The 25th anniversary of the first official Annual Meeting held in Santiago in 1995 will be celebrated in Budapest. Considering the importance of the history and activity of the organisation during this quarter-century with its constantly changing conditions, it seemed prudent to invite the founders, former board members, officers and the initial core members as well as newcomers to an open debate about the key turning points.
This special theme focuses on the development of the applied methodologies and aims to provide an overview of the most popular, even if oft-reformulated innovative topics – at the same time, the role of human and emotional factors should also be emphasised.
The original idea behind the organisation was to connect researchers working far from each other in order to facilitate a unified study of European archaeology. Annual meetings were held all over the continent; long-term friendships, academic partnerships as well as common projects were initiated, the number of affiliated members has grown, and these annual meetings have become an important part of the members’ professional schedules.
In addition to the ‘evergreen topics’, the Santiago conference already addressed issues such as environmental and landscape archaeology, archaeology and the public sector, the presentation of archaeological results, and archaeology and tourism that have lost none of their importance and relevance. The concepts behind these topic titles have undergone profound transformations during the past decades, and many of them are now considered as separate branches of archaeology. All reflections concerning this process are welcome in the debate, which will certainly foster novel insights into the possible future trajectories of the organisation.
In the meantime, successive generations of archaeologists began their career, who now benefit immensely from the opportunities provided by digital archaeology and the new techniques of communication. It is our hope that the EAA Annual Meeting in Budapest will serve as a new start, in the best sense of the word, for the next 25 years.