Section Newsletter #6 January

January 2016

Welcome to the January 2016 edition of the IOA World Archaeology Section Newsletter.


‘Off the Record’ lunchtime seminars

Jarrod_webWe’re delighted to announce that two lunchtime seminars have been confirmed for February so far. The first will be given by Jarrod Burke on Monday 1st Feb. Jarrod will be sharing the results of his geophysical survey of the prehistoric earthworks in Ohio.

Later in the month, IOA research student Micòl Di Teodoro will also give a talk. More details to follow.

Call for more lunchtime ‘Off the Record’ discussants

We are currently seeking more individuals from the IOA World Arch section interested in leading a short lunchtime discussion for Off the Record. In particular we would welcome talks from:

  • New PhD students who could present research from their masters degrees or current doctorates.
  • Postdocs or visiting fellows.
  • Existing members of staff.

The sessions are informal and there is no set format. Thus, more than one person can present within the same session. Please email today if you are interested.

News & Announcements

World Archaeology Section Poster board between floors 1 & 2!

We now have a dedicated section notice board. If you have any media you would like displaying on the board please contact section co-ordinators Andrew Reynolds and David Wengrow in the first instance.

Professor Mike Parker Pearson on BBC4’s Timewatch programme

Section member Mike Parker Pearson contributed to the BBC programme Time Watch, which was aired last week. Catch up with the programme here;

Using 70 years of BBC history archive film, Professor Alice Roberts uncovers how the iconic ancient monument of Stonehenge has been interpreted, argued over and debated by some of Britain’s leading historians and archaeologists. She reveals how new discoveries would discredit old theories, how astronomers and geologists became involved in the story and why, even after centuries of study, there’s still no definitive answer to the mystery of Stonehenge.

Green Impact Photo Competition

Do you have any photos from digs showing how you have saved resources such as water or electricity? Send them to Sandra Bond or Charlotte Frearson if so! See the message below:

As part of our Green Impact entry we would like to demonstrate archaeology staff and student commitment to the environment by asking you to enter our photo competition. Please send me photos showing how you recycle or save resources on fieldwork (for example water or electricity) with a short caption by the 22nd February

Photos will be displayed in the department /on social media and prizes include a zebra print bag, vintage archaeology mugs, fair trade chocolate

Sandra and Charlotte
Archaeology Green Champions

A worthwhile task

A reminder to complete this survey to help us improve our admissions processes. The closing date is 18th Feb and there is the chance to win an Amazon Voucher.


Section research

Craig Rhos-y-felin: a Welsh bluestone megalith quarry for Stonehenge

Mike Parker PearsonMike Parker Pearson, Richard Bevins, Rob Ixer, Joshua Pollard, Colin Richards, Kate Welham, Ben Chan, Kevan Edinborough, Derek Hamilton, Richard Macphail, Duncan Schlee, Jean-Luc Schwenninger, Ellen Simmons and Martin Smith (2015). Craig Rhos-y-felin: a Welsh bluestone megalith quarry for Stonehenge. Antiquity, 89, pp 1331-1352. doi:10.15184/aqy.2015.177.

The long-distance transport of the bluestones from south Wales to Stonehenge is one of the most remarkable achievements of Neolithic societies in north-west Europe. Where precisely these stones were quarried, when they were extracted and how they were transported has long been a subject of speculation, experiment and controversy. The discovery of a megalithic bluestone quarry at Craig Rhos-y-felin in 2011 marked a turning point in this research. Subsequent excavations have provided details of the quarrying process along with direct dating evidence for the extraction of bluestone monoliths at this location, demonstrating both Neolithic and Early Bronze Age activity.



The Medieval Cemetery

Corisande FenwickFenwick, C. (2016). The Medieval Cemetery. In Fentress, E., Goodson, C., Maiuro, M. (Eds.), An Imperial Estate and its Legacies: Villamagna, near Anagni. (pp. 343-368). Rome: British School at Rome.

Medieval funerary archaeology is an emerging field in Italy. Despite a huge wealth of information about medieval churches and monasteries, very little is understood about medieval burial, cemetery organisation, or the preparation of the corpse. Our excavations aimed to explore these issues through an integrated analysis of the cemetery of Villamagna, now the largest published sample of medieval burials in Italy.2 This chapter describes the development of the cemetery and changes in funerary practice in relation to the broader changes in ownership and management of the estate. It considers how funerary evidence can provide information on identity in life as well as shifting patterns in religious practice. Issues of demography, disease, mortality and diet derived from the anthropological and isotopic analysis of the bones are presented below but the results are discussed here where appropriate.


A case study of an early Islamic city in Transoxiana: Excavations at the medieval citadel in Taraz, Kazakhstan

Gai JorayevDawkes, G., Jorayev, G. (2015). A case study of an early Islamic city in Transoxiana: Excavations at the medieval citadel in Taraz, Kazakhstan. Archaeological Research in Asia, doi:10.1016/j.ara.2015.09.001

This report presents a summary of the 2011 and 2012 excavations of the joint UK–Kazakhstani excavations in the medieval citadel of Taraz. The city of Taraz, located near the southern border with Uzbekistan, is one of the most significant historic settlements in Kazakhstan, and the investigations in the central market place have started to reveal the composition of the medieval city. Despite frequent mentions in Arabic and Chinese written sources, the form and evolution of this important Silk Road city remains poorly understood. These excavations, which identified a series of buildings including a bathhouse and a fire shrine, are the first for almost 50 years and include the first C14radiocarbon date from the city. In addition, this is one of the first detailed accounts in English of an urban excavation in Kazakhstan.


Conferences, events and forums

Sharing Space in the Early Modern World (1450-1750)

University of Oxford 24t-25th of June 2016

Keynote Speaker: Professor David Luebke (University of Oregon)

We invite proposals for twenty-minute papers. Papers from postgraduates are particularly welcome. Postgraduate and early career researcher bursaries are available. Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words to by 11th March 2016. Organisers: Róisín Watson, Martin Christ.

Hidden Histories and Untold Stories: Call for Papers

The theme for the Historical Perspectives 2016 conference will be ‘Hidden Histories and Untold Stories’, to be held at the University of Edinburgh on Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd June 2016. Historical Perspectives is a history society established and run by postgraduates for postgraduates, and our annual conference has now been running for twelve years.

Please submit proposals of c. 250 words by 11 March 2016 to William Wyeth at with “Conference 2016 Abstract” in the subject line. If you would to find out more about Historical Perspectives, please visit our website at or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HistorPerspect.

Postgraduate Course in Prehistoric, Greek and Roman Pottery: an intensive primer for the study of pottery in Greece

26th March– 8th April 2016.

The course is primarily intended for postgraduate students wishing to acquire or strengthen vital archaeological skills, but applications from late stage undergraduates with a strong intention to continue their studies will also be considered. The course fee of £750 includes accommodation at the British School Study Centre at Knossos, 24-hour access to the library, and BSA membership. Students are recommended to apply to their universities for assistance with the fees. A very limited number of bursaries may be available from the BSA for those who would be otherwise unable to attend. Places are limited to 12 participants. For further information contact the Knossos Curator, Dr Caroline Thurston (

Application forms can be downloaded from the British School website ( Completed application forms and an academic reference letter should be emailed to the Knossos Curator by 31st January 2016 (

Wymer Bursary

The Lithic Studies Society is pleased to announce that applications for the society’s Wymer Bursary are now open! To commemorate John and his contribution to archaeology the Society has created the John Wymer Bursary. From February 2007, this will be awarded annually to support any individual to further an interest in lithic-related study. The value of the bursary is £250.
Completed application forms should be submitted by email to the Chair, at or by post to Dr. Olaf Bayer, Historic England, The Engine House, Swindon, SN2 2EH. Applications should be submitted no later than March 1st 2016.

New British Library PhD Placement Scheme

A Call for Applications for PhD placements at the British Library is now open. We are really excited to be able to make 17 specially-selected placement opportunities available under this Call, based in areas such as Research Engagement, Corporate Affairs and Digital Scholarship, as well as across the Library’s specialist curatorial teams. These projects will appeal to researchers working across a wide range of disciplines/subject areas. All placement projects have appropriate training, supervision and support, as well as significant ownership responsibilities and opportunities for professional and personal development.

Full application guidelines, including profiles of all current placement opportunities, can be found on the BL website. The application deadline is 19 February 2016.

Archaeology International (AI 19) – submit your work!

You can submit a  news item   (about 1000 words, including references, and 1 figure);  a research article (roughly 4000 to 6000 words, including references, and up to 4 figures); or a research up-date  (about 1000 to 2000 words, including references, and 2 figures).

All submissions should be made on-line for consideration by the editors. Guidelines for authors are available on the AI web-site. All research articles will be fully peer-reviewed so to allow enough time for this,  the deadline is March / April 2016. Other contributions can be submitted later  – in May / June.

Doctoral School’s Research Poster Competition

The Doctoral School’s Research Poster Competition for UCL graduate research students will be held on Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd March 2016.

 The deadline for students to register their poster details online is: Wednesday 17th February 2016

 IMPORTANT: Due to limited space in the North Cloisters, this year we can accept only 250 posters. Therefore, registration may close before the deadline of 17 February. Please encourage your students to register their poster early to avoid disappointment. Late registrations will not be accepted.

Full details, including guidelines and how to register may be found at:

CfP: ‘All the World’s a Stage’: Performing Identity in Everyday Life, one-day inter-disciplinary conference, University of Bristol, 1st July 2016

Keynote Speakers: Dr Angela McShane, Royal College of Art/ V&A Dr Eleanor Standley, University of Oxford/ Ashmolean Museum

Speakers are invited to submit abstracts of 200 words in English, along with a short biography (approx. 100 words) to by 31st March 2016.

For further information, please visit our website at: This conference will explore the concept of performance and its role in the construction of individual and communal identities.

CALL FOR PAPERS Making Interdisciplinarity Work: Linking Languages, Texts and Society

University of Nottingham, 22nd April 2016

The Research Priority Area ‘Languages, Texts and Society’ at the University of Nottingham invites postgraduates, early career researchers and practitioners from any discipline to its inaugural postgraduate symposium.

Proposals of no more than 200 words, alongside a short biographical note, should be sent to by 19 February 2016. Articles based on conference papers will be considered for publication in conference proceedings. A limited number of travel bursaries are available: please indicate if you would like to be considered for one of these, giving an estimate of travel expenses.

The Evolution of an Ancient Technology

A weaver of the Maa ethnicity, using one of the simplest types of loom found in East Asia (braced with the back and feet). Ta Lai village in southern Vietnam (Photo Chris Buckley)Feb 16, 2016 04:00 PM

Location: Room 209, UCL Institute of Archaeology

The talk will discuss two studies of contemporary Asian weaving cultures: one is a micro-level study of how weaving culture is transmitted and sustained, the other a macro-level study of technologies and techniques used across the region. The talk will compare the two and show how macro level patterns arise from micro-level processes, and discuss the wider implications, particularly for how technology evolves in traditional societies.

LAHP Students Additional Funding for language training

The principal aim of the LAHP Language Fund is:

  • To provide research students with opportunities to undertake language training. Students need to articulate the value of language-learning for their research in their application (foreign languages also enhance employability, but this cannot be the sole reason given).

We have been very flexible this month in reviewing applications received after the December deadline, however applications received after today will be reviewed after 23 March deadline only.

The final deadline for applications this academic year will be brought forward to 13 May as you may wish to consider applying for funding for conferences etc that may take place over the summer period.

Full details of the additional funds are available on our website:



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