2019 CHAT Conference (Contemporary and Historical Archaeology in Theory) hosted by Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA)

Hosted by MOLA, this year’s CHAT conference ‘CHATmethod’ will venture for the first time beyond archaeological theory to directly address the basics of what we do and how we do it. Contributions will provoke explorations of the practical ways in which we engage with the materiality of the contemporary and historical past. We will look at the ways in which we create and use our data, the tools that we use to communicate, and the processes by which we manage, assign significance and prioritise the work that we do.

 Spread across three days and three locations - MOLA’s Hoxton HQ Mortimer Wheeler House, London Mithraeum Bloomberg SPACE and Museum of London Docklands - the conference will feature a wide range of workshops, papers, tours and social events.

 Registration is £69 for waged delegates and £45 for unwaged and student delegates. This includes admission to all conference activities, workshops and events, as well as refreshments and lunch on Saturday 2 November. Workshop places are limited and must be reserved in advance - attendees will be notified when booking opens.

 The provisional timetable for the event can be downloaded from the MOLA website.

 Register on Eventbrite. Registration deadline is 27th October.

 Please contact the organisers for further details at: chat2019@mola.org.uk

More on CHAT: https://www.facebook.com/chatarchaeology/

Call for papers: The Art of Borders - Examining the meaning and function of borders, edges and thresholds in early medieval art

Call for Papers for the International Medieval Congress 2020 at the University of Leeds,
6 – 9 July 2020

This session explores how medieval art incorporated, established or broke down borders in both real and metaphorical forms as understood through material objects. Drawing on physical, visual and conceptual engagement with borders and edges, the material forms of painting, manuscript illumination, stained glass, metalwork, sculpture, textiles and embroidery are all understood to use physical and imaginary borders to provide meaning and impart messages for those who came into contact with them. These encounters ranged from the moment of their creation, through their continued use and reuse, to their deposition or preservation and use today in the settings of contemporary scholarship and public display. We are seeking papers which explore the use of visual, metaphorical and conceptual borders in medieval art, exploring how these were understood and used both by early medieval society, and from a current scholarly perspective. Paper proposals are encouraged that focus on practical and sensory engagement with art, as well as those speaking from theoretical standpoints.

Paper topics might include but are not limited to:

  • How physical borders and edges create and craft meaning.

  • How the development of Visual Physiology has been used to help us explore the use and meaning of art in earlier societies.

  • What it means to draw attention to the edges of things in early medieval art.

  • The transformative and/or transgressional nature of borders and edges

  • The symbolic or material significance of borders on visual objects

Original proposals are sought for twenty-minute papers. Please submit a working title and a 250-word abstract by1st September 2019 to Dr Alexandra Makin at alexandra.makin@outlook.com and Dr Meg Boulton at meg.boulton@york.ac.uk

For information relating to the Congress, including information about fees and bursaries, please see https://www.imc.leeds.ac.uk/imc2020/.

Call for papers - Materiality and Meaning: Engagement with medieval objects

Materiality and Meaning: Engagement with medieval objects

Call for Papers for the International Medieval Congress 2019 at the University of Leeds,
1 – 4 July 2019

This session proposes to explore how medieval objects are experienced and understood as material culture. Over the last three decades, theoretical approaches have been developed, which consider different aspects of objects and their materiality. Within archaeological and anthropological studies, these include Object Biography Theory, which places the object centre stage and explores its ‘life’; to Meshwork and Entanglement theories, which argue that everything, including objects, is equal and cannot survive without inputs and outputs, thereby helping to create material culture. Likewise, approaches to material forms of engagement within museum studies have also investigated the experiential nature of the interaction between humans and objects, considering the role of the senses, emotions and feelings.

Drawing on intellectual, sensory and emotional forms of engagement, objects such as archaeological remains and artefacts; relics; documents and archives; and textiles and embroideries, for example, can provide meaning for those who come into contact with them. These encounters range from the moment of their creation, through their continued use and reuse, to their re-discovery (if, for instance, deposited or lost in the archaeological record), and preservation and use today in museums, archives and other settings.

We are seeking papers which explore engagement with the material forms of objects at one or several of these different stages in their lifecycles including, for example, excavation, conservation and preservation activities, museum and archive practice, scholarly encounters with material culture, or engagement with broader audiences through exhibitions, events or educational programmes. The papers do not have to be theoretical in nature; indeed, we encourage people to include proposals that focus on practical and sensory engagement with objects and their materiality.

Original proposals are welcome for twenty-minute papers. Please submit a working title and a 250-word abstract by 10 September 2018 to Dr Alexandra Makin at alexandra.makin@outlook.com.

For information relating to the Congress, including information about fees and bursaries, please see http://www.leeds.ac.uk/ims/imc/imc2019_call.html.

Portable Antiquities Scheme Conference: Friday 12th October 2018

The British Museum’s Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) has recorded over 1.3 million finds – each one a unique discovery made by a member of the public. This conference celebrates 15 years of the Scheme, with a day or discussion and debate. These explore how the PAS is advancing knowledge, sharing information about the past, encouraging best practice and supporting museum acquisitions of Treasure and other finds.


Talks on ‘advancing knowledge’ (Dr Tom Brindle), ‘best practice’ (Faye Minter), ‘sharing knowledge’ (Dr Adam Daubney) and ‘supporting museums’ (Dr Andrew Woods), with panel discussions led by Prof Carenza Lewis, Dr Mike Heyworth, Dr Helen Geake and Gail Boyle.


Other panellists include Sir Barry Cunliffe, Dr Kevin Leahy, Dr Amanda Chadburn, Dr Neil Wilkin, Dr Sam Moorhead, Dr Tim Pestell and Dr Julia Farley.   


Book tickets now


+44 (0)20 7323 8181

50 Years of London's Archaeology Conference: 6th October 2018

50 years of London's archaeology

London Archaeologist - 50th Anniversary Conference


6th October 2018, 10am- 5.30pm

King's College London - Waterloo Campus, Franklin-Wilkins Building

150 Stamford Street




London Archaeologist journal celebrates its 50th anniversary with its first ever conference, covering major archaeological events, developments and issues since 1968. These 50 years have seen not only major discoveries -- from the Roman amphitheatre, to Saxon Lundenwic, to the Rose and other Shakespearean theatres -- but also significant advances in the detection, excavation, analysis and processing of archaeology.


Organised in collaboration with our partners King's College London Classics Department, the conference will feature Peter Marsden and Harvey Sheldon, instrumental in our first issue in 1968, as well as a host of other speakers from a range of organisations and disciplines, such as Inspector of Ancient Monuments Jane Sidell from Historic England and Osteologist Jelena Bekvalec from the Museum of London. Following the review of developments over the past five decades, a panel of the heads of five major archaeological contractors will discuss the future of London's archaeology to round off the day. Displays from organisations across the capital will be available and a celebratory reception will follow.


The outline programme is available on the London Archaeologist website:https://www.londonarchaeologist.org.uk/uploads/1/1/6/0/116025301/la_50_outline_conference_programme_7.07.18.pdf  

Tickets are now available for anyone to book via Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/50-years-of-londons-archaeology-tickets-45718893441

These are priced at £16.67 and include the full day conference, morning coffee and a drink at our 50th anniversary party following the conference.


A limited number of free student tickets will be made available in September – (contact here)



Call for participants: "From Fibre ro Decorated textiles in the Early North Atlantic: Making, Methods and Meanings", Simon Fraser University, Canada

Call for Participants for the sessions


From Fiber to Decorated Textiles in the Early North Atlantic: Making, Methods, and Meanings,”


part of IONA: Early Medieval Studies on the Islands of the North Atlantic
transformative networks, skills, theories, and methods for the future of the field
at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC, Canada. April 11-13, 2019


CFP: Textiles are a ubiquitous part of life, essentially so in eras when they had to be produced by hand. In early medieval Europe the making and use of textiles also had symbolic, metaphorical, and even allegorical meanings, in additional to the functional. We wish to spend time exploring the connections between the act of making and understanding how something is being made as well as connections among disciplines, approaches, and interpretations.

We are envisioning a series of linked sessions in which participants first learn generally about the textile-making process in the Early North Atlantic, before choosing one skill to learn more deeply, which they will then proceed to practice for the remainder of the sessions. During this final part, scholars will also present their research findings and interpretations, most likely in a modified roundtable format, culminating in a final large discussion that brings together the insights of making through practice and how this might influence interpretation.

We invite proposals of two kinds. First we seek those versed in the making of early medieval textiles and the teaching of those skills. We are specifically interested in scholars accomplished in one of the following: nalbinding, lucet braiding, tablet weaving, inkle weaving, sprang, upright loom weaving, and other fabric and fiber arts. The organizers will be instructing in the use of the hand spindle and loop stitch embroidery. We also welcome other textile skills that were employed in the early North Atlantic world. The session organizers hope to be able to provide basic materials such as yarn, needles, fabric, and thread, and may be able to help provide larger specialty equipment.

The second kind of proposal we invite is from interpreters of early medieval textiles in the North Atlantic and the methods of making them. We hope to gather an interdisciplinary group of researchers, teachers, curators, and artists working in this area to spark a dialogue about how one can practically and metaphorically come to understand any of the following:

● textile and textile tool remains

● literary and artistic depictions of textile-making processes

● how gender, region, religion, or economics were part of meaning making in textiles and the how the making process was experienced by medieval people or how these categories of analysis impact our contemporary understanding

● the role of trade and/or migration in disseminating or adapting textile making processes, decoration, and raw and finished materials

● how access to resources impacted the making of textiles

● methods of decorating textiles (embroidery, braid, trim, and so forth)

If one is both a maker and an interpreter, one may submit a joint proposal.

Questions may be addressed to Karen Agee (karen.agee@uni.edu), Erika Lindgren (lindgrenedu@gmail.com), or Alexandra Makin (alexandrammakin@gmail.com). Please submit a 250 words proposal/abstract to Karen Agee (karen.agee@uni.edu) by July 15, 2018. Please use Textiles IONA in the subject line.

The full website with all the CFPs and conference information can be found here: https://www.sfu.ca/english/iona.html.