Posts in Category: events

Light years away by Edurne Rubio – a review

I have been fortunate to attend a representation of “Light years away” by Ms. Edurne Rubio in Groningen, Netherlands. The artist is the daughter of one of the explorers of the cave system of Ojo Guareña, near Burgos, Spain and has a long and intimate connection with the caves. The performance mixes monologue, surround sound, video and theatrical performance. In its basic structure, it is the representation of a guided tour of the caves, one that is imaginary and not constricted by time or space. For those not knowing the caves, it is an extraordinary long (about 110 km known) cave system, with several subterranean lakes, at least 6 levels, and multiple openings. The upper cave system was frequented by humans from the Upper Paleolithic to the Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age, in different moments, before being rediscovered only in the past century. There are significant traces of human presence, including complex panels of rock art, residues of torches, burials, and even ancient... Read the rest of this entry »


I presented a few days ago in Koblenz at the DEGUWA conference on “Moving across rivers and lakes in prehistory”.My presentation reviewed evidence of the use of boats from across the world (largely targeting the prehistoric period in Europe/Middle East/Northern Africa, up to the Bronze Age, and the pre-Columbian period in the Americas. What was the socio-economic significance of using boats in antiquity? Boats were often a divine or royal device, connected therefore with strong social and economic power. Seafaring was significant to ancient societies. In this presentation I focus on people removed from the seas, where boats remained a very special device for long, very likely longer than in seafaring societies. Boats were a catalyst for movement and an economic driver since they allowed the movement of people, ideas, and commodities. Read the rest of this entry »

CFP EAA 2017: Applications using Hand-Held Portable X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometers

Session: #23 Theme & Session Format Theme: The ‘Third Science Revolution’ in Archaeology Session format: Session, made up of a combination of papers, max. 15 minutes each Title & Content Title: Applications using Hand-Held Portable X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometers Content: The production and use of hand-held X-ray fluorescence spectrometers has exploded over the last decade in its use on archaeological materials around the world due to its non-destructive nature, portability, and relatively modest cost for such analyses. While initially there were issues concerning its accuracy, due to the need for standards of the same material as the artifacts being tested, there are now numerous publications and research in progress on the use of pXRF on obsidian, ceramics, metals, and other artifacts, as well as soils, paintings and human remains to address a variety of important archaeological research topics. The portability of the instrument has allowed analyses to be conducted within... Read the rest of this entry »

EAA Annual Meeting - Session: Present identities from the past

Prof. Dragos Gheorghiu and I are organising a session at the forthcoming EAA meeting in Maastricht. The session is entitled: “Present identities from the past: providing a meaning to modern communities” and will accept submissions until the 15th of March. We invite interested scholars and postgraduate students to submit papers or participate in the discussion. I am happy to answer any query you may have. Session: #233 Theme & Session Format Theme: Twenty-five Years after Maastricht: Archaeology and Europe's future Session format: Session, made up of a combination of papers, max. 15 minutes each Title & Content Title: Present identities from the past: providing a meaning to modern communities Content: The fundamental relevancy of archaeology has been increasingly questioned in recent years, because the discipline has traditionally been an intellectual investigation into the mysteries of the past, often without a purpose, even one just perceived or imagined. The present time... Read the rest of this entry »

Copper and Bronze Age diet at Agrigento

A new paper on isotopic analyses on human bones from Scintilia, near Agrigento are to be presented at the 50th Riunione Scientifica dell’Istituto Italiano di Preistoria e Protostoria in Rome. I will not be attending the conference, but one of the co-authors, Dr Gulli’, will read the paper. You can find a preview in PDF published online, visit the conference website.

The site of Scintilia is of great scientific interest, and some data have been previewed in an exhibition in Agrigento, Storie Sepolte, at Santa Maria dei Greci in Agrigento. A catalogue with a video is also available.

Rivers in Prehistory

The long-delayed volume Rivers in prehistory is finally in press and hopefully should be on sale at next EAA annual meeting in Glasgow. The book contains an extended essay on the humans-environment dynamics prompted by thinking about rivers, and ten case studies (one mine). From antiquity onwards people have opted to live near rivers and major watercourses. Both freshwater and navigable routes provide the obvious reasons for settling near a river, but there are also many drawbacks, such as flooding. This volume explores rivers as facilitators of movement through landscapes, and it investigates the reasons for living near a river, as well as the role of the river in the human landscape. Ultimately, it focuses on the delicate relationship between humans and their environment, looking at the origins to help understand the present. The symbolic and philosophical perceptions and understanding of rivers, the cultural and social behaviour associated with their presence, and the... Read the rest of this entry »

New EAA Session: Science and Archaeology

Scientific Analysis of Archaeological Objects in Museums: Modern Technologies and Limitations of the Collections
I am co-organising together with Rob Tykot a session on Science and Archaeology at the 2015 annual meeting of the EAA in Glasgow (2-5 September 2015). Here’s the abstract: Museum and storage collections have been increasingly targeted by new research thanks to the availability of portable analytical equipment (e.g. portable XRF, XRD, Raman, NIR, FORS). At the same time, conducting any kind of destructive analysis or having to transport the materials out of the museum is more regulated and often limited. When compared with traditional laboratory-based analytical methods, there are technical and human issues that raise questions about the results produced by portable instruments. Do they produce the same quality results? Can they still answer the research questions being addressed? Depending on the material being tested, what are the limitations of conducting non-destructive analyses? If only small powder samples rather than solid pieces are allowed, is that sufficient? What... Read the rest of this entry »