Section Newsletter #10

November 2016

Welcome to the November 2016 edition of the IoA World Archaeology Section Newsletter


Thank you to Rob Briggs for starting this year’s ‘Off the Record’ seminars with a discussion about his PhD research on post-Roman social groups, place names and archaeology in South-East England.

We’re looking forward to what promise to be fascinating ‘Off the Record’ lunchtime seminars over the next three weeks.

This week:

Kris Lockyear will be speaking on ‘Verulamium Revealed’ – 12-1pm on Thursday 24th November in room 209.

Off the Record – Verulamium Revealed 24.11.16

Later this term:

1st December – Stuart Brookes – Interpreting Rock-Cut Grave Cemeteries:
the early medieval burial site and enclosure of São Gens, Portugal


8th December – Murray Andrews – A farewell to arms? Hoards and war in medieval England and Wales

Call for ‘Off the Record’ speakers for the Spring Term

If any section members would like to contribute to next term’s ‘Off the Record’ series, please email me (

News & Announcements

Autumn Term Section Meeting

Please click the link below for the minutes.


Lecture: Exploring the Phoenician Shipwreck off Gozo.

On Wednesday 23rd November Dr Timmy Gambin from the Department of Archaeology, University of Malta, will be giving a lecture on fieldwork on the Phoenician shipwreck off Gozo in the Mediterranean.

“Working off Gozo during a systematic of the seabed, an anomaly was detected and was marked as just another target worthy of verification. It turned out to be one of the most exciting underwater finds in recent years.”

Wednesday 23 November, 5-6.30 pm, room 612.

Conferences, events and forums

A brief selection of recent announcements. If you would like to share upcoming events in next month’s newsletter, please get in touch.

Call for papers: Unravelling the Palaeolithic 2017

11-12th February 2017, University of Liverpool

A student-led conference on human evolution focusing on presenting research from people at all stages of their careers. Topics of interest include human origins, behaviour, environment, and technology (HOBET). Further details on the conference website.

Call for papers: Archaeology and Theory symposium – Power and Authority – an archaeologist’s friend or foe?

7th April 2017, Groningen University, Institute of Archaeology

Details on the Stichting Archaeological Dialogues website. Deadline for abstract submission: December 15th 2016.


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Section Newsletter #9 May

May 2016

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


‘Off the Record’ lunchtime seminars

Thank you to our recent Off the Record speakers, Dr Elizabeth Bloxam, Sirio Canós Donnay and Beatrijs De Groot.

Call for ‘Off the Record’ speakers for the autumn term

We are now looking for people from the IOA World Archaeology section interested in leading a short lunchtime discussion for Off the Record in the autumn term. 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. Please email if you are interested.

News & Announcements

Minutes from the summer term section meeting

You can access the minutes from this month’s section meeting by clicking the link below.

World Archaeology Section meeting summer term

World Archaeology Section Graduate Representatives

I have just joined Barney Harris as one of the section graduate representatives. Many thanks to Andy Brown for all his work in the role last year alongside Barney, starting the blog and the ‘Off the Record’ seminars.

Do get in touch if you have news to share on the blog/newsletter or ideas for a lunchtime seminar.

Hope to see you soon!  Sarah Hoile

Stonehenge experiment


An archaeological experiment, organised by PhD student Barney Harris, took place on Monday 23rd May in Gordon Square. Moving a 1-tonne block across the square using a wooden sledge, ropes and willing volunteers from the IOA and beyond generated some interesting research data and received a great deal of press interest, including this video on the BBC News website: ‘How hard was it to build Stonehenge’.

The experiment took place as part of UCL’s Festival of Culture 2016 and offered opportunities for the public, UCL staff and students to get involved. Around 60 individuals took part in the stone pulling and managed to haul it a distance of around 65m around Gordon Square park. The story was picked up widely in the media and reported as far as India, the US and South Asia.

Section Research

Legarra Herrero, B. (2016). An Elite Infested Sea: Interaction and Change in Mediterranean Paradigms. In B. Molloy (Ed.), Of Odysseys and Oddities. Scales and modes of interaction between prehistoric Aegean societies and their neighbours (pp. 25-52). Oxford: Oxbow Books.

Lockyear, K. (2016). The Coin Hoards of the Roman Republic database: the history, the data and the potential. American Journal of Numismatics.

Quirke, S. G. J. (2016). Who writes the literary in late Middle Kingdom Lahun?. In K. Ryholt, G. Barjamovic (Eds.), Problems of Canonicity and Identity Formation in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia (pp. 127-152). Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press.

Conferences, events and forums

World Archaeology Festival

11th June 2016, UCL Institute of Archaeology

The IOA’s popular World Archaeology Festival will take place again this year, on Saturday 11th June from 12-5pm.  Part of the Council of British Archaeology’s Festival of Archaeology, there will be a range of activities and displays throughout the afternoon. For more details, see the World Archaeology Festival website.

Sicily: heritage of the world conference

24th and 25th June 2016, British Museum

This conference accompanies the current British Museum exhibition Sicily: culture and conquest. For further details, and to book, please see the British Museum website.

Workshop – Coins, hoards, and special deposits: current research

22nd June 2016, UCL Institute of Archaeology

Whether by intent or accident, the deposition of objects provides the bricks and mortar for an understanding of social, economic, and ritual behaviour in past societies. As the finds record continues to grow, attention has increasingly focused on three deposit classes: ‘single finds’, particularly coins, deemed accidentally lost, intentionally-deposited object hoards, and ‘special deposits’ representing a ritual act(s). Hosted at the Institute of Archaeology (UCL), this workshop seeks to advance an interdisciplinary and multi-period dialogue on objects and their deposition, highlighting the work of current doctoral and research projects at UK institutions.

Speakers include IOA PhD students Ethan Doyle White and Murray Andrews, with the keynote lecture by Kris Lockyear.

African Rock Art: Research digital outputs and heritage management

4th-5th November 2016, British Museum


The African Rock Art Image Project at the British Museum will hold a conference in November. The deadline for the call for presentations and posters is 15th July.

Archaeology International (AI 19)

A reminder that news items and research up-dates may be submitted until May / June.


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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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Section Newsletter #7 February

February 2016

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


‘Off the Record’ lunchtime seminars


Thank you to our recent Off the Record speakers. We’re looking forward to a busy March and April. Coming up first (Thursday 3rd March) is IOA PhD candidate Andy Brown who will be talking about Moai, Moa and More: a discussion of Polynesian archaeology. The following week Alastair Paterson will be Revisiting Batavia: Recent excavations in the Abrolhos Island, Western Australia. All sessions run from 1pm – 2pm in Room 401 unless otherwise stated. As ever, please feel free to bring your lunch to enjoy during the talk.

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 social event

Sidecar in a Martini Glass garnished with lemon wedgeThe World Archaeology Section will be hosting an afternoon of short papers and subsequent cocktails on Tuesday 22nd March, with papers between 4-5:30pm and then the social event afterwards. All Institute staff and graduate students are invited to the social event.

Please get in touch with section co-head Andrew Reynolds regarding giving a short paper at this event.

New Events archive page on section website

We now have a page dedicated to past section affiliated / sponsored events on the section website. The first event to be added was the excellent Could Modern Civilisation Collapse? conference hosted last year. Please head on over to the site where you’re able to watch several videos produced from the event. If you have a past or future event that you would like adding to the archive then please get in touch.

Minutes from this month’s section meeting

You can access the minutes from this month’s section meeting by clicking the link below.

Spring Term meeting notes 2016


Click above to send in content for next month’s newsletter or to notify us of immediate announcements to be shared via the section website, email list and social media channels.

Section research


The First New Zealanders? An Alternative Interpretation of Stable Isotope Data from Wairau Bar, New Zealand

Brown AA, Thomas T (2015) The First New Zealanders? An Alternative Interpretation of Stable Isotope Data from Wairau Bar, New Zealand. PLoS ONE 10(10): e0135214. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0135214

shawHinduism and the Sungas

Shaw, J. (2016). Hinduism and the Sungas. In Hiltebeitel, A. (Ed.), Oxford Bibliographies in Hinduism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



parker_pearsonThe Dead of Stonehenge

Willis, C; Marshall, P; McKinley, J; Pitts, M; Pollard, J; Richards, C; Richards, J; Parker Pearson, M (2016) The dead of Stonehenge. Antiquity: a quarterly review of archaeology (In press).


KevinMacDonald_photo_greyscaleA Chacun son Bambara’, encore une fois: History, Archaeology and Bambara Origins

Macdonald, K.C. (2015). ‘A Chacun son Bambara’, encore une fois: History, Archaeology and Bambara Origins. In Richard, F., MacDonald, K.C. (Eds.), Ethnic Ambiguity and the African Past. (pp. 119-144). Walnut Creek, California: Left Coast Press.

Conferences, events and forums

African Peoples and Pasts

Ap&p-MUWONGE-2A reminder of THIS THURSDAY’S (3rd March) African Peoples and Pasts seminar.

We are delighted to welcome Herman Muwonge to present on his ongoing PhD research at Cambridge:

“Preliminary studies of the LSA hunter-gatherers of the Albertine Rift, Uganda”

6pm, Room 209, UCL Institute of Archaeology

As usual a wine reception will follow in the 6th floor common room


Medieval and Modern Manuscript Studies in the Digital Age (MMSDA)

2 – 6 May 2016, Cambridge and London

We are very pleased to announce the sixth year of this course, funded by the Digital Scholarly Editions Initial Training Network (DiXiT), and run by King’s College London with the University of Cambridge and the Warburg Institute. The course will run in two parallel strands: one on medieval and the other on modern manuscripts.

Argument: The Art of Persuasion

The third LAHP Annual Research Day, Wednesday 18 May 2016, 10.30-18.00 Macmillan Hall, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Argument: agreement and disagreement, debate and dissent are central to the ways in which knowledge in the Arts and Humanities is proposed and made, explored and understood, but what is argument and how are we persuaded?

Call for contributions:

LAHP warmly welcomes proposals from LAHP students and supervisors for panels or papers on any aspect of Argument: the Art of Persuasion. We are particularly interested in joint presentations from LAHP students and their supervisors discussing research-in-progress. Short proposals for 15-minute presentations should be emailed by 31 March 2016.

Scottish History Network Workshop: The state of the field

27th April 2016, University of Edinburgh

We invite postgraduate scholars, early career researchers, members of the heritage industry, established academics, and outside parties with an interest in Scottish History to share their current work within the field.

Proposal topics could include, but are certainly not restricted to:

  • Locating Scottish History – transnational/diaspora themes, Highland and Lowland history
  • Scottish History and the State – union, devolution, referendum
  • Remembering Scotland – heritage, commemoration, family histories, cultural memory
  • Margins of Scottish History – gender and diversity, immigration

Proposals should be no more than 300 words long and include a short biography.

Speakers will be notified regarding acceptance of their contribution after all submissions have been reviewed.

Please send proposals, and any enquiries to by 17:00 Monday 14th March 2016.

ASMI Postgraduate Summer School 2016

unnamedUniversity of Bristol, 23rd and 24th June 2016


We welcome proposals from postgraduate students and early career scholars for papers on any aspect of Modern Italian culture, history, politics and society from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century.

Papers can be in English or Italian and should be no more than 20 minutes in length. 

Please send an abstract (max 250 words) and a short biography (max 100 words) to the conference organisers at the email address provided below by Thursday 31st March 2016.

The Iron Age Research Student Symposium

The Iron Age Research Student Symposium is pleased to announce an extension of the Call for Papers for this year’s symposium. In order to complement the abstracts already received as a result of the initial round of the Call for Papers, we are now seeking authors with a research interest in the following themes: monumentality and social boundaries, terminologies (interpretation and development), archaeological landscapes, production and technologies (esp. metalworking), communities in transition and mortuary studies. The second round of the Call for Papers will remain open until midnight on the 29th February. All authors who wish to be considered for IARSS 2016 (May 19-22, 2016 at the University of Leicester) are invited to submit an abstract of now more than 300 words, including five keywords, to

Further details may be found at

UCL Women’s Day Events

UCL is marking International Women’s Day on 8 March with a range of events, lectures, drama, exhibitions and more.

UCL Arena is sponsoring UCL Inspiring Women on Tues 8 March, a celebration of female achievement. Introduced by UCL President and Provost, Prof Michael Arthur, high-profile speakers will be taking to the stage to offer their personal reflections on their career paths – and to prompt the audience to think about their own. The event will end with a whistle-stop tour of some ‘infamous’ UCL women alumni.

In addition, the UCL Institute for Women’s Health has organised a week-long programme of free activities, including an ‘in conversation’ session with Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism project, and an art exhibition exploring the presence and absence of women at UCL. The full programme can be found at

The UCL Women group is delighted to be hosting Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell to deliver a flagship lecture on Thurs 10 March: ‘Women in STEM – at home and abroad’ to be followed by a drinks reception.

Finally, Lunch Hour Lectures continue the theme with two free talks on ‘Reproduction without sex’ (Tues 8 March) and ovarian cancer screening (Thurs 10 March) – no pre-booking is required.



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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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Section Newsletter #5 November

November 2015

Welcome to the November 2015 edition of the IOA World Archaeology Section Newsletter.


A round-up of the Thinking Megalithic ‘Off the Record’ special series

The section would like to thank all speakers and attendees. Thinking Megalithic began with a stimulating talk by Barney Harris, who discussed the changing intellectual landscape of megalithic construction studies from the 17th century onwards. Whilst many theories have come and gone with the times, one idea – that megaliths   were transported by being dragging over wooden, log rollers – has persisted for many centuries. Today the idea finds currency in popular texts and academia alike, despite possessing little archaeological basis.


An example of megalith transport sans rollers

The second talk was given by Susanna Harris, who highlighted megaliths as an unlikely source of evidence for archaeologists interested in studying organic remains. Her research focused on the carved statue-menhirs (stelae) of  southern and western Europe, which show clothing and garment types depicted alongside other anatomical features such as eyes, arms and legs. The location of these statue-menhirs as standing stones clustered in the landscape offers another unique opportunity: to study the spatial distribution of clothing. Given the importance of clothing in marking social grouping, this stelae can indicate the scale of such grouping.

Murat sur Vebre (21)

The third discussion was led by Sue Hamilton who emphasised the importance of studying megaliths in terms of their wider landscape. Sue used the archaeology of Easter Island to highlight a number of recurrent binary oppositions materialised through large and small rocks and their juxtaposed location and orientations within the landscape. She argued that to understand the significance of the larger, more intensively studies megaliths here, we must examine their relationship with other complementary elements of Rapa Nui. In short: small things matter too.

englert house god 6-1 (1)

The final seminar was given by Mike Parker Pearson, who shared his latest thoughts on the origins of Stonehenge and its relationship to West Wales. He summarised five years of fieldwork in the region during which he and his team excavated two quarry sites and associated prehistoric features. Radiocarbon dates associated with the quarrying revealed that activity at these sites occurred significantly earlier than the first phase of Stonehenge. Mike concluded that the stones were probably originally used for a local monument and shared his thoughts as to the location and particulars of one such such site. If such an early link with the region can be proven, it will significantly alter our understanding of Stonehenge and wider British prehistory.

12308082_10153763941374603_3196903403473110906_o (1)

Call to section members

We are currently searching for speakers and themes for future Off the Record lunchtime seminars. In particular, we would welcome post graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. There is no fixed format or theme for the lunchtime series. If you are;

  • A postgraduate student able to present their masters research
  • A group of post-graduate students and / or staff willing to propose a series of talks
  • A recently appointed member of staff or doctoral researcher

…then please, get in touch with Andy Brown now to arrange a date for your talk right now.

In addition please consider if any of your research relates to the following themes;

Surveying – The Art of life and death

Exploring – The spirit of this place

Hunting networks & communication


Global Warming, Climate Crisis and Past. Discussing some links between Climate Change and Archaeology

02-Wadhams 2Miguel Fuentes

Last November 30th, World Archaeology Section has carried out a lecture with Peter Wadhams (University of Cambridge) on Climate Change and its implication for human society in the short and long term.

Peter Wadhams is professor of Ocean Physics and Head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics of the University of Cambridge. During the last couple of decades he has been one of the leading experts on climate change in the world.

The main objective of this presentation was to discuss the magnitude, rhythm and scale of current global warming and climate change, considering the environmental processes that are taking place in the Arctic Region. This last by discussing several scenarios of Global Warming during this century and its possible impacts on human society and civilization.

05-Wadhams 5

With a full attendance, the presentation of Peter Wadhams was a quite remarkable opportunity to discuss some possible linkages between the current climatic situation and some cases of climate change in the archaeological past. One of the main topic on table was to evaluate the potentialities and limits of social and technological resilience of human societies.

The presentation was organized by Miguel Fuentes (PhD Research Student of the IoA) and Jose Oliver (Professor and Researcher of the Institute).

The lecture of Peter Wadhams and a short interview that was carried out before the presentation will be uploaded to the web page of the IoA and YouTube.

If you request some additional information of the presentation and further activities related to the topic, please contact Miguel Fuentes:

News & Announcements

New World Archaeology Section Poster board between floors 1 & 2!

The section has been allotted a space within the building to display news and information. Plans are underway to install a bright background display onto which notices, leaflets and posters may be attached. See preview below. 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.


Section research

Oxford Handbook of Archaeological Theory

Edited by Andrew Gardner, Mark Lake, and Ulrike Sommer


Archaeological theory is a fluid and fractured field that is an arena of lively debate. This Handbook will guide students and practitioners through this field in a novel way, connecting ideas in different schools of thought through the key problems upon which they focus. Major themes are tackled in review papers by experts in those areas, while the schools of thought that archaeologists frequently draw upon are also given extended treatment by specialists in neighbouring fields. Another innovative aspect of this Handbook is the attention given to archaeological theory outside of the Anglo-American debate which has tended to dominate publications on the subject

More information

Conferences, events and forums

Ghostly and Ghastly Antiquarian Fiction

Tuesday 8 December 2015, Room 209, Institute of Archaeology, 6-7 pm

Gabriel Moshenska (UCL Institute of Archaeology)

This talk will explore the connections between ghosts and antiquarians in late 19th to early 20th century supernatural fiction. Focusing on the works of M.R. James and E.F. Benson it aims to highlight and examine distinct themes that emerge in the literature. One such common theme is the concept of ghostly guardians of buried or forgotten antiquities. Another is the tension between relics and ghosts of Christian, non-Christian and pre-Christian pasts, particularly when the latter are depicted as demonic. Finally I want to consider the fictional ghost as subject of scholarship by the antiquarians depicted in the stories – sometimes leading to their dooms.

Call for papers: JFIGS Friday Forum

The JFIGS Friday Forum series is an interdisciplinary set of conferences held at UCL for graduate students and staff. The events provide a friendly atmosphere for researchers from different disciplines to present work on the same topic. 

Next Forum topic: Recognition

Submission deadline: 23 December 2015

Forum date: 5 February 2016

We welcome proposals from graduate students and staff from across UCL, and especially from departments in the faculties of Arts and Humanities, and Social and Historical Sciences. Presentations should be between 15 and 20 minutes.

If you would like to participate, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words by 23 December to Mohammed Abouelleil Rashed at the Institute of Advanced Studies (

UCL Institute of Archaeology & Beta Analytic Radiocarbon Draw for the Archaeology of the Americas

A call for entries for the inaugural UCL Institute of Archaeology & Beta Analytic Radiocarbon Draw for the Archaeology of the Americas is announced with a deadline of 18 December 2015.

The winner of the draw will be able to fund a radiocarbon date from Beta Analytic Inc.


The draw is open to all current Institute of Archaeology research students and postdoctoral staff who are conducting research in the Archaeology of the Americas.

Application procedure

Download and complete the application form, returning it by email to Jo Dullaghan, Research Administrator, by 18 December 2015.

Please note only one application per person is allowable.

The winner will be selected by draw from all eligible entries in January 2016.

The East is Calling: Trade and Exchange of Ceramics in Southeast Asia (AD 1400s-1800s)

Thursday 10th Dec. Room 612 at 4pm – open to all.

Chen Sian Lim  (Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore and IoA MPhil/PhD candidate)

This talk explores the ceramic finds from three historical port settlements of Temasek (Singapore), Melaka (Malaya), and Banten (Java), as well as ceramic cargoes from shipwrecks over the past 500 years, spanning pre-modern Southeast Asia prior to European contact, through the advent of the East India companies, and the age of colonization.

BSR Residential Awards


IOA: Equality & Diversity Forum: Gender & Sexuality

The aims of the group would be for staff and students to:

Meet formally once a term at an open forum meeting – Tuesday 15th December 1-2pm Staff Room (this will be the first meeting)

  • This is open to all staff & students of the IoA regarding any issues / thoughts surrounding Equality, Diversity, Gender and/or Sexuality.
  • This will be an open forum but if people (students or staff) would like to get involved to help then that would be great (do get in touch)!
  • We will have termly social events aimed at all in the Institute: including talks around Gay History Month in February (other ideas welcomed)
  • We will also invite people in to run workshops (diversity / equality in the workplace etc.) and invite speakers in from the UCL Equalities / Diversity Office and LGBT group as well as Stonewall etc.

Zela, acclamations, Caracalla – and Parthia?

Thursday, 3 December4.45pm in Senate House, South Block, room 349

Andrew Burnett (British Museum)

A coin which has lain unrecognised for many years in the BM can be identified as an unpublished coin of Caracalla from Zela, proclaiming that ‘The Lords are victorious! The world prospers! The formula is analysed in the context of other rare imperial acclamations on coins, to show that their language is alien to the norm for coins; on the rare occasions that acclamations ‘spill over’ onto coins they bring a different set of concepts with them.


Tuesdays 5pm, Senate House, South Block, Room 349

12 January 2016 – Stuart Laidlaw (UCL): Archaeological Illustration: Digital vs. Analogue

9 February 2016 – Lucy Shipley (Southampton): Pots, Past, Present, and Future: Translating the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum

8 March 2016 – Vinnie Nørskov (Aarhus): Photographs in the Antiquities Trade

Full poster

Funding opportunities IOA

NERC Valuing Nature Placements

The purpose of this scheme is to fund researchers to spend up to 3 months working on a topic within the remit of the Valuing Nature Programme in a new disciplinary, institutional or applied setting.

Smithsonian Institution Anne van Biema Fellowships

The Anne van Biema Fellowship was established by bequest to promote excellence in research and publication on the Japanese visual arts.  Fellowships support research at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.  While the Galleries provide excellent opportunities for collections-based study, access to their collections will be severely limited from January 2016 until summer 2017, due to the closure and renovation of the Freer Gallery

Open Society Fellowships

The Open Society Fellowship was founded in 2008 to support individuals pursuing innovative and unconventional approaches to fundamental open society challenges.  The fellowship funds work that will enrich public understanding of those challenges and stimulate far-reaching and probing conversations within the Open Society Foundations and in the world.

Bibliographical Society Major & Minor Grants

The Bibliographical Society invites applications for awards from scholars engaged in bibliographical research (on, for example, book history, textual transmission, publishing, printing, bookbinding, book-ownership and book-collecting).

Bibliographical Society Katharine F Pantzer Jr Research Fellowships

Applicants’ research must be within the field of the bibliographical or book-historical study of the printed book in the hand-press period, that is up to c.1830.  Applicants should be established scholars in the field but may be university-based or independent researchers.

South African Department of Science and Technology (DST)-National Research Foundation (NRF) Fellowships for Early Career Researchers from the UK 2016

The NRF has partnered with the Academy of Medical Sciences, the British Academy and the Royal Society with the aim to develop science and innovation partnerships (across the humanities, social sciences and natural and physical sciences) through building research and innovation capacity.

Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowships

These awards are for outstanding early career researchers (up to 6 yrs postdoctoral experience) who do not hold a permanent post and are a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland (or have a ‘relevant connection’ to the EEA or Switzerland) and who require flexible working patterns due to personal circumstances such as parenting or caring responsibilities or health issues.

Society in Science Branco Weiss Fellowships

The Branco Weiss Fellowships are aimed at early-career researchers in the social, natural and physical sciences and engineering (who were awarded their PhD less than 5 years ago on the closing date for the call and who do not hold, and have not held, a permanent academic position) who are willing to engage in a dialogue on relevant social, cultural, political or economic issues across the frontiers of their particular discipline.

Wellcome Trust funding call Our Planet, Our Health

With Our Planet, Our Health, Wellcome want to invest in high-quality, transdisciplinary programmes of research that investigate novel aspects of – and build evidence for – how complex changes in our environment affect our health.

Horizon 2020 Call CULT-COOP-08-2016: Virtual museums and social platform on European digital heritage, memory, identity and cultural interaction

Proposals under this call for collaborative European projects will focus on the development of highly innovative technologies, methods and ICT tools to significantly improve the ‘digital encounter’ including quality of images, sonic narratives, the display and interactivity with digital objects.

NERC Call for Open Knowledge Exchange (KE) Fellowships

KE Fellows work between 20% and 80% of their time on a work plan of their own choosing to generate impact from NERC-funded research in their host institution.

Horizon 2020 Call ICT-22-2016: Technologies for Learning and Skills

Research and Innovation Action: Technologies for deeper learning of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, combined with Arts (STEAM), improving the innovation and creative capacities of learners and supporting the new role of teacher as a coach of the learner


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Section Newsletter #4 – October

October 2015

Welcome to the October 2015 edition of the IOA World Archaeology Section Newsletter.

‘Off The Record’ World Archaeology Section Lunch time Discussions – Thinking Megalithic special

We’re delighted to announce details of a special megalith focused series of lunchtime discussions for November. Speakers include Sue Hamilton, Mike Parker Pearson, Susanna Harris and, for the first time, a post-graduate student; Barney Harris. Whilst these discussions address archaeology from disparate times and places they are united in their focus on megalithic architecture.

The series is kicking off with Barney’s talk — Roll me a great stone: the megalithic roller hypothesis and other legends  — this Thursday Nov. 5th at the slightly later time of 1pm. We are still seeking more input from the section post-graduate community – if you’re interested in talking please contact Andrew Brown to find out about available dates.


Section member: Richard Bussmann reports on fieldwork in Egypt

Provincial life in Egypt: Fieldwork at Zawyet Sultan


Ancient Egypt is best known for its pyramids, temples, and hieroglyphs. But how did the life of local communities look like? A first season of fieldwork jointly organised by UCL, the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities and Pisa University and funded by the Egypt Exploration Society took place in September 2015 to survey the archaeological site of Zawyet Sultan. The site was home of a provinicial capital in the Nile Valley during Pharaonic times and is the historical forerunner of the modern city of el-Minya. The project aims to explore community life in the Pharaonic hinterland through time at a local level and in the context of regional settlement dynamics.


The survey resulted in the discovery of previously unkonwn cemeteries dating to the early Pharaonic period (ca. 2700 BC), the time of Egypt’s empire (ca. 1300 BC), and the Roman period (ca. 300 AD). Another extensive Pharaonic cemetery was overbuilt by a settlement in Roman times, when the community expanded. The mud bricks of the Roman town were used as fertilisers on the fields, probably in the 19th century, but tons of pottery that remained on site shed light on the busy life of the community up to the early Islamic period, when the site was abandoned and a new regional centre formed at modern el-Minya. Whether the small royal pyramid, built at around 2700 BC and now dominating the site, was still visible at this time or had long been forgotten is a question of future research.

Today, Zawyet Sultan is a village attached to a large Muslim cemetery. The founder of the Egyptian feminist union and anti-British activist Hoda Sha’arawy (1879-1947) is buried here. Her tomb, a destiny for visitors and friends from across the world, probably stands on parts of the ancient settlement. Past and present history are closely intertwined at the site and the study of one does not go without the other. Future activities are intended to explore local life over time up to the present day.

Two UCL students took part in the project. Marta Krzyzanska (MSc GIS and Spatial Analysis) explained the total station to one of our Egyptian colleagues. Kristian Brink (MA Egyptian Archaeology) tested the use of a GoPro camera attached to a long pole for aerial photography. The collaboration of students, archaeologists and Egyptologists from Egypt and Europe was a great success. We look forward to meeting everybody again next season!

For more information, see

News & Announcements

Professor Kevin MacDonald on BBC Radio 4’s In our Time

Professor MacDonald and guests discussed the Empire of Mali which flourished from 1200 to 1600 and was famous in the wider world for the wealth of rulers such as Mansa Musa.

Listen again

Making practice perfect: approaches to everyday life in Roman archaeology


The ‘Making practice perfect’ workshop will be a one-day event focussed on ‘practice theories’, organised into three sessions: ‘Structuration and related traditions’; ‘Practice theory and materiality’; and ‘Comparative perspectives’, in which we want to pursue dialogues between Romanists and archaeologists of other complex societies.

Saturday 30th January 2016, UCL Institute of Archaeology

More information

AFRICAN CIVILIZATIONS: Kongo Art and the Rethinking of Civilisation

Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz (Michaelis School of Fine Art, University of Capetown)

The lecture will focus on agency in Kongo society, exploring a complex state of social development in which legal, political, religious and visual systems motivate responses to and interpretations of Kongo cultural principles in the Atlantic world. Martinez-Ruiz will argue that the myriad forms of communication known as Ndinga i Sinsu seamlessly integrate into a wide range of audio and visual communicative techniques that he terms ‘graphic writing systems’.

Thursday 5 November 2015, 6-7.30 p.m.

Location: Gordon Street (25) E28 Harrie Massey Lecture Theatre

More information

Thank you to our Mphil/PhD Student Reps

A big thank you to both the incumbent and newly nominated Mphil/PhD student reps who organised an excellent staff and student Halloween party this month! We look forward to the next social.

Liz’s Future Medical Fund

Liz Frood in Oxford, who acted as an external examiner for the Institute from 2012 to 2014, is currently undergoing life-changing surgery of her hands and legs, following a septic shock earlier this summer. I would like to draw your attention to a fund that has been established to assist with future medical costs.

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowships

UCL has confirmed its support for the Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship scheme for 2016/17

The Institute of Archaeology internal deadline for applications will be 5pm on Monday 7 December 2015.

These applications will then be considered by an IoA panel, comprising of the Director, the Chair of Research Committee, Deputy Chair of Research Committee, Graduate Tutor and a previous Fellowship-holder, and nominations will be put forward for consideration by the Faculty panel

More information

Section research

Detecting and Understanding Historical Lansdcapes

PCA-studies-landscape-coverAndrew Reynolds has co-edited with Alexandra Chavarría Arnau a new book on Detecting and Understanding Historic Landscapes.

The origins of this book lay in the international summerschool “Detecting and interpreting landscape transfomations” held in the inspiring setting of the Euganean Hills south of Padua, Italy in September 2013.

More information

Susanna_Harris_1_LDHarris, S.M. (2015). Folded, layered textiles from a Bronze Age pit pyre excavated from Over Barrow 2, Cambridgeshire. .. In Grömer, K., Pritchard, F. (Eds.), Aspects of the Design, Production and Use of Textiles and Clothing from the Bronze Age to the Early Modern Era. NESAT XII. The North European Symposium of Archaeological Textiles, 21st – 24th May 2014 in Hallstatt, Austria.. (pp. 49-57). Budapest: Archaeolingua.

VB_bw_1Legarra Herrero, B. 2015. A Square tomb with a round soul. In The Myrtos Pyrgos tomb in the funerary context of Middle Bronze Age Crete. In In Macdonald, C, Hatzaki, E, and Andreou, S, (eds) The Great Islands: Studies of Crete and Cyprus Presented to Gerald Cadogan. Kapon Editions., 76-81.

KevinMacDonald_photo_greyscaleRichard, F., MacDonald, K.C., e.d.s. (2015). Ethnic Ambiguity and the African Past: Materiality, History, and the Shaping of Cultural Identities. Walnut Creek, California: Left Coast Press.

Conferences & events

Annual Conference 2015: Coastal and Maritime Archaeology of the Modern Era

21 November — 22 November 2015

The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology is pleased to be partnering with the Nautical Archaeology Society to host a joint conference in Portsmouth on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd November 2015, at the University of Portsmouth’s Portland Building.

More information

LAHP Pathways into Public Policy Engagement (PPPE)

The London Arts & Humanities Partnership has developed a public policy engagement programme, Pathways into Public Policy Engagement (PPPE), for late-stage PGRs and early-stage ECRs.

As places are capped at 24 per session and will be offered on a first-come-first-served basis, please register using the online form by 23rd November. Your place will be confirmed after the deadline. Events include:

Government, Civil Society and Law policy
2 December 2015

Humanities, Health and Society
3 December 2015

Language and Policy Matters
7 December 2015

Being Human Festival

Being Human is the UK’s only national festival of the humanities. From philosophy in pubs, history in coffeehouses, classics on social media and language lessons on street corners – the festival provides new ways to experience how the humanities can inspire and enrich our everyday lives.

Here’s my pick of the best London based events:

Maya art journeys

An overview of the British Museum’s Mexico gallery will precede a look at the Yaxchilán lintels, extraordinary 8th-century AD stone carvings from the ruined Maya city of Yaxchilán, an archaeological site in what is now southern Mexico.

Medieval music: chant as cure and miracle

During this free public lecture Professor Christopher Page will highlight the cripple who crawled into a French abbey in the 12th century and, while the monks were singing, began to cry aloud and extend his contorted limbs.

Post anarchism – public lecture

Saul Newman, professor of political theory at Goldsmiths, will give a public lecture on post anarchism, an anarchist-inspired political theory he has developed to explain contemporary forms of resistance to neoliberalism.

A historical walk through brilliant Bloomsbury

This guided history walk leads visitors through this remarkably brainy and often controversial part of London with stories about the eminent scientists, physicians and cultural figures who lived and worked in the area and the surprising connections, scandals and sources of inspiration that they found here.

Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) 2015 conference

Monday 23 November, 10.00–16.30 BP Lecture Theatre, British Museum Free, booking required Tea/coffee provided

More information


Please note that the call for sessions for the eighth World Archaeological Congress is now open and full details on session format and the proposal form are available on the WAC8 website (

Against Delivery

On 12-13 November 2015 the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, doctoral programme will be hosting a two-
day research event under the auspices of the European Artistic Research Network (EARN) and the London Arts and Humanities Partnership (LAHP) entitled Against Delivery. The event will take place at the Slade Research Centre Woburn Square in central London and is open to staff and students from UCL, LAHP and EARN.

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Area Studies in the 21st Century

Centre for East European Language Based Area Studies  would like to remind you that registration for Conference “Area Studies in the 21st Century” which takes place on 9th November and Workshop “Eastern Europe without Borders” which takes place on 10th November is still open but  it will close on 5 November at 6.00 pm.

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Conference: Climate Change and Human Society Resilience, Impact and Perceptions in the Past and Present

Interdisciplinary postgraduate conference, 4th – 5th December 2015
Durham University, Department of Archaeology

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Conference: The Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Research Student Symposium

NEBARSS is an annual conference for postgraduate and early career researchers; the conference aims to promote PhD and Masters level research into the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of Britain and Ireland.The 2015 NEBARSS Conference will be held at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st November 2015.

Conference website

Call for papers:12th International Congress of Cretan Studies

All wishing to participate in the Congress are invited to submit an abstract of 300-500 words of their proposal at the electronic platform, from the 15th of July to the 30th of November 2015.

Call for papers: The Prehistoric Society Europa Conference 2016

Dynamics of Art, Design, and Vision in Iron Age Europe. University of Edinburgh, 3–4 June 2016. The Prehistoric Society and the University of Edinburgh School of History, Classics and Archaeology invite early career researchers to submit a paper proposal for the Europa Conference.

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