative projects with communities (community-engaged art and archaeology). This round table is seeking for some common grounds and social, academic, and ethical relevance between these kinds of diverse and emerging projects. Through the comparative views on the case studies, this round table aims to clarify some basic elements of community-engaged art and archaeology in a “recipe” format:

1. Backgrounds: Why a specific project of community-engaged art and archaeology is needed, created, or emerged?

2. Ingredients: Who are actors involved in the project (Actor network analysis that critically looks at what a “community” is, who “archaeologists” are, and who “artists” are)?

3. Directions: How the project is processed or created. What outcomes come out of the project? exhibition? workshop? filming? theatre playing? or other forms?

4. Tips: Some points may be shared for the future projects: “how to involve community in the project”, “how to get a grant for the project”, and “how to evaluate the project”?

This round table will include short presentations and an open debate with attendees. Also, this round table will welcome a showing of art works and exhibitions as outcomes of projects in various ways.

Keywords: Art and archaeology, Community engagement, Community outreach, Actor network

7. Values, Heritage, and the ‘Package’ (Session)

Organised by Prerana Srimaal (Christ (Deemed to be University), Bangalore, India), Gillian Juleff (University of Exeter, United Kingdom), Anura Manatunga (University of Kelaniya, Colombo, Sri Lanka)

Tourism, rapid-urbanization, natural disasters, violent conflicts and resource- utilization are among the many ever-present threat to archaeological sites. In the face of these challenges, values are the subject of much discussion in contemporary society. Indeed, with the world becoming a global village, the search for values and meaning has become a pressing concern. In the field of cultural heritage conservation, values are critical to deciding what to conserve — what material goods will represent us and our past to future generations — as well as to determining how to conserve.

Events, whether contemporary, historical or mythical, that are attributed to happen at certain points in an area tends to become integral parts of those places. These events are remembered with reference to specific places and experiences – memories, which then, take the form of stories about real and remembered things. They cannot be separated from the land even though place names do not immediately reflect such stories. This panel hopes to engage with the idea how every site is valued from a number of perspectives – historic, scientific, socio-religious, economic, and aesthetic. The impact of increasing public interest in sites, and the economic implications of a finite and non-renewable resource marked with intrinsic cultural values dictates the way and nature of the ‘packaging’ of the sites for a larger audience. This panel also seeks to posit a new definition of conservation of heritage sites that is in tune with and attuned to contemporary social and environmental processes – one that entails awareness and hence participation – not just of professionals but also of the lay public – by inclusivity conservation process, encompassing the creation of heritage, interpretation and education, and not just about any efforts/claims of groups/institutions to be (sole) custodians of heritage through regulatory mechanism of access to them.

Keywords: Monuments, Conservation, Values, Community Outreach, Tourism

10. For people, places and the past: Transnational perspectives on the impact on volunteers of archaeological participation within the places where they live (Session)

Organised by Pavel Vařeka (University of West Bohemia, Czech Republic), Carenza Lewis (University of Lincoln, United Kingdom), Heleen van Londen (University of Amsterdam, Netherlands), Arkadiusz Marciniak (Poznan University, Poland)

Involving communities in archaeology exploring the places where they live is increasingly regarded as a moral priority because people have a right to connect with their local heritage. In some countries this has included public participation in interventions such as excavation but in others, participation by people other than archaeologists is rare or proscribed under heritage protection legislation.

This session aims to bring together archaeologists experienced in public participative interventions with those interested in their potential, to explore how better understanding of the benefits of hands-on participation in archaeological interventions, for people, places and the past, can help ensure these benefits are more widely available in the future. Papers explore the outcomes of recent projects in the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Poland, UK, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria giving local residents hands-on involvement in archaeological excavation or restoration, and from which the impact has been formally captured and assessed. The session is inspired by the EU-funded Horizon2020 ‘CARE project’ (CARE-MSoC: Community Archaeology in Rural Environments – Meeting Societal Challenges) involving hundreds of members of the public in new archaeological excavations within 12 local communities and evaluating the outcomes for archaeology, people and places.

Four session papers present the outcomes and impact of CARE projects in the Netherlands, Czech Republic, Poland, UK on local people, heritage policymakers and our understanding of the past. The fifth synthesising paper offers wider global perspectives from Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria where public participative archaeological interventions using similar approaches to CARE have involved local people in rural communities.

We hope this session will stimulate discussion, firstly, of the ways in which participative archaeology can support the aspirations of a range of UN Sustainable Development Goals and secondly, what we as archaeologists need to do to make this possible.

Keywords: community archaeology, participation, rural, heritage, public

11. Changing contemporary understanding and use of the past (Session)

Organised by Peter Stone (Newcastle University, United Kingdom)


12. Politics and Ethics of the Heritage Archaeology (Session)

Chaired by Koji Mizoguchi (Kyushu University, Japan)


8. Transdisciplinary and Unbounded: Contemporary Approaches to Critical Heritage Studies

2. Changing heritage policy and practice in the Middle East in an age of neoliberalism (Session)

Organised by Robin Skeates (Durham University, United Kingdom), Shatha Abu-Khafajah (Hashemite University, Jordan)

This session explores how on-going critical heritage studies are re-shaping understandings and practices of heritage in the Middle East, with particular reference to the following themes:

  1. The contribution of critical heritage studies to the history, theory and practice of heritage management in the Middle East
  2. Tradition and change in heritage policy and practice in colonial, post-colonial and neoliberal contexts in the Middle East
  3. The changing values of archaeological sites and museum collections in the Middle East
  4. Questioning the contemporary rhetoric of heritage practices applied to the Middle East: sustainability, development and local engagement.
  5. Critiques of international development projects in the Middle East’s museums and heritage sector
  6. New approaches to museum education
  7. The role of local groups and small-scale organizations in initiating criticism and reshaping heritage policies and practice
  8. Conflict as a catalyst: how war in the Middle East is contributing to rethinking heritage theory and practice

Keywords: Heritage, Neoliberalism, Middle East, Development, Museums

4. International Perspectives on Heritage and Public History Education (Round Table)

Organised by Alicia McGill (North Carolina State University, Department of History, United States), Jaroslav Ira (Charles University, Faculty of Arts, Institute of World History, Czech Republic)

Practical heritage training has long been a concern within cultural resource management and historic preservation. This roundtable brings attention to current pedagogical approaches and concerns regarding undergraduate and graduate level university education in critical heritage studies and public history. Given that heritage practitioners work in diverse contexts, educators in heritage studies and public history must cover a wide range of content to prepare their students for these contexts; e.g. museology, digital humanities, historic preservation, heritage theory, community engagement, archaeology, cultural resources laws and policies, collections management, and advocacy work. To provide students with practical learning experiences in many contexts, pedagogical approaches to heritage studies and public history may include: field experiences, international programs, cultural exchanges, internships, community engagement, service learning, and more.

In the last decade, heritage and public history scholars have begun engaging in conversations across their disciplines to discuss common concerns about manipulations of the past in the present, to share research and training approaches, and to discuss different ways of engaging with diverse publics. This roundtable will bring attention to cross-disciplinary possibilities with heritage studies and public history and provide transdisciplinary and international approaches to heritage education.

Roundtable panelists will explore questions such as:

  • What are signature pedagogical approaches in critical heritage studies and public history? How do these differ in different cultural and national contexts?
  • What are some of the intersections and differences between heritage studies and public history in theories and methods?
  • What are the challenges in training students in methods and theories from a range of heritage fields and for a range of careers?
  • What role do professional and philosophical ethics play in heritage and public history education?
  • How do scholars in heritage studies and public history in different countries engage differently in permitting processes and with institutional review boards?

Keywords: education, heritage, public history, community engagement, ethics

5. Archaeogaming and decolonising narratives: retelling the stories of the marginalise (Session)

Organised by Bruno S. R. da Silva (Federal University of Sergipe, Brazil), Priscilla Ulguim (Teesside University, United Kingdom)

Archaeology and in particular, new forms of media such as archaeogames hold the key to telling the stories of the past.

Across the post-colonised world a vast diversity of languages, histories and lifeways remain marginalised and undervalued. Indigenous and traditional populations have been downtrodden and their lands and rights threatened. There remains discrimination and inequality against many communities descended from those forced into slavery or whose lands and rights were removed, and many individuals still live in poverty in the cities which have not lived up to the promise of a new future, in particular in the global South.

Archaeology provides us with the tools to build a different narrative to tell the individual stories of the marginalized and discriminated. It also has the power to break the silence about the losses of colonialism and raise new debates and views about these continued issues.

To feel these stories, we require new forms of media, new forms of experience which support our reflections on different cultures. Videogames present a unique mix of immersion, agency and transformation. To play a game is to commit your attention to the story, the actions you take, the ethics of your decisions and immerse yourself within a different perspective.

In this light, we invite proposals addressing the potential of archaeogames to support decolonising narratives and tell the stories of those whose voices go unheard. Of particular interest are papers which address:

  1. The potential of archaeogames to convey archaeological knowledge, and the importance and relevance of accuracy
  2. The challenges facing game designers in developing inclusive narratives about difficult and sensitive issues especially with regards to traditional communities
  3. Potential issues regarding ethics, representation, decolonisation, shared authorship and collaborative work with traditional communities
  4. Issues in current game design and examples of best practice

Keywords: archaeogaming, cultural heritage, decolonial archaeology

8. Archaeology and the management of sensitive cultural heritage: trends and directions (Session)

Organised by Alejandra Saladino (Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UNIRIO), Brazil), Camila Moraes Wichers (Universidade Federal de Goiás, Brazil), Leandro Matthews Cascon (Universiteit Leiden, Netherlands), Manuelina Duarte Cândido (Université de Liège, Belgium)

Archaeology, as a systematic scientific and applied discipline, is grounded in Western modern society and linked to colonialist and nationalist ideology. Due to its innate ability to produce discourses on past societies, integrating physical form, time and space concepts embedded in postcolonial theories, Archaeology poses certain challenges to contemporary society regarding the management of archaeological material of highly symbolical value for diverse social groups and which are defined as “sensitive heritage”. Nowadays, human remains and looted ritual objects exhibited in museums are cultural goods strongly and dramatically disputed regarding the authority and legitimacy in the constructing of narratives about these objects, as well as their possession and repatriation. How can we in our studies adequately confront a past marked by violence, seeking a more horizontal approach to the construction on knowledge on the things of peoples from the past and present? The objective of this session is to gather and share experiences in which such efforts acted towards these goals and human dignity amongst requesting groups.

Keywords: Archaeology and collections, sensitive heritage, museum studies

9. Exploring histories of collecting human remains: local and international contexts, networks and repatriation processes (Session)

Organised by Carl-Gösta Ojala (Uppsala University, Sweden), Hirofumi Kato (Hokkaido University, Japan), Eeva-Kristiina Harlin (University of Oulu, Finland)

During the 19th and 20th centuries, ancestral remains from Indigenous, and other, groups were removed from local communities by anatomists, anthropologists, ethnologists and archaeologists for anatomical and racial studies. Also, colonial bureaucrats, missionaries, travelers, adventurers, as well as zoologists, botanists and local doctors, are known to have been involved in the collecting of human remains. International networks among scholars and collectors were very important and facilitated the transfer of human remains to collections at universities and museums in different countries. There also exist many contemporary accounts of protest and resistance from local and Indigenous communities against the collecting, excavation and plundering of ancestral remains.

This session aims to explore histories of collecting human remains, and networks of scholars and collectors interested in human remains. What were the ideologies and practices of collecting? Who were involved in the collecting? How did collectors relate to the local communities? How did local communities react to the collecting, excavation and plundering? What were the roles and importance of international networks of scholars and collectors? How were human remains exchanged and traded, and how were they transferred between collections?

We invite contributions critically exploring histories of collecting human remains from Indigenous, and other, groups in different parts of the world, international networks of scholars and collectors, and repatriation and reburial processes, focusing on local cases and/or comparative international perspectives.

In the session, we wish to compare and contrast local and regional cases of collecting, processes of repatriation and reburial, and efforts by scholars and institutions to trace histories of collections of human remains. In addition, we would like to discuss international collaboration between scholars and Indigenous and local communities for future return of human remains in collections, as a way of dealing with a traumatic and highly sensitive colonial history and heritage.

Keywords: Human remains, Collecting, Repatriation, Reburial, Indigenous peoples

13. A Critical Visualization of Archaeological Time (Session)

Organised by Uzma Z. Rizvi (Pratt Institute, United States), Tasleem Abro (Shah Abdul Latif University, Pakistan)

Through this session we aim to establish a shared vocabulary in order to address a core concern on how time is represented in relation to space, and understood in the archaeological record. The session will consider contemporary tools and theories which re-think time beyond the linear timeline. Such reframing allows for different narratives and new information within archeological data sets, providing plural and spatial senses of time through space. This papers in this session will bring together archaeology, data analytics, GIS, visual communication, and participatory research. We anticipate that the papers will also incorporate different techniques and theories that open up the visualization of time as experience on a landscape/cityscape. We would like to experiment and imagine what time looks like, as a fuzzy terrain, which shifts and fluctuates by human made or natural environmental changes. Thus a topography of time allows us to incorporate critical thinking into the representation of time by asking specific questions of how things (artifacts, features, infrastructure) in ancient cities change over time. This session focuses on work being done in South Asia in an effort to share ethical frameworks when working with communities and GIS, as well as to standardize nomenclature and create consistency within scholars and researchers working in the field.

9. Trade in Art, Culture, and History: Heritage Tourism in the Twenty-First Century

1. Community Archaeology and Management of heritage Sites and Museums (Session)

Chaired by Pavel Vařeka (University of West Bohemia, Czech Republic) – the session originally proposed by Chapurukha Kusimba (American University, United States), Pastory Bushozi (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

Due to the declining fortunes in agriculture and the mining and manufacturing sectors, many countries see tourism as a remedy to the numerous economic problems they face. Assets such museums, heritage sites, historic theme parks, arts festivals, art galleries, and curio shops form key components of heritage tourism. Studies reveal that in cases where members of the local community have been actively involved in tourism development and derive benefits from the industry, then the relation between local communities and tourists tends to be harmonious. We invite papers that will provide case studies of successful visitor management through planning to minimize negative cultural impacts on local communities. There are a myriad of issues surrounding heritage management and tourism but we encourage participants to submit proposals on one or more of the following issues. What does international tourism contribute to the conservation of cultural heritage? The travel industry long recognized the significance of cultural and heritage resources and their marketability and has sought to maximize the long term benefits of cultural and heritage tourism. What management strategies already exist or are appropriate from other local settings to ensure the irreplaceable cultural and heritage resources are appropriately protected and conserved? What is the relationship between heritage tourism and sustainable development, with special reference to World Heritage Sites (WHSs)? How have these strategies engaged with local community stakeholders? What is there to learn about the histories of communities vis-à-vis WHSs? What areas could be changed to ensure their full implementation, solvency and sustainability? What are the benefits of cultural tourism to museums, heritage sites, and the community? In cases where cultural and heritage sites are community managed, what operating policies and practices have been implemented to ensure that they meet their heritage preservation and education mandates while also remaining sustainable?

Keywords: heritage tourism, stakeholder collaborations, cultural heritage, community museums, sustainable development

2. Heritage Tourism: A boon or threat for Management & Sustainability of Heritage sites (Session)

Organised by Asmita Basu (Army Institute of Management, India), Sergiu Musteata ("Ion Creanga" State University , Moldova), Edoardo Bedin (National Trust for Scotland, United Kingdom)

Conservation of heritage sites is considered to be a vital component of their management since they are irreplaceable resources for the tourism industry. The present generation of human beings needs to be aware of the benefits and challenges of preservation and management of the cultural resources and the heritages. The process of managing the heritages of local or national significance has gained importance over the years to an extent that it has attained the status of an individual academic discipline. In an attempt to address this issue related to Sustainability appropriate measures should be taken. The Heritage sites particularly World heritage sites get huge amount of tourists from different parts of the world. This has lead into greater visitor traffic than the cultural and physical infrastructure of the heritage sites can sustainably handle. Heritage tourism has on one hand given a thrust for financial, social and economic development while on the other has brought about a threat for sustainability and heritage management in the vicinity of the heritage sites. This session aims to highlight the boons of heritage tourism and the major threats it poses for sustainable development and heritage management of the archaeological and World heritage sites. It invites discussions which encompass the positive effects and possible threats of heritage tourism in different countries.

Keywords: Heritage, Tourism, Sustainability

3. Archaeology as an Engine for Sustainability in the Countries of the Maya World (Session)

Organised by Lilia Lizama (Fulton County Schools, ICAHM-Manejo Cultural,AC., United States), Ivan Batún (Universidad de Oriente, Mexico), Israel Herrera (Universidad de Campeche, Mexico), Kennedy Obombo (Instituto Tecnológico de Cancún, Mexico)

The concept of ’sustainability’ as part of the conservation and protection of archaeological cultural heritage seeks to integrate heritage as a motor for sustainable development. We argue that there are two methods of practicing heritage sustainability. The first method incorporates society, the environment, and the cultural environment under a single umbrella. The second method incorporates the means and resources provided by society, thereby, the conservation of archaeological heritage is carried out in the long term as a driving force for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals highlighted by UNESCO.

Indeed, worldwide, many countries are experiencing economic difficulties which results in a restructuring of priorities that may be met only on a limited budget. In Central American countries, the economic situation is critical as crime and social infighting between political parties, unions, business groups and the millions of poor people who feel they are being exploited by various groups.

To reinvigorate the economy, we propose the integration of Cultural and Environmental Heritage. Civilizations of the past tended to live in harmony with the environment and avoided pollution and overuse, like the Mayan World. Thousands of sites still lie under the jungle canopy waiting to be discovered, studied, and incorporated into a Sustainable Cultural Tourism program. We seek to present current and prospective regulations that comply with both sustainability mandates and competitive operations in the globalized world. Our aim is to enrich the discussion surrounding global standards and ethics related to heritage sustainability.

Experts in archaeology and related disciplines interested in the Mayan culture are integrating capabilities and experiences to standardize concepts of heritage sustainability. Properly regulating the administrative behaviors and routines to incorporate sites with potential into a Sustainable Cultural Tourism framework, so that the maximum visitor load does not convert these heritage sites into amusement parks or craft markets.

Keywords: sustainability, standards, tourism, Maya region, Archaeological sites


10. Indigenous Views on Ancestors, Ancestral Sites, their Excavation and Disturbance

1. Indigenous Insights that Improve Policy and Practice in Cultural Heritage Management (Round Table)

Organised by Dorothy Lippert (Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, United States), Des Kahotea (Waikato University, New Zealand), Desiree Martinez (Cogstone Resource Management Inc., United States)

Until the late twentieth century, cultural heritage management was largely practiced by archaeologists who were not associated with Indigenous communities. Shifts in laws relating to archaeology and shifts in the culture of practice (Indigenous archaeology) mean Indigenous cultural values are more likely to be acknowledged in cultural heritage management; however, problems still remain. This round table will discuss case studies that illustrate some of the challenges in this practice and the participants will reflect on ways in which damage to Indigenous cultural heritage can and cannot be made right.

Keywords: Indigenous Archaeology, Heritage Management, Repatriation, Sacred Sites

11. Archaeology as indigenous Advocacy

1. Recent Issues and Future Possibilities of Public Archaeology and Anthropology on Indigenous People in East Asia (Session)

Organised by Hideyuki Ōnishi (Doshisha Women's College of Liberal Arts, Japan), Maa-ling Chen (National Taiwan University, Taiwan)

In the northern and southern peripheral zone of East Asia, there are various indigenous people who have been living as sociopolitical minorities in nation states. In particular, the Ainu and Taiwanese aborigines are famous as representative indigenous people in this area. On the other hand, they had been treated as the major subject of archaeological and/or anthropological studies by majorities’ sides since the colonial period. And such studies, some of them, have received drastic criticisms as which these have not sufficiently supported and/or contributed to the resolution of sociopolitical issues regarding them up to today. However, some of them contribute to the fundamentality of cultural revivalism.

This session will discuss the potential of indigenous studies based on archaeology and anthropology as contributions to indigenous people in East Asia including the Ainu and Taiwanese aborigines and resolving their issues. Intentionally, the topics covered in this session concerned with sociopolitical rights, cultural revitalization and promotion, including cultural representation in museums, safeguarding cultural heritages, rehabilitation of cultural landscapes and so on.

Concerning these objectives, this session examines how archaeological and anthropological investigations on indigenous people in East Asia can contribute to resolve their sociopolitical issues, and what kinds of responsibilities academic researchers must bear in mind. In addition, it attempts to make comparisons with case studies of indigenous people as sociopolitical minorities in other parts of the world. Moreover, such an attempt will reexamine the findings of existing indigenous studies. These examinations and findings will furnish new perspectives, not only specifically to issues of the Ainu and Taiwanese aborigines in East Asia, but also to contemporary indigenous studies in various fields throughout the world.

Keywords: Ainu, Taiwan aborigines, ethnic minorities, cultural revivalism, indigenous studies

2. Indigenous archaeologies and histories from the South America (Session)

Organised by Juliana Salles Machado (Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil), Michael Heckenberger (University of Florida, United States)

Indigenous archeologies, ethnoarchaeologies or ethnographic forms of praxis and reflection focused on archaeological issues have gained their place within world archeology for some time. However, the use of such varied and somewhat generic denominations conceals a very diverse range of practices and perspectives, including indigenous peoples with very different perspectives of heritage, “being in the world” and gendered knowledge, and thus how archaeological practices are appropriated and signified. Non-indigenous postcolonial critics of indigenous archeology in South America have been using models and practices from different contexts and peoples, mainly from a North American context, to refer to the diverse indigenous archeologies that have been conducted in South America by indigenous and non-indigenous researchers with distinct forms of collaboration and co-production. In this symposium, we would like to reflect on the diversity of forms that these indigenous South American lowland archeologies have taken. Their forms, appropriations and political repercussions by and for each of the indigenous peoples have been extremely complex and particular, reflecting both the richness and diversity of these peoples and their specific historical trajectories, as well as pointing to the potential of an alternative decolonialized dynamic of knowledge production. The symposium includes the participation of indigenous and non-indigenous researchers of the South American lowlands interested in this theme to contribute to making this debate fruitful and hopes to contribute to the construction of a more plural, inclusive and diverse long-term indigenous history.

Keywords: Indigenous Archaeology, Indigenous History, South America, Collaborative Archaeology, Decolonial Studies

3. Global perspectives on decolonising rock art knowledge (Session)

Organised by Leslie F. Zubieta Calvert (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa & University of Western Australia, Australia), Raoni Valle (Universidade Federal do Oeste do Pará, Brazil)

Archaeological research and CRM projects have been gradually consulting with Indigenous people about their perceptions and values of rock art. Others have included those perceptions and knowledge while developing collaboratively research questions and methodologies from the start. But, is this the full scope of decolonisation? To decolonise involves embracing conflict and contradiction. It is not quiet, and certainly it is not about erasing colonialism from our history. It is the opposite, to bring it out causing full awareness, both internal and public, obliging us to deal with counter-hegemonic perspectives including in epistemic and ontological levels. Moreover, decolonialism implies reciprocity among alterities, not only among humans but with other life forms, including those that Western perspectives consider non-living things. Non-Western societies have been actively demanding decolonial attitudes and perspectives from Western researchers interested in studying Indigenous knowledge, giving room for cosmopolitical articulations among different modalities of beings and knowledge. In the last two decades, we have witnessed an increasing acknowledgement that Western perspectives have dominated rock art interpretations. Paradoxically, these efforts are less common in places with a strong presence of Indigenous peoples’ living cultures such as in Latin America. We welcome contributions that include Indigenous knowledge in the interpretation of rock art, but also those who have been reflexive about what constitutes knowledge production. We do not wish to stop here. We acknowledge that working collaboratively with Indigenous people requires supporting emergent Indigenous researchers and projects where Indigenous knowledge plays a crucial role in symmetry with Western-based learning and experience. Moreover, we urge to feed these decolonial proposals back into the syllabus which provides the epistemological grounds of new professionals. We seek experiences from around the world to exchange ideas, challenges and new propositions to create a global agenda and action for decolonising rock art knowledge.

Keywords: Decolonising, Rock art, Indigenous knowledge, Collaboration, Reciprocity

4. Realizing Ucko’s Dream: Winning Maya Indigenous Land Rights (Round Table)

Organised by Anne Pyburn (Indiana University Bloomington, United States), Cristina Coc (Julian Cho Society, Belize), Pablo Mis (Maya Leaders Alliance, Belize), Filiberto Penados (CELLA Belize, Belize)

Participants in this session will tell the important story of the Maya struggle for Indigenous Land Rights and heritage management in Belize. This story is particularly important for WAC because the land rights case was won in international court partly as a result of a collaboration among Indigenous people and anthropologists. This is the role for our discipline that we are seeking as WAC members and the Maya success is inspirational for both Indigenous peoples and archaeologists. It begins to realize the dream that Peter Ucko had when he created WAC. For the first time, Maya people in Belize are deciding how their heritage resources will be treated, e.g. who should be charged admission to enter sacred sites, who should write the school curriculum that teaches about Maya ancestors, what information will tourists get about living Maya culture.

The Congress has a history of support for the Belize Maya initiative. In 2015 WAC President Koji Mitzoguchi sent a letter on behalf of the Congress to Belizean Prime Minister Dean Barrow in support of the Maya case which added global visibility to their cause and encouraged its success. This is a landmark case that sets a precedent that could change the situation of Indigenous people throughout the Americas. The session will present a concrete example of how archaeology can use its platform for indigenous advocacy by creating a conversation around Indigenous experience and expertise. The Maya struggle is not over, so the visibility afforded their participation in the Congress will strengthen their efforts.

Keywords: Indigenous Land Rights, Human Rights, Maya Heritage, Native Sovereignty, WAC History

5. Indigenous and Community Archaeology (Session)

Chaired by Ndukuyakhe Ndlovu (University of Pretoria, South Africa)


12. Fission or Fusion? Indigenous Engagement

5. Repatriation, Restitution, and Reburial from a South American Perspective (Session)

Organised by Patricia Ayala (Universidad de Chile, Chile), Jacinta Arthur (Universidad Católica del Norte, Chile)

Since the 1960s, processes of repatriation, restitution, and reburial of Indigenous bodies and material cultures have gained high visibility and world-wide attention. These demands have been object of varied anthropological, ethical, and legal analysis, while contributing to the development of Indigenous, decolonial, collaborative, and activist research. In South America, Indigenous claims on the appropriation and scientific treatment of the ancestors and cultural materials vary greatly from country to country. Such claims have increased significantly as part of processes of slow recognition of Indigenous rights resulting from local adoptions of international agreements; in some countries taking place within contexts dominated by multiculturalism, while in others as part of intercultural policies. Whereas Indigenous demands in South America are well known in the region, their contributions to the international debate are little visible world-wide. Indigenous Peoples, nation-states, legislations, archaeological collectives, and holding institutions involved in repatriation, restitution, and reburial in the Southern Cone are multiple and diverse. This diversity provides a unique perspective to understanding the effects of state and global patrimonialization of Indigenous cultures, while illuminating the decolonization and indigenization of archaeology, anthropology, and museums. This session acknowledges that the repatriation movement in South America, like elsewhere, did not happen because of academic epiphanies by non-Native academics, but as a result of prolonged and committed indigenous activism. This session will provide a space for critical dialogue/debate between indigenous people and ally scholars and practitioners from South America with hands-on experience of working collaboratively on repatriation as an Indigenous space of engagement.

Keywords: repatriation, restitution, reburial, decolonization, patrimonialization

7. Looking Back, Looking Forward: 40 years of repatriation (Session)

Organised by Paul Tapsell (New Zealand Maori Centre of Research Excellence, University of Otago, New Zealand), C. Timothy McKeown (Central European University, Austria), Randall McGuire (Binghamton University, USA), Yuka Shichiza (Simon Fraser University, Canada), Zacharys Gundu (University of Mkar, Mkar, Benue State, Nigeria)

Indigenous peoples, archaeologists, anthropologists, historians and museum practitioners have been working towards the repatriation of ancestral remains for 40 years. Although there is historical evidence that Indigenous peoples opposed the removal of remains, resisted where possible, and sometimes sought their return as far back as the early 19th century, the repatriation movement is generally agreed to have commenced in the 1970s, with increasing and international impact in the 1980s, and continues today. This issue has been contentious as Indigenous peoples campaigned for the return of their Ancestors, and many museums, archaeologists and anthropologists refused and argued for retention. However, while overwhelmingly portrayed as an antagonistic issue in media coverage, in reality, from the start some archaeologists and Indigenous peoples found common ground, as exemplified in the development of the Vermillion Accord in 1989.

Over time, an increasing number of museums and professional bodies have accepted the Indigenous right to determine the future of their Ancestors' remains, particularly in the USA, New Zealand, Canada and Australia, although there are exceptions. Globally, many Indigenous people(s) and museums are now involved in repatriation. Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA have taken particularly prominent roles, but repatriation has also occurred to (and within), for example, Uruguay, Japan, Argentina, South Africa and Namibia. Indigenous people and their colleagues continue to work to locate and provenance Ancestral Remains removed from their traditional countries and to achieve successful repatriation.

This session invites speakers to reflect upon the history and future of repatriation. How far have we progressed? What resources and tools have been developed?

Keywords: Repatriation, Ancestral Remains, Indigenous peoples, History

8. Envisioning Indigenous Archaeological Futures: Creating Sustainable Paths Forward For Future Generations (Round Table)

Organised by Ora Marek-Martinez (Northern Arizona University, United States), Sara Gonzalez (University of Washington, United States), Kisha Supernant (University of Alberta, Canada)

Indigenous archaeological methods have created multiple spaces and opportunities for Indigenous communities to engage in the archaeological process in a way that is restorative and healing. There are multiple accounts that describe and share the positive impacts of Indigenous archaeology and ways that Indigenous philosophies can be integrated into archaeological and heritage management work. Panelists in this session will share their experiences in creating projects with Indigenous communities and utilizing Indigenous philosophies and cultural practices in their research. The recognition of Indigenous knowledges and perspectives in the field have created new research domains as well as richer understandings of the deep past that are mutually beneficial and healing for Indigenous communities and archaeologists (and other heritage management professionals). Additionally, panelists will discuss the need for sustainable research and projects for Indigenous communities, specifically those that create paths for future generations of Indigneous archaeologists and heritage managers. Panelists in this forum will discuss the application of Indigenous archaeological methods and Applied Indigenous Studies in their research and work for, by, and with Indigenous communities, as well as lessons learned. The innovative application of these methods has created new spaces within the field of archaeology for Indigenous peoples and knowledges, as well as the opportunity for collaborative and community-based work. In keeping with the overall theme, Panelists will discuss their plans and strategies for creating programs/projects that support Indigenous people envisioning their own futures, in a discussion on the applicability of “Indigenous Futurisms” within Indigenous archaeology as a way to sustain tribal participation and management of heritage sites and issues. Through such discussions, we hope to guide critical dialogue and action to support Indigenous resilience, adaptability, sustainability, and enterprise.

Keywords: Indigenous archaeologies, Indigenous Futurisms, Heritage Management, Tribal Historic Preservation Offices

9. Engaging indigenous communities in Africa with archaeological research (Session)

Organised by Eleftheria Paliou (University of Cologne, Germany), Paul Lane (University of Cambridge & Uppsala University, United Kingdom), Alma Nankela (National Heritage Council of Namibia, Namibia), Tilman Lenssen-Erz (University of Cologne, Germany)

Over the last decades several research projects have sought to establish collaborations between African indigenous communities and archaeologists from Africa and the “western” world. Such attempts have drawn attention to the benefits but also the challenges of combining archaeological theory and methods with indigenous worldviews. On one hand, archaeological projects that engage indigenous communities in Africa have offered new perspectives in the interpretation of archaeological heritage resources and valuable insights into the social, political and economic life of past human populations. At the same time, interactions between local communities and archaeologists have opened up new opportunities for knowledge transfer and the economic sustainability of indigenous groups. Nonetheless, such research collaborations have also raised a number of issues with respect to conflicting epistemologies and understandings of the past, ethical conduct in scientific practice, and equitable participation in knowledge production. This session invites papers that discuss collaborative research between archaeologists and indigenous communities in Africa. We especially encourage contributions that focus upon collaborations with hunter-gatherer, pastoralist and agricultural communities and the scientific, economic and social effects of such synergies. We also suggest a discourse on communities’ involvement in archaeological research with regard to its importance to the future of archaeology in Africa. How can such collaborations contribute to a better understanding of the human past, especially as regards human/environment interactions and the subsistence strategies, survival resilience, and social evolution of past human societies? In what ways can local communities benefit from such interactions with respect to the economic and social sustainability of their communities? How can collaborative research projects empower communities to independently investigate their past and promote public understanding of their heritage? We are also interested more broadly in papers exploring the potential contributions of indigenous knowledge to archaeology and ethical considerations related to the participation of indigenous communities in archaeological research.

Keywords: indigenous knowledge, archaeological research, collaborative projects, ethical conduct, Africa


13. Historical Archaeology: Global Alterities and Affinities

3. Where to from here? Decolonising historical archaeology in practice and theory (Session)

Organised by Natalie Swanepoel (University of South Africa, South Africa), Dores Cruz (University of Cologne, Germany)

Archaeological practice, interpretation and theory are increasingly challenged by calls for the discipline to decolonise, at least in part by embracing a broad pluriversity of epistemological and ontological leanings that move us beyond Eurocentric or other colonialist frameworks. Historical archaeologists, who often work in contexts that were historically colonised, and who are used to navigating a broad range of sources and methodologies, are uniquely situated to embrace this decolonising turn. In this session, we invite papers that interrogate the theory and practice of historical archaeology as practiced today in multiple contexts. How can we move towards a field that embraces local knowledge systems and undermines persistent colonial ideologies? What new sources and methods do we need to develop and incorporate? How do we encourage the emergence of indigenous archaeologists and archaeologies? How does this manifest in specific research projects?

Keywords: historical archaeology, decolonialization, indigenous archaeologies, ontological shift

4. The Expansion of the Mongol Empire in the Thirteenth Century: Archaeological, Climatic and Historical Interpretations (Session)

Organised by József Laszlovszky (Central European University, Hungary), Nikolay Makarov (Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation)

The expansion of the Mongol Empire in the thirteenth century is among the key transformation periods in Eurasian history. It has long been considered a threshold dividing period in most of Asia, the Near East, and East-central Europe. Historical research has been consistently engaged with the topic in a very intensive way since the mid-nineteenth century, discussing not only the expansion itself, but the reasons for it and the greater historical consequences of the conquests. During this period of academic research, a large quantity of new data has emerged mainly from the written sources created by thirteenth century authors from England to China, and from Egypt to Armenia to Russia. During the last decades, the interpretation of the expansion process and its political, social, economic and religious consequences has also been shaped by archaeology. Significant archaeological excavations were carried out at sites related to emerging centers of the empire in Mongolia and China. At the same time, battle sites and deserted settlements connected to the expansion process were investigated in Russia, Poland and Hungary. Furthermore, climatic changes and environmental transformation processes, also detected by archaeological investigations, were taken into consideration for the early history of the Mongol Empire and in the discussion of long-lasting effects of the conquests. Thus, the vast geographical extension of this empire, the rapid expansion process and the fundamental changes caused by these processes call for a large-scale international cooperative effort to bring together archaeologists to discuss various topics. The aim of this session is to offer an overview of ongoing archaeological projects connected to the expansion of the Mongol Empire, as well as to discuss methodological and theoretical aspects of archaeological, historical and climatic interpretations of a complex process which has occurred during a very short period in a vast area of Eurasia.

Keywords: Mongol empire, Conquest, Cultural interaction, Environmental conditions

6. Historical Archaeology in South America (Session)

Organised by Maria Victoria Roca (Instituto de Estudios Sociales y Humanos (CONICET-UNaM), Argentina), Mirtha Alfonso Monges (Museo de Itaipu Tierra Guarani, Paraguay)

Historical archeology in South America constitutes a strongly consolidated disciplinary field. It ranges from the approach to social processes that began with the conquest and colonization of the territory by the Spanish and Portuguese crowns, until recent events. Some of the typical types of settlements are forts, cities, battlefields, religious missions, estancias, hamlets, quilombos, camps, shelters, plantations, industrial zones, and different contexts within large urban centers. Likewise, archaeological materials of European origin have been found in indigenous sites demonstrating early social interactions.

Debates and challenges have been addressed around the research methodology applied on these sites, in relation to the use of different material and documentary sources as well as the strategies of excavation and registration of the information.

It is expected to receive contributions that analyze different types of settlements from a variety of theoretical and methodological standpoints and perspectives, including interdisciplinary and reflective approaches on alterity, gender and age roles, participation of minorities and others, in order to promote new discussions and debates about the possibilities, limitations and perspectives of the discipline.

Keywords: Historical Archaeology, South America, debates, challenges

14. Maritime Histories: The Seas in Human History

1. Aquatic Neolithic Formations in Global Perspective (Session)

Organised by Mark Hudson (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Germany), Junzo Uchiyama (Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, United Kingdom)

In recent years, archaeologists have begun to emphasise the global diversity of regional expressions of the Neolithic—what Fuller and Carretero (2018) term ‘Neolithicities’. Pottery, agriculture, sedentism and ground stone tools developed at different times in different places and do not always appear as a set from the beginning of a Neolithic sequence. So far, however, there has been little consideration of the role of the sea and marine resources within Neolithic diversity. A high reliance on fish and shellfish has been regarded as a distinctive feature of Mesolithic societies and especially of so-called ‘complex hunter-gatherers’. In northwest Europe, the onset of the Neolithic is, in contrast, marked by a sudden decline in the use of marine resources. In China, carp aquaculture developed as a distinctive feature of the Neolithic but changes in marine fishing are poorly understood. In Japan, the full-scale cereal agriculture of the Yayoi period has also been associated with a decrease in marine resource use, in contrast to the preceding Jōmon period which is known as a hunter-gatherer society with a strong maritime component. This session will consider to what extent the Neolithic was associated with a decline in human use of marine resources at a global scale. So far, research on this question has tended to focus on Europe but are the trends identified in northwest Europe and Japan exceptions or indicative of a more general phenomenon? The session welcomes papers from a broad range of geographical contexts which investigate these questions based on the latest archaeological research. In addition to regional case studies, we hope to explore in greater depth the social and economic causes behind differing marine Neolithicities.

Keywords: Neolithic, Mesolithic, fishing, aquatic resources

2. Global Evidence of the Late Pleistocene Seafaring and Maritime Adaptation: When, Where, and How (Session)

Organised by Rintaro Ono (National Museum of Ethnology, Japan, Japan), Sue O’Connor (The Australian National University, Australia), Yousuke Kaifu (The University Museum, The University of Tokyo, Japan), Jon Erlandson (University of Oregon, United States)

Humans began active utilization of maritime resources and developed primitive seafaring technology sometime during the late Pleistocene. Recent archaeological findings now show that pelagic fishing and fishhook already existed in this period, and Palaeolithic people were engaged in repeated, relatively long-distance seafaring not only for migration into Saful or Australasia but also in a wider area of the West Pacific including the Japanese archipelago. These marked a significant step for Homo sapiens to expand habitable territory beyond the continental regions, and finally disperse all over the world.

However, this field of science is still immature because too many important questions remain controversial or unanswered. For example, the available data are far from enough to depict the global pattern of the development of early seafaring; the content and regional diversity of early “maritime adaptation” is often ambiguous; if there were specialized Palaeolithic beachcombers as some researcher imply when they claim early migration along the Asian coast line about 100,000-60,000 years ago is rarely asked; it is often difficult to distinguish intentional voyage and accidental drift; little discussion is made about how Palaeolithic people crossed the ocean.

In order to approach such questions, we need more data and innovative research methods to overcome difficulties for this issue, such as the rareness of late Pleistocene coastal sites because of the Holocene marine transgression. This session will be the place to get together information from different regions of the world and exchange ideas for more understanding about early maritime culture. We also welcome any related papers about new findings and idea of human water crossing, possible maritime migration routes and distance, marine use and aquatic culture, and island and coastal adaptation mainly by Homo sapiens.

Keywords: seafaring, Pleistocene, human migration, maritime adaptation, island adaptation

3. Peninsular Maritime Trade and Interaction during Prehistoric and Historic Periods in East Asia (Session)

Organised by Lauren Glover (The University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States), Jina Heo (Seoul National University, Korea)

This session will highlight the importance of maritime trade in the study of sociopolitical development during various periods of prehistory and history in East Asia. Peninsulas, surrounded by land and sea, such as the Korean Peninsula, the Liaodong Peninsula, and the Shandong Peninsula, have served as a window of trade and migration in East Asia for millennia. These papers focus on research inside and outside of East Asia which points to the complex nature of manufacture, trade and exchange through time and space along maritime trade routes. Technology, culture, goods, and information from various migrants, including merchants, artisans, warriors, and political refugees, have spread to other regions via maritime and land transport routes, facilitating intergroup interactions, and sometimes leading to the emergence of a new types of social and political organization. Important new methodologies used to study trade and interaction networks will be discussed along with the new insights they provide on the emergence of complex societies and ancient states in East Asia. Archaeometric studies of various artifacts were also used to investigate the transmission and diffusion of knowledge, ideas and materials which develops at the intersection of the complex relationship between local and itinerant people, as well as the interactions with merchants and traders at regional and international levels.

Keywords: trade, East Asia, archaeometry, manufacture

4. Cultural interactions across the Bay of Bengal and beyond (Session)

Organised by Kaushik Gangopadhyay (Department of Archaeology, University of Calcutta , India), Coline Lefranq (CNRS–CEIAS–UMR 8564 , Belgium), Selvakumar Veeraswamy (Department of Maritime History and Marine Archaeology Tamil University , India), Wijerathne Bohingamuwa (Archaeology Department, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka)

The Bay of Bengal connecting South Asia and South East Asia within the Indian Ocean region has been a crossroad and a sea space for regular exchange networks since the pre- Early Historical period till the recent historical times. Within this intricate maritime environment, scholars have focused on processes such as human dispersal, techno-cultural and religious exchanges, relationships between the hinterland and the coastal communities within and beyond the Indian Ocean rim. However, the Bay of Bengal has always been a neglected area in the studies of maritime histories of the Indian Ocean with its connection to other regions of the world such as the Mediterranean region. If the textual historical sources have been used and nearly exhausted to assess the course of maritime history, a new dynamism has revived the research through the empirical data provided by new archaeological projects both in South Asia (along the East coast in India, Bangladesh) and South East Asia (Myanmar, Thailand, Indonesia) and Sri Lanka,. As the theme proposes, the history of the sea must also be reconstructed from a wide variety of sources connecting land and the sea. Therefore, in this session, we would like to invite archaeologists, historians, and anthropologists and geoarchaeologists to present their research (new data from the field, updates, methodological considerations) focusing on the period from the 6th century BCE until the 13th century CE. This timespan covers two chronological periods that are usually divided in the Early Historical period (from 6th c. BCE to 6th c. CE) and Early Medieval period (from 6th c. to 13th c. CE). In doing so, we will be able to study on a long-term perspective the dynamics that evolved in the Bay of Bengal and the connectivity that the regions had with the Indian Ocean region and beyond.

Keywords: Bay of Bengal, South Asia, South East Asia, archaeological projects

5. Stone Age Seas: Mapping Voyages and Maritime Diffusions (Session)

Organised by Alice Kehoe (Marquette University, United States), Bettina Schulz Paulsson (University of Goteborg, Sweden)

Evidence for Stone Age mariners and long-distance maritime journeys mounts in Europe, Australia, Asia, and the Americas. Genetic, radiocarbon and archaeological evidence strongly suggest seafaring, coastal and overseas migrations, and inter-societal contacts and diffusions. This session welcomes papers which discuss the rise of seafaring, seafaring capabilities, routes and technologies, the development of navigation styles, and driving forces for seafaring. Archaeological evidence for Stone Age maritime journeys is limited to imperishable data; little is known regarding seafaring capabilities and practices, social organization, and motive forces for long-distance travels. Computer applications that synthesize climate data, rise of sea levels, currents, wind periodicity, “shortest-hop” trajectories, types of seagoing vessels, and maritime settlements are one type of approach toward feasible interpretations. Simulation models demonstrate prehistoric maritime capacities, development of long-distance maritime travel technology, possible sea routes and dynamics of oceanic and coastal geography, and marine travel technology innovation. Methods such as Agent-based modelling, seascape models, and ArcGIS may be discussed. Complementary to computer-facilitated data analyses, material analyses based on mapping similarities in artifacts (as V. Gordon Childe did) suggest maritime contacts. These empirical archaeological data can test simulations and models. Historical examples of inter-societal contacts through marine trade, such as the Maritime Silk Road, or population movements such as diasporas can be models for archaeological interpretations. The session will include discussion of that tabooed word “diffusion,” distinguishing permeating diffusion from communities of practice, trade goods, and status and religion symbols––all carried over seas. The aim of this session, and others under the Maritime History Theme, is to move from the usual landlubber standpoint to sea-peoples’ perspectives.

Keywords: maritime, boats, diffusion, seafaring

7. Maritime Archaeology in Latin America and Iberoamérica: New perspectives in the 21st century (Session)

Organised by Nicolás Lira (Universidad de Chile, Chile), Alexandra Biar (Université Paris 1 / ArchAm UMR 8096, France / CEMCA), Nicolas Ciarlo (CONICET / Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina), Christophe Delaere (Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB) / FNRS, Belgium)

Maritime archeology in Latin and Ibero America at the beginning of the 21st century has reached an important degree of maturity. Although its development is variable in the different countries that make up this cultural area, it is evident the progress of the discipline with respect to the twentieth century, both in number of research and researchers working in this subject. At the same time, there are common points that allow us to discuss both the social and cultural context of the different countries, and the theoretical-methodological disciplinary development.

In this way, we propose a session that allows us to discuss the different theoretical, perspectives, problems and the consequences of research in maritime archeology, and its relationship with local communities, public archeology and community archeology, as a tool to open new horizons in the investigation of human being and its relationship with the sea in the context of Latin and Ibero America.

This session hopes to gather different theoretical-methodological aspects in relation to the study of the use of maritime spaces, as well as the latest advances in the discipline in Latin and Ibero America. Among the issues we propose to address are:

  1. Maritime cultural landscapes and maritorium: In Latin and Ibero America the concept of Maritime cultural landscape (Westerdahl 1992) has been widely used. More recently it has been added the one of maritorium (Herrera and Chapanoff 1997), so we propose to review both concepts from research that explicitly works with them.
  2. The role of ethnographic analogies in our understanding of native maritime cultures and exchange dynamics in the Latin American and Latin American region
  3. Influences, adaptation and adoption of the original European and American techniques and technology
  4. Trade routes and war conflicts between European naval powers and overseas territories

Keywords: Maritime archaeology, Latin and Iberoamerica, theory and methodology, local communities


15. Archaeologies of Identity

1. Social and symbolic significance of Neolithic houses (Session)

Organised by Jan Turek (Center for Theoretical Study, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic), Penny Bickle (University of York, United Kingdom), Daniela Hofmann (University of Bergen, Norway)

Shelter is an essential human need. The sheer variety of dwellings found worldwide is a testament to the ability of societies to use buildings and their materials to elaborate and communicate symbolically through the domestic sphere.

A new concept of “home” develops with the forms of sedentism and mobility that accompanied many aspects of the Neolithic “package”. From the perspective of the Mesolithic-Neolithic transition in Europe, houses are often interpreted as farmers deliberately separating their cultural space from nature, physically building their social organisation into houses. In Hodder’s (1990) Domestication of Europe, Neolithic houses were considered to have been part of the act of domestication, creating controllable cultural environments, within uncertain and untamed wild landscapes. More recently, interpretations of property and ownership in the context of genealogy have come to the fore, perhaps in response to growth of aDNA analysis. From a central European Neolithic perspective, the importance of the house was monumentalized, through extreme length. Famously, at Çatalhöyük, the community’s cosmology was built into the house walls, in the form of the cattle bucrania that adorned them. Thus, while the concept of “home” suggests concepts familiar to modern understanding, these material records are also full of uncanny symbols, which continue to challenge interpretation.

In this session, we invite archaeologists working on Neolithic houses, or the architectures built by groups engaging in the first stages of the Neolithic (loosely defined as early farming, sedentism or the start of pottery technology) worldwide, to offer their perspective on the past and future archaeologies of these buildings. We encourage a range of archaeological responses, considering construction methods, functions, length and social context of their use, abandonment, reuse and transformation, as well as discussing the social and symbolic meaning of house and its role in society and cosmology as human groups moved towards farming.

Keywords: Neolithic, Early Farmers, House, Symbolism, Social Organisation

2. The Beaker Age. Exploring the Third Millennium BC spread of shared cultural identity in Eurasia (Session)

Organised by Jan Turek (Center for Theoretical Study, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic), Kristian Kristiansen (University of Gothenburg, Sweden), Martin Furholt (Oslo University, Norway)

At the beginning of the 3rdMillennium BC a new cultural identity phenomenon emerged in the north Black Sea area. A very influential concept of cultural uniformity with individual tombs emphasizing the social status of individuals symbolized in signifying artefacts was established in the environment of the Yamnaya Burials. It is likely that this impulse created the foundations of the early complex societies that dominated most of the central, western and northern Europe during the 3rdMillennium BC and formed the social background of European Early Bronze Age Civilisation. This process was probably fuelled by a new ideology/religion spread with the highly prestigious, essential technology of copper metallurgy.

The occurrence of the Yamnaya, Catacombe graves, Corded Ware and Bell Beaker phenomena represents a specific sequence of archaeological complexes that was in many respects different to preceding cultural and cosmological developments. Recent genetic, isotopic and linguistic studies suggest there was increased mobility pressure from the Pontic-Caspian steppe towards the western territories.

In this session we are going to focus on character of these cultural processes, discussing the nature of spread the question of cultural uniformity and the archaeological evidence connected to such mobility phenomena as well as their social and environmental background. The questions of migration, individual mobility, local interactions and adaptations, as well as models of acculturation will be discussed. Was there similar pattern of cultural dissemination throughout whole Eurasia during the 3rdMillennium BC and was it only a one way (east – west) process? Are these processes unique or do they represent one major event in the sequence of cultural transformations repeatedly occurring as result of ecological processes causing the development of material culture and subsistence strategies in the regions along the steppe/forest zone and the cultural interactions along this rather narrow strip of land (reaching from Altay Mountains to Central Europe)?

Keywords: Cultural Identity, Beaker Phenomenon, Mobility, Genetic studies, Eurasia

3. Archaeology in conflict zones: a zero-sum game? (Session)

Organised by Ghattas Jeries Sayej (Agder County Council, Kristiansand, Norway), Chemi Shiff (Faculty of Law, Haifa University., Israel), Akram Ijla (Independent researcher, Gotland., Sweden)

The proposed session will examine how practitioners of archaeology/cultural heritage (archaeologists, conservation specialists, scholars, tour guides etc.) contend with the utilization of archaeology to create a zero-sum game in conflict zones regarding the legitimacy of a specific group’s right to the land.

The examination of this question is particularly important when examining archaeology’s past and current role in the rise of the modern state. Since the rise of modernity, many societies have used archaeological methods and remains as part of the identity building process. The motivation to utilize archaeology for this purpose was twofold. First, it allowed the unification of a shared national identity. Second, the ideological and political utilization of archaeology served to create a dichotomous divide between contested identity groups. In recent years this utilization of archaeology is extremely prevalent in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the conflict in Cyprus, the objection made by Greece to the utilization of certain archaeological artifacts as state symbols of the Republic of North Macedonia and other conflict zones as well.

Therefore, we invite presentations that critically examine the role archaeologists and practitioners of archaeology play in the utilization of the cultural heritage of conflict zones as a zero-sum game. By doing so, this session can serve to demonstrate how archaeology may be utilized to promote bridges of dialogue in societies otherwise constrained by political gridlock.

Keywords: conflict zones, identity building, political utilization of archaeology, cultural heritage, bridges of dialogue

4. Children, Personhood and the Archaeology of Identity (Session)

Organised by April Nowell (University of Victoria, Canada), Jane Baxter (DePaul University, United States)

The archaeology of identity explores the material correlates of the intersection of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, social status, and able-bodiedness in the creation of self. Identity is personal and expressive, embodied and performed, and ephemeral and relational. Identities can be fluid and multifaceted, changing over time and in response to audience or situation. While we readily accept the complexity and impermanence of adult identities there is often a tacit assumption in the literature that children’s identities are imposed upon them, that they are fixed in nature, and often nothing more passive reflections of the adults around them. This assumption leads to the homogenization of children in the past and robs them of their agency. Situating children as passive or absent in the construction and negotiation of their identities also mutes important inter-generational dynamics that are often part of human families and communities, and ignores the ways both adults and children police relational boundaries between various age-based identities. It is likely that constructing children’s identities was equally complicated, as layered and nuanced as those of the adults around them. In this session, we invite papers that speak to the experience of children in the creation, negotiation, and maintenance of identities throughout the course of childhood among communities of children, in the context of adults/children in families, or in broader contexts of communities and cultures.

Keywords: Archaeology of Children, Personhood, Indentity, Childhood, Agency

5. The Prehistory of Beer (Session)

Organised by Patrick E. McGovern (University of Pennsylvania Museum , United States), Jan Turek (Center for Theoretical Study, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic), Elisa Guerra Doce (Facultad de Filosofía y Letras, Universidad de Valladolid, Spain)

Beer is not only a favourite beverage of archaeologists, but it is also increasingly the subject of their research. Brewing and the consumption of beer have played crucial roles in human cultures world-wide, beginning in Africa some 200,000 years ago and continuing until today as our species migrated from region to region. Our ancestors applied traditions and innovated to ferment the specific grains, roots, tubers, and other carbohydrate natural products in each area (e.g., sorghum and millet in Africa, barley and wheat in the Middle East, rice in China, corn and manioc in the Americas, etc.).

Brewing might well represent the first biotechnology of humankind. Beer was a flavourful, nutritious food, mind-altering substance, medicine, religious symbol, and social lubricant, all rolled into one. It stimulated cognitive thought and artistic expression. Its alcohol relieved pain, stopped infection, seemingly cured disease, and put medicinally important botanical compounds into solution.

To tend and store their domesticated crops and to mass-produce beer (and bread), our ancestors established permanent, sedentary communities, precursors to today’s cities. Beer entered into nearly every aspect of life--from daily meals and social interaction to rites of passage and major festivals, highlighted by redistributive feasting and drinking that fuelled the building of monumental architecture and other technological advances. In short, beer and other fermented beverages explain much about our species’ biocultural development on this planet.

In this session, we welcome papers from around the world that elucidate beer’s roles in prehistory as a technology, socio-economic force, religious focus, and/or medicine. Our goal is to gain a multi-disciplinary perspective on the beginnings and early history of the production/consumption of beer, including archaeology, the natural and social sciences, art history, textual studies, ethnography, and ethnohistory.

Keywords: Prehistoric Beer, Fermented Beverages, Feasting, Prehistoric Religion, Socio-Economic Structure

8. Prehistoric kinship beyond ‘family’: concepts, scales, inference, and significance (Session)

Organised by Stella Souvatzi (University of Thessaly, Greece), Bradley E. Ensor (Eastern Michigan University, United States)

Kinship and marriage are such significant organising principles of social production, relationality, identity and socio-political dynamics cross-culturally that its absence in prehistoric and ethnographic research on non-capitalist societies would appear ridiculous. Yet, despite the proliferation of archaeological works on households, communities and everyday life, kinship and marriage are largely ignored, misunderstood, or reduced to ill-defined ‘family’ within archaeology, prompting the need for improved conceptualization, theorization, and analysis, as well as inter-disciplinary understandings.

This session aims to show the potential of centralizing kinship and marriage – as dynamic social processes – in prehistoric archaeology internationally through anthropological understandings to counter the prevailing Western cultural naïveté in archaeology. The session also explores alternative international theoretical and methodological frameworks for inference while showing how analysis of kinship may highlight new meanings for patterns observed at large scales of space and time globally. Central themes and questions relate to the appropriate theories and methods for definition, identification and interpretation and the subject’s broader importance to contemporary cross-disciplinary interests, inviting international and interdisciplinary dialogue.

Papers focus on one or more of the following issues and draw on case-studies across the world:

  • anthropological concepts and definitions on membership, descent, residence, and marriage for clarification, interdisciplinary congruence, and broader significance to archaeological kinship research
  • theoretical perspectives on prehistoric kinship and their corresponding materials and modes of interpretation
  • archaeological spatial materiality and embodiment of practices and relationality
  • social and cultural implications of kinship – e.g. identity, gender, solidarity or antagonism, social memory, ancestors etc.
  • political economic dynamics of kinship and marriage behind ownership, production, exchange, and interaction on local and regional scales
  • diversity, intra-societal variation and change in the manipulation of kin-based memberships and relationalities
  • how kinship and marriage practices influence the distribution of phenotypic and aDNA traits or isotopes

Keywords: kinship, prehistory, marriage, archaeological theory and method, inter-displinary approaches

12. Crafting identities through ceramic practice. Global histories on the origins of pottery technology among foragers (Session)

Organised by Giulia D'Ercole (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) München, Germany), Elena A. A. Garcea (University of Cassino and Southern Latium, Italy), Lenka Varadzinová Suková (Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic), Ladislav Varadzin (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague, Czech Republic)

Contrary to the traditional paradigms, ceramic vessels were not always a Neolithic invention and were not necessarily associated with food producing economy. In a large part of the world, such as northern and central Europe, East Asia, North Africa and West Africa, they were common components of the cultural equipment of Upper Palaeolithic, Epipalaeolithic and Mesolithic foragers. Purposes of this session are to gather scholars investigating the beginning of ceramic production among foragers at a world-wide level and to engage in an original and dynamic dialogue on the conditions that led to the emergence of pottery. It also aims at debating how the fundamental transformative technology of pottery may have had different social identities, meanings and/or functions depending on the specific economic context, settlement system and cultural landscape. Focus of the session also concerns possible links and variations between regions that are geographically distant but share common economic and cultural scenarios. These include, for example, fishing subsistence practices and strong economic dependence on exploitation of aquatic environments, increased sedentism, and other technological innovations, including systematic production of groundstone, bone and shell tools. The cultural and environmental contexts that led to the invention of pottery among Mesolithic/pre-farming communities are further compared with the earliest pottery-bearing cultures in the Near East, where ceramic vessels occurred after the transition to a sedentary lifestyle and the introduction of the earliest farming practices. By opening an inter-cultural interactive discussion on this crucial archaeological and anthropological issue, the possible connections and routes between North Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Levant and Middle East and farther away are explored.

Keywords: Pottery-bearing foragers, ceramic technology, archaeological identities

13. Vernacular & Indigenous Material Culture and Architecture – Tracing the Homogeneity and Diversity (Session)

Organised by Durga Basu (Calcutta University, India), Sergiu Musteata (Ion Creanga State University, Moldova)

Vernacular ethnic architecture generally results from the influence of a particular local environment combined with traditional knowledge. This indigenous form of architecture is mainly based on local craftsmanship that has been evolved through practice and experience of the subsequent generations of the inhabitants. The study of folk houses with their unique architectural features can help us to understand the roots of the communities, their livelihood, beliefs, customs and the environmental aspects. The construction of folk or village houses has been considered as an important part of people’s everyday life and activity where the local building techniques, materials and structural designs are magnificently delineated.

The early indigenous domestic structures form an essential part of architectural heritage of a country and so archaeologists are also interested in finding out different house patterns of early inhabitants of various cultural phases. Since settlement construction is an important part of human survival, the structural building either for living purpose or for any other activities are considered as an important aspect of human culture. From various archaeological investigations it has been found that the early village communities constructed their comfortable shelters for living. This constructional history of early ethnic group of people can provide us some important data for reconstructing their day to day life. The architectural patterns of the folk houses of any country at any given time, represent people’s identities. This session invites papers and discussions on better understanding of the interconnection of folk architectural heritage, local cultural identity and ethno- archaeological study.

Keywords: vernacular, indigenous, architecture, ethno-archaeology

14. Approaching the sounds of the past. Music, acoustics and identity (Session)

Organised by Margarita Diaz-Andreu (ICREA, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain), Luboš Chroustovský (University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic), Neemias Santos da Rosa (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain)

The field of archaeoacoustics emerged in 2006, bringing under its umbrella studies of both musical archaeology and those based on the cultural understanding of sound in the past. Archaeoacoustics goes beyond the traditional archaeological study of the rare material evidence of musical instruments and unique acoustic contexts. It is a field characterized by a marked interdisciplinary dimension that needs the cooperation of archaeology and many other disciplines, including history, ethnomusicology, acoustical physics, psychology and theology. Archaeoacoustics raises a wide range of new theoretical questions, as well as methodological issues. In this session we welcome papers dealing with research on identity and past sound and musical behaviors (from simple sound producing tools to elaborate musical instruments). We invite contributions that assess specific acoustical spaces in natural and built environments, that reconstruct past soundscapes and that seek to evaluate the implementation of new technologies that are allowing the capture of new data to evaluate both natural and intentionally-produced sounds. We would also like to encourage papers dealing with theoretical questions regarding our construction of archaeological knowledge in relation to sound and music. How can we relate our empirical results to the intentional behavior of individuals or communities, including the various identities operating in them? Are we ready to (re)interpret our findings in terms of the social and ideological aspects of past societies? To what extent can we really acknowledge multisensory modes of communication and expression (of cultural norms or individual creativity), while living in a strongly visually-oriented culture? Finally, this WAC session offers a great opportunity to debate the various indigenous traditions as sources of the current archaeological conceptualizations of the role of sound production and perception in the past.

Keywords: archaeoacoustics, music archaeology, sound archaeology, soundscapes, identity

15. Excavating Identity in Palestine from Prehistory to the Present (Session)

Organised by Nils Anfinsent (University of Bergen , Norway), Brian Boyd (Columbia University, United States), Hamed Salem (Birzeit University, Palestina)

Palestine is located on the crossroads of many ancient cultures since prehistoric times, from the earliest human migration from Africa to the historical and contemporary worlds. Palestinian cultural identity is therefore, it could be argued, a deep history of the integration of local, regional and global material and immaterial elements: religious and ideological, political warfare, socioeconomic factors, technocultural traditions, and so on, all contributed to the structuring of community and individual identities through time. Since the early 20th century, archaeologists have made various attempts to assign the archaeological remains from Palestine and neighbouring regions to distinct cultural groups, from the prehistoric – e.g. Acheulean, Natufian, Ghassulian – to those identified as “historic” by virtue of their identification through textual evidence, which was then connected to/examined against the archaeological record – e.g. Canaanites, Israelites, Nabateans. And attempts have also been made to understand the assimilation (or otherwise) of local/regional identities within imperial “world systems”, using concepts such as Hellenization or Romanization.

Papers in this session will address issues of archaeologically perceived continuity and change in cultural identities, assumed to be reflected in the archaeological record, by focusing on recent and contemporary interpretive paradigms which may use or misuse archaeologically-constructed social/cultural identities. For example, in much modern and contemporary political discourse in the Levant region, identities assumed to be based on archaeological evidence are routinely used in issues of land claims and ownership, religious affiliation, and in the origins of religious and political conflicts or, indeed, used in discourse regarding the possible resolution of such conflicts. We welcome papers on any period of Palestinian/Southwest Asian archaeology.

Keywords: Palestinian Archaeoloogy and Cultural Heritage, cultural identity, ethnicities, politics of archaeology, Palestine

17. Archaeology of meat – Meat as source of nutrition, status and identity (Session)

Organised by Günther Karl Kunst (VIAS – Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science University of Vienna, Austria), Krish Seetah (Department of Anthropology, Stanford University, United States), Jan Turek (Center for Theoretical Study, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic)

Meat is universal topic, and whether one abstains or consumes, we are as a species universally impacted by the production and consumption of animal flesh. Throughout human antiquity, meat has been a source of subsistence, indicator of social status, as well as part of personal or communal identity. Within a nutritional context, it has variously figured as a major source of calories, as a rare and occasional delicacy, or avoided entirely.

Meat and its accessibility reflect social differentiation, and have been used to communicate and articulate a range of socially constructed ideas including gender relations, and family and communities ties. The social value of meat is often most evident when presented within the context of feasts, or when used as gift or in repayment of debts. The slaughtered animals and their body parts, as well as the dishes their flesh provided, have all played an important role in presentation and ceremonial exchange. Selection of specific species, the craft of the butchers, choice of cut, mode of cooking and serving have all been shown to have significance within ethnic, religious or gender contexts.

For this session, while we seek papers that discuss the variability of ‘meat’ within the context of production, preparation, storage and consumption, as well as deposition as funerary or sacrificial offerings, we are also keen to showcase new approaches to data recording and analysis of cut marks and any food-related modifications on bone, as well as theoretical developments that emphasize how meat fits within social and economics dimensions. Furthermore, we ask potential presenters to consider the question: how might a longitudinal view of meat, help tackle contemporary concerns regarding the wider impacts of our current consumption?

Keywords: Meat, Subsistence, Social status, Identity, World Archaeology

18. Megaliths & Earthworks: making the World together (Session)

Organised by Gail Higginbottom (Instituto de Ciencias del Patrimonio (Incipit), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Spain), Cecilia Dal Zovo (Instituto de Ciencias del Patrimonio (Incipit), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Spain), Felipe Criado-Boado (Instituto de Ciencias del Patrimonio (Incipit), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Spain)

This session wishes to address approaches and interpretations that determine in what ways megaliths & earthworks first became phenomena in particular regions and/or why they didn´t. connected to this is whether or not people saw themselves as affiliated groups. Indeed, we also want to know why some regions chose one of these phenomenon and not the other within the same temporal span, or gave one precedence over the other. The building of megalithic monuments is a worldwide, time-transcending phenomenon, hundreds of thousands were erected across the World, with some places like the Korean Peninsula holding about 30,000 dolmens. The fact that they still exist in situ, highlights their past and continued relevance in the Cultural Landscape today; it also highlights their on-going collective identities. A similar story is attached to earthworks like mounds, ditches, embankments and pathways and their combinations. Megaliths & earthworks are clearly a dominant form of a created materiality of social & spiritual engagement across the World. Is it possible that similar material practices mean shared worlds, and how might we differentiate between this and co-vergent evolution?As these monuments continued to develop through time, it is possible that so too did their meaning(s). Or is this rationale only an assumption, and indeed rather misguided? With such deliberations, this session, then, also wishes to see evidence that might answer this for us, too, or indeed provide evidence for the stability of a cultural practices , meaning and identity through time. Perhaps there is macro and micro evidence that displays stability but the micro reveals the forms of change within local communities. We are seeking works that present ideas related to these themes and which seek to answer questions such as these, or indeed, by default, have done so.

Keywords: Megaliths, Earthworks, Cultural Landscapes, Social engagement, Shared Worlds

19. Archaeology of Material Culture, Art, Landscape and Settlement (Session)

Chaired by Petr Krištuf (University of West Bohemia, Czech Republic), Luboš Chroustovský (University of West Bohemia, Czech Republic)


20. Social archaeology (Session)

Chaired by Martin Kuna (University of West Bohemia, Czech Republic)


21. Artefactual Archaeology (Session)

Chaired by Timothy Taylor (Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovak Republic)


16. Landscapes, Forests, Groves, Rocks, Rivers, and Trees: Ontological Groundings and Seeking Alternative Theories

2. World Approaches to Landscape (Session)

Organised by James Scott Lyons (University of California, Berkeley, United States), Oki Nakamura (Ritsumeikan University, Japan), Andrea Creel (Independent Scholar, United States)

Following its introduction to archaeology in the 1970s, landscape has proven to be a productive concept for archaeologists. Since then, related theories and methodologies have come to vary widely among archaeologists of diverse time periods, regions, disciplinary trainings, theoretical orientations, and cultural frameworks. The emphases of these approaches vary on a continuum from the tangible aspects of the material world to the intangible aspects of human lived experience. Within this continuum, researchers mobilize a variety of techniques, tools, and datasets ranging from viewshed analysis and paleoenvironmental reconstruction to traditional ecological knowledge, and examine topics as diverse as resource management and gendered spaces. Given this diversity of approaches and research foci, is archaeology of landscape a coherent category in 2020? While this multiplicity of approaches has contributed to wider and deeper understandings of human-landscape interconnections, both in the past and today, it has also amplified perceived chasms in the continuum and distanced landscape researchers from each other. The purpose of this session is to gather archaeologists who specialize in different regions and time periods, employ disparate methodologies and research foci, operate within a variety of conceptual and cultural frameworks, and were trained in an array of intellectual traditions to enrich understanding of material and immaterial aspects of past landscapes through a comparative approach.We invite papers discussing landscapes, seascapes/waterscapes, skyscapes, and taskscapes of any scale and geographic location. We particularly welcome discussions of novel conceptualizations of landscape and applications of landscape approaches in non-Anglophone archaeology.

Keywords: Landscape, Comparative approach, Place

3. Community archaeology: Decolonizing archaeological practices to empower descendant communities (Session)

Organised by Valence Silayo (Tumaini University Dar es Salaam College, Tanzania), Tanambelo Rasolondrainy (Pennsylvania State University, United States), Nancy Rushohora (University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)

Descendant communities have always played a crucial role in the achievement of archaeological projects. Not only they have helped archaeologists to find sites, helped them excavate, but archaeologists also have consulted their social memory, traditional ecological knowledge, and worldviews to interpret archaeological patterns. Despite their important contribution to archaeological researches, descendant communities have been rarely valued as researchers. They have been considered as guides, informants, and local collaborators. Recent trends, however, encourage archaeologists to closely collaborate with descendant communities, and involve them in different parts of the research design, including surveys, excavations, lab analyses, interpretations, dissemination of results, and site preservation. This empowers descendant communities to not only fully participate in scientific research, but also to access a platform that allows them to negotiate and voice their insights.
We invite papers that address issues related to strong collaborative partnership between archaeologists and descendant communities; use of social memory and traditional ecological knowledge to interpret archaeological patterns; descendant community involvement in site identification; archaeological outreach; sites of memory, memorial and remembrance.

Keywords: Community Archaeology, Decolonization, Descendant Community

5. Journey to the Historical Ruins of Ancient Cities (Session)

Organised by Adnan Uzun (Isik University, Faculty of Fine Arts, Turkey), Kellie Pollard (Flinders University, Australia)

The natural structures that make up the texture of the cities are shaped by their life needs. Cities create various cultural textures according to their landscape features. Many ancient cities stand out with these features.

It is difficult to ensure the continuity of these areas for various reasons. Perhaps the most important phenomenon causing change here is the changes in the face of needs. While migration movements that take place due to various reasons within the geography are effective in architectural structures, agricultural activities take an important place in shaping the natural and cultural structures of the region. Transportation networks and landscape elements of the city are shaped according to this lifestyle.

The purpose of this session is the Ancient Ruins of Ancient Cities and transferring these areas to the future in the healthiest way.

In this session, we invite you to share successful works and experiences in ancient cities with us. It is expected to present studies on natural and cultural changes in the historical process and reflections of these changes and various solutions within the scope of landscape planning of ancient cities.

Keywords: Landscape, Archaeology, Ancient Ruins, Ancient City

6. Cave Ontologies: Why are caves significant to humans? (Session)

Organised by Ran Barkai (Tel-Aviv University, Israel), Kathryn Arthur (University of South Florida, United States)

In the past and present, caves ignite our imaginations! Our relationships with caves began nearly 2 million years ago and throughout our history caves have been recognized as places of significance. Archaeologists generally perceive caves as suitable grounds for past burials, food preparation, and storage, as well as havens for shelters, art, and ritual.Furthermore, the environmental conditions within caves offer excellent preservation of materials that often do not survive well in open environments expanding opportunities to understand human-cave relationships.

Literature and philosophy, however, hint that there is more than practicality in human uses of caves. Circa 380 BE, Plato in his “Allegory of the Cave” implied that caves harbor intangible shadows of the human mind that represent the immaterial, unintelligible, and imaginary. And in 1909, Carl Gustav Jung had a dream about a prehistoric cave located underneath a two-story house, which inspired him to develop his theory about the collective unconsciousness and universal archetypes. In contrast to these musings, we contend that caves conjure and embody a wide variety of intelligible and real ways of perceiving the world.

We propose a session, during this International Year of Caves and Karst (International Science Council 2022), that examines a global history of perceptions and interactions with caves. Participants in this session will consider philosophy, Indigenous wisdom, literature, ethnography, ethnohistory, anthropology and archaeology to explore the conceptual, cosmological, and sensual mechanisms behind how and why caves attract human attention. We invite colleagues to join us in this journey to the bottom of the earth and the mysteries of the human experience.

Keywords: Caves, Ontology, Wisdoms, Sensual Mechanisms, Deep Time


17. The aDNA Revolution: Its Issues, Potentials, and Implications

2. Northeast Asia and the ancient DNA revolution in interdisciplinary perspective (Session)

Organised by Martine Robbeets (Eurasia3angle, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Belgium), Chao Ning (School of Life Sciences, Research Center for Chinese Frontier Archaeology, Jilin University, China), Mark Hudson (Eurasia3angle, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Germany)

Given the so-called ‘aDNA revolution’, studies in ancient DNA are often claimed to have leapfrogged archaeology and linguistics to become the best source of knowledge on prehistoric human migrations. We can expect that within 5 to 10 years from now, the major patterns in human migration in Northeast Asia in the Neolithic and Bronze Age will be mapped. However, even if this research ultimately leads to more detailed descriptions of where and when people moved, geneticists alone will never be able to tell us whythese people moved. This is where disciplines such as archaeology and linguistics come in.

This session will investigate to what extent the genetic profile of Northeast Asians is mirrored in the archaeological and linguistic record. From a linguistic perspective, we will address the dispersal history and interaction of two major language families, the ‘Sino-Tibetan’ or ‘Trans-Himalayan’ family, including several varieties of Chinese, Burmese and Tibetic and the ‘Transeurasian family’, including Japanese, Korean, Tungusic, Mongolic and Turkic. In addition, we will look at the linguistic prehistory of language isolates such as Ainu, Nivkh and other pockets of earlier lineages that became isolated before the large-scale spreads of Transeurasian and Sino-Tibetan. From an archaeological perspective, we are interested in the centres of origin of millet agriculture, the integration of rice and other crops to the agricultural package, the beginnings of dairying and animal husbandry and the shift to pastoralism in Northeast Asia in the Neolithic and Bronze Age. How can the population migration and admixture histories between populations of different ethno-linguistic and cultural origins in Northeast Asia be associated with processes of language dispersal, linguistic shift and cultural diffusion? We hope that our session will increase our understanding of how the Neolithic and Bronze Age populations of Northeast Asia reached their present-day locations and why they moved.

Keywords: Northeast Asia, Transeurasian languages, ancient DNA revolution, interdisciplinary, linguistics

3. The Neolithization of East Asia inferred from a multidisciplinary perspective (Session)

Organised by Chuan-Chao Wang (Xiamen University, China), Ivy Hui-Yuan Yeh (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore), Lan-Hai Wei (Xiamen University, China), Rong Hu (Xiamen University, China)

The neolithization processes – the shift from hunting-gathering to food production in East Asia involved significant population, socioeconomic and ecological transformations. Changes in food production, in natural resources management and in settlement patterns originated a new way in which humans and the environment interacted. The Neolithization processes workshop addresses some of the issues raised above from a multidisciplinary perspective including ancient DNA, archaeobotany, and archaeozoology, with a special focus on East Asia. The presentations explore complementary aspects of the Neolithization Processes. They include: (1) the expansion of agriculture from Upper Middle Yellow River and Lower Yangtze River to the vast region in East Asia through demic or cultural diffusion?(2)stable isotope analysis and the consumption of domestic animals; (3) collected or cultivated? the origin and dispersal of agriculture based on the phytolith record.

Keywords: Neolithisation, ancient DNA, archaeobotany, archaeozoology, East Asia

18. A New Bioarchaeology: Telling the Difficult Stories

1. Beyond being a pastoralist in Central Asia: subsistence identities in light of bioarchaeological approaches sensu lato on human diet and mobility (Session)

Organised by Taylor Hermes (Kiel University, Germany), Elina Ananyevskaya (Vilnius University, Lithuania), Giedre Motuzaite Matuzeviciute (Vilnius University, Lithuania)

Critical reconsiderations have recently emerged to the long-standing view that the vast, ecologically diverse region of ancient Central and Inner Asia was the domain of highly mobile pastoralists, or “nomads”, who subsisted exclusively on domesticated animal products. Repeated findings of wide range of cereal macrobotanical remains from sites dating from the third millennium BC demonstrate that ancient communities here were entangled in a mosaic of dietary choices beyond herd animals. The increasing application of isotope analysis to human and animal skeletal remains further reinforces that Central Asian landscapes were characterized by diverse investments in plant cultivation, especially of the isotopically distinct C4 millets. Although this research collectively fuels important debate about the lifeways of ancient communities in Central Asia, we continue to lack a precise understanding of the breadth of subsistence engagements within and between diverse ecozones, how antecedent foraging strategies were transformed into a diverse array of foodways using domesticates, and how herding or farming production intensified in tandem with the formation of powerful polities and early states. Taken together, we face immense difficulty and contemplation in labelling the communities driving these processes. This session explores the theoretical and empirical basis of assigning a “subsistence identity” to communities located in Central, Inner Asia, and adjacent regions dating from the Eneolithic to the historical period in light of powerful bioarchaeological methods of resolving human dietary intake and mobility. Papers in this session will present rigorous analysis of human and also animal skeletal material in order to provide new insights on subsistence, mobility, and everyday life that revitalize how we imagine community identity in Eurasian archaeology.

Keywords: Pastoralism, Central Asia, Diet, Mobility, Identity

4. Ethics in Bioarchaeology (Session)

Organised by Sian Halcrow (University of Otago, New Zealand), Kirsty Squires (Staffordshire University, United Kingdom), Pamela Geller (University of Miami, United States)

Culturally specific responses to the dead vary in intriguing and instructive ways. For this reason, bioarchaeologists have long recognized human remains as a rich resource. It is only more recently that bioarchaeologists have also grappled with bodies as a highly sensitive source of data – one that requires a meaningful and ongoing conversation about the ethics of bioarchaeological research. Over the past two decades, the number of ethical dilemmas has increased significantly. Postcolonial positions have engendered a growing awareness of researchers’ past transgressions. The rapid development of revolutionary biotechnologies and the rise of social media has also raised new concerns for present-day practitioners. For instance, the invention and refinement of sampling techniques and analyses methods in aDNA research, has led to a ‘race’ for procurement of bone samples by well-funded international institutions, which in itself raises questions about the ethical awareness of some practices within bioarchaeological research.

This session brings together practicing bioarchaeologists, archaeologists, museum curators, and forensic anthropologists who work in different world regions and time periods. Topics for this session include but are not limited to: bioarchaeological work with indigenous and local communities; destructive sampling of human remains; application of new technologies (e.g. digital, molecular); working with anatomical or illegally acquired collections; institutional responsibility and accountability; excavation practices and museum curation; and capacity building in communities with limited resources or from politically charged settings.

Keywords: Ethics, Bioarchaeology, Postcolonial legacies, New technologies, Indigenous communities

6. What we can gain from analysis of masticatory system (Session)

Organised by Hiroko Hashimoto (Kyoto University, Japan), Carolyn Rando (University College London, United Kingdom), Ayako Shibutani (The University Museum, the University of Tokyo, Japan)

Traditionally, exploring the origins of populations, estimating kinships and nutritional condition or diets from analyses of masticatory system were conducted as the main topics in bioarchaeology and physical anthropology. To explore the origins of populations, non-metrical dental or cranial traits are often used, with dental dimensions and dentition proportions also helping to indicate kinship and ancestry of these people. The environmental conditions in which children grow up (including illnesses and profound malnutrition) can be reflected by exploring enamel hypoplastic defects. Dental microwear can aid in understanding the diet of an individual closely before death, while dental microwear can inform on general diet and habitual behaviors of a population.

In addition to these traditional approaches, new methods are also revealing more detailed information. Exploring dental calculus – through examining starch grains and the DNA of bacterial flora – can be used to reconstruct detailed diets, oral cavity environments, and health conditions. Carbon and nitrogen isotopes, and trace elements such as strontium, taken from dental enamel reveal details about dietary practices and even the origin of that person.

Studies of the masticatory system have been used to reconstruct human-environmental interaction and transitions of animal/plant domestications. Through exploring dental and oral disease (such as carious lesions or periodontal disease) we can broaden our knowledge of eating habits, disease, and perhaps human behavior.

In this session, using multifaceted methods and approaches, we would explore new research perspectives to reconstruct the historical human-environmental interactions and to solve issues of environmental and economic challenges in the modern human societies – using the human masticatory system.

Keywords: Osteoarchaeology, Dental anthropology, Diet, Environment


19. Climates of Change and Environmental Pasts

1. Migration, Trade and Settlement patterns within extreme landscapes and challenging climatic conditions (Session)

Organised by Ekta Singh (Shoolini University, India), Nagendra Singh Rawat (HNB Garhwal University, India), Stella Bickelmann (University College London, United Kingdom)

The aim of this session is to address the impacts of the natural environment and climate on the shaping of cultural landscapes. In particular, how environmental bridges and barriers affected the pace and pattern of human migration, population interactions and settlements in the past. We would also like to discuss how climate change is impacting human occupation as well as the cultural heritage landscape in the present and in the future.

  • In this session we intend to bring together archaeologists with an interest in how humans have shaped cultural landscapes by adapting to the natural environment. We are particularly interested in how cultural development has been heavily influenced by its location within extreme landscapes and challenging climatic conditions throughout the past and present. This will include case studies from the Himalayan regions (our area of research), but case studies from other parts of the world are also desired. We also welcome papers presenting case studies on how environmental changes or natural disasters have impacted human migration and occupation in the past.
  • The session will also address the issue of climate change and how it is transforming cultural landscapes across the world and what the impacts are on the archaeological resource. We would also like to look into the significance of engaging with local communities through exchange of knowledge in order to come up with local solutions.
  • At the end of the session we would like to have an interactive discussion on how the heritage sector can influence the debate on climate change and if or how archaeological research and documentation can contribute to the debate. We would also like to examine the importance of innovative archaeological methods as well as collaborations and cross-sector partnerships to address the challenges of climate change.

Keywords: cultural landscapes, environmental and climate changes, Migration, Trade, Settlement patterns

4. Fields, peoples and power: approaches to agrarian archaeologies of the preindustrial world (Session)

Organised by Jesús Fernández Fernández (University of Oviedo, Spain), Alejandra Korstanje (University of Tucumán, Argentina), Gabriel Moshenska (UCL Institute of Archaeology, United Kingdom)

Agrarian archaeology or agro-archaeology has had an uneven development in different parts of the world. As is common in archaeology, more efforts and resources have been focused on work in wealthier parts of the world, while others have been relatively neglected. Even in these areas, archaeologists have paid more attention to habitation areas and monumental sites than to working areas. Without these, the economic, cultural and political nature of a society cannot truly be understood. Recent technical advances in paleoenvironments, micromophology, soil chemistry and microfossils provide us with methodological resources that can contribute significantly to the advancement of agro-archaeological research. At the same time, we should recognize and explore the obvious connections between this research and contemporary environmental debates and activism. How can we conceive of sustainable futures without an understanding of ecologically sustainable past societies? Our aim in this session is to bring together scholars whose work addresses issues of agrarian archaeology in pre-industrial societies worldwide. We are keen to include both past societies and those which have maintained agrarian practices into the recent past. Our interest covers both theoretical and methodological issues, such as the application of the new scientific techniques in archaeological work, through to more self-reflective and political discussions, and studies that focus on the impacts of archaeological work on contemporary agrarian communities.

Keywords: Agrarian archaeology, Landscape archaeology, Environmental archaeology, Preindustrial economies, Peasantry

6. Climate Change and Heritage (Session)

Organised by Sara Ayers-Rigby (Florida Public Archaeology Network; Florida Atlantic University Anthropology Department, United States), Elinor Graham (University of St Andrews, Scotland, United Kingdom), Vibeke Vandrup Martens (NIKU – Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research, Norway)

Climate changing is affecting our society with far ranging impacts. These can be mild, such as people having to alter commutes due to heavy rains, or severe, such as entire communities forced to move permanently or at least evacuate temporarily. Climate change is radically altering cultural heritage as well. Impacts to historic properties and archaeological sites are destroying legacies of communities across the globe. This session will explore how community-based climate change documentation of archaeological sites and scientific 'storytelling' can serve as critical methodologies to preserve this legacy in the face of irreversible change. Documenting and monitoring these sites can bridge the time span from those living in an area in the present to the past, empowering people to engage with these issues.

This session will invite papers about community engagement and climate change, whether it is engaging modern communities to acknowledge and document current climate change or how archaeology and anthropology can illuminate how past communities addressed and coped with changes in their environment.

Keywords: climate change impacts, heritage management, community engagement, environmental change, digital documentation

10. The human – environment conundrum in palaeoanthropology through the integration of high-resolution multi-proxy techniques (Session)

Organised by Rosa Maria Albert (ICREA at Universitat de Barcelona , Spain), Sally Hoare (University of Liverpool, United Kingdom), Irene Esteban (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain)

Multi-proxy studies aimed at reconstructing palaeolandscapes and palaeoclimates are fundamental to better understand hominin and early-Homo­ local adaptations to nearby environments and their use of available resources. In recent years, the study of the invisible record through the application of high-resolution techniques has contributed significantly to improve our knowledge about climatic conditions, water availability and quality, vegetation distribution and fauna extinction and speciation. This has consequently enhanced a deeper understanding of the hominin-environment relationship in different settings and chronological periods.

The proposed session aims to offer an updated review, from an integrated and multidisciplinary perspective, on the application of high-resolution techniques in the fields of geoarchaeology and geomorphology, biochemistry, microbiological remains and palaeobotany to Pleistocene records in hominin and early-Homo contexts. We seek for contributions that help to better understand how these techniques and methods may contribute to increase scientific knowledge on this recurrent theme in human evolution. Case studies and reviews of application, complementarity, limitations, and future perspectives are welcome.

Keywords: multi-proxy studies, Palaeolandscape, Palaeoclimate, Hominins, Early homo

11. Archaeology of Environment and Human Culture (Session)

Chaired by Petr Pokorný (Center for Theoretical Study, Charles University, Czech Republic), Matthew Walls (Center for Theoretical Study & University of Calgary, Canada)


20. Water and Ancient Complex Societies

1. Securing Water in Freshwater Security and Urbanizing Landscapes in the Ancient Tropics (Session)

Organised by Innocent Pikirayi (University of Pretoria, South Africa), Federica Sulas (Aarhus University, Denmark)

Tropical environments are unique reservoirs of bio-cultural diversity and interaction, now rapidly becoming home to over half the world’s population—for most of whom food and water supplies are insecure. Water security is among the greatest challenges to rapid urbanization, especially in tropical Africa. Such concerns are not new in areas where some of the most enduring and diverse urban traditions emerged, spanning the thousand-year-old Maya city-states and the gigantic urban capitals of medieval South East Asia to the ephemeral Swahili emporia of East Africa. How did past urban societies secure water in the Tropics?

Identifying enduring drivers of water security depends on our ability to examine how, where, when, and for how long societies and landscapes have negotiated change. For many ancient, medieval and pre-industrial contexts, a loss of documentary records, fragmented empirical datasets, a relative lack of comparative studies or bespoke theories, compound the difficulties for examining urban sustainability.

As large-scale, alien development is proving untenable for environments and communities, ‘indigenous’ practices are increasingly seen as resources for sustainable futures. However, their origin, longevity or longer-term impact remain largely overlooked in contemporary assessments. Such impasse further illustrates the importance of context and scale to unlock drivers of enduring urban systems. Mainstream understandings of historic urbanism have gained considerable knowledge from studies of Mesopotamia, Nilotic Egypt and the ancient Greco-Roman world, whose cities have been taken as archetypes and yardsticks of urban development. However, the application of such modalities to Tropical contexts has shaped the ways we consider certain regions as ‘underdeveloped’ or ‘rural’ with important implications for current debates about urban sustainability.

This session calls for contributions that illustrates how urbanizing societies were shaped and shaped freshwater supplies to thrive, to mitigate shortages and embrace change.

Keywords: water, security, tropics, ancient tropics, urbanizing landscapes

4. The Long Term Impacts of Hydraulic Engineering in Tropical Low-Density Urban Societies (Session)

Organised by Keir Strickland (La Trobe University, Australia), Damian Evans (Ecole Française d'Extrême-Orient, France), Sarah Klassen (University of British Columbia, Canada), Patrick Roberts (Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Germany)

Archaeological studies of the emergence of urban societies have focussed above all on the Mediterranean and the Middle East, where states and cities often developed along major river systems, and where urban morphologies conform neatly to conventional ideas of ‘the city’. In the tropical world, on the other hand, questions persist about whether settlements were truly urban in character, and there remains a debate about whether tropical environments – typically seen as marginal and inhospitable – sustained densely urban populations over the long term. Recent research, however, has underscored the diversity of trajectories of urbanism in the tropical world, and has highlighted the role of water management systems in attenuating hydroclimatic instability and building societal resilience to environmental change.

This session will explore the development of hydraulic landscapes in low-density urban contexts across the tropical world, with a view to understanding the relationships between water management systems and societal resilience, sustainability, and episodes of “collapse”. Drawing on case studies from around the globe, we welcome comparative perspectives on how complex societies transformed ‘natural’ landscapes in tropical environments, and how those transformations afforded different degrees of resilience and sustainability. Of particular interest is how engineered landscapes functioned over different scales of time and space, looking for example at state-level and community-level strategies for water management, and at the long-term social and environmental consequences of massive infrastructural investments.

We welcome papers that examine construction and administration of tropical hydraulic landscapes, and which utilise methodologies such as remote sensing, palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, climate modelling, and geoarchaeology, or which adopt a comparative approach in their analyses.

Keywords: low-density urbanism, complex societies, water, tropical states

5. Reviving Water Infrastructures (Session)

Organised by Adam Green (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom), Rekha Bhangaonkar (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom), Aftab Alam (Banaras Hindu University, India), Cameron Petrie (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)

Ancient water infrastructures may have the potential to transform modern agricultural systems. For most of human history, farmers have relied primarily on rainfall and rivers to meet their irrigation needs. The rise of industrial agriculture has seen a shift from away from such sources of surface water to groundwater, which must be pumped to the surface from wells and requires the use of a significant amount of energy. This situation has created a wide range of environmental crises, from the outright depletion of groundwater sources to increasing levels of heavy metals in water supplies. In many parts of the world, there are elements of past water infrastructure that are still functional. For example, in India there are many elements of water infrastructure that were constructed in the past and enhance the sustainability of current agricultural systems. Examples include the Kallanai Dam, which was constructed as early as 100 BC and is still used today. At Sanchi, a group of 16 dams harmonize with local drainage systems to preserve runoff water. Policy makers are asking whether these heritage infrastructures can improve the sustainability of modern agricultural systems, such as Mission Kakatiya, a Telangana state initiative that advocates the restoration of reservoirs constructed in AD 956–1323. Our aim is to examine this potential from global perspective.

Keywords: water, irrigation, infrastructure, heritage, development


21. World Archaeologies: the past, the present and the future

4. World archaeo-geophysics: State of the art & case studies (COST Action SAGA-CA 17131) (Session)

Organised by Carmen Cuenca-Garcia (Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway), Andrei Asandulesei ("Al.I. Cuza" University, Romania), Kelsey Lowe (University of Queensland, Australia)

Geophysical prospection currently stands as a powerful method in archaeology to study sites in a non-destructive and minimally invasive manner. In the last decade, major technological developments have delivered more compact sensors, multi-arrays systems, as well as motorised or robotised ground or aerial platforms that are revolutionising archaeological research. These technological breakthroughs have allowed the implementation of extremely fast and high-resolution surveys to discover, explore, record and monitor sub-surface archaeological sites and landscapes. Geophysical techniques have been employed in archaeological research for decades and the result has been their steady establishment as routine procedures in cultural heritage management (CHM). However, the use of archaeo-geophysics, both in research and CHM, faces an unbalanced adoption across European countries but also in the rest of the world. Why? What are the experiences or challenges? How can we promote the uptake of geophysical approaches there with little or no-experience of their use?

To promote an adequate use of geophysics in archaeological research as well as to advance in geophysical data interpretation beyond basic prospection (presence/absence of possible archaeological features), the Soil science & Archaeo-Geophysics Alliance (SAGA) was funded by the EU COST Association. COST Action SAGA (CA17131) is a research network, which brings together archaeologists, geophysicists and soil scientists from 36 countries. This session is organised under the auspices of COST Action SAGA and is open for contributions (overviews or case-study papers) from SAGA and WAC members, or other external participants working in archaeo-geophysics in research, management or commercial environments, all around the world. We aim to exchange experiences, discuss common and/or specific challenges and solutions, and identify pathways to facilitate the adoption of archaeo-geophysics especially in those countries with high needs- and where the expertise and infrastructures are not readily available.

Keywords: archaeological geophysics/archaeo-geophysics, near surface geophysics, combined archaeo-geophysical and soil science approaches, cultural heritage management, non-destructive methods in archaeology

6. Remote sensing in the documentation, monitoring and research of archaeological landscapes (Session)

Organised by Stephen Davis (University College Dublin, Ireland), Knut Rassmann (Romano-Germanic Commission, German Archaeological Institute, Frankfurt a. M., Germany)

Recent highly effective innovations in technical development put forward the important role of remote sensing in landscape and settlement archaeology. In both theoretically based research projects, and management/protection of cultural heritage the quality of methods of remote sensing – and data gathered by them – have increased in an unprecedented scale. The session is expected to collect a variety of important works from all over the world indicating the huge potential of remote sensing in modern archaeological practice. Welcome are papers focused on how the analyses and interpretations of vertical aerial photographs, satellite imagery, remotely sensed lidar data and oblique low altitude aerial images, processed in digital environment, extensively improve our cognition and understanding of cultural (human) landscape history and how, at the same time, contribute to precise mapping and documentation of archaeological heritage.

Keywords: archaeological remote sensing, landscape archaeology, aerial photographs, satellite imagery, airborn laser scanning

7. Developers and Archaeology: Global Perspectives (Session)

Organised by Caleb Adebayo Folorunso (University of Ibadan, Nigeria), Charles Le Quesne (Environmental Resources Management (ERM), United Kingdom)

The relationship between developers and archaeology has a long history which had evolved differently in different parts of the world. Developers here is taken to mean all agencies that modify the landscape such that it may impact on archaeology. The session aims in bringing together archaeologists from the different part of the world under different social, political and economic conditions to share their experiences on the issue of developers and archaeology. In some parts of the world, the relationship between developers and archaeology had produced established institutionalized developer funded archaeology while in other parts of the world the developer funded archaeology is in a very rudimentary state and as such archaeology may be at the mercy of the developer. At the extreme end of the scale is the situation in countries where developers have no commitments whatsoever towards archaeology and they constitute the main source of destruction to archaeology. Contributors from countries with established developer’s funded archaeology would be expected to discuss the legal and regulatory frameworks, the structure and procedures of engagement, maintenance of professional ethics, challenges and prospects for future improvements among others. Contributors from countries where developer funded archaeology is at a rudimentary level or non-existent would describe their situation highlighting the factors militating against archaeology and how best they could be assisted. It is therefore our objective to get participants to learn from one another and also be facilitators where they provide expertise and advice.

Keywords: Developer, Archaeology, Procedure, Regulation, Ethics

8. “Being human”: Integrated approach to the transformation of the material world, through cognitive experiences of body and mind (Session)

Organised by Naoko Matsumoto (Okayama University, Japan), Liliana Janik (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom)

In recent years, theories about materiality have introduced into the archaeological understanding of the past the idea of the active role of material culture as an integral part of the social and cultural aspects of being human. Current neurophysiological research on the way our brains and bodies work provides us with additional clues about the ways we use and structure our world through material culture. The relationships between body, brain/mind, and material culture are the topic of this session. Issues to be addressed include: How and when material culture takes a role in what it means to be human? Are there particular aspects of material culture that are more valued than others in bringing the articulation of being human? What can we learn from the material culture about being human? These themes will be explored through archaeological remains from different continents and cultures.

Keywords: materiality, body, brain, cognition, comparative archaeology

9. Archaeology from the Next Generation: Student-Led Research Projects in a Global Perspective (Session)

Organised by Marian Bailey (Southern Cross University, Australia), Nupur Tiwari (IISER Mohali, Punjab, India)

The research methods, products, and outcomes of students are often less visible than their more established counterparts. Straddling the line between novice and expert, their work is often seen as paving the way for their future careers in or outside of academia or assisting their academic advisors. However, their work presents innovative approaches to new and old problems in archaeological practice, and a critical view about the role of archaeology and the past in the current volatile social and political scenarios. In this session, we bring together students from around the world to discuss their novel contributions to archaeological theory, practices, and methods. We encourage any student attending WAC-9 to participate in this session. We welcome research papers from undergraduates, postgraduates, and postdocs in archaeology to discuss big or small, normative or experimental research projects. Papers may address: what responsibilities do students have to address inequalities, ethical dilemmas, and professional codes; what obstacles do students face in their research process; what kinds of issues are student-led scholarship addressing; what can students do to build collaboration? The goal of this session is to share how the student experience has informed the scholarship of our colleagues and encourage collaboration among students in preparation for future WAC congresses. This session is sponsored by the WAC Student Committee (WACSC) and builds upon the WACSC sponsored session at WAC-7, Jordan. The WACSC is dedicated to encouraging student membership and representation within WAC, organizing student-oriented activities, and promoting student participation in academic events organized by WAC.

Keywords: Archaeology, Students, Research process, Collaboration, Global perspective

11. Student Ethics Debate, Hosted by the WAC Student Committee (Round Table)

Organised by Gonzalo Linares (St. Hugh's College (University of Oxford), United Kingdom), Hannah Quaintance (University at Buffalo, State University of New York (SUNY), United States), Marian Bailey (Southern Cross University, Australia)

A commitment to ethical principles has been embedded in WAC from its beginning, and attention to these responsibilities continues to flow through everything our organisation does. Ethics are not a set of rules but rather they are ideals and guiding principles that are employed in real-life situations. Thus, ethics debates are an invaluable tool to help students develop their ethical decision-making skills through practice, before facing such situations in reality.

The WAC Student Committee (WACSC) invites students to participate in the third Student Ethics Debate. Student teams will explore hypothetical but realistic ethical cases in archaeology and heritage management. The cases selected for discussion may include, among other topics, concerns regarding climate change and looting, the export of remains for research, and issues related to the representation and protection of contested heritage. These will provide participants with an excellent opportunity to practice their ethical decision-making skills.

Participation is open to both undergraduate and graduate students but all must be members of WAC. Students may self-nominate to join as individuals and will be introduced to their peers via the teams formed for the event. The Ethics Debate will be run as a two-part session with two preliminary rounds and one final round deciding the winning team. Prizes will be on offer for the winners. The WAC-9 Student Ethics Debate is intended to reflect WAC’s mission to promote international dialogue and aims to create a space that is open and supportive of emerging scholars from around the world.

On behalf of WACSC, we encourage interested students to contact us and to bring to our attention case studies/topics that they find engaging and requiring discussion. Please send us an email with an expression of interest along with a few lines about your professional commitments to archaeology. Please write to us at,

Keywords: ethics, debate, students, climate change, stakeholders

12. Mobility, migrations and diasporas from the perspective of world archeologies (Session)

Organised by Mariano Bonomo (CONICET-Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina), Mónica Berón (CONICET-Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina), José López Mazz (Universidad de la República, Uruguay), Fernado Ozorio de Almeida (Universidade Federal de Sergipe, Brazil)

The movement of people, including demographic expansion and the migrations, is a major issue in current globalized world. Archeology with its broad temporal-spatial dimension is in a privileged condition to contribute to the understanding of these phenomena as long-term social and historical processes. Using different theoretical approaches and materials, in this session we seek to discuss the past human movement on local, regional and continental geographical scales. To achieve this, we will rely on different research lines, such as Geographic Information Systems tools, absolute dates (14C, TL), Sr, C, N and O stable isotopes, studies of raw material sources and paleoenvironmental proxies, as well as on the complementary and necessary views offered by bioanthropology, genetics, historical linguistics, ethnography, among other disciplines. The interdisciplinary interaction and the methodological expansion of archeology have allowed the analysis of daily foraging trips, annual circuits of mobility, exchange expeditions and trade routes, initial peopling, settlement and large-scale movements in empty or already populated areas of America, Africa, Eurasia and Oceania. These human movements were accompanied by the circulation of exotic goods, the emergence of technological innovations such as pottery and metallurgy or economic changes with the incorporation and dispersion of domesticated plants and animals. We are interested in addressing the exploration of new territories that became true corridors of interaction, as well as the diasporas of people and objects and their economic, social and ideational motivations.

Keywords: daily foraging trips, exchange and trade routes, large-scale movements, interdisciplinary research

14. Environmental Archaeology of Ancient Complex Societies in East Asia (Session)

Chaired by Shinya Shoda (Nara National Institute for Cultural Heritage, Japan) – the session originally proposed by June-Jeong Lee (Seoul National University, Korea), Sei-ichiro Tsuji (The University of Tokyo, Japan), Xuexiang Chen (Shandong University, China)

This session will discuss human-environment interactions in ancient complex societies in East Asia. In complex societies including ancient states, how humans utilize landscapes and ecological resources, especially plants and animals, to construct, develop and maintain large size complex settlements and cities is an important issue. We will select several long-lasting societies in East Asia where some of them had lasted more than several hundred years in the same area, and will study how central and local societies recognized, managed, and changed the environment, and how environmental factors effected and changed the human societies. 'Sustainability' is one of the key issues of this session. By reviewing several cases of long-lasting complex societies with sustainable environments, this session will find common patterns among these ancient sustainable societies and will compare their diversity.

This session will present topics including the reconstruction of ancient landscapes, plant environment and/or animal environment, human-landscape interaction (e.g. deforestation, population increase, etc.), human-plant interaction (e.g. plant management, agriculture, etc.), and human-animal interaction (e.g. hunting, domestication, ritual, etc.) in several complex societies in East Asia, especially China, Korea, and Japan.

Keywords: human-environment interactions, paleoenvironmental reconstruction, sustainability, East Asia, complex society

15. The collapse of ancient societies (Session)

Organised by Junko Uchida (Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan), Kuei-chen Lin (Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Taiwan)

The collapse of a society, signaled by a decline in population and the deterioration of material culture, can have various causes, including mistakes in governance, the destruction of sustainable environments, the rise of conflicts, the failure of supporting or symbiotic societies, and the spread of infectious diseases. Such declines have been observed in archaeological records of human societies of various scales and possessing different political forms. Sometimes, the reasons for these declines are indirect or complicated, combining several factors, and in some cases interdependent societies witness successive collapses. In addition, the impacts on and resilience of different social divisions are often obscure or controversial. It is therefore important to examine different case studies of various levels of social complexity in greater detail in order to understand these complicated processes of decline. Our session considers instances from different parts of the world, providing an opportunity for comparative studies, which may also serve as points of reference for modern crises.

Keywords: collapse, process of decline, factors, modern crises, resilience

16. South Asia and the World: Tackling the big archaeological questions through South Asian evidences (Session)

Organised by Akash Srinivas (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Mohali, India), Nupur Tiwari (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Mohali, India), Francesc Conesa (McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom), Adam Green (McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom), Yezad Pardiwalla (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Mohali, India)

South Asia occupies a vital geographic location, located somewhat centrally in the Old World, and serving as a possible pathway for demographic and cultural dispersals. Furthermore, it encompasses a wide range of geographic, geomorphological, environmental, cultural, linguistic, and genetic variability. However, South Asian evidences are seldom, if ever, considered in global discussions of critical archaeological or paleoanthropological discourses. This peripheral role of South Asian perspectives may be the result of multiple factors – unfamiliarity and unavailability of robust sources and datasets, the lack of preservation of certain archaeological elements and records, biases in archaeological theory and paradigms, amongst others. This session seeks to address some of these issues by calling for papers that integrate and highlight South Asian archaeological evidences to tackle contemporary archaeological discourse. The scope of this session is broad, calling for both South Asian and international researchers, to contribute their studies related to, but not limited to, the various archaeological archives such as lithics, pottery, fauna, genetics, rock art, palaeoenvironmental proxies, and others. These archives may pertain to any period and culture. We seek submissions to move beyond local and regional resolutions, and deal with high-resolution research problems and questions, by placing their work into a global framework.

Keywords: South Asia, Archaeological interpretations, Global perspectives, Multidisciplinary

18. Memory (and forgetting) in archaeology (Session)

Organised by Carola Metzner-Nebelsick (Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology, Ludwig-Maximlians-Universität München, Germany), Timothy Taylor (Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovak Republic)

Our session seeks to explore and discuss how archaeological finds or monuments encapsulate memory. It will address how social practices were instrumentalised to preserve memory or how memory was actively created. The most obvious form of materialised memoria is probably the grave. Not only burial mounds but also various other types of monuments formed sacrificial landscapes, which can be read as a palimpsest of various layers of collective memory, as markers of commemoration beyond the borders of oral tradition. However, in our session we would like to go beyond burial practices to address the question how social practices as well as monuments and even certain finds and certain technologies, with their internal trajectories, may have functioned as agents of cultural memory. Thus we include the concept of memory embodied in landscapes and traditions over the long term. As memory has its correlate in forgetting, we will also reexamine the ground conditions of the longue durée, and facilitate discussion around how the concept of the anthropocene (for example) depends on the transition of the cultural into the natural over time through a process of forgetting past impacts and actions. Understanding cumulative diachronic impacts as anthropogenic thus involves restoring the memory of past action (which has always been a core mission of archaeology, even in historical periods). By inviting speakers with topics from all periods and areas we would like to illuminate different strategies of creating and preserving memory, or on the contrary, how the intentional destruction of symbols of memory and even the neglect of memorial practices played a role in human behaviour reflected in the archaeological record.

Keywords: Memory, Archaeology, World

19. Challenges and new approaches for protection of cultural heritage around the world (Session)

Organised by Marika Tisucká (National Museum of Prague, Czech Republic), Isber Sabrine (Researcher and Cultural Heritage Manager | Institució Milà i Fontanals CSIC and Heritage for Peace, Spain), Emma Cunliffe (The Blue Shield / Newcastle University, United Kingdom)

Current conflicts in Syria, Iraq and other countries result in the ongoing destruction of cultural heritage, however other peacetime threats around the world make them as much – if not more – vulnerable. Archaeological heritage, religious and other built heritage, archives and even intangible heritage are under increasing threat from sustained population explosion, agricultural development, urban expansion, warfare and looting. These have made the protection of heritage a more urgent and important concern in than ever before.

Within this session, we invite presentations about challenges and new approaches for protection of cultural heritage around the world, but also on more general and more controversial topics. We want to discuss improving the protection of culture heritage around the world. The session will examine national and international efforts in the protection of cultural heritage at different levels, and the role of national and international heritage organizations in the protection of cultural heritage by presenting different cases from different countries. Finally, presentation that discuss illicit trafficking, legal measures, new technologies for heritage reconstruction, and societal reparations in the post-conflict period are also welcome.

Keywords: heritage destruction, threats, conflicts, protection

21. Presenting World Archaeologies to a Wider Audience: collaboration with SAPIENS (Round Table)

Organised by John Carman (University of Birmingham, United Kingdom), Kathryn Weedman Arthur (University of South Florida, United States)

We invite contributors to consider how WAC can best take advantage of an opportunity to collaborate with SAPIENS, the Wenner-Gren Foundation’s digital magazine for the general public. SAPIENS has proposed a partnership with Archaeologies and WAC, to provide training in writing for non-academic publics and opportunities for publishing articles to each broad publics. SAPIENS offers two-hour training sessions in various aspects of writing for a wider non-academic audience. It is envisaged that Archaeologies/WAC will help in promotion and deciding which topics are most appropriate and give any guidance on the workshop content given its interests and knowledge of its community. SAPIENS will bear all costs for the Zoom platform and the trainers. We could explore a regular series of such workshops. Additionally, the SAPIENS editorial team would be eager to work with Archaeologies’ editors to help identify which published articles in the journal would be most suitable for broad publics, so that authors can be encouraged to write for the magazine. We look forward to a robost discussion between WAC-member contributors and SAPIENS to consider how we can best open more of our research to the publics we serve.

Keywords: SAPIENS, Collaboration, Wider publics, workshops


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