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Themes of the Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting themes, as defined by the Scientific Committee, incorporate the diversity of EAA and the multidimensionality of archaeological practice, including archaeological interpretation, heritage management and politics of the past and present.

1. The Material Record: Current Trends and Future Directions
2. Archaeological Sciences, Humanities and the Digital era: Bridging the Gaps
3. The Life of Archaeological Heritage in Society
4. Persisting with Change: Theory and Archaeological Scrutiny
5. All Roads Lead to Rome: Multiscalar Interactions
6. The Mediterranean from Within
7. Archaeology of Sustainability through World Crises, Climate Change, Conflicts and War

For more information about the Scientific Programme, please continue here.

1. The Material Record: Current Trends and Future Directions

The material record represents the basis itself of archaeology, even if relations, analyses and digital transformations are now responsible for much of the records we use for interpretation. Therefore, we have to continuously redefine the role of the material record, and to develop methods appropriate for its thorough integration in future developments of the discipline.

  • Objects, collections, exhibitions
  • Chaîne opératoire and technical variability
  • Life products, trade items, artworks: multiple scales of the material record
  • Concrete and immaterial: the archaeology of art
  • Sampling strategies, up-to-date and future analytical capacities
  • Material culture analyses
  • Buildings and monuments from the past to the future
  • Roads, fortifications, aqueducts: major infrastructures
  • Henges, temples, churches, basilicas, fora: the public and sacred materiality
  • Materiality of beliefs, legal acts, statements of power
  • Cultures or Societies through artefacts
  • Gendered materiality
  • Interconnections between artefacts and ecofacts
  • Looting, illicit trade, improper appropriation: the place and meaning of the material record

2. Archaeological Sciences, Humanities and the Digital era: Bridging the Gaps

The tumultuous growth of the role of sciences in archaeology may create a gap with humanistic and historical approaches. Moreover, the digital age creates parallel worlds and the size of data increasingly require synthetical and all-encompassing tools, that call for rigorous checks to avoid circular arguments. As such, the hybrid nature of archaeology itself requires the gaps to be bridged, to enable the creation of robust and satisfactory results, visions, meanings and enjoyment.

  • (Inter-)disciplinary trajectories
  • Hyperspecialisation or global thinking
  • High-tech and/or low-cost scientific and digital archaeology
  • Science theory and ethics in the study of bioarchaeological and human remains
  • Archaeometry and social science
  • Geoarchaeology and the Anthropocene
  • Bioarchaeology in perspective
  • From remote sensing to digital detection of the subterranean heritage
  • Data modelling in archaeology
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and archaeology: opportunities and ethical issues
  • The role of archaeology in digital story mapping and story telling
  • Assessing the humanitas of archaeological readings
  • The archaeology of big data
  • Data science, data sharing and open data: towards a collaborative framework
  • The technical challenges of professional archaeology
  • Applied archaeology

3. The Life of Archaeological Heritage in Society

Archaeological Heritage constitutes the basic record of past human activities. The theme focuses on the relationships between past and present, the role of Heritage in society, and how Heritage can contribute to improving the quality of life and our environment. The richness of the Archaeological Heritage in Rome is a striking example of both a problem and an opportunity for society.

  • Archaeological Heritage as a burden or a resource for society?
  • Archaeological Heritage (and) education
  • Archaeological Heritage and museums
  • Archaeological Heritage, conservation and management
  • Cultural Heritage and cultural relationships
  • Professional archaeology and Heritage: actors and matter [FUTURE]
  • Discourses of Archaeological Heritage
  • Archaeology-Heritage-art networks
  • Heritage, health and wellbeing: new and emerging challenges
  • Scientific dissemination, press, social media, sensationalism and archaeology
  • Experimental archaeology: making, understanding, storytelling
  • Role of public archaeology in Heritage management
  • Excavation, study, enhancement, maintenance: how to make it sustainable

4. Persisting with Change: Theory and Archaeological Scrutiny

The motto of the Annual Meeting ‘Persisting with Change’ is a statement about the links between past and present: the remains of past days can be imposing, or almost negligible, but their persistence in the present is a point for reflection. Change is another inherent characteristic of the passage of time: "you'll never step in the same river" (Heraclitus). How do archaeologists deal with the dilemma, of continuity/endurance/persistence while also playing a part in this process of transformation? Rome, with its material and immaterial memories of transformation is the ideal location for reflecting on these issues.

  • Landscape archaeology and change
  • Hominins, humans, transitions and persistence
  • Contacts, movements, migrations
  • Genders and transforms
  • Human groups, cultural bonds, societies and economy in motion
  • Settlement transformations, from mobile to sedentary, from village to urban, and more
  • Collapse and resurgence
  • Resilience and/or persistence in societies
  • Behavioural change
  • States, superstates and empires
  • Sacred acts, cult and religion: ‘times they were a-changing’?
  • Recording and writing

5. All Roads Lead to Rome: Multiscalar Interactions

The saying "all roads lead to Rome" reflects the prominence of the City and the close connections between the centre and the periphery in the ancient Classical World. In a broader sense today, it means that archaeology can search for multiscalar interactions among regions, features, people, and material culture. By changing the scale of our studies, both in time and space, we can bring Europe to the world and the world into Europe.

  • Multiscalar archaeologies
  • Townscapes, landscapes, skyscapes and seascapes
  • Archaeology of diverse environments, societies and cultures
  • Different demographies
  • Connectivity and mobility through land, sea, sky
  • Connectivity and networks
  • Trade, exchange and consumption
  • Pandemics and global impacts
  • Integration and separation, links and borders
  • Mobility, forced migration and diaspora
  • Empires, powers, colonisers and the colonised
  • Inequalities and dominant cultures
  • Intersectionality

6. The Mediterranean from Within

The Mediterranean Sea has been recognised as an arena of population movement and intense cultural and trade interactions, from its deep history to the context of imperial systems. Its potential for insular, coastal and peninsular systems, including ‘continental islands’, is a notable example of persistence and transformation. The diachronic growth of networks, their interactions, and external influences shape a part of the past world that is replete with different meanings for both scholars and the public.

  • Coastal archaeology
  • Shipwreck archaeology
  • Islands and terrestrial fragments
  • Mobility and networks of connectivity
  • Ships and coastal/maritime industries
  • Contacts, ports of trade, colonisation processes
  • Maritime cultural landscapes
  • Watery boundaries
  • Localism and Mediterraneo-centricism: isolation and diversity
  • Insularity and identities
  • Roman Mediterranean life
  • Mediterranean Empires
  • Conflict, resilience and adaptation
  • Orient and Occident
  • Medieval superpowers in the ‘Middle Sea’ and beyond

7. Archaeology of Sustainability through World Crises, Climate Change, Conflicts and War

The study of the past plays a key role in addressing sustainability, shaping our perception of the present, and our views of the future: 'Historia magistra vitae', wrote Cicero. Indeed, the past has shaped the space in which we live, both positively and negatively: we are all obliged to reflect on the sustainability of the past and, above all, of its representation. The city of Rome is a paradigmatic case, with its long history layered in a complex palimpsest in which citizens and tourists merge, live and transform.

  • Scales of sustainability: the many starts of the Anthropocene
  • Environmental archaeology
  • Archaeology of resource exploitation
  • Responsible archaeology
  • Human impact and animal and plant species
  • Resilience and path dependence: reactions to crises
  • Sustainability of GDP, wealth, inequality of growth
  • Global, local and marginal
  • Whose archaeologies?
  • Sustainability of field archaeology and finite archaeological deposits
  • ‘New’ archaeologies, tools, paradigms, revolutions: are they robust or sustainable?
  • Sustainability of open access policies and academic careers
  • Museums and the general public: sustainability in storytelling or in telling history?
  • Archaeological heritage and tourism: poor and best practices
  • Narrative of conflict and war
  • Impact of vandalism and war

The following main principles for sessions apply:

  • The maximum modular length of sessions is limited to full-day (4 blocks of 2 hours each, containing up to 28 oral presentations).
  • The time allowed for the presentation of individual papers is 15 minutes in the regular sessions. However, flexibility may be given to individual session organisers to reduce the length of time allowed for each paper in order to include more papers, depending also on the format of the particular session.
  • One person may organise no more than one session as the first organiser, but may be co-organiser (2nd-5th organiser) of one other session.
  • Session organisers should be from more than one country / organisation.
  • A maximum of ONE oral / poster contribution is normally allowed per delegate.
  • All session organisers and presenters, as well as all delegates at EAA Annual Meetings have to pay EAA membership and AM registration fees by the deadline set. After the deadline sessions / contributions will be cancelled.

For detailed guidelines for organisers of sessions and round tables, notes for speakers and poster presentations please check the Guidelines tab under the General Info.

Session formats

Regular session
Regular session  consists of 1, 2, 3 or 4  2-hours blocks and contains up to 28 15-minute presentations (although flexibility may be given to individual session organisers to reduce the length of time allowed for each paper in order to include more papers), including discussion, introductory and closing comments. While session organisers are welcome to invite submissions into their session, the session needs to be open for submissions by any presenter.

Sessions with pre-circulated papers
Papers to be pre-circulated before the Annual Meeting allowing informed discussion in person.

Session with presentations of 6 slides in 6 minutes
6 minutes presentations followed by discussion.

Session with keynote presentation and discussion
Regular session / discussion session with keynote lecture (to be submitted within the system; usually 30 minutes) followed by regular papers and/or discussion.

Discussion session with formal abstracts
Discussion session is an interactive event organised around a specific theme, formal presentations are required. Abstracts need to be submitted within the system.

Round table
Round table is an interactive event organised around a specific and tightly focused theme. There are no formal contributions submitted, session organisers only need to provide a list of confirmed discussants. Round tables are to be held in small rooms.

Interactive format, session organisers need to inform of the needs.

Format to be specified by session organisers, to be evaluated by the Scientific Committee.

Filming and photographing

It is forbidden to film at sessions, the Annual Membership Business Meeting and other official occasions without the permission of the EAA. The EAA and/or the Organising Committee will secure filming facilities for sessions and the Opening Ceremony to be broadcast / streamed. Session organisers can opt out recording of their session. 

Photographing is allowed without any restrictions unless the author of presentation explicitly disapproves photographing by introducing a disclaimer at the beginning of his/her presentation.

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