Calendar for EAA members May - August 2019

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The European Archaeological Heritage Prize 2019

Call for nominations

The European Association of Archaeologists instituted the European Archaeological Heritage Prize in 1999. An independent Committee awards the Prize annually for an outstanding contribution to the generation of archaeological heritage knowledge and its dissemination, and to the protection, presentation and enhancement of the European archaeological heritage.

As of 2019, nominations for the Prize are received in either of two categories:

  • Individual category for an outstanding scholarly contribution or personal involvement,
  • Institutional category for local, regional, national or international initiatives, long- or short-term, which contribute to the preservation and presentation of European archaeological heritage beyond the normal duties of the institution.

The same nomination form is used for both categories, with a different emphasis in the evaluated criteria.

The major evaluation criteria – recommended to be addressed in the application form – are as follows:

  1. Scholarly (academic contribution)
  2. Societal (contribution to generation of community values based on heritage)
  3. Heritage (achievements within heritage protection / management / conceptual development)
  4. Political (political level impact to further the standing of archaeological heritage)

The Committee will discuss all serious proposals for the Prize. No self-nominations are accepted. Nominations may be made by any of the following:

  • Members of the Association (all membership categories)
  • Professors and heads of departments of archaeology at European universities and institutes
  • Directors of governmental heritage management organisations and agencies in European countries (members of the Council of Europe)
  • Non-governmental archaeological, heritage, and professional organisations in European countries.

The 2019 European Archaeological Heritage Prize will be awarded during the Opening Ceremony of the 25th EAA Annual Meeting in Bern, Switzerland, on 4 September 2019. The awarded candidate(s) are expected to attend the Ceremony in person and to give a very brief presentation of their work.

Please fill in the form below, print it as a pdf file and send it with relevant appendices to EAA Secretariat, c/o Institute of Archaeology CAS, Letenská 4, 118 01 Praha 1, Czech Republic, or by email to before 1 June 2019.

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Heritage Prize form
(Microsoft Word Document)

EAA Community for the Archaeology of Wild Plants

by Dawn Elise Mooney ( and Maria Martín Seijo (

Most archaeobotanical studies focus primarily on cultivated species, and this is not surprising. The vast majority of archaeological investigations, especially in Europe, deal with agricultural societies whose subsistence is based around a few starchy staple crops. As a result, there has been a great deal of excellent scholarship on the development of agriculture, and rather less regarding human exploitation of wild plants. This is where we come in. The new EAA Community for the Archaeology of Wild Plants seeks to draw attention to the importance of studying the procurement, use and consumption of wild plant products including fruits, seeds, fibres, resins, lichens, wood and charcoal amongst others. We believe it is important for archaeologists to be aware of the key role played by wild plant resources in both agricultural and hunter-gatherer societies throughout the past in order to gain a better understanding of human-environment interactions.

The EAA Community for the Archaeology of Wild Plants is the brainchild of Dr Maria Martín Seijo (University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain) and Dr Raquel Piqué i Huerta (Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain). Maria is co-chair of the community, along with Dr Dawn Elise Mooney (University of Stavanger, Norway). The inaugural meeting of the community took place at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the EAA in Maastricht, NL and was attended by researchers from across Europe. One of the main aims of the community is to establish an international research network around the study of past wild plant exploitation, and the EAA is of course an excellent arena in which to develop this. Additionally, many of our members are also involved in other groups such as the Association for Environmental Archaeology (AEA), the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), the International Work Group for Palaeoethnobotany (IWGP), the Nordic Archaeobotany Group (NAG), and the Integrated Microscopy Approaches in Archaeobotany (IMAA) workshop. Our members are active in conducting innovative archaeobotanical research across the globe, and are passionate about disseminating their findings to a wide audience.

The 23rd Annual Meeting of the EAA in 2017 also saw two very successful sessions linked to the community. Session 203, The Archaeobotany of Non-Food Plant Exploitation, included studies concerning ritual and ornamental plants, plants as packing material, plant litter floor formation, and seaweed, as well as many examinations of archaeological wood and charcoal remains. Session 346, Within the Woodlands. Exploitation of Wild Plants during the Medieval and Post-Medieval Period saw studies presented on the use of wood in craft and industry, and the use of wild plants in late medieval recipes. These two sessions are in the final stages of being jointly published as a special issue of Environmental Archaeology: The Journal of Human Palaeoecology entitled Archaeobotany in the Wider Landscape: Studies of Past Wild and Non-Food Plant Exploitation, edited by Dawn Elise Mooney, Maria Martín Seijo, Elie Pinta and Lísabet Guðmundsdóttir. Another member of the community’s committee, Dr Marta Portillo (University of Reading, UK), is editing a forthcoming issue of the same journal, which will present papers from the 2016 and 2017 IMAA workshops.

We followed up the success of our first meeting and sessions at the 24th Annual Meeting of the EAA in Barcelona, Spain, where there were four sessions linked to the community. These sessions incorporated a broad range of topics, including the taphonomy of archaeological wood and charcoal assemblages (Session 110), plant-based crafts (Session 493), technological use of botanical raw materials (Session 774), and wild resources, both plant and animal, in central and northern Europe (Session 259). Papers from two of these sessions will be published as journal special issues: papers from Session 110 will be published in Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports under the title Taphonomical value of microanatomical features on archaeological wood and charcoal assemblages (edited by Yolanda Carrión, Auréade Henry, Ethel Allué and Paloma Vidal-Matutano), while papers from Session 259 will be published in Open Archaeology with the title Beyond the farmlands: wild resources in Europe from the Neolithic onwards (edited by Katarzyna Slusarska, Dawn Elise Mooney, Magdalena Przymorska-Sztuczka and Dominika Kofel). Papers from Sessions 493 and 774 will be published in a monograph under the title The Missing Woodland Resources: Archaeobotanical Studies of the Use of Plant Raw Materials, edited by Marian Berihuete Azorín, Maria Martín Seijo, Oriol López Bultó, Raquel Piqué i Huerta and Koen Deforce.

At the 25th Annual Meeting of the EAA in Bern, Switzerland, there will be one session linked to the community, Session 346: Knotting, twisting and plaiting: looking for direct and indirect archaeological evidences. The community will of course also hold its annual meeting in Bern and we hope that any conference attendees interested in getting involved will attend.

As for the future, while we are of course focused on the archaeology of wild plants, many of us within the community are passionate about raising the profile of archaeobotany within archaeology as a whole, and about ensuring best practice when it comes to environmental sampling and analysis in both research and contract archaeology. The aims of the community include:

  • To promote innovative archaeobotanical research across all periods and regions
  • To promote the conservation and study of plant remains and emphasise their value as biocultural heritage
  • To promote a better integration of archaeobotany within archaeological interpretations
  • To promote activities to engage the general public with archaeobotanical research

Over the coming years we have plans to develop a variety of projects within these themes, including sessions and forums at the upcoming EAA Annual Meetings in Bern, Budapest and Kiel. We encourage all those interested to follow us on the EAA website for updates and to connect with researchers within the community.

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EAA Community for Legislation and Organization report

by Maria Pia Guermandi ( and Jean-Paul Demoule (

In the last four years, the Community for Legislation and Organization has embarked on a path of reflection on the Malta Convention. Through a series of thematic sessions and round tables organized during the last EAA conferences (Vilnius, Maastricht, Barcelona) we tried to take stock of the situation in the various European countries (Vilnius, Maastricht) and to open a discussion on the future of the Convention and on the need for an update (Barcelona, Berne). These and the many other initiatives on the application of the Convention that in recent years have taken place both within the EAA and elsewhere show, first and foremost, that the overall situation is highly fragmented, in terms of both legislative or institutional solutions and the methods applied.

In general, if on the one hand everyone recognizes that the Convention has produced an undeniable progress on many aspects of our discipline, on the other hand, it is equally established that the Malta Convention also raises many critical issues.

Starting from the whole debate revolving around state-centred archaeology, understood as a public service governed by mechanisms of public administration, versus development-led archaeology left up to the rules of the free market: a very heated debate on their diversity and irreducibility.

Moreover, there are problems tied to the different regulatory application of the Convention within the various national legislative systems, e.g. the different and not always optimal coordination between preventive archaeology and spatial planning procedures (a key element of the Malta Convention).

Thus many problems tied to the post-excavation phases remain unsolved (as regards both the preservation of the materials retrieved and documental archives, and the percentage of publication of the results at every level, local and national); other problems that emerged from the discussions are those of preservation in situ, raised in particular by Willem Willems, while the problem of illegal traffic has taken on such importance also as a result of the Middle Eastern conflicts to make autonomous protocols and regulations necessary.

Lastly, an area that requires a thorough redefinition is without a doubt public participation and involvement. Addressing this last topic means addressing the relationship between the Malta and Faro Conventions and, consequently, the problems the last one poses in terms of its institutional implementation, related to the profound crisis of the practices and concept of multiculturalism in contemporary Europe.

If those listed above are the main topics internal discussion has focused on, in this last quarter of a century the cultural, social and political horizon has changed completely. In many countries the competences of archaeologists are increasingly marginalised when it comes to decision-making processes on the one hand, while on the other – the other side of the coin – overall working conditions have worsened in terms both of pay and protection of the profession.

As a whole, the objectives of Malta Convention have been strongly conditioned by external political and economic factors: the economic crisis of 2008 and the spread of the neoliberal model above all. However, “internal” institutional factors have also often flattened out the hopes expressed in that document into technical-bureaucratic applications, greatly reducing its impact from a social and political viewpoint.

During the round tables organized previously by the Community and in particular in that of Barcelona 2018, the debate on the need for an update of the Convention was very lively: if everyone agrees on the critical aspects of the Convention and the need for corrective measures, for some the process of updating the Convention seems dangerous precisely because of the changed political situation less sensitive than before, at both European and national level, on the issues of protecting cultural heritage. This is certainly an aspect to be taken into account. We are aware of the fact that a possible process of adaptation of the Convention has a long time and results that are not certain. We know well that improving the conditions of archaeological activities in Europe and in individual countries is a complex issue that is not only linked to the Malta Convention and to the ways in which it has been applied.

On the other hand, we believe that opening up an updating process on such an important instrument has a strategic value and in a certain sense symbolic as it means first of all reaffirming the ability and the will of us archaeologists to face important challenges also in the political field.

In this direction we believe that since the next Berne conference it is highly desirable to compare ourselves with other communities, starting with the one on climate change and heritage and the one on the EIA directive that concerns projects involving preventive archaeology procedures, to verify the possibility of undertaking common paths. In the same way it will be very important to create connections and discussion tables with the communities on public and on urban archaeology due to the obvious thematic connections.

The discussion on the themes of the Convention could then also be extended to other Associations outside the EAA, above all in consideration of the fact that the same Convention has had a wider impact compared to all the countries adhering to the Council of Europe.

In our next session organized in Bern - Preventive Archaeology in the post-Malta Age: the challenges to be faced - starting from the results of the analogous sessions held in the previous EAA conferences, we will try to identify what tools can be used to face the many challenges listed above. And at the same time how the EAA can be involved in this process. We think the Association could become the protagonist of an innovative process of cultural elaboration based on the collective intelligence of its members, its communities and task forces, including, first of all, the EAA Community for Legislation and Organisation.

With this in mind and in view of the Bern round table, we invite all EAA members to join our community and let us know their opinion on these topics, and in the first place, on the need / opportunity for an update of the Malta Convention.

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