One of the definite perks of phd life is the chance to go to various conferences, meet other researchers, compare notes, get feed back on your project and, of course, experience the local sights and sounds. This month, two relevant conferences came along at once – the annual meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists, held in Istanbul 10th-14th September, and the 3rd Landscape Archaeology Conference, held in Rome from 17-20th September. It’s a really tough life, being a phd student!
The Istanbul meeting was a large-scale affair, with over 3000 attendees from all over the world and numerous parallel academic sessions. I gave a paper in an interesting session on Comparative Perspectives on Iron Age Landscapes, which was intended to juxtapose various projects and methodologies from across Europe and subjects ranged from architectural monumentality in Mallorca, to woodland in Anatolia, cultural landscapes of French oppida and the Northumbrian landscape. My paper was nothing particularly ground breaking – an introduction to the Dales and their archaeology, and an overview of the data collection phase of the project and some of my suspicions – but there were some useful questions and in the subsequent coffee break I chatted to several very interesting people, and was introduced to a couple of new-to-me coaxial field systems (in Lincolnshire and Hertfordshire) that may well prove useful comparisons.
The Landscape Archaeology Conference in Rome was a much more modest affair, but equally stimulating. On the whole, it was quite biased towards Italian, Dutch and German research; it’s always intriguing to see what is going on elsewhere, and sessions ranged from ‘archaeomorphology as landscape archaeology’ and ‘integrated approaches in landscape archaeology’ to ‘computational modelling in landscape archaeology’ and ‘methodological approaches to social landscapes’. I presented a poster and the poster session was definitely one of the highlights – held alfresco with coffee and fresh peaches!