International Meeting for Phytolith Research (IMPR)

Towards positive synergies and wider horizons – A joined meeting for the International Phytolith Society and the European Association of Archaeologists in Kiel, September 2021

The International Meeting for Phytolith Research (IMPR) is the official meeting of the International Phytolith Society (IPS,, i.e. the regular biannual scientific meeting for phytolith specialists worldwide.

After the first meeting in Madrid in 1996, this is now the 12th edition of IMPR, which Kiel University in collaboration with the IPS is honored to host within the framework of the 27th EAA Annual Meeting.

Phytoliths are silica microfossils produced by plants during their life cycle, including the main cereal crops from all over the world and a wide range of common wild plants, such as grasses, sedges, reeds and palms. Thus, phytolith analysis is used to disentangle vegetation development and aspects of plant domestication, diffusion, cultivation and use that are at the base of human subsistence economies and of major socio-cultural and environmental developments. Within phytolith research, proxies and indexes for the detection of vegetational and climatological changes and for ecological investigation have been developed as well, which can foster the understanding of cultural dynamics and of today mitigation strategies. These aspects, together with methodological advances, will be in focus in so-called “IMPR-sessions”, where EAA participants are heartily welcome.

We look forward to the synergy between the IMPR and EAA, which we believe will lead to a fruitful, scientific exchange. The two groups of researchers usually attending IMPR and EAA meetings have overlapping interests in the fields of environmental archaeology, archaeobotany, geoarchaeology, and ethnoarchaeology. In addition, the phytolith community also includes scientists with a background in ecology, plant biology, bio-/geochemistry, geography, geology, etc., who will enrich the meeting with their expertise.

With the wish to bring together specialists in an inclusive and collaborative environment, and that scientists from different background will mutually profit from the joined events, the IPS and 12th IMPR scientific committee warmly thank the EAA and the 27th EAA Annual Meeting organizing committee for this cooperation.

We looking forward to a fruitful meeting and we wish everybody to stay healthy!

For the 12th IMPR organizing committee,
Marta Dal Corso
Ákos Pető
Welmoed Out
Luc Vrydaghs
Wiebke Kirleis
Stefan Dreibrodt
Svetlana Khamnueva-Wendt