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

World Archaeology Section Newsletter #1: November 2018

Welcome to the return of the World Archaeology Section Newsletter, brought to you by your new Graduate Section Reps, Dominic Pollard and Xosé Hermoso-Buxan! As we’ve just taken over the positions, we’ve decided to start things afresh, with a monthly newsletter of events, conferences, opportunities and general news relevant to members of the section. So, here’s World Archaeology Section Newsletter #1, for November 2018.


World Archaeology Section Research Exchange

On November 5th, the World Archaeology Section held a ‘research exchange’ afternoon, where staff from across the Section delivered short presentations on their past and current work. The event was intended to facilitate communication between members of the Section, stimulate discussion around a diverse range of topics, and offer opportunities for graduates and post-docs to identify possible mentors and sources of funding.
The event was a success, with a Section Meeting also held during the afternoon, where several important issues surrounding lecture recording, funding opportunities, and the structure of departmental seminar series were discussed. The possibility of a similar afternoon specifically for PhD students was raised, and is being looked into by the Section Reps.

Upcoming Talks and Events:

16/11/18 – Friends of the Petrie Museum Lectures:

All lectures are held in Institute of Archaeology Lecture Theatre G6 and followed by a wine reception in the Leventis Gallery.
16/11/2018 6.30 pm: Dr Kate Fulcher (British Museum), Painting Amara West: Colour in New Kingdom Nubia
The ancient Egyptian colour palette has been investigated extensively, but nearly always from royal, elite and funerary sources, typically based on objects in museums. The British Museum excavation of the ancient Egyptian town of Amara West in northern Sudan has enabled an examination of the use of colour by a very different section of the population, enhanced by the ability to export samples for laboratory analysis. The site retains evidence of painted walls in modest houses, paint in ceramic palettes, and raw pigments, as well as painted coffins in the cemeteries. Analysis has identified the pigments and organic constituents of the paints prepared and used at Amara West. The pigments mainly sit within the known Egyptian palette, but three unusual pigments were found: a green earth, a blue earth, and ground bitumen. The implications of the identification of the pigments will be considered; the situation of the site in Nubia provides the opportunity to consider the influence of a local non‐Egyptian population on Egyptian technology and cultural choices.

17/11/18 – Exploring Roman York: looking back, looking forward
This year’s conference, organised by the York Archaeological Forum and hosted by the City of York Council, will focus on Roman York. The talks will cover recent archaeological work on Roman sites in the city and its hinterland, reflecting a diverse range of new and significant discoveries, new survey techniques and analysis of human remains. The final papers of the day will reflect on the vast body of archaeological evidence now available for Roman York, issues of accessibility, publication and synthesis, as well as research questions and future directions. The conference will close with a broader discussion of these issues.
The speakers reflect the varied membership of the Forum with representatives of local archaeological contractors and specialists, the University of York, York Museums Trust, as well as the City of York Council archaeologist.
Programme and tickets (£15) available from
30 free student places available (tickets must be booked in advance).
23-24/11/18 – 5th Annual conference of the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Research Student Symposium (NEBARSS)
University of Manchester
Hosting talks by postgraduate and early career researchers within a friendly and relaxed environment. A two-day event with keynote lectures by Dr Seren Griffiths, University of Central Lancaster and Catherine Rees, Co-Director of CR Archaeology. The conference extends a welcome to all those interested in the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age periods. To be held at the University of Manchester on the weekend of the 23rd and 24th November 2018.
Early Bird Rate £10, then £12. To book
Contact with any queries.

Calls for Papers and Submissions:

Call for Abstracts: Philosophy, Politics, Anthropology & Allied Disciplines
University of Amsterdam, 15-17 May 2019
Keynote: David Graeber (LSE) & David Wengrow (UCL), ‘The Myth of the Stupid Savage: Rousseau’s Ghost and the Future of Political Anthropology’
Call for abstracts: The basic premise of PPA+ is that the fields of philosophy, politics, anthropology, and other social sciences have much more in common than is typically acknowledged. Philosophical claims about human beings had to start somewhere and, indeed, they usually began as basic empirical generalisations about the nature of human societies. Anthropology began as an offshoot from the field philosophy in the early 19th century and it continues to carry the same fundamental set of theoretical building blocks with it into the present day. Politics and other social science disciplines have comparable origins, typically traceable to moral philosophy. As an interdisciplinary conference and scholarly society, PPA+ aims to articulate the theoretical principles, methodological orientations, and empirical data that form the basis of philosophy, politics, anthropology and allied disciplines as traditionally distinct fields. Through this collaboration, we hope to identify persistent shortcomings and biases in our thinking about the nature of human social life ways and to find better ways forward.
Predecessors of this conference were held in New Orleans for the last three years. This year’s conference will be hosted by the University of Amsterdam’s Departments of Anthropology and Political Science.
Deadline for abstract submission (2-300 words): 16 December 2018.
Decisions by21st December. Please send your abstract to

Call for Papers: 5th Islamic Archaeology Day at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London
Hosted by SOAS and UCL
11-6pm, Saturday 2 February, 2019
We would like to invite you to join us in London on Saturday, February 2nd 2019 for the 5th annual Islamic Archaeology Day jointly organized by SOAS and UCL and to announce the call for papers.
There are a small but increasing number of us working in Islamic archaeology in the UK. We are, however, scattered through a number of different institutions and we rarely have an opportunity to come together and discuss our work and other matters of mutual interest. The purpose of this day is to provide such an opportunity and to encourage collaboration across regional and period boundaries.
As in previous years, the 2019 meeting will feature around 12 papers of 20 minutes on recent work on the archaeology and heritage of the Islamic world (broadly construed) by established and early-career scholars. We are particularly keen to have papers that share the results of new research or fieldwork. Please send Corisande Fenwick ( a title if you would like to present a paper as soon as possible (n.b. given the popularity of the day, we will prioritise papers from those who did not speak in 2018).
The next meeting will take place in the ground-floor lecture theatre at the Institute of Archaeology, UCL in central London between 11-6pm on Saturday, February 2nd followed by a reception and an optional dinner at a local restaurant. There will be a small charge to cover food, tea and coffee and the reception. Registration details will be sent out when the programme is announced in late November. All are welcome!

UCL Doctoral School Research Images as Art Competition:
UCL Doctoral School is pleased to announce its annual cross-disciplinary competition/exhibition:
“Research Images as Art/Art Images as Research”
A competition for all current graduate students and academic staff whether arts or science based – a chance to display research images with an aesthetic appeal.
Entry now open
Deadline for entries: Sunday 3 March 2019
The ‘Best 100’ images will be displayed in the South Cloisters (Wilkins Building) in April 2019. All entries will feature in the online gallery on the Doctoral School website.
First Prize – £400
Six Runners-Up Prizes – £200
The People’s Choice Prize – £100 Waterstone’s Token
All details and registration instructions are available on our website:
We look forward to receiving your entries. Any questions, please contact

Opportunities and Vacancies:

Call for Volunteers: The London Postgraduate Conference For The Ancient Near East – Ancient Lives, New Stories: Current Research on the Ancient Near East
1st and 2nd December 2018 – The British Museum, London
We are looking for volunteers from among the Institute of Archaeology’s MA and PhD students to help at the forthcoming London Postgraduate Conference for the Ancient Near East, which will be held at the British Museum on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd December 2018.
MAIN TASKS: being at the Registration Desk, answering the delegates’ questions, helping with social media and generally helping out throughout the two days of the conference.
BENEFITS: you will be able to attend some of the presentations and keynote lectures, have free lunch and tea/coffee and free access to the Ashurbanipal exhibition throughout the conference
DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF CVs: Wednesday, 14th November 2018

Job Vacancy: Assistant Director At The British School At Athens
Full-time, fixed term position (5 years)
The British School at Athens (BSA), an institute for advanced research in the Humanities and Social Sciences, seeks a full-time, fixed term (5 year) Assistant Director to take charge of its teaching programme and communications, conduct original research, contribute to its fundraising programme, and oversee the security and maintenance of its Athens premises. This is a 5-year, fixed-term, career development post intended to provide an opportunity to a person at an early stage in their academic career to develop their research activity and managerial skills in order to enhance their suitability for a permanent position in a university or related institution elsewhere. You will be capable of combining academic research and managerial tasks in a flexible manner, of facilitating the work of resident and non-resident scholars using the BSA’s facilities, and of officially representing the BSA. Residence in the School in Athens is a requirement. You will have completed a doctorate and have defined an original research project which can be completed while in post (and resident) in Athens. You will be able to communicate effectively in Greek, or to demonstrate how you will acquire this level of command before taking up the post.
The salary will be up to €25,000, with health insurance and rent-free housing provided. The position is available from 1st July 2019. A probationary period will apply.
Further details are available at: Informal enquiries about the post may be addressed to the BSA Director, Professor John Bennet (
The closing date for applications is Monday 17th December 2018. Interviews will be held in London on Monday 4th February 2019.