UrbNet at the EAA 2017: The 23rd Annual Conference of the European Association of Archaeologist in Maastricht

From 30 August to 3 September 2017, the 23rd Annual Conference of the European Association of Archaeologist was held in Maastricht, The Netherlands.

2017.09.08 | Julie Thomsen Raunstrup

(pictures by Kirstine Haase)

More than 1500 delegates from 64 countries attended the conference, and UrbNet was well represented both as organisers of sessions, co-organisers and presenters. The EAA offers a great opportunity, both for showcasing research but also for establishing new professional networks and getting inspiration from some of the most prominent scholars in archaeology on cutting-edge developments in archaeological research in Europe.

PhD students Kirstine Haase, Hanna Dahlström and UrbNet core group member Stephanie Wynne-Jones organised session #317 Urban Encounters: The Materiality of Meetings in Pre- and Early Modern Towns. The session was a follow-up initiative to the conference Towns as Meeting Places: Exploring Urban Encounters, Networks and People in Northern Europe 1000–1700 AD, held at UrbNet in October 2016. Twelve researchers presented their perspectives and case studies on the subject, and the session was well attended. The organisers were very encouraged to hear so many interesting thoughts and takes on the matter, and by seeing that so many researchers agree that the town as a catalyst for meetings between people is a perspective that holds great potential for studying the character and development of urbanism. Further on, the dissemination project “Urban Encounters”, which Hanna Dahlström and Kirstine Haase are also part of, hosted a round-table session on the mobile museum “Fortiden fremkaldt/The Past Exposed”, #375  Urban Encounters: Strategies for Disseminating Complex Research Results in the City Space (www.fortidenfremkaldt.com). This also resulted in a fruitful debate on the challenges and potential of dissemination of ongoing research and of the dissemination potential beyond the museums.


Deputy Director Søren Sindbæk hosted the session #279 Fortifications, Networks and Landscapes: The Challenge of High-Definition Archaeology, together with Martin Segshcneider (Lower Saxony Institute for Historical Coastal Research, Wilhelmshaven). In this session, Postdoc Barbora Wouters co-authored the paper State formation in the landscape: The ringforts of Flanders and Zeeland (850–950), together with Professor Dries Tys and Dr Pieterjan Deckers (Vrije Universiteit Brussel).


Søren Sindbæk also organised session #313 European Towns and Their Environment in High Definition: The 3rd Revolution in Urban Archaeology, with Dr Steve Ashby (University of York), James Morris (University Of Central Lancashire), Maaike Groot (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), Mark Maltby (Bournemouth University), Yannick Devos (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Centre de Recherches en Archéologie et Patrimoine) and Cristiano Nicosia (Consulente Libero Professionista in Geoarcheologia e Micromorfologia). In this session, Søren Sindbæk presented the paper Looking through a glass onion? Tracing the urban network of the early medieval bead maker, co-authored by UrbNet core group member Gry Barfod. PhD student Neeke Hammers presented a paper entitled Assessing crop cultivation and provision through stable isotope analysis on botanical remains from medieval Odense in this session; Postdoc Barbora Wouters presented a paper entitled European towns in high definition: Micromorphology as a game changer for understanding early medieval and Viking-age urbanism (Hedeby, Germany); and in the same session, she also co-authored a paper entitled Environmental evidence from early urban Antwerp: New data from archaeology, micromorphology, macrofauna and insect remains, with Tim Bellens (Urban Archaeology Department, City of Antwerp), Professor Dr Pam Crabtree (Anthropology Department, Center for the Study of Human Origins, New York University; Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University), Dr Eileen Reilly (UCD School of Archaeology, University College Dublin), Dr Yannick Devos (Centre de Recherches en Archéologie et Patrimoine, Université Libre de Bruxelles) and Anne Schryvers (Urban Archaeology Department, City of Antwerp).


Postdoc Sara Croix organised session #20 Beyond Migration: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Mobility in Early Medieval Europe, co-organised by Letty Ten-Harkel (Oxford University) and Raphaël Panhuysen (ANTHRO.NL, Universiteit van Amsterdam). In this session, Sara Croix co-authored the paper Non-mobility vs. mobility: A case study from Scandinavia’s first urban site, Ribe, Denmark, with Professsor Karin Frei (National Museum of Denmark).


Søren Sindbæk also presented the paper, A complex beadwork: Stringing together early medieval exchange, at session #3 Archaeological Networks and Social Interaction: Towards an Application of Network Analysis and Network Concepts in Social Archaeology.


In session #213 Vikings on the Edge: The Limits of Viking Expansion and Influence in the Low Countries and beyond, Postdoc Barbora Wouters co-authored the paper Beyond burning and pillaging: Scandinavian presence and cultural influence in the southern Low Countries, 8th–11th centuries, with Professor Dries Tys and Dr Pieterjan Deckers (Vrije Universiteit Brussel).


In session #165 Burials as Complex Features: Exploring New Approaches to Death and Burial in Archaeology, Postdoc Sara Croix presented the paper Wonders from scratch: An Integrated Approach to Mortuary Practices at Ribe’s Oldest Cemetery.


This year, Medieval Europe Research Community (MERC) celebrated its 25th anniversary, and as a special celebration, the MERC committee, of which Søren Sindbæk is a member, had organised a special MERC Forum around the theme The Past, Present and Future of Medieval Archaeologies. UrbNet was very well represented by Postdoc Barbora Wouters and Postdoc Sara Croix personifying the Future with two inspiring Pecha Kucha talks.  


All abstracts can be downloaded at: http://www.eaa2017maastricht.nl/

Conference, History and archaeology