The 15th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists took place in Riva del Garda, Italy, 15-20 September 2009.

The 15th EAA Annual Meeting was held in Riva del Garda, Italy, 15 – 20 September 2009. The meeting was organised by the Archaeological Heritage Office of the Autonomous Province of Trento and by Riva del Garda Museum; OriKata Organizzazione congressi and Rivatour agency. The 671 registered participants to the conference came from 39 different countries.

The conference was inaugurated officially on Wednesday 15 September at the Opening Ceremony held in the Congress Centre. Approximately 250 attendees to the Opening Ceremony were welcomed at the meeting by Luigi Marino, Councillor for Education of the Municipality of Riva del Garda, on behalf of Sen. Claudio Molinari, Mayor of Riva del Garda, Dr. Franco Panizza, Councillor for Culture, European Relations and Cooperation of the Autonomous Province of Trento, and Franco Nicolis, organizer of the Meeting. EAA President, Professor Anthony Harding, reported on the situation of the EAA and looked back at the six years of his presidency. The keynote paper “Archaeology in Italy: key issues and perspectives” was read by Dr Jeannette Papadopoulos of the Italian Ministry of Culture, Rome. Willem Willems, chair of the EAA Heritage Prize Committee, awarded the prize for 2009 to doctor Ulrich Ruoff in recognition of his contributions to archaeological heritage management in wetland and underwater conditions, as well as his contributions to the introduction and development of dendrochronology and computer applications for research and heritage management. An Opening Reception followed in the Palameeting of the Congress Centre. Major social events during the lecture days (Thursday to Saturday) included the Annual Party in the Palameeting of the Congress Centre on the Thursday, and the Gala Dinner at the Castel Toblino – Sarche on the Saturday. Before the Gala Dinner, approximately 118 EAA members gathered at the Annual Business Meeting to discuss the current situation of the Association. Pre- and post-conference excursions were organized to adjacent places of interest, and delegates were offered free guided tours of Riva del Garda on the Wednesday.

Academic sessions took place from Thursday morning (17 September) to Saturday afternoon (19 September). Altogether 51 sessions containing 474 papers were held over the three days, with papers timetabled for 20 minute speeches. Space and time for poster presentations was also made available, and the poster session when authors were attending their posters at the Palameeting of the Congress Centre  was held on Friday 18 September at lunch break. Sessions and round tables were divided into different thematic areas: Approaches to archaeological interpretation, Archaeology today, Heritage, Identity, Interaction and culture change, Material culture, Ritual and symbolism, Science and Archaeology.