World Archaeology Section Newsletter #2: December 2018

Festive greetings from your Graduate Reps, and welcome to the World Archaeology Section Newsletter #2, for the month of December 2018! There’s plenty coming up in the next couple of months, in and around the Institute and, as ever, if there’s anything you’d like included in the next newsletter, or if you’d like to deliver one of our Off the Record seminars, do get in touch with one of us, at, or


Upcoming Lecture from Ian Hodder

We are very excited to announce that Professor Ian Hodder (Stanford University) will be coming to the department to deliver a lecture on his current work, with the title Entangled Evolution, in February 2019, as part of the World Archaeology Section’s Off the Record seminars. Stay tuned for more details nearer the time.

World Archaeology Section Blog – New Website, New Logo

The blog for the World Archaeology Section has been given a makeover, including a new logo. As well as being updated with the monthly newsletter, the website will play host to a rotating series of images from the field, sent in by members of the Section, new stories and blogs relating to Section research and events, and features such as interviews with research students and staff. It is hoped that will become a hub for sharing and communicating the fascinating and diverse range of work carried out by members of the Section at the IoA.

London Postgraduate Conference for the Ancient Near East 2018 at The British Museum

On 1st and 2nd December, the first edition of the London Postgraduate Conference for the Ancient Near East (LPCANE), which had the sponsorship of the Institute of Archaeology and the UCL Octagon Small Grants Fund, was held at The British Museum. The event was co-organised by World Archaeology Section member and PhD Candidate at the Institute of Archaeology, Xosé L. Hermoso-Buxán (, and several students from the IoA master’s courses contributed to the smooth running of the conference as volunteers. The conference was attended by nearly 120 participants, both members of the public and researchers from 21 universities and 15 countries from around the world. Keynote lectures were delivered by Professor Andrew George from SOAS-University of London (The Drunken Gods: Sources and Approaches to the Mythology of Ancient Mesopotamia) and Professor Nicholas Postgate from the University of Cambridge (Sun, Sand and Sumer: an Abu Salabikh Retrospective by Professor Nicholas Postgate). A Book of Abstracts for the Conference talks can be found and downloaded here.

Upcoming Talks and Events:

Exhibition – Dust to Dust: Redesigning Urban Life in Healthy Soils

30th November 2018 – 17th February 2019. Sainsbury Centre, Norwich.

The ‘Dust to Dust’ Exhibition is the final product of an AHRC-sponsored network on tropical urbanism, or TruLife ( ).

The network has been running since 2016 and has conducted workshops on urban soils, spatial analysis, and food security.  Elizabeth Graham is one of the network members along with: Benjamin Vis, University of Kent at Canterbury; Christian Isendahl, University of Gothenburg, Sweden; and Karsten Lambers, University of Leiden.  The exhibition team comprised Ben Vis, Dan Evans (soil scientist, Lancaster), Christian Isendahl and Liz Graham.

Lecture – Politics of Production: the manufacture and influences of scarab amulets in the second millennium BCE

7th December. 6:30pm. Lecture Theatre G6, UCL Institute of Archaeology.

By Stephanie Boonstra (University of Birmingham/EES).

Egypt’s history has often been written using grand narratives, royal monuments, and objects of the elite. However, small and unassuming artefacts, such as scarab amulets, can be beneficial in illuminating muddled periods like the Second Intermediate Period and also echo the political and religious atmosphere of better known periods, such as the 18th Dynasty. By analysing the minute details and production methods of scarab amulets, the workshops, trade routes, political ideologies, and cultural influences can be reconstructed and utilised to create another dimension to the history of ancient Egypt.

This lecture is part of the ‘Friends of the Petrie Museum’ lecture series, and will be followed by a wine reception in the Leventis Gallery.

Central Asian Seminar Group Meeting

17th December 2018. 10am-6pm. UCL Institute of Archaeology, London.

The Central Asia Seminar Group is a day of lectures and discussions on topics concerned with the heritage and archaeology of Central Asia. It is intended for early career scholars and established academics alike with an informal atmosphere that encourages people to present ideas and engage in debate.

This is the third year CASG has met, and though admission is free, advanced registration is essential. Go to: https://central_asia_study_group_ to register.

Calls for Papers and Submissions:

Call for Papers and Posters – Post-Medieval Archaeology Congress 2019

The fourth annual Post-Medieval Archaeology Congress will be held at the University of Glasgow in March 2019. Glasgow plays host some of the most impressive post-medieval and later-historical architecture in the world, and has a long industrial history. The venue for the congress will be the University of Glasgow, founded in 1451 and one of Scotland’s four ancient universities. Research on post-medieval and historical archaeology from around the world has been showcased at previous Congresses, demonstrating the breadth of interest and knowledge in our field from researchers at all stages of their career, whether academics, students, commercial, or community archaeologists.

The annual Congress is open to all researchers to report current and recent research on any aspect of post-medieval/later-historical archaeology. There is no geographical focus and we welcome papers from around the world. We encourage contributors to offer 15-minute papers, which the organisers will arrange into themed sessions, or poster displays. Short organised sessions of papers set around a particular research interest or theme are also encouraged.

Please send paper or poster proposals with a title and abstract of up to 150 words. Session proposals should include a title and abstract, as well as a list of speakers. Send titles and abstracts to by 17 December 2018.

Call for Submissions – Cross-Disciplinary Approaches to Prehistoric Demography (CROSSDEM 2019)

The UCL Institute of Archaeology will be hosting a two-day workshop “Cross-Disciplinary Approaches to Prehistoric Demography” (CROSSDEM 2019) next March (29th-30th).

Demography underpins a number of important prehistoric cultural processes, from cultural diffusion and changes in subsistence practices, to population bottlenecks and migration episodes. Yet, no element of the archaeological record is directly associated with demographic factors such as population sizes, growth or fertility rates – they must be inferred from the analysis of different proxies. Using site and artefact densities, radiocarbon dates, palaeoanthropological data and ancient DNA, and vastly different methods, scholars have been able to reconstruct these variables, and infer dispersal rates, population growths, crashes and bottlenecks.

CROSSDEM 2019 will create a space for scholars working on prehistoric demography, through different disciplinary lenses and types of data, to come together and discuss current methodological and theoretical issues. The workshop will comprise keynote papers delivered by scholars from across a range of disciplines, structured discussions led by experts, and contributed papers. We cordially invite submissions from motivated scholars working on prehistoric demography to submit proposals (300-500 words in length) for a paper of approximately 20 minutes) to, by 19th December 2018. Registration will open in early January 2019.

Further information about the workshop, including details of our key note speakers, can be found at our website: CROSSDEM 2019 IS organised by Jennifer French, Phil Riris, Andy Bevan and Stephen Shennan (IoA) and Fabio Silva (Bournemouth University), and is generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

Call for Papers – Trial By Fire Conference

A free interdisciplinary conference about the transformative power of fire. Whether your interest lies in archaeomaterials, burned bone, pyrotechnology, or accidental burning, fire always leaves its mark and a wealth of information behind. This conference aims to explore these events by bringing together ideas from across archaeological and anthropological sub-disciplines.  Abstracts will cover a range of topics and case studies, however the conference aims to answer the following questions: Can fire be considered an artefact? How have people engaged with fire over the course of history? What can the aesthetics of a thermally altered object tell us about the burning event? How has the study of fire evolved within the literature? How can fire be harnessed as an experimental tool moving forward?

You are invited to contribute your work towards the development of this interdisciplinary understanding of fire. Abstracts are due by 31 January 2019  To submit or for more information, visit The conference will take place on 17-18 May 2019, at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL.

Opportunities and Vacancies:

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship competition 2019-20

IoA internal deadline – 10th December 2018

The UCL Institute of Archaeology is supporting applications for Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships with an internal deadline of 10 December 2018 for consideration of applications. Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships aim to provide career development opportunities for those who are at a relatively early stage of their academic careers, but who have a proven record of research.

Support for Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships at UCL involves a two-stage internal competition, firstly at departmental and then at Faculty level. Completed draft applications should be submitted by email to Jo Dullaghan, Institute of Archaeology Research Administrator ( Applications received by the deadline will be considered by the Institute of Archaeology review panel and selected applicants will then be put forward for consideration by the Faculty panel.

For further information, see the website at

British School at Athens Prehistoric, Greek, and Roman Pottery Course

Deadline – February 22nd 2019

This intensive course gives participants a unique opportunity to gain hands-on experience with one of the major pottery sequences in Greece, guided by leading specialists in the field. Based at the British School’s Research Centre at Knossos, it makes use of the rich holdings of the Stratigraphic Museum which include material from across the Mediterranean in all periods from the Neolithic to Late Roman. Essential skills, like drawing and macroscopic fabric analysis, are taught in supporting workshops, and a series of lectures will introduce themes, problems and methods in the study and publication of ceramics. The course also comprises field classes to abandoned pottery workshops of the late 19th century, potting villages, visits to important Bronze Age, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman archaeological sites, along with the Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Local potters, specializing in traditional techniques, provide practical experience of all stages of pottery production.

The course coordinator is Dr Kostis S. Christakis (The Knossos Curator) and instructors are Prof. Todd Whitelaw (UCL Institute of Archaeology), Dr Colin Macdonald (British School at Athens), Dr Conor Trainor (University of Warwick), Mr Antonio Bianco (University of Crete), Dr Maria Choleva (Postdoctoral Research Fellow UCLouvain), Dr. Carlotta Gardner (Williams Fellow in Ceramic Petrology, Fitch Laboratory), and Dr Denitsa Nenova (UCL Institute of Archaeology).

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.

Completed application forms and an academic reference letter (it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that her/his reference is sent) should be emailed to the Knossos Curator Dr Kostis S. Christakis ( by 22nd February 2019. For further information, see the website



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