Section Newsletter #7 March / April

March/April 2016

Welcome to the March/April 2016 edition of the IOA World Archaeology Section Newsletter.


Upcoming ‘Off the Record’ lunchtime seminars

We’re delighted to announce three upcoming lunchtime talks in May. One from an Honorary UCL-Q senior research associate and two from recently completed World Arch section PhD candidates. Please put the following dates and times in your diaries. NOTE: due to high demand for space the time and rooms used for OTR vary!


Dr Elizabeth Bloxam – Thu 5th May 1:00pm / Room 209

Socialising landscapes of procurement: investigating the social context of 4th millennium BC ornamental stone quarrying in the Wadi Hammamat region of Egypt’s Eastern Desert


The Wadi Hammamat greywacke quarries in the Egyptian Eastern Desert are the source of some of Egypt’s most important cultic objects, in particular ceremonial palettes, synonymous with the rise of early elites during the 4th millennium BC.  The Wadi Hammamat Project, a joint UCL and Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities collaboration, is the first of its kind to undertake a holistic, multi-disciplinary characterisation and documentation of the quarry landscape from prehistory into the present day.

Our initial research objectives have been to explore the prehistory of quarrying to assess the linkages between changes in resource procurement strategies, and social transformations in the early monumental societies of the Eastern Mediterranean and Near East. Comparatively and cross-culturally, research of quarries particularly in European and Australian contexts, has set new agendas to the ways in which we interpret, from the bottom up, the cultural and technological aspects of resource procurement within broader frameworks of social life.

Within these models, this seminar discusses and analyses material culture from our recent discovery of the earliest (Predynastic) 4th millennium BC greywacke palette, bracelet and vessel quarries in the Wadi Hammamat.  It aims to discuss the extent to which the quarry landscape was a key arena of contact in local and regional social networks of mobile stone-working specialists, and therefore a context for generational technological transmission over time. It also discusses these findings in relation to the ‘socialisation’ of the landscape through inscribing, an aspect that endures from prehistory into the present day.

Dr. Bloxam has published on this topic here:



Later in the month…

Beatrijs de Groot –  Thu 12 May 12:00pm – 1:00pm / Room 410

Sirio Cannos Donnay – Thu 19 May 1:00pm – 2:00pm / Room 412


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:2000px-Tokyoship_Talk_icon_2.svg

  • 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.


Off the Record section seminar organiser needed

We are currently seeking someone to organise this years OTR seminar series. Responsibilities include booking speakers, facilitating the seminars and managing room bookings with reception. If you are interested please do get in touch with the section co-ordinators Andrew Reynolds and David Wengrow.

News & Announcements

Gordon Childe Lecture and Seminar

The inaugural Gordon Childe Lecture and Seminar (previously known as the Institute of Archaeology Annual Lecture) will be given by James C. Scott (Yale University) on 10 & 11 May 2016.  More information


IOA launches new departmental blog

The department now has it’s very own UCL-hosted blog and the World Archaeology section has made one of the very first contributions to it. The blog will be co-ordinated by Charlotte Frearson and Barney Harris and will feature a variety of content produced by IOA students, postgraduate students, postdocs, staff and alumni. The blog will officially launch later this week. If you have any material you would like to publish through the blog then please get in touch with either Charlotte or Barney.

BBC Horizon Ancient Portraits filming

The BBC are interested in our help – the filming is now in May and they continue to look for contributions. See below:

We are looking to explore the prehistoric time when there was not just one species of human on Earth, but at least four. Many of these species have ‘left their mark’ in the genetics of present day humans, and we want to create some art to explore this idea.

We would like to create a large-scale portrait of each of them, inspired by the idea of cave art. We are open to the idea of different textures and mediums, but the central to this idea is that we can look into these faces of the past. There are a number of pieces which have inspired this idea, including street art where the maker ‘chips away’ at the surface to create the effect of a face. We quite like the parallels this has with the work of archaeologists.



Diversity and Equality Forum

The next Diversity and Equality (Gender, Sexuality, Mental Health and Disabilities) will be held on:

  • Wednesday 27th April 1-2pm Room 612 IoA

We will be discussing the International Women’s day event (held in March) and welcoming the next Diversity Reps from the SAS and SAMS.



Invitation: IoA Labs Open Afternoon

Dear Students and interested Staff Members,

You are invited to attend the inaugural IoA Labs Open Afternoon on Wednesday 27 April from 2-4pm.

Following discussions at Facilities Committee and SSCC it was agreed that the IoA Labs would open to students and interested staff to explain and demonstrate the activities that are undertaken in each lab and the types of equipment and facilities available.

All are welcome! 2nd Year undergraduate students choosing dissertation topics are particularly invited to participate in this event.

A further IoA Labs Open Afternoon will be scheduled shortly after the beginning of the 2016/17 session for new MPhil/PhD students.

Map of World Archaeology Section researchers

…and finally — a bit of fun — please see below for an excellent geographical overview of where we all are working. This wonderful map was by Andrew Brown.

Section research

Herrero, B.L. 2016. Primary State Formation Processes on Bronze Age Crete: A Social Approach to Change in Early Complex Societies Cambridge Archaeological Journal 26: 349–67.


Gardner, A. 2016. Debating Roman Imperialism: Critique, Construct, Repeat? In M.J. Mandich, T.J. Derrick, S. Gonzalez Sanchez, G. Savani & E. Zampieri (eds) TRAC 2015: Proceedings of the 25th Annual Theoretical Roman Archaeology Conference, 1-14. Oxford: Oxbow.

Conferences, events and forums

Sybille Haynes Lecture

You are warmly invited to join us for this year’s Sybille Haynes Lecture, which will be given on Monday 25 April by Dr Judith Toms, of the Institute of Archaeology at Oxford, about “The Villanovan Culture – recent work on the earliest Etruscans.”

The lecture will be held at 5pm in the Ioannou Centre, 66 St Giles’, Oxford OX1 3LU, and followed by a drinks reception. All welcome.

Analyzing architecture and the built environment in the postcolonial era

I would like to distribute a call for papers for the session “Analyzing architecture and the built environment in the postcolonial era” which I am co-organising with Dr. Jessica Nitschke for the WAC-8 in Kyoto, Japan (28th August-2nd September 2016  . Deadline for the abstract submission is 30th April 2016.

The call for papers is now open until April 30th and abstracts can be submitted online at

History Department Annual Postgraduate Conference

On the 24th May from 10am to 5.15pm the History Department at University College London will be hosting its annual Postgraduate Conference. It is our pleasure to invite you to this year’s edition entitled Knowledge: Communication, community and conflicts.

The conference will consist of three panels of three speakers. Presentations will be 20 minutes-long  followed by a short discussion. The conference with a speech by a guest keynote.

The conference is open to all. Refreshments and food will be provided throughout the day.

Please register your interest via the following link:

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS – “Digital Selves in Research” Online Symposium, July 2016

Our research combines papers and screens, inks and apps, books and blogs. Our explorations go behind doors and hyperlinks. Our heads are in the clouds and the Cloud. What effect does this have on us as researchers?

The Palmyra Portrait Project

The Palmyra Portrait Project offers 1 fully funded PhD scholarship from 1 September 2016-31 August 2019within the framework of the project.

The project has been running since January 2012 and has since then compiled the most comprehensive corpus of Roman-period funerary portraits from Palmyra, which at present comprises approximately 3,000 portraits. The project director is currently looking for a scholar who has expertise within ancient portraiture, and who would like to become part of one of the frontrunner projects within ancient portraiture. The team members of the Palmyra Portrait Project have worked on a variety of aspects of the corpus, including priestly representations, women and children. Currently, we are looking to expand the team with further expertise.

Read more and apply:

The Past in the Present of the Middle East

15 April 2016 09:00 to 16 April 2016 17:00

Brunei Gallery, SOAS, Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG

Panel themes include;

  • Cultural heritage, society and economics
  • Cultural heritage in conflict
  • Britain and the Levant: Culture and (Mis) Communication
  • The past in the political present: the legacy of colonialism and intervention
  • The impact of research – working with humanitarian agencies/practitioners
  • The politics of dissent: challenges to Orientalism and Zionism

Discount rates for students and one-day or both days registration available. Registation online via SOAS:

From Lithics to Landscapes

We are very pleased to announce that you can now register for the 2016 conference using the downloadable form at

Details of how to pay using PayPal, bank transfer or a cheque are included.

An optional 3-course lunch will be available at the venue, cost £15.50 (drinks excluded) and should be booked using the same registration form.

For the very latest schedule and list of speakers please see


TRAIL (Training and Research on the Archaeological Interpretation of LiDAR)  Conference

We invite you to participate in the the Third TRAIL (Training and Research on the Archaeological Interpretation of LiDAR)  Conference, to take take place at the Chambord Castle (France) from 17 to 20 May 2016.

This international meeting builds on two previous meetings (TRAIL 2011 and 2014). The program features presentations and workshops on  LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) applications in archaeology, with a special focus on projects in in forests and woodlands.

The conference will bring together specialists in the exploration and processing of LiDAR data, archaeologists, biologists, physicists and forest management professionals. Presentations will highlight the recent advances in the technology and  different methods for understanding and Integrating the results of LiDAR surveys. A roundtable discussion and workshops are intended to promote interdisciplinary dialogues.

Registration Fees: 200 € for professionals and academics and 100 € for students. Registrations fees cover accommodation, meals, a tour and access to conference.

For more information or to register, please see the conference website:

Waiting for the End of the World: The Archaeology of Risk and its Perception in the Middle Ages

2nd-4th December 2016 Rewley House, Oxford

This conference will be organized around a number of sessions; some will explore the impacts and

societal responses related to different categories of hazard, while others will focus on religious responses and perceptions of risk. It is the intention of the conference organizers to publish the proceedings as a monograph of the Society for Medieval Archaeology. Expressions of interest for speakers and posters are welcome. Please send these and any other queries to

Paper and poster proposals are required by June 17th 2016.

This weekend conference is the annual conference of the Society for Medieval Archaeology, but is open to all.

Registration is now open for Anglo-Saxons 2016 Exchange: Cultures, Ideas, and Materials

University of Edinburgh, 9-10 June 2016

We are pleased to announce that registration for Anglo-Saxons 2016 conference on the theme of exchange: cultures, ideas, and materials is now open. Anglo-Saxons 2016 is a two-day conference hosted by the University of Edinburgh. It will bring postgraduate and early career researchers from eight countries and an equally large range of disciplines together to present their diverse research and approaches to the Anglo-Saxons.

The programme and more information are available at



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