Amanda Chadburn’s notes of the first annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists, 20-24 September 1995, Santiago de Compostela, Spain

by Amanda Chadburn, 29.9.1995 (

I recently found the notes below when I was cleaning my e-archives and I had to update the software and translate it into Word. This is very much a personal account; it is as I wrote it in 1995 for colleagues after the conference, and these are my impressions of it. I can't 100% vouch for the accuracy of names etc. It was my first EAA meeting and EAA has been an important part of my life since then. I was slightly hesitant to send the notes on as they were written 25 years ago – but I re-read them and thought they were quite interesting - of their time!

This was a well-attended and very successful meeting, with over 500 delegates from about 44 counties. The meeting was a high-profile one, with television and press present at a number of the sessions, and the President of Galicia formally opening the conference. Many senior archaeologists from all over Europe, and indeed the world, were in evidence. This year is the 500th anniversary of the founding of Santiago University, and many events were subsidised by the fund set up to commemorate this event. The EAA President also found time to meet the Portuguese President with a delegation of archaeologists to discuss the rock art of Foz Coa (see below).

The official languages of the meeting were Spanish and English, with translators for each attending all sessions.
One good feature of the conference was the organised field trips. Delegates had a choice of 10 to attend on the Sunday, and we saw some of the sites which the Spanish archaeologists had talked about during the sessions.
Next year the conference will be held in Riga, Latvia on 25-9 September 1996. I attach preliminary details of this event.

Prof. Rodriguez spoke about the diversity of European archaeology. Dr Pumido, Dr Roura and Dr C. Rodriguez then discussed the current state of Galician archaeology, giving widely differing perspectives. It is clear that competative tendering is changing the traditional organisation of archaeology in Spain too. The conference was then formally opened by a number of high-profile officials, before delegates attended a wine reception.

The start of the conference proper.

In a useful talk, John Bintliff discussed a range of models which could be used to explain the rise of complex in the ancient Aegean, including core-periphery and neo-Maltusian models. Dr Vicente Garcia spoke in a very good paper on "roads towards inequality", discussing traditional models of explaining different prehistoric Iberian societies, and concluding that one cannot mix socio-economic and technological evolution. He also discussed the rise of "powerful" objects and the rise of individual power. Antonio Gilman discussed the results of his survey in the SE quadrant of the Iberian peninsula, and the rise of power in Bronze Age communities. Dr de Senna Martinez discussed the rise of power in later Bronze Age Portugal. The discussion of this session was lengthy, and centred on how archaeologists recognise indicators of power.


This session was less good than the first, but was nevertheless useful. For me, it was too mixed in its scope, and never really "gelled". Philip Mason discussed the elites in LBA/EIA Slovenia. Lotte Hedeager discussed "Shadows of magical power in the migration period of Scandinavia", using principally iconographic and mythical material to discuss shamanism in Norse society. Gonzalez and Picazo then gave a gender-based analysis of labour-division in prehistoric societies. Santa discussed monumental building in the Upper Euphrates in an interesting paper, and finally, Kohl in a very good paper discussed the Uratu society (neighbours of the Assyrians), with its empowered local elites, and expansion using similar techniques to client kingship. Dietler tried hard as discussant to pull the whole session together, discussing the coercion of peoples vs the aquiescence of peoples.

In this session, unfortunately, many lecturers choose merely to discuss something interesting they had dug up which they couldn't explain. Other delegates also found this. Some individual papers were, however, excellent, including Christopher Lynn's analysis of the Navan Fort, N. Ireland, which he tried to interpret using Celtic myths and comparative data, emphasising the kingly importance of the site. Santos Velasco discussed codes on Iberian sculpture dating to the IA. Domanico discussed some interesting cult practices in Central Italy in the LBA, including pit offerings (private offerings) vs public worship. Purhonen discussed IA cremation customs in Finland (C8 AD), and their origins. Marangou talked about late Neolithic figurines and models and Lonesov discussed his excellent material from Russia. Neustupny gave an interesting talk on Corded Ware Ritual, discussing its flexibility and change through time.

This was one of the best sessions I attended, and generally felt to be one of the most successful sessions. Virtually none of the advertised speakers gave papers however. Stephen Mithen gave a thought-provoking lecture on why Neanderthals do not create rock art. Svoboda discussed Upper Palaeolithic art in Moravia, especially early ceramics in the form of figurines which had been deliberately destroyed by putting them in a fire. Two Portuguese archaeologists discussed the threatened rock art sites at Foz Coa, which show aurochs, bison and a range of other animals. The topography is now considered to be similar to that during the Palaeolithic, which has enormous potential to tell us about territories etc. Robert Layton gave an interesting theoretical discussion on how one could use processual and post-processual models to interpret rock art. Bertillsson discussed the BA rock art of Sweden, which is a WHS, first noticed in 1623AD. Santos and Garcia discussed the range of prehistoric Galician rock art, both representational and abstract. The discussion was wide-ranging and lively.


This was a useful session, chaired by Henry Cleere. Portuguese archaeologists (Ninez) outlined the importance of the petroglyphs and how and why they come to be threatened. The session was another lively one, in which I and many others spoke. (Henry Cleere had wanted an EH representative to be there). The session ended with a unanimous vote on a resolution to take to the EAA meeting, calling on the Portuguese government to stop construction work on the dam which is threatening these sites, and to undertake a proper survey of them.

Another mixed session, but with some good papers. Fernandez and Oubina gave an analysis of the rise of fortification in NW Iberia. Kelly and Cremin discussed their survey of northern Portugal of IA sites, where they have found a visible rejection of a colonising power (i.e. the Romans). Gouge discussed the LBA/EIA settlement changes in the Seine valley. Chytracek discussed EIA society in Bohemia.

This was the best session I attended - chaired by Fowler. As luck would have it, it clashed with another very good session, which all other delegates indicated was the best they had attended too. (Contact between colonists and natives during the First Millennium in the Mediterranean basin). The session started with an excellent talk by Mercer on the clearances in Scotland, and the archaeological evidence for a highly populated country, as opposed to its current underpopulation. Kaland also gave an excellent talk on the heathland in Norway, which is under threat, but which is now being actively conserved by archaeologists and ecologists. (I have some literature). de la Torre discussed a manor in Portugal which has very recently been abandoned. Kovalev gave one of the most entertaining and chilling lectures of the whole meeting, outlining the incredible difficulties which the Russian archaeologists currently have, with many hundreds of sites being destroyed every day as the land is given back to private owners, and exploited. Archaeologists have even been known to be shot if they try and record/save such sites! Fulton gave a very slick presentation of the MARS project, presenting some useful preliminary results. Fowler gave a short presentation of the Causse Mejean landscape in France which he has been studying, another deserted landscape. Discussion was useful, and delegates agreed what a good session it had been.

I managed to attend some of this (including Dr Wainwright's discussion of PPG 16, and Frere-Sautot's discussion of motorways in France and their impact on archaeology), before I was collared by Peter Fowler, Henry Clere and K. Kristiansen in the coffee bar, where we discussed a range of topics and had an informal monitoring meeting on the FYFOD project!

This was chaired by Henry Cleere and discussed Ethics for Archaeologists. It was generally felt by the delegates I spoke to that only the most general rules should apply, if EAA want to have a code of ethics, and that their implementation should be by individual countries only.

The results of the elections were given, and the resolution on Foz Coa was approved by a large majority. The President urged everyone to join EAA and get others to do so.

I attended the field trip to the Dead Coast, which included visits to megaliths, an Iron Age hillfort and a castle. My photographs are fully labelled. Please note the excellent rock paintings in the megaliths, made from red ochre and butter!

A very well-worthwhile trip, not least for the useful contacts made, and the quality of the conference which was generally very good. Recommended! Next year EH should certainly aim to send delegates to Riga.

In Remembrance of Karen Waugh; 25 years in the EAA

by Felipe Criado-Boado, EAA President

Since I was elected EAA president in September 2015, I served the Association in different ways and represent its 2500 members at different events. I feel privileged and extremely grateful for everything I have done, and continue to do, to the best of my ability. But in July 24 this honor was tinged with the most profound sense of sadness and grief, as I had to represent the EAA at the remembrance service for Karen Hessing-Waugh, our beloved Secretary. Karen passed away after a short illness. The service was an opportunity to remember her professional dedication, her positive attitude, and overall her characteristic smiling. We had the privilege of having Karen on board in one of the positions of greatest responsibility in the EAA, to handle this extensive and very special community of individuals. The service to remember Karen took place in her home town, Amersfoort, near Amsterdam, in the presence of her family, colleagues and friends. It was a beautiful ceremony on what was a truly sad day, but still marked with a sense of joy, as the presence of Karen was felt there and it gave all of us a sense of friendship, collegiality and connection. Here are the words that were said in behalf of the EAA Executive Board and the entire EAA.

My name is Felipe Criado-Boado. I am the president of the EAA. And I am here, together with Margaret Gowen, our Treasurer, to represent the entire Association and its 2500 members at this service of remembrance of Karen; and particularly to represent the Executive Board of the EAA and its Secretariat. Karen was the EAA Secretary, that is, the second person on top of the organization. Therefore, I am here to directly address you, Wilfried (husband), Madeleine, William and Tristan (children), Josephine, Stuart and Robert (family), and make you aware of the sort of memory we have of Karen.

These all are good remembrances that not only will reassure you but will help to fill her absence with her memory, making her visible in a different but powerful way. Throughout the last week, we have received many messages of condolences for Karen with the special request of relaying them to the family. I will try to thread with some of them a depiction of what Karen means for us.

Karen passing away is a terrible loss, on many different levels. News about her death was devastating and almost unbelievable for many. The very first reaction is that it is something completely unexpected and absolutely untimely. But then, two further reactions came to all of us.

The first main memory is of her positive and professional engagement. Karen was a devoted professional with a tremendous personality. Many say that Karen will be truly missed because she was one of the anchors of the EAA. This is true. Margaret and I (as any other members in the Board) can give testimony of the strong dedication of Karen. She worked hard for the EAA, and we must acknowledge her capability. This is because these quite extensive duties were secondly to her primary dedication to her company and colleagues in Vestigia, and her devotion to her family.

A second memory and perhaps the strongest image comes to all of us, is that Karen was a warm hearted and highly personable individual, full of life, with great humour and a great friend. And overall, her smile is what comes immediately to mind when remembering Karen. Her smiling, her English-Dutch moulded empathy that allowed her to be beside many of us in the difficult moments. I have here some personal details. I cannot forget Karen organizing for me a surprise birthday´s party when she knew that I would be 56 in the Annual Dinner that closed our 2016 Annual Meeting in Vilnius. And Margaret will not forget also the strong support that Karen gave to her in a difficult moment when Margaret had her own health troubles. Karen was always there, being supportive in a friendly and efficiency way. This speaks of her generosity and her humanity. As it also speaks of her capacity, you all know (I am sure), to speak, and speak and speak when she felt relaxed and comfortable.

Since I was elected EAA president in September 2015, I have had the honor to serve the Association in many different ways and represent its 2500 members in many different events. Whatever I did, and I do, for the EAA, makes me feel privileged and thankful for this honor. But today this honor comes to me with a deepest sense of sadness and grief, because I am here, together with Margaret, representing the EAA in this service.

It is cruel to lose her, to lose her professional dedication, to lose her positive mood and above all to lose her smile. We had the privilege of having Karen on board, taking on the highest responsibilities to handle the big and very special community of persons who comprise the EAA. We will miss her. Because of that, we will always remember her. We are honored to be here at this service our opportunity to pay our best tribute to her. We are happy to stand beside her family, friends and colleagues and to represent our colleagues. The ceremony here strengthens our links and creates new and stronger links. This feeling of interwoven threads creates an occasion where we can celebrate her great contribution to our lives. Amidst these very sad days, this is a important event because the presence of Karen is felt here and it gives all of us a new sense of friendship, collegiality and connection.

Margaret and I have made the long journey here today in sadness. In our own way, we have walked a ´camino´ from different western land ends of Europe. I come from Santiago de Compostela and Margaret came from Cork, a far corner of Ireland. We both are persons of the West, where the land meets the ocean, Europe ends and was felt for many centuries that World and everything finished. We both belong to the Atlantic fringe, which in the old Celtic mythologies was the coast of the death and eternity. We both know the privilege of experiencing a very special bright light and the vast expanse of the seas. You would not believe the magic of the Atlantic light in the sunset, when the sun meets a clean ocean in a clear atmosphere. A bright, clear and clean light. A sunset light that means something because it promises that there will be a tomorrow. This is the meaning of the very corners of Europe to what we belong: where everything ends, is known that everything starts. It is with this feeling that we say good bye and welcome to Karen, because now, here, she is not absent any more but becomes memory. Her memory shines, and because it shines, it will be with us, with you, forever. I am not being rhetoric. The family will remember Karen. But you, the family, must remember that the EAA will also remember her and this is the magic of the sort of Association that, as ours, makes a community: whoever was between us, will walk with us forever. And this is mainly true for the sort of person that, between us, Karen was.

25 Years of EAA photo retrospective

EAA 2016 Vilnius, Lithuania
The 22nd Annual Meeting of the EAA, 31 August – 4 September 2016, in Vilnius. 1476 delegates attended a well-organized conference under the leadership of Prof. Albinas Kuncevicius and Dr. Agnė Žilinskaitė.

The second EAA Presidential Lunch, held during our annual meetings, was also the first ‘working lunch’ for representatives of other archaeological and heritage societies and professional bodies (photo by Roderick B. Salisbury).

Left: Volunteers from the 22nd Annual Meeting gathered at the annual dinner with EAA President Felipe Criado-Boado, Prof. Albinas Kuncevicius and Dr. Agnė Žilinskaitė (photo by Roderick B. Salisbury).

EAA 2017 Maastricht, NL

2017 marked the 23rd EAA Annual Meeting, held from 30 August to 3 September 2017 in Maastricht and attended by 1742 delegates. The conference theme was Building Bridges, reflecting not only the renewed confidence in the EAA Executive Board, but also bridges with the European commission, Europa Nostra, the Society of Africanist Archaeologists (SAfA), the Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) and others, while strengthening existing relations with sister organizations such as the Society for American Archaeology and the World Archaeological Congress.

EAA President Felipe Criado-Boado leading the EAA Communities & Committees meeting, EAA 2017 Maastricht (photo by Roderick B. Salisbury).

EAA members in the EAA 2017 Maastricht exhibition hall (photo by Roderick B. Salisbury).
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