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Keynote lectures

Title to be confirmed

Sandy Harrison

When: to be confirmed

Biography

Research in Viking Period Hedeby. From Nazi Investigations to UNESCO World Heritage

Volker Hilberg

When: to be confirmed

Our knowledge of the development of urbanism in Northern Europe is largely depending on the archaeological research in the so-called emporia, early medieval urban production and distribution centres, which belonged to a new generation of ports developing from the late Merovingian period onwards.

The investigation of the early medieval port at Hedeby is one of the most extensive archaeological projects in the Baltic region since several decades. Due to its central position at the narrowest part of the Jutland Peninsula, this place was an important hub in the communication and trading network linking Scandinavia with the Continent and the North Sea with the Baltic Sea from the early 9th century to the middle of the 11th century AD.

Early medieval Hedeby is characterised by the fact that it has not been disturbed by modern building activities and by the excellent preservation of the archaeological features and their stratigraphy. For an enhanced understanding of the results and interpretations of the new fieldwork since 2002 it was also necessary to start a reassessment of the previous excavations since 1900. In combination with modern scientific analyses, this is opening up completely new possibilities for a more comprehensive understanding of the development and purpose of this early medieval trading and manufacturing centre.

Biography

Dr. Volker Hilberg, archaeologist, studied prehistoric and medieval archaeology, historical auxiliary sciences (numismatics, diplomatics, palaeography) and medieval history, graduate of Marburg University, 2001 ph.d. on the Migration Period in the Mazurian lakeland, Poland.

Since 2002 responsible for the field research in Hedeby which consists of geophysical surveying, metal-detecting and excavations, since 2004 also responsible for the museum’s archive, since 2015 for the medieval collection.

Since 2003 teaching appointments at the universities of Kiel (D), Aarhus (DK) and Brno (CZ).

Member of the „Internationales Sachsensymposion“, of the commission „Kommission zur Erforschung von Sammlungen archäologischer Funde und Unterlagen aus dem nordöstlichen Mitteleuropa“ (Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz zu Berlin and Römisch-Germanische Kommission des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts and delegate for Schleswig-Holstein in the German Numismatic Commission. From 2009 onwards member of several scientific advisory boards.

Research interests are focused on the archaeology and numismatics of the early Middle Age and the Viking period in Europe, especially in the Northern Sea Area and the Baltic.


Volker Hilberg

Title to be confirmed

Mads Kähler Holst

When: to be confirmed

Biography

 

Phytolith Analysis in Neotropical Paleoecology

Dolores R. Piperno

When: to be confirmed

The past ten years have seen an increase in paleoecological investigations in the Neotropics with phytolith analysis. Terrestrial soils as well as lake sediments have become foci of studies. Research questions involving vegetational and fire history also often address the scale and intensity of past human impacts on forested environments. Associated studies that continue to build modern reference collections of tropical plants are improving the resolution of the data, while making it clearer what phytoliths do and do not document in the past tropical flora. In lake sediment analysis phytoliths and pollen are complementary, each providing information the other does not on vegetational history and source area of the microfossils. In terrestrial soils where pollen often is not preserved, phytoliths provide robust information on many aspects of past forest history and human influences on it.

Biography

Dolores R. Piperno (PhD 1983, Temple University) is Senior Scientist and Curator of Archaeobotany and South America Archaeology Emerita at the National Museum of Natural History, Washington DC, and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama. Her current projects include the investigation of prehistoric influences on Amazonian tropical forests and role of developmental plasticity in crop plant evolution. She is the author or editor of four books and more than 100 articles and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005.


Dolores Piperno

Untying the bundle: Neolithic cultural traits seen from a global (forager) perspective

Henny Piezonka

When: Opening Ceremony

In linear models of European prehistory, the Neolithic figures as one of the main periods defined. Underlying dualist concepts rooted in the modern “Global North” backgrounds of most researchers distiguish between an inanimate nature, and human societies at who’s disposal nature is to exploit. In such a mindset, the transition to farming is perceived as a major evolutionary step, often named the ”Neolithic” or ”agricultural revolution”. It is the farming economy that is regarded foundational to everything complex across the socio-political, economic and ideological spheres, from sedentary life ways to hierarchical society structure to hereditary leadership.

In my talk I will dicuss alternative views on socio-economic dynamism, exploring the field from a hunter-gatherer perspective. Concerning “Neolithisation”, hunter-gatherers in a way have remained “people without history”, although it was actually them who were the driving force behind many of the transformations now regarded as “Neolithic” traits. Discussing evidence of technological innovation, economic intensification and socio-political complexity in hunter-gatherer societies from diverse prehistoric, ethnohistoric and contemporary contexts, I suggest that rather than evolutionist, agricentric notions of “Neolithisation” as a global horizon, an different mindset is necessary to really grasp the diversity across the historical spectrum as well as underlying more universal patterns. I will argue for the incorporation of alternative ontologies into archaeological inquiry, questioning agricentric models and striking a blow for the role and agency of hunter-gatherer societies in past and present.

Biography

Henny Piezonka is Junior Professor for Anthropological Archaeology at Kiel University, Germany. Originally trained in Archaeology, Classics and Art History in Berlin and Glasgow, both her Master thesis and her PhD dissertation were awarded science prices. As a research associate she worked at Bonn and Greifswald Universities and at the German Archaeological Institute, conducting fieldwork in various regions across Europe, Russia and Mongolia. As Junior Professor in Kiel since 2016, she is one of the PIs of the Cluster of Excellence „ROOTS - Social, Environmental, and Cultural Connectivity in Past Societies“ and one of the founding PIs of the Collaborative Research Center 1266 „Scales of Transformation. In research and teaching Piezonka specializes in hunter-gatherer and pastoralist studies across North Eurasia, specifically regarding Neolithisation processes and the development and dispersal of Neolithic traits. Drawing from a broad temporal scope from the Late Glacial to the present, her research explores long-term socio-cultural and economic dynamics connected to diverse life ways in steppe, forest and tundra environments. Her work brings together field-based archaeological research with ethnoarchaeological work amongst contemporary hunter-fisher and herder communities in order to reach diversified, ontologically informed understandings of people and their material world.


Henny Piezonka

Title to be confirmed

Eleanor Scerri

When: to be confirmed

Biography

Baltic-Pontic contact space in 4th and 3rd millennium BC

Marzena Szmyt

When: to be confirmed

The topic of the lecture will be some questions from the prehistory of areas situated between two seas: the Baltic in the north-west and the Black in the south-east. The territory in question is located between two big rivers - the Vistula and Dnieper. Despite many essential differences, in the 4th and 3rd millennium BC the areas between the Vistula and Dnieper rivers were covered by a network of multi-directional circulation of peoples, cultural patterns and innovations. This network gradually commanded an increasingly greater area populated by communities of agrarian or early pastoral way of life. Various forms of their relations have been identified including cohabitation, cooperation or competition. The intensity of these relationships justifies using the name Baltic-Pontic contact space.

Biography

Marzena Szmyt is prehistorian, professor at the Faculty of Archaeology, Adam Mickiewicz University and director of the Archaeological Museum in Poznań, Poland. Her archaeological studies are focused on 4th and 3rd mill. BC in Central and Eastern Europe, i.e. on the millennia when many important social ideas, technical innovations and cultural changes have been created. The main topic of her studies is a wide communication network known the so called Globular Amphora culture. Area of her studies developed in three steps. First it was a settlement agglomeration of the Kujawy – a region on the Polish Lowland where she excavated many sites. Later she extended her interests and studied the problem of the East European direction of spread of the Central European cultural patterns. On the next step she focused on relationships between Central and Eastern Europe in the 4th and 3rd mill. BC. Her research applies archaeological, geoarchaeological and bioarchaeological methods to reconstruct past social and economic organization and their environmental consequences.


Marzena Szmyt

30 Years of Contemporary Archaeology: Gains in Knowledge - Challenges - Opportunities and Future Tasks

Claudia Theune

When: to be confirmed

For about 30 years, sites of the 20th century have been archaeologically investigated in Europe and further afield. The starting point, and without doubt a strong focus, are the investigations at sites of National Socialist terror. Initially focused on Germany and Poland, internment camps were soon investigated in numerous other countries around the world, exposing the structures lying beneath the grassy surface, and recovering countless small and large objects. It became clear quickly that new insights into the world of the camps, the killing and the struggle to survive, could be gained from the close study of the material remains. Such insight could not be obtained from other sources. The excavations conducted have also brought significant challenges due in no small measure to the vast quantities of artefacts. It is a struggle to archive such material in museums and research facilities. It is also testing to address conservation and restoration. These matters require enormous effort. However, our awakening to the archaeology of our more recent past offers the opportunity to deal not only with conflicts of the 20th century, but also to look at numerous other aspects of life during this recent past and to pose questions and use the strengths of archaeological methods to realise new insights.

Biography

Claudia Theune, studies at the Philipps-Universität Marburg (1979-1988; PhD 1988), project assistant (1989-1994), post-doctoral assistant at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (1994-2000; habilitation 2001), senior assistant at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (2001-2006), since 2007 professor of historical archaeology at the University of Vienna. Main research areas: conflict archaeology 20th century; coping strategies in extreme situations; internment camps; settlements and living conditions in marginal environments in the Middle Ages and modern times.


Claudia Theune. © Barbara Mair

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