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
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
Paul Bouissac (University of Toronto, Canada), Dragos Gheorghiu (National University of Arts, Bucharest, Romania), Martin Uildricks (Brown University (Institute for Archaeology), Providence RI, United States)
The non-figurative motifs in rock art and decorated pottery and ceramics far outnumber figurative representations in the archaeological record. However, the latter’s zoomorphic properties have been traditionally the main focus of attention in modern attempts to interpret the propension of early humans to leave marks of their activities or signs of their intentions in the form of paintings, drawings, and engravings on some hard surfaces of their environment and the artifacts they produced. The purpose of this session is to probe the semiotic dynamics of so-called non-figurative signs from the Palaeolithic to the Iron Age. It will first investigate these “abstract” marks from the point of view of possible origins in the environment. Many natural objects have indeed geometric properties through either their forms or the patterns on their surface. A wide range of designs in natural objects was thus available to early human observers (e.g., leaves, tracks, pebbles, shells, etc.) who could extract abstract schemata from these visual experiences. Such repertories of distinctive patterns constitute a cognitive affordance that can be exploited for semiotic purposes as they offer a range of differential types that may be used to encode various kinds of relevant information. The session will then consider clusters of such marks before comparing their composition with other clusters from the same cultural assemblages (taphonomy). Parsing complex sets of such clusters may help make reliable inferences about their semiotic potential and provide a robust ground to construe these sets of marks as plausible “inscriptions”. The identification of types and their corresponding tokens can provide the ground for demonstrating compositional logic and communicative intent. This session will solicit and accept papers dealing with any aspects of the above problematics.
Keywords: rock art, pottery, ceramics, semiotic, inscription
Suramya Bansal (Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa), Brea McCauley (Department of Archaeology, Simon Fraser University, Canada)
This session invites anthropologically and archaeologically informed rock art research presentations on the theme of hand imprints. Through time and across space, hands have been one of the most common motifs in the global corpus of rock art. Hands, palms, and fingers in their various impressions are either directly or indirectly printed, dotted or stroked, usual or unusual, and simple or decorated. As new studies emerge on this old representation, it is important to remain relevant with emerging ideas and knowledge. Studies focusing on, but not limited to, distributional and analytical analysis, ethnographic and anthropological correlations, and theoretical and practical implications are welcome. Through the presentations, we will be able to have a synthesis of global relations and comparisons while discussing the nuances of local practices. Contributions from social and cultural anthropology, religious and symbolic anthropology, cognitive and behavioural archaeology, theoretical and gender archaeology, forensic and experimental archaeology, and rock art and ethnoarchaeology will be among the many inter-related disciplines that will add to the various dimensions of investigating this handy feature. By bringing together researchers working on this theme at a common platform, we will be able to enhance our interpretive insight on this local yet global phenomenon.
Keywords: Hands, Imprints, Rock Art, Archaeology, Anthropology
Sam Challis (Rock Art Research Institute, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa), Jamie Hampson (University of Exeter, United Kingdom)
‘Contact’ rock art may reveal the concerns of artists in a number of culture contact situations, whether between the indigenous and colonists or between, for example, hunter-gatherers and herders or farmers. In the spirit of the International Contact Rock Art Conference held in Darwin, Australia, in 2013, we invite submissions from around the world – particularly those that recognise that contact rock art is never a simple ‘reflection’ or narrative of events. Rock art exhibits the ways in which cultures in contact understand the processes they are experiencing within their world view. Colonial-era rock art is often made during circumstances well-documented by Westerners and by peoples whose world views are subsequently well-understood by anthropologists. Other forms of contact may be more opaque to today’s scholars yet still, are arguably better approached from within than from without. The ontological turn in the discipline that has seen many useful applications of ethnographically-attested beliefs applied to the interpretation of rock art, whether recent or, by analogy, to images made in deeper antiquity.
Keywords: Rock Art, Contact, Ontology, World view, Indigenous
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Alok Kumar Kanungo (IIT Gandhinagar, India), Sharada V. Channarayapatna (IIT Gandhinagar, India), Adam S. Green (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom), 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
Leila Papoli-yazdi (Gothenburg University, Sweden), Maryam Dezhamkhooy (Frankfurt University , Germany), Omran Garazhian (University of Neyshabour, 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
Contemporary humanities are nowadays mostly influenced by three main concepts: posthumanism, new materialism and the notion of entanglement. These debates brought to critical heritage studies the following ideas. First of all, posthumanist discussions addressed the role of things and non-humans agencies as active as humans’. New materialism perspectives encouraged researchers to think about heritage in terms of move, flux, circulation and flow. The notion of entanglement increased discursive approaches to ontologies and new ethnographies of things and non-humans. Here, we aim to discuss how those perspectives relate to heritage materials and places. Our goal is to discuss bold approaches that help in constructing big pictures and large-scale perspectives.
Focusing in heritage futures, this session aims to bring together researchers from different fields and heritage practitioners to debate recent theoretical approaches under different study cases all over the world to answer the following questions: how do posthumanism, new materialism and the notion of entanglement help us to conceptualize heritage? Do those perspectives encourage us to build macro scale analysis? How the concepts of fluidity, circulation, or entanglement work within the framework of critical heritage studies?
Presentations may revolve around the following issues:
fluidity, circulation and entanglement in critical heritage studies
nature/culture and heritage, natural-cultural heritage, naturecultural heritage
nomadism of heritage
new forms of heritage
identity/ethnicity of heritage in the age of migration
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.
Wilhelm Londoño (Universidad del Magdalena, Colombia), Luis Gerardo Franco (Investigador independiente, Colombia), Dante Angelo (Universidad de Tarapaca, Chile)
Modernity, as an idea and as a process in Latin America, has a diverse series of expressions in each country and in a diversity of local communities. The archaeologies of modernity in Latin America propose to rediscover the designs of the “dream of modernity”, analyzing the landscape span by the imperial interventions that during the last centuries formed different transformations in several levels such as cultural, social, economic, and political. Those archaeologies are interested not only in a deeper research about the social processes of the past in the contexts where modern/colonial interventions of different types have been affected (including archeology), but also to expand our knowledge about the reactions of local communities to the redefinition of the senses of their territory, subjectivities and their articulations with history.
Therefore, the discussions presented in this session try to problematize both the archaeological practice (its knowledge/power relationships) and its historical contexts and/or the recent past where archaeological research has been made. With this it’s possible to articulate an image of what happened in the broad spectrum of the modernization processes deployed in Latin America from the point of view of current discussions in archaeology (both ways methodological and theoretical) and as well from interdisciplinary frameworks.
Keywords: archeology, modernity, Latin America, colonial projects
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
Dante Angelo (Universidad de Tarapacá, Chile), Andrés Zarankin (Universidad Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil), Nestor Rojas (Universidad de Tarapacá, Chile), Jordan Ralph (Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia)
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
Kathryn Weedman Arthur (University of South Florida, United States), Liam Frink (University of Nevada, Las Vegas, United States), Natalie Swanepoel (University of South Africa, South Africa), Kristen Barnett (Bates College, 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.
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.
Talia Shay (Technion Institute of Technology (former), Israel), Marie Pyrgaki (Université Paris I, Panthéon-Sorbonne Cons. Prof. Hellenic Open University, Greece), Lilen Malugani Guillet (Universidad Nacional de Catamarca, Argentina)
Recently the “sister” disciplines, archaeology, anthropology and history have shifted their attention to ontology- a philosophical branch that studies concepts concerned with being, reality and the nature of these disciplines. A variety of treatments of ontology in these disciplines suggest that we require better illustrations of how archaeologists and others use the concept and how ontology structures the material world. We present case studies of ontology at work and invite contributions that examine how ontologies influence, direct, and structure architecture, time reckoning and concepts, landscape management, social interactions, archaeological inquiry, and a host of other phenomena. We see the need for critical study of the ontologies embedded in archaeological practice, such as concepts of linear time, ritual processes, analyses of zooarchaeological materials, etc. We also seek for critical study on the relations between the sister disciplines- archaeology, anthropology and history. Finally, we invite critical examination of the archaeological ontology that ignores the structuring role of ontology in the archaeological record. The different cases presented will enable us to clarify some theoretical and practical issues raised by the “ontological turn” of the sister disciplines of archaeology, anthropology and history as we look to expand our understanding to other regions of the world.
Terence Meaden (Oxford University, United Kingdom), Thomas Wyrwoll (German Society for Rock Art Research, Germany)
Regarding the interpretation of monuments of early non-literate societies, archaeological knowledge can sometimes benefit if reliable help is obtainable from other sources as to assessments of potential purpose and use. Surviving monuments like Stonehenge that are much damaged while yet retaining a fair degree of completeness, allow a basic general interpretation to be made via the evidence of archaeology but they often do not permit a straightforward approach to other major concerns such as detailing why such monuments were planned and built in a particular fashion and why and how they were used. Nevertheless, valid progress at evaluating such prehistoric monuments worldwide can be made when other possibly admissible considerations are advanced, such as assessing the potential for purposeful inbuilt symbolism that can be deduced and extracted when having knowledge of the beliefs and cultural attitudes and practices of the communities in question. For instance, aspects of symbolism may embrace appraising the material selection of megaliths and their shape, colour, positioning, orientation and directionality, besides assessing the meaning of any artwork. So, when undertaking a comparative approach with competence and sufficient care, the more conventional aspects of archaeological theory can sometimes be gainfully improved and extended. For this WAC session practical examples from across the globe are invited for informed discussion on academic issues that can help lead to acceptable decisions as to what constitutes sound correlative evidence by effectively introducing valid aspects of what amounts to possibly relevant traditional knowledge.
Keywords: prehistoric monuments, symbolism, traditional knowledge, ancient beliefs
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
Suzie Thomas (University of Helsinki, Finland), Stijn Heeren (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands)
In this Roundtable discussion, we address the recent growth in open databases dealing with small finds, many of which are found by non-archaeologists such as (but not restricted to) metal detectorists. Much technical work has gone into ensuring that these databases record sufficient information in order to respond to the needs of researchers, while at the same time offering attractive presentation of the finds for a broader audience. However, challenges persist, as well as ethical disputes surrounding rights to access the past – physically and digitally. Yet, rather than focusing on the basic debates surrounding public engagement and especially engagement with artefact-hunters and collectors, we hope to move the discussion beyond these sometimes entrenched views. We would like to review the knowledge potential of recording stray finds and public-made discoveries, and discuss the possibilities that cooperation and participation offers for furthering best practices and ethical awareness, as well as enriching the archaeological record.
Questions for the panelists to consider include:
* What are the reasons behind the recent growth in open small finds databases in Europe and elsewhere?
* What tangible benefits have come to archaeological research from the development of open small finds databases?
* What are the limitations to the knowledge produced by non-archaeologists for archaeological research?
* How are the arguments for and against collaboration with controversial groups such as metal detectorists framed? What implications do these positions have for the potential of developing archaeological knowledge production with non-archaeologists?
In order to provide a balanced discussion, several discussants come from countries where open small finds databases are either active or in development, as well as other contributions from countries where this is in consideration for the future, or where legal or other barriers are likely to prevent such developments.
Emily Hanscam (Durham University, United Kingdom), Matthew Mandich (ISAR, Italy), Russell Ó Ríagáin (Universität Heidelberg, Germany), Tatjana Cvetičanin (National Museum in Belgrade, Serbia)
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
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.
Neha Gupta (The University of British Columbia, Okanagan, Canada), Kate Ellenberger (Heritech Consulting, United States), Ramona Nicholas (University of New Brunswick, Canada), Sue Blair (University of New Brunswick, Canada)
Archaeology is typically practiced within a social and political context in which researchers, government agencies and private companies collect and preserve vast amounts of archaeological data, often at the expense of descendant and local communities. Archaeological data can be broadly conceptualized as portable artefacts, immovable features and archaeological site information and these data are central to our understanding of past societies. Archaeologists and heritage professionals have sought to address problematic practices that prevent descendant communities from creating knowledge about their ancestors. Considerable scholarly attention has shed light on the challenges descendant communities face in accessing and reclaiming material cultural heritage that are housed at museums. Yet at present, we currently have limited understanding of how different interest groups manage, care and preserve digital archaeological data broadly defined, and how these efforts have the potential to reinforce practices that distance descendant communities from knowledge making. This session invites scholars to engage in discussion on instruments of ownership in archaeology with special focus on digital cultural heritage, and to present on strategies that address these challenges.
Keywords: Indigenous Rights, Digital Heritage, Geospatial and Digital, Ownership, Digital archaeological data
Thomas Meier (University of Heidelberg, Germany), Sophie Hueglin (European Association of Archaeologists, United Kingdom)
By re-constructing past worlds, archaeology reflects the knowledge and values of today and is influenced by its social and political values. Archaeology by interpreting the past, therefore reflects on existing and potential social and cultural conditions of present and future worlds. At the same moment the narratives that archaeologists create inform present social and political structures and actions. This is why archaeologists have a political responsibility and civic duty to engage in political debate, to present our knowledge, options and consequences of social and political actions.
Some interpretations and perspectives of the past are currently informing a growing and divisive historical revisionism – in Europe and in many other parts of the world. It is characterised by social and ethnic exclusion and a negation of human rights. This is why the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) adopted in 2019 in Bern the statement on “Archaeology and the future of democracy” https://www.e-a-a.org/BernStatement rejecting chauvinist, divisive and exclusionary readings and uses of the past. In its statement the EAA refers to the European context of political and ethical values. But many of these values, including human rights, democracy, cultural diversity and the rule of law are laid down in United Nations declarations adopted almost worldwide.
In this Round Table we want to discuss the 2019 EAA Bern Statement in a global context. We aim to explore how other organisations could join the initiative and what concrete measures should be taken to improve the situation in societies that suffer from nationalistic and chauvinistic developments.
Keywords: responsibility, human rights, diversity, ethics, WAC-EAA Round Table
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
Koji Mizoguchi (President of the World Archaeological Congress, Kyushu University, Japan), (, )
The rise of the #MeToo movement has initiated various drives to reveal that an astounding range of harassment takes place and injustices are done in daily settings of our lives and professions and to say they should not be tolerated any longer. What is remarkable in those drives and results they are bringing about is that they show the sere power of sharing ones’ personal experiences in a public arena. To do so requires courage and comes with various risks for ones’ future carrier-paths and life-courses (of course that should not be the case, definitely). At the same time, however, seeing someone doing that moves people, raises understanding and generates thoughts and ideas how to prevent the sufferings from being repeated. This roundtable aims to create a safe setting in which such sharing of experiences can take place in a proper and productive manner, hopes that the discussions to follow enables the participants to come up with a consensus as to what cannot be tolerated in various settings of archaeological practices and as to what first steps should be taken to prevent them from happening.
Keywords: Socia Injustice, Archaeological Daily Practices, #MeToo, Personal experiences, Public arena
7. Community Approaches to Archaeology and Heritage Management
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
Peter Schmidt (University of Florida and Unuversity 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
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
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
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
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
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
Laura Coltofean-Arizancu (University of Barcelona, Spain), Camila Opazo (University of Barcelona, Spain), Isber Sabrine (Institució Milà i Fontanals CSIC and Heritage for Peace, Spain), Marcela Jaramillo (Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), CRIA, Portugal)
The twentieth and twenty-first centuries have witnessed a complex process of globalization, along with wars, political instability and economic deprivation. This has led to a massive increase in the number of economic migrants and asylum seekers (e.g., refugees and displaced persons). The first left their countries seeking better standards of comfort and job opportunities, while the second hoping for more stable and secure living environments. Once in their places of destination – which, interestingly, have often been multicultural before their arrival –, immigrants face various crises, from political, administrative and economic to social, religious, cultural and even personal. Their presence questions the official discourses about diversity, tolerance and intercultural dialogue, as well as the traditional identity narratives of the countries they choose to inhabit. These challenges are caused, among other reasons, by stereotypes, prejudices and insecurities that are born when different cultures and mentalities come into contact.
This session explores the potential of archaeological heritage in solving the crises of intercultural encounters that come along with migration. We welcome papers that discuss any of the following topics: examples of bottom-up or top-down initiated community projects and policies that have successfully or unsuccessfully engaged migrants with the archaeological heritage of the receiving communities; research projects that measure immigrants’ interest and participation in the cultural and especially archaeological heritage of their home and adoptive countries; the role of archaeological heritage in promoting social inclusion and cohesion, as well as in generating a sense of belonging, well-being, stability and identity among immigrants. We would also like to encourage debates on the strategies that could be designed to attract this public category to institutions (e.g., museums) and spaces (e.g., archaeological parks) which display archaeological heritage; and the various approaches that could transform these actors into cultural bridges which foster flexibility, acceptance and mutual respect.
Kiara Beaulieu (University of Birmingham, Canada), Benedetta Rossi (University of Birmingham, United Kingdom), Djiguatte Amédé Bassene (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales de Paris, Senegal), Patrick Abungu (Shimoni Slavery Museum & Heritage Site, Kenya)
The term Dark Heritage often conjures up images of restricted and perilous knowledge, histories and archaeological sites. This session examines the delicate nature that exists between those who study contemporary Dark Heritage and the communities that live, and work within their boundaries. Topics may include but are not limited to genocides, indigenous residential schools, massacres, modern slavery, human trafficking and exploitation. How do these topics fit into a wider discipline of contemporary archaeology and critical heritage studies? How does the study of particular Dark Heritage impact the wider ethical global framework and what particular challenges exist in their study? This session asks presenters to consider community engagement within Dark Heritage and how heritage professionals and archaeologists conduct their research and negotiate the past. What inherent dangers exist for professionals who study Dark Heritage; particularly what social, economic or political influences prevent access, interaction, use and the negotiations of the past? How do the display, treatment, excavation and discussion of these vary from other types of sites or histories? What ethical pitfalls exist and how do heritage professionals navigate them?
This session strives to draw attention to sub-themes within Dark Heritage including community engagements, ethical frameworks, politics of representation, memorialization and outreach. It asks presenters to push the boundaries of current framework and knowledge to expand on how these topics are examined and presented. What types of challenges and stigmas (colonialism, violence, class struggles, religion, morality, etc) do archaeologists and heritage workers face, and what methods can be used to defuse these situations? What avenues are available to archaeologists and heritage professionals who wish to initiate projects within local communities which may have no or little exposure or understanding of archaeology and Dark Heritage?
Keywords: Dark Heritage, Community Engagement, Ethics, Heritage
8. Transdisciplinary and Unbounded: Contemporary Approaches to Critical Heritage Studies
José Roberto Pellini (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais – Brazilian Archaeological Program in Egypt, Brazil), Bernarda Marconetto (Idacor-Conicet. Cordoba National University, Argentina)
Between the monumental columns of the Egyptian temples, among the thousands of hieroglyphs, among the images of gods, goddesses and pharaohs, among the hundreds of finely decorated tombs of the nobles' valley and the valley of kings, there are stories and relationships that have been and continue to be silenced by both Egyptian Archaeology and Egyptology, scientific disciplines exclusively devoted to the study of the Pharaonic period. In Qurna, a village that stood between the Pharaonic tombs on the west bank of Luxor, for while the Egyptological landscape is thought and experienced from archaeological categories, the inhabitants of Qurna think and experience the landscape through ties of kinship. While the Egyptian nomenclature has no meaning for the Qurnawis, social nomenclature based on kinship ties also makes no sense to Egyptologists. The Brazilian anthropologist Eduardo Viveiros de Castro calls this situation a equivocation. For him, a equivocation is not a mistake or communication failure, but failure to understand that knowledge is not necessarily the same. The problem is that this equivocation has resulted not only in Qurna, but in other parts of Egypt, in the removal of thousands of people from their homes, cutting the bonds that these people had with their landscapes, memories and ontologies. In this way this symposium aims to discuss how the different dynamics of appropriation of the landscape and the materialities in general in the Luxor and in the others parts of Egypt produce realities that are otologically different and that are lived in a specific and unique way. We start from the idea that tombs or temples before being a fixed materiality, a predetermined category, an objective truth, are transitory materialities and meeting points of different ontologies.
Uzma Z. Rizvi (Pratt Institute, United States), Nora Razian (Art Jameel, United Arab Emirates)
Borrowing our title from the exhibition at Jameel Art Center, Dubai, this session investigates links made between heritage, (re)settlement, and global issues of social justice. The exhibition’s title Phantom Limb refers to the painful condition when the body refuses to acknowledge the loss of its part, usually the result of violent injury or amputation. This visceral haunting in the present of something that was forcibly removed in the past echoes many of the concerns of the panelists in this session. Providing a transdisciplinary approach, this session opens the question of how memory, archaeology, materiality, embodied knowledge, and heritage discourse coexist within the same moment and the impact of such work within the worlds we inhabit. Presentations in this session will focus on those in between spaces within which each of the practitioners find a core sense of criticality, including topics of refugee heritage, memory as restitution/resistance, and archaeologies of undocumented migration.
Alicia McGill (North Carolina State University, Department of History, United States), Jaroslav Ira (Charles University, Department of History, Czech Republic), Tammy Gordon (North Carolina State University, Department of History, United States)
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
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:
The potential of archaeogames to convey archaeological knowledge, and the importance and relevance of accuracy
The challenges facing game designers in developing inclusive narratives about difficult and sensitive issues especially with regards to traditional communities
Potential issues regarding ethics, representation, decolonisation, shared authorship and collaborative work with traditional communities
Issues in current game design and examples of best practice
Keywords: archaeogaming, cultural heritage, decolonial archaeology
Miran Erič (Institute for the Protection of Cultural Heritage of Slovenia, Slovenia), David Payne (Australian National Maritime Museum, Australia)
The finding of prehistoric Early Watercraft (EW) from all over the world marks the beginning of shipbuilding, navigation and transportation traditions. The oldest archaeological material evidence shows at least 13k years of use. Moreover, secondary evidence of migration shows at least 60k years from when Australia was colonized at that time, with crossings to Suhal in EW. Anthropological theory predicts the use of EW by Homo Erectus 800k year ago through the evidence of migration. More than 130 names are listed in the taxonomy of EW around the world. Around the world, this simple but powerful, and one of the oldest, humankind inventions presents a highly significant world cultural heritage (CH) landscape. It is dispersed and hidden in local and regional stories researched in many distinct scientific disciplines as archaeology, anthropology, ethnology, indigenous and living tradition studies, and finally as local communities revive or continue the practice, and the tradition of the everyday use of EW is still alive in numerous parts of the world. The problem of this kind of heritage is that it is often scattered in small, seemingly insignificant local stories. A global virtual CH environmental approach developed in the last decade gives us a new challenge to curate such kind of disperse heritage. During recent years we have developed a new CH paradigm and methodology to represent this extraordinary humankind invention through the virtual environment. The paradigm is based on the collected data of EW and their natural environment, 3D modelling of typology, VR/AR/MR/XR environments, and gamification. Moreover, it is also connected to the environmental franchises of local or regional museums around the world, to exhibit together local or as regional stories in a frame of traditional exhibitions, heritage parks – even underwater – together with more comprehensive virtual environment frame of this dispersed heritage.
Keywords: Early Watercraft, Humankind Invention, Worldwide invisible dispersion, Virtual Cultural Heritage Environment
Annalisa Bolin (Linnaeus University, Sweden), Meredith Reifschneider (San Francisco State University, United States)
Human bodies, from the recently dead to skeletal remains, are “heavy symbols” (Verdery 1999: 32). Bodies are meaningful, whether venerated as ancestors or serving as sources of scientific knowledge, and their ability to bear multiple symbolic readings has made them politically powerful. Material culture research has interrogated the body as an “absent-presence” (Waskul and Vannini 2016: 1) by analyzing healthcare-related objects, dress and adornment, and foodways. Repatriation activists request the return of ancestral remains across national borders; aDNA studies intervene in worldwide discussions about the heritage and descent of humankind; and analyses of material culture acknowledge multiple corporealities. Given the importance of both the tangible and intangible aspects of bodies in archaeological research, we are interested in new methods, theories, and ontologies centered on the body.
This session uses the body and affiliated material culture to examine archaeological and heritage practice, global politics, colonialism and decolonization, and other phenomena in which the archaeological body is involved, with particular attention to our reflexive and ethical positions in a globalizing world. What purposes do we put the dead to, and what do we owe them, or they us? What power do we claim as narrators and creators of individual’s distinctive stories? In our current sociopolitical environments, why is the symbolism of the body the medium through which we have certain discussions? What kinds of relations between the living and the dead have emerged as relevant, troubling, promising, or powerful? From a range of archaeological, heritage, and museum-based viewpoints, this session interrogates the burdens that the human body bears and the processes through which it is made to bear them.
Verdery K 1999. The political lives of dead bodies. Columbia UP, NY.
Waskul D and Verninni P 2016. Body/embodiment. Routledge, NY.
Keywords: Body, Ontology, Embodiment, Human remains
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
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
Annemarie Willems (Helsinki University, Netherlands), Suzie Thomas (Helsinki University, Finland), Kenneth Aitchison (Heritage Management Organization, United Kingdom)
In 2017 an innovative international working-conference ‘Development and Best Practices of (Archaeological) Heritage Management as a Course’ was organized and attended in Tampere, Finland by the organizers of this session. We initiated a debate on what the components of Archaeological Heritage Management (AHM) as a course or curriculum should include. The Tampere working-conference was a starting point for a discussion about how university teaching and training can contribute to the shaping of a new all-round heritage professional that can operate effectively in different contexts. One of the outcomes of this conference was that socially relevant policy topics are often not integrated into HME curricula. Topics such as: sustainable development; heritage as a contributor to social cohesion; socially responsible natural resource use and extraction; control and management of natural environmental degradation and degradation caused by people; heritage protection in conflict settings; addressing human rights and land rights violations; heritage and climate change; and land use planning, have an affect on heritage management on an (inter)national and local level and require certain from heritage professionals as well as other stakeholders. In this session we intend to explore if and how socially relevant policy topics can be integrated in the education of heritage professionals and identify which skills can be identified within this context.
Keywords: Heritage Management, Education, Curriculum development, Social Responsibility
Ana Bezić (University of Rijeka, Croatia), Milica Tomic (Technical University Graz, Austria)
As archaeology continues to be mobilized in ideological struggles the aim of this session is in reconsidering memorialisation practices of war. In spite of the complexities and methodological debates, turning history into heritage continues to serve state sanctioned programmes of remembering and forgetting. Caught between victims and perpetrators our aim is to shift these polarizing tendencies into more encompassing practices.
This session is interested in the shift from investigating memorialization practices to investigative memorialization a concept that invites non-commemoration and looks into the world at large with all its global network of political, economic and social conditions/framework. At the same time, the power of material heritage to endure and survive successive regimes continues to have a real impact on the ground. This session invites problematization of the notion of temporally contained event and instead of an inert historical closure, we invite papers that investigate memorialisation practices as a spatial and temporal continuity.
The question becomes: How to think about the memorial in the contemporary condition, the state of permanent war, the war that doesn’t resolve in peace? By re-excavating the term at the trowel’s edge we want to bring out with full force the problematics of positionality, temporality, and frozen, stabilizing and ossifying memorialization practices.
Our agenda crosses disciplinary boundaries as our urgent question of memorialization and contemporary condition, involving war and capital; (neo)colonialism, property and extractivism; migration and labor conditions; environmental, gender, and class justice requires collaborative and trans-disciplinary approaches.
This session encourages both theoretical and methodological presentations as well as detailed case studies.
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
Asmita Basu (Army Institute of Management, India), Sergiu Musteata ("Ion Creanga" State University , Moldova), Prabir Biswas (Harimohan Ghose College, India), 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.
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.
Valerie Higgins (American University of Rome, Italy), Athena Hadji (Hellenic Open University, Greece), Anna Sasso (American University of Rome, Italy)
Tourism was once regarded as the financial savior for heritage sites but, for some, it is now perceived as one of the biggest threats. This session will explore the impact of current and future tourists trends on cultural heritage. We invite papers that explore the intersection of overtourism with other threats such as climate change, migration and urban development. We also invite papers that cover the impact of overtourism on new and potential WHS especially in Asia and in areas that have not previously been developed for heritage tourism. We would also like to explore how far initiatives such as Spirit of Place (ICOMOS) and destination management have been successful in changing attitudes towards tourism and promoting a more sustainable form of tourism.
Keywords: Overtourism, destination management, spirit of place
10. Indigenous Views on Ancestors, Ancestral Sites, their Excavation and Disturbance
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.
In Hawai’i and South Asia, ancestral connections to sites from memories of distant past continue to have a deep reverence for both the place and the surrounding landscape, invoking the power of the ancestors through ritual offerings and ceremonies. In particular are the ancestral sites of the indigenous communities of Hawai’i and Northeast India. Where ancestral sites are not dead remnants of a deep distant past but continue to play an integral role both culturally and politically. These sites of memories anchored in traditional songs, ancient settlements, monuments, and toponyms exist in the collective memory of the people, thus connecting their present and the past with the land and their ancestors. Such sites are referred in the oral traditions as sites of origin, sites marking the beginning of village institutions, discovery and use of important cereals, customary laws, ritual performances, burial practices, and festivals etc. Historical connection with ancestors is further reinforced and given a deep personal meaning when descend groups report similar artefacts from such ancestral sites that are found to be identical and remain in use by descend communities in the region. While most ancestral sites remain deserted and exist only in the memory of the people, there are few that exhibit continuity in occupation till present times.
Keywords: Hawai’i, Northeast India, ancestral sites, indigenous communities, toponyms
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
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.
Leslie F. Zubieta Calvert (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain), 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
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
Gareth Knapman (Australian National University, Australia), Timothy McKeown (Independent Scholar, United States), Amber Aranui (tepapa museum, New Zealand), Cressida Fforde (Australian National University, Australia)
From the hiring of labourers to excavate graves to the sale of skulls to museums, profitmaking from Indigenous human remains in the 19th century appears to have been global in scope and diverse in nature. With producers, distributors and consumers, the overall activity has all the characteristics of an economy yet its presence in academic literature has only had a cursory examination. Preliminary work reveals that remains were sold by those who took them from grave-sites, provided a side income for agricultural workers, were purchased by museums, dealers and private collectors, were advertised in catalogues of medical equipment, and passed under the hammer at well-attended auctions. Taxidermists made money by articulating human skeletons for museum display, and the value of a single skull could be augmented by the sale of an endless number of casts made from it. Collections in small museums were bought by larger institutions, and remains were regularly monetised and bartered as exchange items for museum and individual gain. Initial research suggests that human remains were priced according to scarcity, geographic location and scientific value with market demand leading sellers to emphasise rarity. Traders thus appear to have capitalised on European imaginings that Indigenous people were rare prehistoric ‘specimens’ doomed to ‘die out’ by using extinction narratives in sales patter to inflate market value. The trade in ancestral remains did not end in the early twentieth century, but continued to the present day. Scholarship on the modern trade is largely concerned with illicit and licit dealings for medical markets rather than Indigenous human remains. Yet a number of Facebook groups and other social media platforms dedicated to skull collecting exist and also facilitate sales, but the extent of their trade in Indigenous human remains is as yet unknown.
Cressida Fforde (The Australian National University, Australia), Peter Stone (University of Newcastle, United Kingdom), Paul Tapsell (University of Melbourne, Australia)
Much has been written about issues of heritage in relation to conflict. However, as Walters et al (2017: 1) observe, ‘the contribution heritage brings to peace building has been largely ignored’. Moreover, in relation to conflict, heritage is almost exclusively problematised, whether in terms of its role in producing/upholding antagonistic identity politics, competing claims to land or religious sites, or the destruction of cultural property as a weapon of war. Whether it is found, say, in war museums, memorials or sites of military importance, the heritage of conflict is familiar, common, and everyday. In contrast, the heritage of peacebuilding is hard to find. Fundamental to our panel's hopeful philosophy is the conceptual foregrounding of heritage as part of the solution to the wicked problems that impede reconciliation, rather than something that itself produces issues that create social tension. In this panel we start to re-think heritage from a standpoint of reconciliation in order to explore its potential as a reconstructive tool for Indigenous/non-Indigenous relations The panel focus is Australia and New Zealand, but contributions from other countries are welcome.
This panel explores the relationship between peace building, heritage and reconciliation. In doing so, it asks new questions about heritage in settler-colonial nation states. It will explore how concepts of heritage and heritage-making, its social meaning, and the resulting management and education approaches can contribute to building new, healthy and dignified cross-cultural relationships. The panel will introduce a new term ‘Reconciliation Heritage’, and discuss the insight that can be gained through this term as an heuristic tool through exploration of two major global heritage movements of the later 20th century – the repatriation of Indigenous human remains and World Heritage. This approach offers insight and a new way of thinking about heritage that has the potential for profound societal benefit.
Keywords: Heritage, Reconciliation, World Heritage, Repatriation, Indigenous
Paulette Steeves (Algoma University, Canada), Pirjo Kristiina Virtanan (University of Helsinki, Finland), Ranjan Datta (University of Saskatchewan, Canada)
For Indigenous people reclaiming and reviving histories, identities, land based teaching on traditional sites, and links to homelands that have been erased through Western archaeology as handmaiden to colonialism takes many forms and paths. Archaeology was and in many areas remains pivotal in supporting genocidal colonial policies that erased and denied Indigenous links to the land, spiritual ways, subsistence practices, and identities. So much work remains to be done to create paths of reclaiming and reviviance and healing for Indigenous communities. Papers in this session focus on applications of heritage studies and Indigenous archaeology, and critical discourses, in reclaiming and reviving Indigenous places, histories, and identities erased through Western archaeology. The work of reclaiming, reconciliation, and healing cannot begin until non-Indigenous scholars and communities become informed of and acknowledge Western archaeologies place in the history and ongoing impacts of colonization on Indigenous communities. Archaeologists are key to decolonization in fieldwork and education, in creating positive change in practice and knowledge production. In working to create positive change archaeologists must also be open to learning about the colonial past of their own field. Thus, this session will also include discussions on work in academia and the general public that is focused on critical discourses and histories of colonization, archaeology and education, Indigenous archaeologies and method and theory, and projects working to decolonize hearts and minds and create safe spaces for teaching and healing within archaeology, academia and the general public.
Paul Tapsell (University of Melbourne, Australia), Jamie Metzger (University of Otago, New Zealand)
Power structures created by colonialism have dismantled kin-communities, which has led to the rise of Indigenous peoples becoming marginalised, disenfranchised, dislocated and incarcerated. Negative social, health, housing and education statistics show the ongoing trauma of imperialist powers on the Indigenous mind, body and soul. However damaged, the imprint of first peoples is still present in the colonised landscape, found in different sites of cultural significance. These sites on which museums, hospitals, memorials and roadways have been built, and the ancestral knowledge and taonga associated with them or resting within them, have been captured and/or obfuscated by the colonial machine. These representations of the Other and their sites of memory and identity are beginning to be reclaimed by descendants from a space of recovery and wellbeing.
This session looks toward an aspirational future how these sites can now transition into new places of healing, protection and kin identity affirmation in a wider sovereign/nation imagining. We invite papers that consider initiatives where indigenous heritage sites are (being) liberated, creating agency within ancestral communities, restoration of wellbeing and sense of belonging. These might include case studies of different innovations in practice, policy or technology.
*taonga (n. Māori/Pacific) – treasured ancestral belongings that carry performative power, capable of collapsing genealogical time and connect ancestors with their descendants in the present.
Patricia Ayala (Sociedad Chilena de Arqueologia, Bolivia), Jacinta Arthur (Programa de Repatriación Rapa Nui, Chile), Mariela Eva Rodríguez (Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina)
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.
Hilary Howes (The Australian National University, Australia), Gareth Knapman (The Australian National University, Australia), Amber Aranui (Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, New Zealand), C. Timothy McKeown (Central European University, Austria)
Since the late 1960s, persistent Indigenous advocacy has seen repatriation develop into a global movement, expanding from its beginnings in Australia, New Zealand and the USA to encompass Indigenous communities on virtually every continent. Initial calls for the return of ancestral remains and objects of cultural significance (including funerary objects and secret/sacred objects) were directed towards collections within settler colonies and those hosted by colonising powers (e.g. the UK), but there is now a growing realisation that collections are found globally. However, there is still too little recognition that collecting institutions in the colonial South did not confine themselves to the bodies and belongings of local Indigenous peoples, but actively sought to build up collections from other countries and territories as well. For example, it is well known that museums in Australia collected ancestral remains and objects of cultural significance from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, but much less attention has been paid to Australian museums’ acquisition of ancestral remains and culturally significant objects from Indigenous peoples in Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and the Pacific Islands. This session welcomes papers on all aspects of collecting in the colonial South, including the key individuals, institutions and networks involved, the intellectual traditions in which collecting activities in the colonial South were embedded, the challenges such collecting activities pose to existing metropole/periphery models of imperial science, and the potential for a better understanding of these issues to inform and guide efforts to locate, provenance and repatriate ancestral remains and objects of cultural significance.
Keywords: Repatriation, Provenance, Colonial South, Ancestral Remains, Objects of Cultural Significance
Kelly Wiltshire (AIATSIS, Australia), Paul Tapsell (New Zealand Maori Centre of Research Excellence, University of Otago, New Zealand, New Zealand), Robert Kelly (Flinders University, Australia)
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
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.
Ivo Štefan (Department of Archaeology, Charles University Prague, Czech Republic), Howard Williams (University of Chester, United Kingdom)
During the 8th – 10th centuries, intensive and complex interactions occurred between the Frankish Empire and the new "barbarians" outside its borders. The imperial policy resulted in a series of profound transformations in neighbouring societies from southern Scandinavia to Adriatic region, such as political integration and formation of broader identities. Local elites became a part of the Frankish political discourse and hierarchies and gradually adapted Frankish forms of representation and warfare. The conference section will focus on reflection of those social processes in burial context. One of the most significant phenomenon is the utilization of weaponry and military equipment as grave goods almost everywhere on the Frankish periphery. However, appearance and distribution patterns thereof differ from region to region depending on local social and economic structures, political and military interactions, burial customs and adaptation of Christianity. We have to ask not only under what circumstances weapons appear in graves, but also why they disappear. Equally important are technological and typochronological aspects of weaponry and horse equipment. Papers focused on individual European regions (Denmark, Northern and Eastern Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia) should cover the whole northern and eastern periphery of the Frankish Empire and characterize common signs and differences.
Keywords: early middle ages, graves, weapons, social structures, funeral archaology
WITHDRAWN Hunter Watson (National University of Singapore, Singapore), Pipad Krajaejun (SOAS, University of London; Thammasat University, Thailand)
Early state formation in Mainland Southeast Asia is a topic of interest among scholars working on the region. Various theories have been put forward in the past, but broad generalization tend to be criticized by raising particular cases regarding ancient cultures which do not fit neatly into such over-arching claims. Some of the first scholarly attempts to explain the ancient socio-political situations in the region were undertaken by colonial era scholars through the lens of European history. These scholars approached the study of Southeast Asian history considering European notions of kingdoms and empires, bordered territories, and armed conflicts for control of land and natural resources. However, some of these early propositions have proven problematic in explicating the situation of ancient Mainland Southeast Asia. Scholars now agree that the view of ancient empires does not hold in the case many ancient polities in the region. Many scholars concur that the mandala model is a more appropriate way to view ancient polities, yet again it does not function to explain all ancient urban centers and highland settlements.
Continued research on ancient cultures of Mainland Southeast Asia has helped raise additional instances which can be weighed against theories regarding state development in the region. Speakers in this panel will present their research on sites or groups of sites across Mainland Southeast Asia, and they are encouraged to relate the findings of their research back to the topic of state formation and state polity. Following the presentations, panelists will discuss the implications of their combined research and how new findings help to advance or to challenge earlier models of ancient state development in the region.
Keywords: historical archaeology, state formation, state polity, Mainland Southeast Asia
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?
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
Gábor Tomka (Hungarian National Museum, Hungary), Günhan Börekçi (Central European University, Medieval Studies Department, Turkey)
The aim of this session is to explore the current state of the art archaeological research of the Ottoman heritage in the western territories of the former Ottoman Empire. The region in question includes the current territory of Eastern Europe and the Balkans; parts of the former Ottoman State that have started including their Ottoman heritage in archaeological research in the mid-twentieth century at the earliest.
Even though research on Ottoman heritage is young in the region, it has been up to date with the current theoretical approaches and trends in archaeology. Therefore, the proposed papers deal with Ottoman archaeology from several perspectives, including built heritage, material culture and theoretical approaches regarding Islamic and Ottoman, as well as Early Modern or Post-Medieval archaeology – as the Ottoman period lasted until the modern times in some places.
The goal of the selection of the papers is to present complex archaeological aspects of a period when Christianity were countered by Islam, brought by the Ottomans, together with introducing a new culture and fundamentally new administration to the region. The encounter between religions and cultures is especially relevant in the contemporary context, which provides a perspective to the examination of Ottoman archaeology in Eastern Europe and the Balkans focusing on the relevance of the field. As the research of Ottoman heritage in the region is evolving, its role is becoming even more important in understanding past interactions between Ottomans and the locals, and how they learned or did not learn to live side by side in a transformed administrative and cultural context that characterized the period of occupation.
Keywords: Ottoman archaeology, border zones, Eastern Europe, Balkans, Early Modern archaeology
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.
Rintaro Ono (National Museum of Ethnology, Japan, Japan), Sue O’Connor (The Australian National University, Australia), Yousuke Kaifu (National Museum of Nature and Science, 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
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
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
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.
Alexander Wain (International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) Malaysia, Malaysia), Abhirada Komoot (University of Western Australia, Australia)
This panel brings together researchers working in any area of Islamic archaeology in Maritime Southeast Asia, or those Asian regions closely connected with it, whose work informs us about the origins, development, international connectivity, and internal dynamics of the eastern Islamic world. Over half a century ago, I. N. Hume famously described archaeology as “the handmaiden of history,” subordinating it to the more ‘important’ activities of the text-based historian. For scholars of Islamic history in the Malay Archipelago, however, for whom few written sources have survived, archaeology bears a significance and relevance far beyond that suggested by Hume’s statement. That being said, the archaeology of the region remains regrettably understudied; while the ancient Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms of the Malay Archipelago have received considerable attention through the centuries, the region’s Islamic past remains barely explored. This is despite solid evidence for Perso-Arab merchants trading with China via Southeast Asia since the 1st millennium CE, with recently discovered traces of their maritime activities confirming the presence of Muslim communities in the region long before it was previously believed. Continuing into the present, Islam now forms the bedrock of several modern Southeast Asian nation states, including Indonesia, the world’s most populace Muslim country. Contributions to this panel may cover any area or period of Islamic history as it relates to Maritime Southeast Asia, or to other Asian region closely associated with it. Papers can have either a specific Muslim focus (examinations of early Muslim settlement, migration, architecture, funerary culture, etc.) or a much broader purview that nevertheless expands our understanding of the Islamic past (trade or European colonial expansion).
Keywords: Maritime Southeast Asia, Islam, Maritime connectivity, International Trade, The Malay World
Nicolás Lira (Universidad de Chile, Chile), Alexandra Biar (Université Paris1 / ArchAm UMR 8096, France), Nicolas Ciarlo (CONICET/ Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina), Christophe Delaere (Oxford University / ULB, 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:
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.
The role of ethnographic analogies in our understanding of native maritime cultures and exchange dynamics in the Latin American and Latin American region
Influences, adaptation and adoption of the original European and American techniques and technology
Trade routes and war conflicts between European naval powers and overseas territories
Keywords: Maritime archaeology, Latin and Iberoamerica, theory and methodology, local communities
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
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
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
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
Patrick E. Mc Govern (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.
Florin Curta (University of Florida, Department of History, United States), Tomáš Klír (Charles University, Department of Archaeology, Czech Republic)
The controversy surrounding the history of the early Slavs, especially their ethnogenesis, refuses to die. Diverging language from ethnic identity seems to be a particularly fruitful direction of current research, which has already produced remarkable results elsewhere. The current issue is whether one should approach (Common) Slavic as a lingua franca or a koiné—a choice with profound historical implications. Meanwhile, the publication of a number of key studies has shifted the emphasis from ethnogenesis to migration. In short, the current explosion of scholarly interest in the early medieval history of East Central and Eastern Europe has pushed the early Slavs into the spotlight.
The situation in the lands farther away from the Danube, from Bohemia through the Polish lands, all the way to northwestern Russia, must have been completely different from the developments on the northern frontier of the Empire. On the other hand, the question of how to explain the spread of Slavic remains without a clear answer. This session will attempt to provide glimpses into the current search for solutions and to address the controversial question of (Slavic) migration. Short-distance migrations seem to fit better the archaeological evidence from certain areas of East Central Europe. However, such movements of population cannot be treated as manifestations of a single, unitary and poly-directional migration of the Slavs. While addressing the question of migration in the archaeology of early medieval, Eastern Europe, this session will make a strong case for a much more nuanced interpretation of the archaeological evidence of mobility, away from the monolithic idea of migration.
Keywords: Early Slavs, ethnic identity, language contact, frontier societies, mobility
Steven Matthews (Deutsches Archäologisches Institut , Germany), Abigail Moffett (Department of Archaeology, University of Cape Town, South Africa), Thomas John Biginagwa (Department of Archaeology and Heritage, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
This session addresses inner-African interaction and its contribution to the development of African societies and the formation of regional identities in the past. The study of cross-cultural interaction across Africa has traditionally emphasised extra-continental connections with the Mediterranean, northern Europe and Asia. As a consequence, some regions of Africa have received considerably more attention than others, whilst the inter-regional dimension of interaction and the connected histories of different areas within the continent remain underexplored.
The study of inter-regional interaction across the continent elucidates the rich cultural and technological diversity exhibited by African societies today, much of which has its roots in prehistoric and historic developments. We invite speakers to join us in exploring these inner-African interactions and the entangled identities of a connected Africa. In particular, we seek papers that explore interaction through the transfer of material culture, ideas, and people across the continent and the effect these processes may have had on local and regional identities through the entanglement of individual, group and collective affiliation and expression.
This session is co-hosted by researchers working in Africa in collaboration with the project ‘Entangled Africa: Intra-African relations between rain forest and Mediterranean, ca. 6000 – 500 BP’, which is currently funding a range of multidisciplinary studies whose objective is to render visible the entangled histories resulting from inter-regional interaction and transmission in the past (https://www.dainst.blog/entangled-africa/en/home/). The session will bring together speakers from these projects alongside other researchers working on this important theme. We particularly welcome papers from speakers focused on those areas or periods of Africa not currently addressed by the Entangled Africa projects.
Stella Souvatzi (Hellenic Open University, 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
Natalia Berseneva (Institute of History and Archaeology, Ural Branch of Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation), Emma Usmanova (Saryarka Archaeological Institute, Buketov Karaganda State University, Kazakhstan)
The Eurasian Steppe is a vast ecoregion stretching across much of the two continents from the river Danube to the Pacific coast. The Bronze Age (3 – 2 millennia BC) was a crucial period in the history of the area, that saw the emergence of pastoral stockbreeding and copper metallurgy in its early phases. Other technological developments such as wheeled transport, weaving and novel forms of ceramic production were also rapid. The Bronze Age in the Eurasian Steppe is represented by several cultural traditions connected with the Yamnaya, Catacomb, Abashevo, Sintashta, Srubnaya and Andronovo archaeological cultures. The people occupied permanent or seasonal settlements and funerary monuments are represented by a multiplicity of forms, including kurgans, flat cemeteries, stone enclosures and burials within settlements.
It is well-known that archaeology investigates ancient societies through their material culture, including all artefacts, living and mortuary spaces, tools, weaponry, clothing, and household wares, which were all created by individuals. Every material object was affected by the personal identities of the makers. Many aspects of social life can be considered through the prism of gender. Nevertheless, we believe that environment and subsistence strategies also had a significant impact on the everyday life of the population, and then, on archaeological source. In our session we aim to debate how steppe landscapes and an economy based on the livestock breeding and metallurgy might impact gender identities. How was this influence reflected in the cultures of steppe societies in such spheres as technology, ritual, mortuary symbolism, organization of sacral or profane spaces, practices of animal sacrifice and finally, in social roles of individuals? Did environment and subsistence lifeways have an impact on clothes and gender-related accessories? And, finally, what material evidence would be able to confirm such influences?
Catherine Frieman (Australian National University, Australia), Matthew Walsh (University of Oslo, Norway), Samantha Reiter (National Museum of Denmark, Denmark)
The increasing importance of queer archaeologies in recent years has promoted a movement away from past binary divisions and heteronormative assumptions embedded in archaeological narratives (Dowson 2006; Voss 2008). At the same time, mobility has emerged as a powerful focus of archaeological research, bringing together scientific analyses with traditional archaeological data to tell stories of movement, contact, and connection. In this session, we propose to bring these two fields together in order to explore movement or the potential to cause movement in relation to the fluidity of gendered and sexual identities and roles in the past. Studies of queer mobility map the ways non-normative persons, identities, and experiences were mobile or may have experienced mobility in distinct ways.
This session intends to provide alternative narratives of movement and migration which run tangentially to and/or challenge normative models of kinship, connectedness, and embodied experiences of mobility. It encourages contributions from any archaeological context, period, or region which explore the tensions, implications, and consequences involved in crossing borders in non-normative ways, though we suggest that they may specifically highlight discursive sex and gender identities which touch upon permutations of kinship, violence (e.g. women warriors) or ritual (e.g. human sacrifice, marriage rites) within mobile contexts. Overall, we solicit contributors which take a broad approach to the concept of mobility in order to challenge the heteronormativity of our interpretations so that we may explore those non-binary narratives already present in our data that require only ‘new, different ways of approaching the past’ (Dowson 2000, 163).
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)?
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.
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.
Margarita Diaz-Andreu (ICREA, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain), Luboš Chroustovský (University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic)
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
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
Deirdre Elliott (Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada), Kirstine Møller (Ilisimatusarfik – University of Greenland , Greenland)
This session seeks to highlight the discourse between past and present identities. Just as definitions and concepts of past identity form the basis of nearly all fathomable lines of archaeological inquiry, archaeology is often drawn on as a core constituent of identity in the present. This is perhaps especially true in arctic regions, where the open landscape readily displays evidence of past activities, allowing the past to directly inform present identity practice. With the rise of community-based research in the arctic, archaeology is being increasingly called upon to investigate and illustrate past Inuit lifeways as a way of effecting change in the present, through cultural revitalisation movements, boosting the economy with culture-tourism, or in asserting cultural and political sovereignty. Recently, archaeology has shown that questions concerning past Inuit identities – including kinship, gender, status, occupation, and boundary creation, maintenance, and permeability – are equally as important as, and can significantly contribute to, the broader questions of cultural history. As archaeology is becoming more inclusive and considerate of multivocal methodologies and ontologies, the identities of those practising archaeology in the Arctic are becoming more diverse. Different understandings of the world are opening how archaeologists engage with the archaeological record. Papers in this session will explore the reciprocal relationships between past and present geopolitical and cultural identities, and the dialogue between these and archaeology and archaeological practice.
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 marksand 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
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
16. Landscapes, Forests, Groves, Rocks, Rivers, and Trees: Ontological Groundings and Seeking Alternative Theories
Tomáš Klír (Charles University, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology, Czech Republic), Christian Zschieschang (Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe /GWZO/, Department "Man and Environment", Germany)
Investigations of geographic names against a background of archaeological knowledge are an important field of inter-disciplinary research. The toponymic systems of the past, and respectively, their remnants asserted through written sources, inform us about many aspects of the life of former human communities within their environment. Particularly, (i) the language, social system and economy of initial settlers, (ii) the transfer of information about landscape and economic resources between human groups in periods of language and cultural contact, (iii) the meaning of a landscape for its inhabitants. Linguistic findings about these aspects can considerably enrich archaeological research. We would like to gather such interdisciplinary research approaches from several parts of the world. So we welcome papers on the issue of colonization of unfamiliar landscapes, settlement expansion, phenomenology of landscape and language contact, especially if they combine archaeological and linguistic sources.
Keywords: onomastics, phenomenology of landscape, knowledge transmission, language contact, colonization
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.
Valence Silayo (Stella Maris Mtwara University College, Tanzania), Tanambelo Rasolondrainy (Pennsylvania State University, United States), Nancy Rushohora (Stellenbosch University, South Africa)
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
Kathryn Weedman Arthur (University of South Florida, United States), Innocent Pikirayi (University of Pretoria, South Africa), Chapurukha M. Kusimba (American University, United States)
The scholarship of Peter R. Schmidt, who in 2016 was awarded the Peter Ucko award and selected to present the Ucko Memorial lecture, embodies the spirit of engaging African ontologies as essential to understanding heritage. These World Archaeological Congress honors commemorate his 50 year dedication to collaborating with Tanzanian, Eritrean, and Ugandan colleagues, students, and communities to build departments of archaeology and institutions that emphasize the control of heritage as a human right. Strongly influenced by the perspectives of African intellectuals, Schmidt was moved to ask culturally relevant questions, and to listen and derive new interpretations, which led to revelations about the distinctiveness and complexity of African histories and technologies, particularly iron. Simultaneously, he highlighted the ingenuity of preserving heritage through ritualized material technological processes. The papers in this session by former students and colleagues reflect on his contributions, as well as honor the spirit of his research through their own. Researchers in this session recognize African ways of perceiving the world—ontologies that provide the foundation for moral orders and outline how humans are to interact with each other and their landscapes. We examine the possibilities of envisioning the past through African ontologies which organize what, where, how, and when humans interact with other earthly beings—water, stones, plants/forests, animals, clay, ochre, etc. to create new human beings and technologies.
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
G. ARCHAEOLOGIES AND SCIENCESE
17. The aDNA Revolution: Its Issues, Potentials, and Implications
Kendra Sirak (Harvard Medical School , United States), Jakob Sedig (Harvard Medical School, United States), Elizabeth Sawchuk (University of Alberta, Canada)
This roundtable provides a forum for engaged dialogue among paleogeneticists, archaeologists, and other scholars of the past. It is centered around the current state of archaeogenetics research and the ways in which we can inspire productive interdisciplinary relationships and foster growth toward a unified archaeogenetic science. With researchers now regularly analyzing the DNA of tens to hundreds of individuals and exploring greater time depths and previously understudied regions, it is essential to make this field widely accessible and create opportunities for archaeologists and geneticists to jointly drive studies. In this forum, we will emphasize both the successes and challenges of a recent shift toward more integrative science, inspired not only by the growth in the number and scale of ancient DNA studies, but also by the increasingly apparent need to improve the quality and quantity of interdisciplinary communication, using language that is mutually intelligible to scholars with diverse backgrounds. Discussions in this forum will include the varying scales of research questions (which range from studies of demographic change on a continental level to fine-grained questions about specific sites), the relative strengths and weaknesses of diverse methodological approaches, the integration of ancient DNA data with existing archaeological and anthropological frameworks, and best practices that support the study of ancient human skeletal remains in a scientifically rigorous and ethical way. This forum will also provide a venue for archaeologists to discuss how ancient DNA can inform their research, what future questions should be pursued in archaeogenetics, and what steps can be taken to build meaningful collaborative projects.
Keywords: ancient DNA, archaeogenetics, best practices, collaboration
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
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
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
Hisashi Fujita (Niigata College of Nursing, Japan), Dong Hoon Shin (Seoul National University, Korea)
Bioarchaeology is important research discipline to obtain scientific information from all ancient biological remains including human, animal, plant and even the microorganisms. Upon the remains obtained from excavation sites, bioarchaeologists did analyses with various research techniques, getting knowledge to understand the past society and people in more detail. Although there has been a long history of bioarchaeology in East Asia like the other countries and continents, very few information obtained therein have been available in the outside world. Considering that East Asia was the one of the civilizations that flourished for a long time in history, the deficiency of bioarchaeological reports in international academia is very regretful situation not only for the archaeologists in this region. In this regard, we hope to get the chance of comprehensive discussion on the current trends and future prospect in bioarchaeological studies of East Asian countries.
Keywords: Bioarchaeology, East Asia, Ancient Biological Remains
Melanie Miller (University of Otago, New Zealand), Yu Dong (Shandong University, China)
Bioarchaeology has become increasingly important in East Asian archaeological research: changing research foci, cutting-edge analytical techniques, and growing international collaboration has led to significant developments in East Asian bioarchaeology in recent years. This session aims to bring together bioarchaeologists who engage with a range of questions related to the diversity of human experiences in East Asian populations over time. We welcome participants who study human skeletal remains using various scientific methods (such as paleopathology, aDNA, stable isotopes, microscopy, radiography) and engage with individual and population-level approaches to understand humans within environmental, biological and social spheres. WAC-9’s bioarchaeology theme (“A New Bioarchaeology: Telling the Difficult Stories”) is particularly interested in highlighting communities that have often been excluded from archaeological and historical discussions (children, women, poor, socially marginalized), and there are many researchers in East Asian bioarchaeology who are engaging with these previously overlooked but critically important segments of society. We look forward to including researchers using a range of scientific methods and socially-engaged theoretical applications that are emerging in East Asian bioarchaeological studies. Please consider submitting a paper or poster on your recent East Asian bioarchaeological research to this session.
This will be a hybrid session: presenters have the option of giving a talk or presenting a poster. The symposium will have 15-minute time slots for talks, and access to online presentation of digital posters, with an added opportunity for poster presenters to give a 3 to 5-minute summary of their findings to our symposium audience at the end of our session if they choose. Participants in our session can choose to present in either format but not both.
Keywords: Bioarchaeology, East Asia, health, subsistence, pathology
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
Kara Larson (Mississippi State University, United States), Katharine Steinke (University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom)
Archaeological research on the reconstruction of past herd management practices and past human behaviors have well-saturated the analysis and interpretation of faunal remains from archaeological contexts. Zooarchaeological research has helped establish multi-layered understandings of the relationship humans have carried out with their animals, and furthermore, their food commodities. Connections regarding past human identities and cultural affiliations derived from zooarchaeological research, however, has been limited at best and based on primary taxonomic identification. New methodologies and technologies, such as chemical and isotopic analyses, micro-debris analysis, and organic residue analyses, have recently opened a new avenue of research. These advances have allowed zooarchaeologists to make greater methodological and theoretical connections to the past lived experience and draw connections to past human identities. Zooarchaeological research can also help shed light onto marginalized communities from the examination of identity through animal commodities. This session will focus on the use of advanced methodologies and technologies aimed at reconstructing past human identities and ethnicities through the remnants of food and economic goods (i.e. faunal remains). We envision an interdisciplinary collection of papers bringing to bear current thinking of zooarchaeology, past human behaviors, and cultural identity as a complementary analysis to bioarchaeological research on those who herded and consumed the animal commodities.
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.
Charlotte King (University of Otago, New Zealand), John Krigbaum (University of Florida, United States)
The colonial period is characterised by global expansion by European powers, and began processes which continue to shape world politics, cultural interactions and national identities today. Our understanding of colonial experience, however, is often shaped by historical records which communicate a state-sponsored version of history. Archaeological research has significant potential to redress the bias in historical records by reconstructing the stories of both the colonised and the colonisers. Bioarchaeological research, in particular, can give important insights because study of the individuals themselves allows us to trace the lives of everyday people affected by colonial processes. The voices of these people are often missing from historical narratives. By studying their skeletal remains, and combining osteological and historical evidence we can build a more nuanced picture of the colonial period.
In this session we present bioarchaeological research that both tells colonial stories and deals with how colonialism continues to affect bioarchaeology today. We showcase research that is, among other things, addressing colonial legacies by bringing indigenous perspectives to the curation and repatriation of human remains, using osteological, chemical and/or molecular techniques to examine the health impacts of colonisation, and studying colonial adaptation to new environments, cultural relations and the development of modern identity in former colonies. We aim to use this session to highlight potentially contentious issues in colonial bioarchaeology. For example, how do we present the histories of groups marginalised by colonialism? How do we both tell colonial stories and acknowledge the devastating impacts of colonialism? How do colonial legacies continue to affect how human remains are curated and displayed? What are our responsibilities as bioarchaeologists when dealing with the colonial period? In doing so we hope that this will session provide a forum for discussion of research, potentials and pitfalls in the growing subdiscipline of colonial bioarchaeology.
Keywords: Bioarchaeology, Colonial Legacies, Human Osteology, Archaeological Science, Ethics
Ekta Singh (HNB Garhwal University, India), Nagendra Singh Rawat (HNB Garhwal University, India), Stella Bickelmann (Museum of London Archaeology, 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
Richard (Bert) Roberts (University of Wollongong, Australia), Helen Farr (University of Southampton, United Kingdom)
For most of the last two million years, when sea levels were lower, present-day mainland Australia was connected by exposed continental shelf to the islands of Tasmania and New Guinea and some parts of eastern Indonesia. The resulting mega-continent of ‘Sahul’ was separated from mainland Asia by the maritime region known as ‘Wallacea’, which includes the islands of Timor, Sulawesi and the Lesser Sunda and Maluku archipelagos. Sahul and Wallacea encompass an extraordinarily diverse range of environments to which modern humans (Homo sapiens) have adapted and flourished since the late Pleistocene, and for even longer in the case of archaic hominins (such as Homo floresiensis). The human history of the region has unfolded against a backdrop of shifting climate, landscapes and plant and animal communities, resulting in the creation of a series of environmental bridges and barriers to the spread of people and their access to resources. Scientific approaches and techniques have played a key role in helping answer questions about past cultural developments and human–environment interactions. This session celebrates the 50th anniversary of two landmark occasions that showcased the natural and cultural histories of the Torres and Bass Straits (the sea crossings at the northern and southern tips of Australia that at times formed land bridges to New Guinea and Tasmania), with six presentations spanning the interdisciplinary intersection between people and past environments across Sahul and Wallacea. Topics covered will include: (1) the archaeology and environmental history of the islands, coasts and adjoining hinterlands of Torres Strait, Bass Strait and northwestern Australia; (2) the pattern of human settlement of the Wallacean islands and the potential to extract environmental records from the now-drowned palaeoscapes; and (3) the story of Australia’s desert peoples and their resilience to the desiccation of the continental interior during the last glacial cycle.
Keywords: Australia, Island Southeast Asia, environmental changes, cultural developments, dispersal pathways
Matthew Walls (University of Calgary, Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, Canada), Petr Pokorný (Center for Theoretical study, Charles University and Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic), Přemysl Bobek (Institute of Botany, Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic)
Fire is understood to play a crucial role in the origins, stabilities and transformations of many ecological relationships. In archaeology and paleoecology, there is a growing awareness of the extent to which past communities used controlled fires to create and maintain rich and diverse environments by purposefully intervening in ecological succession. Creativity through fire has a deep history that potentially extends into the Pleistocene and has consequence for understanding the contingencies and environmental trajectories that shape the present, and the niches in which some species, including our own, evolved. This observation opens potential to examine the deep cultural histories of environments worldwide that are taken for granted as "natural" or "pristine". The purpose of this session is to enrich interdisciplinary approaches to understanding past fire-creative practices and will connect researchers in the fields of archaeology, paleoecology, paleogenetics and pedology. Presentations will discuss anthropogenic fire as something more than a "disturbance" that self-balancing ecosystems work to overcome and will focus on: 1) New methods and opportunities to identify past fire-management practices and their immediate motivations and effects for past communities. 2) Assessing the aggregate consequences of controlled burns in processes such as the Pleistocene-Holocene transition or pedogenesis. 3) The theoretical implications of fire-creativity for concepts like the Anthropocene.
Keywords: fire, landscape management, Early Anthropocene
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.
Scott Fitzpatrick (University of Oregon, United States), Hiroto Takamiya (Kagoshima University, Japan)
Archaeological and palaeoecological research on islands around the world demonstrates that humans have had a devastating impact on island environments through terraforming, introduction of non-native species, and the growth and expansion of populations. These effects accelerated after contact with Europeans and other colonial powers, leading to widespread destruction of once pristine ecologies and eradication of endemic species. However, the degree and types of impacts were not always a given—there are many examples of island peoples around the world who appear to have engaged in sustainable practices or do not fit into behavioral ecological models that predict overharvesting, trophic cascades, and other calamitous scenarios. In this session we bring together scholars who are focused on trying to understand the dynamic interplay between humans and the island environments they settled to examine habitat use across time and space. For example, are there any islands where human impacts are not clearly visible archaeologically? Do we have evidence from islands that contradict accepted patterns of human behavior? Helping to answer these questions will not only provide a much broader perspective on human-island relationships, but hints for how sustainable development might be achieved for insular landforms in the future.
Keywords: islands, model systems, sustainability, human impacts, historical ecology
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 can serve as a critical methodology to preserve this legacy in the face of irreversible change. Documenting 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.
Please contact Sara firstname.lastname@example.org before November 14th to be included in our session submission.
Keywords: climate change impacts, heriage management, community engagement, environmental change, digital documentation
John Blong (Utah State University Museum of Anthropology, United States), Helen Whelton (University of Bristol, United Kingdom)
The first humans to inhabit North America at the end of the Pleistocene entered the continent during a period of significant environmental change but appear to have quickly adapted to ecologically diverse landscapes across the continent. Millennial and centennial-scale climate shifts in the Holocene introduced additional challenges and opportunities. Current research focused on human-environment interactions in North America provides evidence for a relationship between environmental and cultural change throughout prehistory. However, there are still key questions about how hunter-gatherers adapted to and persisted through periods of rapid climate change. This session presents case studies from North America with a focus on human-environment interactions from the terminal Pleistocene through late Holocene. The interdisciplinary studies presented here explore hunter-gatherers across temporal and geographic space and the relationships between environment, diet, settlement patterns, and mobility.
A particular focus of this session is the application of archaeological science methods to explore human-environment interactions, including biomolecular, geoarchaeological, plant, animal, and lithic analyses. Recent advances in organic geochemistry have revolutionized the study of archaeological residues. Sediment micromorphology enables us to examine stratigraphy at a very high resolution providing a multi-proxy approach to deposit interpretation. Plant and animal remains from archaeological contexts can provide direct evidence for human-environment interactions. Studies focused on lithic tool manufacture and use can provide insight into the nature of hunter-gatherer diet and settlement strategies. Papers in this session apply multiproxy methods to reconstruct past environments and human behavior and investigate the links between past environmental and social change. The North American case studies in this session have bearing on how we understand human response to climate change on a global scale.
Keywords: North America, Hunter-gatherers, Pleistocene, Holocene, Archaeological science
Kimberly Kasper (Rhodes College , United States), Roderick Salisbury (Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology, Austrian Academy of Sciences and University of Vienna, Austria), Suzanne Spencer-Wood (Oakland University , United States)
As the world faces the overwhelming reality of human-induced climate change in the 21st century, it is important to understand potential cultural reactions to rapid onset environmental changes. Climate change has a greater impact on the most vulnerable and marginalized members of a community. Within our archaeological frameworks, we have overlooked the continuities and changes of gender, age-related, disabled or racial roles as they directly relate to climate and environmental change. Instead, our focus has often been on how social positions transformed in conjunction with social, political, and economic events and processes. In this session, we will explore how gender, age-related disabled and racial roles were altered or maintained during periods when climate change impacted cultural systems, and the reciprocal influence of cultural changes on the environment.
Climate change, as used here, is a change in the typical or average weather of a region. By rapid we mean within a single generation. Through a variety of archaeological examples from the Paleolithic through history up to the present, we can offer insights into the roles of women, men, children, the disabled, and others, and both short- and long-term responses to climatic changes. These reactions spurred variations and adaptations in specific cultural practices, including subsistence, household, religion, tasks, and mobility, among others. Contributors use a range of theoretical scaffolding (i.e. feminist, materialist, labor, landscape, environment), methods and proxies (i.e. soils, plants, animals, historical records, ceramics) to contextualize these behaviors. These frameworks enable us to analyze the structural variability of past cultures in response to climate change. We call for recognizing those adaptive and behavioral strategies to offer suggestions and strategies for alleviating local, regional and global hardship, suffering, and stress within the eye of the storm of our 21st century climatic chapter.
Jon-Paul McCool (Valparaiso, United States), Ladislav Varadzin (Institute of Archaeology of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Czech Republic), Lenka Varadzinova (Czech Institute of Egyptology, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Czech Republic)
Among the broad climatic changes our planet experiences are a multitude of smaller environmental fluctuations often driven by relatively small changes in precipitation patterns. Entire landscapes have transitioned from one ecosystem to another representing drastic differences in the range of resources available for human use. This session is focused on the geoarchaeological study of these transformational periods with emphasis on the understanding of past conditions evidenced by relict material and the association of environments with contemporary cultural groups. Emphasis is placed on the characterization of environmental conditions that facilitated activities and cultural practices widely variant from previous or subsequent climatic intervals with a particular focus on the terminal Pleistocene and Holocene epochs and transitions from or to arid or semi-arid conditions. Given the rapid pace of current climatic change and its effect on hydrologic systems and associated ecosystems, the geoarchaeological record’s ability to provide information of localized environmental shifts and their effects on human behavior and cultural responses of resistance and adaptation provides a critical window for estimating the social effects associated with the anticipated changes over the next century.
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
Laëtitia Deudon (University of Montreal and Polytechnic University of Hauts-de-France – Calhiste, EA 4343, Canada), Marion Foucher (ARTEHIS, UMR 6298, University of Bourgogne Franche-Comté, France), Camille Gorin (ArScAn, UMR 7041, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University, France)
As a cluster of human activities, cities represent a perfect laboratory to explore human-environment relationships in their whole diversity and evolution rhythms over time. Since the early 1970s, with the development of waterfront archaeology, researchers of various disciplines from both humanities (e.g.history, geography) and environmental sciences (e.g.ecology, geomorphology) have focused their interest on these riverine areas (e.g.Milne, Hobley 1981; Desailly 2005; Dorier Apprill, 2006; Foucher, Dumont, Werther, Wollenberg, in press). The presence of rivers and water in urban areas opens a wide range of questions linked to either their exploitation (drinkable water, fishing and industry), trade and navigation or also the various constraints resulting from river crossing, instability and risk. Moreover, the high density of human activities in an urban space that grow narrower through times emphasizes besides the issues of this city/river relationships. The dialogue between sedimentary dynamics, archaeological remains and historical sources makes it possible to consider the co-evolution of watercourses and urban development as a morphogenic process in the construction of waterfront districts and channels management. Such insights in the way past societies dealt with water and riverine environment are echoing deeply the current concern of our societies in sustainable management of water and risk.
We propose here to consider the hybrid nature of the relationship of the couple river/city through the notions of socio-ecosystems, hydrosocial systems or socio-natural sites (Swyngedouw, 2006; Winiwarter et al., 2013). Another perspective would consider the way past societies perceived this environment through times and the impact of this perception on their practices. The aim is to explore the interaction dynamics and hybridization processes of this river/city couple from a comparative perspective (Winiwarter, 2016), bringing together a variety of case studies from anthropogenic construction of river landscape to the various water uses until the big changes brought during the Industrial Era.
Keywords: cities, rivers, waterfront, anthropization, water contexts
Rudolf Procházka (Archeologický ústav AVČR Brno, v.v.i, Czech Republic), Jerzy Piekalski (Instytut Archeologii Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego, Poland)
The late medieval urban centres depended on water both from rivers as well as from underground sources – much like other human settlements, but to a much greater extent due to consumption rate of personal needs and economics. On the one hand, there are large ‘river‘ towns on the banks of the Rhine, Danube or Oder, on the other hand, there are towns using small rivers and streams, whose low yields had to be supplemented by underground water sources. Using the economical perspective, we can examine the importance of riverine trade in urban development as well as the importance of water for crafts such as tanning, textiles or milling. Some production activities polluted the flowing water, upon which suburban fishermen depended. For personal use and production purposes, wells were used in parcel yards and public areas. When these were not sufficient, large and medium-sized towns began to build aqueducts. Papers of this section would represent different ways of using water in the medieval towns reflected by archaeological record – constructions as harbors, bridges, mills, millraces, fishponds, tanneries, water suplies, wells, etc. They also show how big rivers could support the economic development of towns. Specific subsection represents use of water in everyday life of burghers – e.g. cooking, hygiene, public baths as well as other activities reflecting relations between humans, water and material culture.
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
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
Vera Klontza-Jaklova (Department of Archaeology and Museology, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University, Czech Republic), Miroslava Daňová (Department of Classical Archaeology, Faculty of Philosophy, Trnava Universityand Arts, Slovakia)
We cannot agree more with the foreword to the H-20 theme, that it is crucial to study how ancient societies managed water to cover their complex needs. Our session, therefore, is open to scholars researching non-central and non-centralized water sources, which were developed on peripheries: geographical, ecological, climatological, economic, cultural, chronological, and social.
One would say that, under challenging circumstances, the accessibility and availability of water must limit the development of social structures. Some societies were able to create complex systems to maintain water sources, which complexity, eventually, had an impact on society itself. Our research of the arid Cretan landscape (late antiquity and Early Middle Ages), for example, confirms that people preferred to stay in difficult mountainous landscapes, due to their strategic advantages, despite the lack of a permanent water source. They created complex water tank systems to collect and deploy the limited rainfall, water leaking from the limestone bedrock, and seasonal river streams.
Although the water is usually thought of as simply the liquid necessary for human life (a concern which we share today), it is also essential for many technologies (e.g. irrigation, pottery production and many more), hygiene and medical interventions.
Freshwater is also a medium to move goods and people. Contemporary research is usually focused on long-distance trade but what about local inland transport? The smaller rivers are generally seen as just “silent witnesses” of landscape and human history. New underwater research shows that their sediments cover significant traces of human relationships with them (e.g. research of the Váh and Danube in Slovakia).
We are convinced that solutions, created, successfully applied, and used by societies on the periphery or during periods of crisis, can be used as inspiration for solving contemporary problems. It may even, in certain cases, suffice simply to copy them.
Keywords: water management, peripherial societies, peripherial regions, alternative water sources, people and rivers
Patrick Morgan Ritchie (University of British Columbia, Canada), István Viczián (Geographical Institute, Hungarian academy of Science, Budapest, Hungary), Bill Angelbeck (Douglas College, Canada)
Low-lying riverine islands are exposed to regular and catastrophic flooding making them highly sensitive indicators of climatic conditions and long-term human-environment interactions. They are also hybrid places that blur divisions between land and water, social and physical, ritual and mundane, and the living and dead. In spite of, or perhaps because of the inherent hybridity and risk, riverine islands have been made, used, and occupied across the globe for millennia. These dynamic characteristics of riverine islands imbue them with a vitality and unpredictability that seems to be shared universally. River islands are simultaneously geographically discrete social spaces that are also important nodes in expansive and fluid socio-cultural networks and the tensions between these two social dimensions facilitates an examination of both local and regional social dynamics. Anciently, some riverine islands were occupied by warriors and spiritual and political leaders, sacred spaces for ancestor burials, and were strategic locations for fish weirs and bridges. Legacies of these traditions are detectable in the more recent uses of mid-river islands, where they are used for sacred shrines, temples, churches, castles, towers and fortresses, cities, and as settlements for communities of social outcasts. The use of riverine islands over many thousands of years has resulted in a complex entanglement between people and their fluvial environments. We welcome anthropological perspectives, earth science studies, and archaeological and historic research in this session.
Keywords: River, Island, Occupation, Sacred, Conspicuous
Z. WORLD ARCHAEOLOGIES: THE PAST, THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE
21. World Archaeologies: the past, the present and the future
Anil kumar devara (Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, the MS University of Baroda, India), Javier Baena (Prehistoria y Arqueología. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain), Parth Chauhan (Dept. of Humanities & Social Sciences Indian Institute of Science Education & Research, Mohali, Punjab, India)
The various transitions between Lower Palaeolithic bifacial technologies (Mode 2) and subsequent prepared core technologies (Mode 3) are seen as significant evidence to understand hominin evolution during the Middle Pleistocene. Recent evidence suggests that some of these transitions are due to behavioural change rather earlier believed biological change or dispersals. It is notable that the regional origins of Mode 3 technology in Africa, Europe and South Asia occurred almost simultaneously (~ 400 ka) but associated with different hominin species (in Africa, modern humans; in Europe, Neanderthals/H. heidelbergensis; and in South Asia, unknown hominin species). Mode 3 technologies are characterized by the variable presence of hierarchical core reduction strategies, miniaturization of bifaces with regional variations such as the presence of blades, points and bone/wood implements. However, technological and chronological characterizations of these transitions and associated factors are poorly understood. In addition, our understanding of these transitions is hindered by such issues as a) distinguishing the terminal/late Acheulian and Early Middle Palaeolithic assemblages; b) identifying criteria to define these transitions globally versus regionally; c) distinguishing between dispersing and local transitional technologies/assemblages; and d) possible existence of different technological traditions and/or interactions between them (i.e. Early Middle Palaeolithic, gradual transitions, durations and so forth). Dynamic geographic distributions and technological diversity and change during the entire Middle Stone Age / Middle Palaeolithic periods also require attention. As a contribution towards a better understanding of these Mode-2/Mode-3 transitions, this session accommodates all relevant multidisciplinary perspectives including new methods as well as new data to address the aforementioned challenges. The diverse methods and perspectives can include Palaeolithic archaeology, geology and geomorphology, geochronology, experimental archaeology, vertebrate palaeontology, Middle Pleistocene environments and other theoretical perspectives.
Keywords: Mode-2/Mode-3 transitions, Old world, Hominin evolution, Dispersals, Palaeolithic transitions
Isaac Ullah (San Diego State University, United States), Francesco Carrer (Newcastle University, United Kingdom)
There is a growing movement in archaeology to increase the reproducibility of our work using the concepts of open data, open-source methods, and open-access publishing (Marwick et al., 2017). “Openness” means to make data, methods, and publications freely available with few restrictions. There has been a proliferation of online platforms dedicated to reproducible research in recent years. Data files, scripted methodologies, and research products, are now spread across any number of locations, including archaeology-specific digital data archiving platforms such as Open Context, T-DAR, ADS, and Heritage UK, interdisciplinary repositories such as COMSES, OSF, ResearchGate, and Academia.edu, broader online platforms such as Github, Zenodo, and Figshare, and on a wide variety of preprint servers, open-access journals, “supplementary information” links, and institutional/library archives. We are now faced with “information overload” and the inability to efficiently find salient materials, which largely negates the understood benefits of openness and reproducibility. One way forward is to develop community-driven clearinghouses where links to open data, open-source methods, and open-access research products can be curated by and for a community according to the specific theme(s) of that community.
In this round-table forum, we will discuss both the general merits and opportunities of the community-driven approach, as well as the specifics of one such community endeavor: The Community for Modeling Agro-Pastoralism in Eurasia (cmaple.org). Topics for discussion include: 1) How to leverage the community (i.e., “crowdsourcing”) while maintaining manageability, integrity, and thematic direction. 2) How to incentivize participation. 3) How to organize and present different aspects of reproducible research (data, methods, publications). 4) How to increase utility and re-use. 5) How can this be used to push archaeology forward as a discipline (e.g., interdisciplinarity, methodological innovation, big data analysis)? Roundtable discussants will use their experiences with cmaple.org to facilitate this discussion.
Keywords: Reproducible research, Community-driven, Agro-pastoralism, Eurasia, Open data
Ioannis Liritzis (University of The Aegean, Greece EL), Changong Miao (Henan University, China)
The evolution of human societies and in general of human history, do not follow a liner trend but rests mainly on mutual interactions amongst different components. The interacted multifactorial issues derive from three concentric circles or dynamical systems, a) the internal (issues derived from within a given society), b) the external (issues derived from interaction with neighbor societies) and c) the environmental (issues related to the context and other environmental phenomena). Thus, cultures experience cycles of birth, life, decline and death, often supplanted by a potent new culture, formed around a compelling new cultural symbol. In the 4th millennium BC, at around the same time, communities in the valleys of a few large river of Asia and Africa, widely separated from each other, took to growing crops systematically. Rivers provided ancient societies with access to trade; not only of products, but ideas, including language, writing, and technology. River-based irrigation permitted communities to specialize and develop, even in areas lacking adequate rainfall. For those cultures that depended on them, rivers were the lifeblood. The earliest forms of civilizations were said to be located on the four river valleys: the Tigris-Euphrates River in ancient Mesopotamia, the Nile River in ancient Egypt, the Huang He (Yellow River) and Yangtze River in China, and the Indus River in ancient India. These four river valley civilizations had many differences yet still lived common life-modes. Also, along river valleys in other parts of the nuclei of settlements have developed that helped societies to grow and trade. What are the advantages and drawbacks for an ancient river valley societal culture to grow and collapse? What is the evidence for small and grand scale river valleys that accommodated great cultures? How the cultural heritage of these ancient river valley civilizations can be sustained?
Keywords: disaster archaeology, river valleys, ancient cultures, human evolution, civilization
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
Jayashree Mazumder (Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Mohali (IISER, Mohali), India), Andrea Bamberg Migliano (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
This session has been designed to facilitate the ongoing debate about understanding archaeology by studying non-human and proto-human species (extinct and alive). Although the main focus will be given in understanding primate behaviour, this session also welcomes comparable studies on other species which could help in understanding the evolution of behavioural paradigms in the earliest humans. It will bring together biologists studying animal behaviour, paleoanthropologists and evolutionary anthropologists from all over the globe to discuss and make room for new debates as the field of human evolution is continuously changing and has many unanswered questions and unresolved issues. With the growing discoveries in the field, many new arguments have been raised such as: How can we refine the current definition of tool use? Why are certain species more prone to tool use over others? How the sex and sexuality of individuals influence tool-use? What causes some species to be proficient tool-users over others? and so forth. All these questions can be widely related to the evolution of early human behavioural traits, in addition, to understand how tool culture could have been transmitted and developed since its initial ancestral form. This session aims to target research from South America, Africa and Asia, from where new studies have developed trends in understanding the various paradigms of primate evolution. It is very important to understand how non-hominin ancestors evolved with time as this could attribute much to our understanding of adaptive behaviour in the animal kingdom. Additionally, a session designed to bring forth the interdisciplinary research in understanding key factors of human evolution not only diversifies the subject but also highlights other factors which are of equal importance in understanding evolution and adaptation in general. Thus, this session is dedicated to understand evolution by studying animal-behaviour and associated ‘cultures’ to understand ourselves better.
Keywords: Tool use, Geographical clustering, Cultural transmission, Social learning, Technological evolution
Martin Gojda (University of West Bohemia, Czech Republic), Stephen Davis (University College Dublin, Ireland)
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.
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.
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.
Erin Hogg (Simon Fraser University, Canada), José Ant. Mármol Martínez (Complutense University Madrid, Spain), Yajaira Núñez Cortés (University at Albany-SUNY, Costa Rica)
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
Ladislav Rytíř (Univesity of Hradec Králové, Czech Republic), Martin Neumann (Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia), Grzegorz Podruczny (Adam Mickiewicz University Poznan, Poland)
There is a number of written and iconographic sources covering a wide range of everyday life of the period of 15th to 19th Century. The same goes for the contemporary military conflicts. There are military handbooks for the construction of military camps or fortifications. There are written records of military campaigns, drawing images of conquest of cities and fortresses, maps of battles, as well as memoires of direct participants. However, based on archaeological research we often find that written, iconographic and cartographic sources have their limits and sometimes they are part of the political war propaganda. Not all constructions were built according to manuals, not all events were carried out as presented. At the same time, archaeology provides a wealth of information on phenomena that are completely ignored by other sources. In the period of seeming domination of “historical” sources, archaeology plays a crucial role. The session focuses on archaeological research relating to military events recorded in the written or iconographical sources, but which, to certain extend, revise the data of these sources. They are also often short-term one-off events research of which requires a specific methodology
The second topic of the section will therefore be the discussion on the methodological issues related to the research of conflict sites and battle fields of the 15th to 19th Century.
Keywords: Conflict Archaeology, Battle fields, Written history, Field research methodology, Early Modern Era
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 (Flinders 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, email@example.com.
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 movementsin 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
Dru McGill (North Carolina State University, United States), Alexander Herrera Wassilowsky (Universidad de los Andes, Colombia), Margaret Rika-Heke (Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga-, New Zealand)
What will be the greatest ethical challenges archaeologists around the world face in the next 20 years? How should we adapt our current practices to meet these challenges? Archaeologists have struggled with ethical dilemmas since the beginning of the profession – indeed, the profession’s origins in colonialism and antiquarianism present many ethical challenges for current practitioners. Beginning in the 1960s, and continuing to today, professional societies have attempted to codify ethical standards of professional behavior in various statements and codes. These codes frequently attempted to define best practices and valued principles within archaeology, but their static nature meant archaeologists were left reacting to new ethical problems with guidance not specifically created for those issues, rather than working proactively to predict future needed changes to professional behavior. Additionally, new situations (e.g. new ideological contexts of professional practice such as Indigenous Rights and the #MeToo movements) have demonstrated deficiencies and unwanted implications in our extant principles. In this session, presenters will name and discuss what ethical challenges they see as the most pressing for the next generation of archaeology. Presenters (including non-archaeologists from affected give the hicommunities)will name and discuss their challenge, discuss its current status, and suggest next steps for individuals and professional societies like WAC in the hopes of helping archaeologists (and the communities affected by and surrounding our work) engage in thoughtful, reflective, and forward-thinking dialogue to stay ahead of developing issues and ensure accountability for our future practices.
Keywords: Ethics, Future of archaeology, Global issues
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
Junko Uchida (Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica, Japan), 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
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
Wendelin Morrison (Bournemouth University , United Kingdom), Timothy Darvill (Bournemouth University , United Kingdom), Oki Nakamura (Ritsumeikan University, Japan)
Healing as the means of maintaining the well-being and wholeness of body and spirit, soul or inner consciousness involves interconnectedness between human societies and the sacred world. Yet within archaeology and anthropology there has long been a division, grounded in restrictive westernised epistemologies, that separates the academic/scientific interest in such matters from work concerning the sacred dimensions of healing. This has not always resulted from a lack of feeling for the sacred, but the inability to communicate in ways that feel authentic, that value different ways of knowing, and which include wisdom from the heart in which body, mind and spirit/soul are treated as one.
The arts of sacred healing embraces a wide range of responses to the promotion and means of addressing health and well-being; this variation necessitates reflection incontemporary practices in archaeology, anthropology, and related fields. Peoples across time and space have engaged with healing through a myriad of artistic, creative, and practical ways. Some are physical and are represented as material culture through sacred artefacts, materials or places, structures, monuments, and landscapes. Others involve intangible forms including performance, codes, manifestations, and spoken words; most combine both tangible/intangible elements.
By letting go of the fears/conflicts associated with colonial and post-colonial epistemologies in archaeology and anthropology, this session offers a space for movement; initiating a flow of thought about sacred healing in its many forms to become a part of how we experience and talk about the sacred of what we encounter through research, fieldwork, and heritage practices. The session is open to approaches dissolving/bridging divisions between academic, creative, and emotional responses to matters connected with healing in the ancient and recent past. We especially welcome contributions embracing discourse unfolded through objects, storytelling, creative practice, and performance.
Keywords: Art, Sacred, Healing, Creative practice, Global interconnectedness
Carola Metzner-Nebelsick (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Archeology Department, Germany), Timothy Taylor (University of Vienna, Austria)
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.
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.