Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

21 April: 

Dear EAA members

The Covid-19 pandemic and associated challenges globally have had significant consequences for the EAA: for its members, its conference organisers in 2020, and for its conference organisers in the coming three years.

It has become clear that the EAA Annual Meeting cannot be held onsite in Budapest in 2020. Since we released our last statement, there has been intensive discussion within the EAA Executive Board and the Secretariat as well as with the Budapest team, their partners, and our other future local conference organisers about possible solutions.

We all are convinced that 2020 cannot and will not be a “lost” year in the life of EAA. Also, because members need EAA as a platform and partner especially in challenging times.

The practicalities of a virtual Annual Meeting in 2020 are being actively examined. At the request of the Budapest team, it has been agreed that the EAA Annual Meeting 2022 would be held in Budapest with the same spirit of developing our networking and supporting our colleagues.

Therefore, our plans are as follows:

  • 2020 EAA Annual Meeting virtual (details to be announced soon)
  • 2021 EAA Annual Meeting in Kiel (8-11 September; stays as planned)
  • 2022 EAA Annual Meeting in Budapest (dates to be confirmed; moved from 2020)
  • 2023 EAA Annual Meeting in Belfast (30 August - 2 September; moved from 2022 - we extend our sincere thanks to the Belfast team for their flexibility and their efforts in this regard!)

Specific plans for the virtual meeting in the last week of August 2020 are not yet in place – it is too early. However, we expect to be able to communicate details about it in a few weeks from now. The plan is to keep the scientific programme as planned, including the motto, themes and most, if not all, of the sessions and individual contributions. The Scientific Committee has generously offered to continue its work, and the session organisers will be contacted immediately.

We will provide information on refunds of the 2020 Budapest Annual Meeting registration fees paid. The practicalities of this will be made clear in a forthcoming statement which will be issued at the earliest opportunity.

In the meantime, we hope all our members stay as safe and well as possible, and continue their work and their research as best they can.

On behalf of all EAA members, we wish to acknowledge the amount of work undertaken by the Budapest local organising committee and their partners so far. We extend our heartfelt thanks and our solidarity to them, understanding the scale of the disappointment and the significance of their offer to continue the work of the 2020 Scientific Committee’s – and to consider doing it all again in 2022!

We see this crisis as a chance to explore new ways of coming together.

We will keep you informed!

On behalf of EAA Executive Board
Salud,

Felipe Criado-Boado
President of the EAA


EAA Statement on COVID-19 and the EAA Annual Meeting Budapest 26-30 August 2020

23 March 2020:

Dear EAA members

On behalf of your Executive Board and Secretariat, I hope that this message finds you, your families and those close to you healthy and well, and I hope that you are not experiencing too much difficulty in following the advice of your governments and health organisations.

The COVID-19 situation is as profoundly alarming as it is new to us all. It goes far beyond any recent challenge that we have experienced as citizens in our modern liberal societies. While the containment of the virus is the main priority for everyone now, we must begin to foresee the effects of this crisis in the near future and help to reduce the inevitable anxieties that the current uncertainty provokes.

This uncertainty now affects our planning for the EAA Annual Meeting in Budapest 26-30 August. The EAA Board and the local organization are following the situation very closely.

We are very aware of the speed of spread of the virus and the steps being taken at national and international level to control it. Travel bans, social distancing, ‘lockdown’ and closed borders are becoming a norm across the globe. We have no idea how long they will last. Nor is it clear how our national governments will react later to open up society and foreign travel once the peak of the crisis has passed.

Our EAA Annual Meeting is five months from now. This gives us some time, but not a lot of time, for taking a decision about our 2020 Annual Meeting.

As an interim measure EAA has extended all forthcoming AM deadlines until further notice and is now exploring the mechanisms to be applied in case of cancellation or restructuring with a view to establishing clearly how matters stand in three weeks’ time. In this regard, a special section on the EAA website has been created (www.e-a-a.org/covid-19) to provide you all with EAA’s developing responses to COVID-19 and our EAA 2020 Annual Meeting. This section will be replicated in the AM website.

This crisis, coupled with the expanding capacities of tele-working and virtual communications, provides EAA with opportunities for promoting remote interaction and participation in EAA matters. Understanding how important the presentation of papers can be, especially for our early career researchers and professionals, we are currently evaluating these possibilities to establish whether a virtual Annual Meeting of some sort, and the possibility to present papers prepared for it, is a realistic alternative. After all, our motto this year is Networking!

In the meantime, during this period of lockdown and necessary isolation, we aim to launch a humble alternative to support our members and interested public by developing a possibility to share accessible archaeological content via an online public platform. A separate announcement about this will be made shortly. We expect that this initiative will help us to evaluate the potential for EAA training facilities on-line.

Looking ahead, we all are deeply concerned about the impact of the crisis on the archaeological sector as a whole. Hundreds of archaeological excavations, surveys and other fieldwork have been suspended throughout Europe. This will cause significant disruption and damage to archaeological activities and anxiety among companies and professionals. EAA is one of the signatories to a letter coordinated by Culture Action Europe and moved by the Heritage Alliance that has been just addressed to the European Commission about the effect of COVID-19 on Creative Europe and the European Cultural and Creative Sectors. But EAA itself will also seek to evaluate the situation for our members and for archaeology as a whole. We will actively support initiatives that can help to reduce the negative impacts in the long term. We are at your disposal right now. We are anxious to hear your concerns and to get any input that will help EAA to react and to be proactive.

As archaeologists we know, better than many others, how history moves and how weak complex societies can be. This knowledge and perspective should help us and others to surf through the uncertainty and face this crisis with courage.

Personally, I convoke you all to take advantage of your particular expertise and the special engagement of scientific and narrative perspectives that archaeology represents, to embed the socio-human dimension in the analysis and resolution of the crisis and overcome the current merely biomedical approach.

Take care of yourselves and your relatives. My personal wish to you all is that this crisis will encourage us all to put care at the centre of our every personal, professional, social and political action, as feminisms have been claiming for so long.

On behalf of EAA Executive Board
Salud,

Felipe Criado-Boado
President of the EAA


20 March:

EAA signs joint letter to the European Commission

The coronavirus has affected all countries in Europe, and it is already evident that the cultural sector is and will be heavily impacted. We stand in solidarity with every person and organisation that are affected by the virus not only in Europe but also elsewhere in the world, and by the measures taken to contain it.

On behalf of European Cultural Networks, platforms and cultural organisations, Culture Action Europe wrote a joint letter on the 20th of March, 2020 to the Commissioner Gabriel and Members of Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (DG EAC). The letter lists our proposals regarding the ways to cope with the consequences of COVID-19 on Creative Europe and the European Cultural and Creative Sectors.

More information and full version of the open letter: https://cultureactioneurope.org/news/effect-of-covid-19-on-creative-europe-and-the-european-ccs/

13 March: In this current environment of crisis we would like to reassure you all that we are monitoring the situation closely and we extend our good wishes to all our members and colleagues and hope that you all stay safe and well. We are monitoring the situation closely but we are not in a position to make any definitive statements until the current 14-day European-wide and global restriction period has passed. We will give you regular updates and keep you all informed if there is need for any alteration in our plans during the coming weeks.


11 March: The EAA President and EAA Annual Meeting host organisers are carefully monitoring the spread of the COVID-19 virus and are taking note of all appropriate social and public responses to the control of the spread of the virus.

We wish to assure all EAA members, especially those that have registered for the Meeting, that they will receive timely personal e-mail communications on any matters of consequence that relate to the spread of the virus that may affect the Meeting.