Preliminary Schedule: Saturday

Go to Friday's schedule

Presentation discussion

Please use the discussion tab to make suggestions about proposed themes and presentation arrangement. Who knows, you may find that your presentations relate in new and exciting ways to someone unexpected! Also please let us know if you have scheduling conflicts.

The new deadline for abstract submissions was Fri. July 7th at 5:00pm

PLEASE NOTE: Timings are for guidance. All talks are 15 minutes in length any extra time indicated is for questions/discussion



Presentation Sessions

Presenters
Titles
Location
10:00am
Welcome and housekeeping
Beth Compton, Pat Hadley, Ryan Hunt

K/111
10:20am
Session 1
Jocelyn Baker
Understanding Colour in Early Medieval England: An interdisciplinary approach using material culture and Old English literature
K/111
10:40am
Theme: Pasts and senses.
Amanda Hauer
Assembling the Puzzle of Song: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Early Medieval Music
K/111
11:00am

Marina McCaffrey
Capturing a Meal: Preference, Consumption and Subsistence in the Mesolithic.
K/111
11:30am
Break

11:50am
Session 2
Erika Graham
Visiting History: Medievalism and the Meaning of Modernity in Nineteenth-Century Paris
K/111
12:10pm
Theme: Politics and society
Emi Donadi Sanchez
The Fated Project: The Chixoy Dam & The Rio Negro Massacre
K/111
12:30pm

Annalisa Bolin
On the Side of Light: Performing Morality at Rwanda's Genocide Memorials
K/111
12:50pm

Ellis Bridgers
Not so Empty-Headed: The Significance of the Julia Domna Head Pots found around Roman York
K/111
1:20pm

Lunch

2:20pm
Session 3
Ash Scheder Black
Visualising environmental change at the scale of a human lifetime.
K/111
2:40pm
Theme: Methods and models
Keith Scholes
Recovering past networks – An approach to Early Medieval trade and communications
K/111
3:00pm

Ruth Whyte
The weaker sex? A paleopathological reassessment of women’s health in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries.
K/111
3:20pm

Rebekah Maarschalk
Written and Material Culture: Opposed or Complementary Sources of Evidence?
K/111
3:40pm
Break

4:00pm
OPEN DISCUSSION
K/111
5:00pm
CLOSE OF DAY



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Presentation details

Please use the discussion tab to help others improve and shape their contributions.
Unlike most conferences, we would like to help people improve their submissions in the open.
Presenter information
Title
Abstract
Other info
Emi Donadi Sanchez

University of York

MA Archaeological Fieldwork
The Fated Project: The Chixoy Dam & The Rio Negro Massacre
The purpose of this paper is to analyze some of the most pertinent issues of indigenous people today looked at in the context of globalization and growing Western economic trends. This essay will argue that due to development projects and structural adjustments plans on behalf of organizations like the World Bank, the growing capitalist, global economy, and the demand for countries to be active in international relations, is proving to be increasingly detrimental to Indigenous land rights, their human rights, self-determination and autonomy.

The case study that shall be used is the Chixoy Dam Project proposed and funded by the World Bank which involves the genocide of the Maya Achi` people (a.k.a. the Rio Negro Massacre) and forced resettlement by their respective Guatemalan government. An additional element to this particular case study is the presence of archaeological material and structures that reside on native indigenous land which at times run the same risk of appropriation and obliteration by the respective state apparati.

Finally, some suggestions shall be offered in this essay as a possible means for indigenous people to combat this very crucial and difficult reality. Such means as, involvement and activating the significant role of the international civil society and NGO’s, increased compilation and dissemination of information about their situation and human rights struggle, the additional element (when applicable) of teaming up with archaeologists and anthropologists involved in salvage archaeology and community-based archaeology and, lastly, increasing the pressure for political involvement and representation in their respective governments.
Ruth Whyte

University of Manchester / University of York

BA Archaeology / MSc Bioarchaeology
The weaker sex? A paleopathological reassessment of women’s health in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries.
Drawing on paleopathological themes and gender theory this paper will use osteoarchaeological data to examine the ways in which archaeology can contribute to a greater understanding of the health dynamic in eighteenth century cities. By combining osteoarchaeological evidence with eighteenth century historical texts and literature this paper has two major aims; to reassess women in the eighteenth and nineteenth century as ‘the weaker sex’, and to demonstrate the numerous ways in which an interdisciplinary approach to the past can be beneficial.

These aims will be achieved through examination of male-female patterns in general disease indicators and age at death from two case studies; Christ Church Spitalfields, London, and St Martin’s-in-the-Bullring, Birmingham. Having established patterns in the data from both sites, possible explanations for these patterns will be suggested through historical evidence for contributing lifestyle components.

Finally, this will allow new conclusions to be made about the health of men and women in this well documented period of rapid urban expansion and industrialisation, as well as the possible repercussions and implications that this may hold for the study of the past. This demonstrates the benefits of an interdisciplinary approach between archaeology and eighteenth century studies. This will also allow more generally for suggestions to be made about future approaches to the past in view of current threats to the arts.

Rebekah Maarschalk

University of Sheffield

PhD Archaeology and Prehistory
Written and Material Culture: Opposed or Complementary Sources of Evidence?
Disciplines that study the past tend to focus on either textual or material evidence. Moreover, even when both are considered, one type of evidence is often privileged over the other. Approaches like these to the different types of evidence can limit our understanding of the complexities and nuances of past social lives, which may be revealed in apparent contradictions between textual and material evidence when these are considered together. Furthermore, focusing on just one type of evidence limits the temporal scope of studies of the past, and often perpetuates and hardens disciplinary and sub-disciplinary boundaries.

In order to examine the past through both textual and material evidence, we need to move away from examining the past purely through one or the other type of evidence, and instead evaluate all the available evidence as it is situated within the practices and ideologies of past individuals and groups. Using the evidence from ancient East Crete as a case study, I demonstrate how this might be done, examining how social practices over a 1000-year period, evidenced both textually and materially, constituted and reflected community identities, and how these identities developed and changed from those focused on small, dispersed settlements to new identities embodied in the relatively large urban centres of the Archaic to Hellenistic Cretan polis. The time periods covered in this case study are usually considered under two different sub-disciplines of Archaeology – prehistoric Aegean and Classical Archaeology, further emphasising this separation in academic practice between study of texts and study of material culture.

Marina McCaffrey

University of York

MA in Mesolithic Studies
Capturing a Meal: Preference, Consumption and Subsistence in the Mesolithic.
We know that there is more to food than pure survival. We have preferences, foods we enjoy and foods we detest. The question is how do we isolate these preferences in an archaeological context? Better yet, will we ever be able to recreate a single Mesolithic meal?

Archaeology seeks to understand how people lived in the past, and Mesolithic archaeologists have a challenging time reconstructing these lives as we are often left with very few organic remains.

Food is a necessary part of our everyday survival, without it we die. The traditional science based approach to Mesolithic subsistence concentrated on calories and nutrition to determine what people ate. Yet a recent theoretical shift within the Mesolithic discipline has moved toward a more abstract focus, which has opened up the study to ideas rather than simply hard science. This has allowed academics to go beyond the numbers and think about how an individual might have lived.

Keith Scholes

University of York

PhD Archaeology
Recovering past networks – An approach to Early Medieval trade and communications
The study of interconnected systems as networks has been used for some time by other disciplines such as the social sciences and biology as a method of analysing and understanding complex systems. Network analysis allows the investigation of relationships between entities such as archaeological sites or individuals, thereby providing a method by which such relationships may be visualised and empirically assessed. These techniques have been employed to investigate such diverse archaeological topics as Bronze Age Mediterranean communications, Roman travel itineraries and Baltic trade in the Viking era.

In order to construct networks of historical interactions it is necessary to draw upon the available remains of the past both archaeological and documentary. These remains are frequently fragmented and ephemeral, which of course presents considerable difficulties to the investigator. One method of dealing with these problems is to use evidence from as wide a variety of sources as possible to construct individual representations based upon particular sources and by combining sources to produce a more comprehensive vision.

This presentation will look at some of the methods used for constructing networks from archaeological information, and the difficulties inherent in using archaeological data for this purpose. To illustrate how different types of data can be used in the process I will briefly consider networks constructed from a variety of sources. Finally I will discuss my current project in which types of artefactual information will be used to build a network map of Early Medieval sites in Britain and North-West Europe.

Annalisa Bolin

University of York

MA Cultural Heritage Management
On the Side of Light: Performing Morality at Rwanda's Genocide Memorials
In Rwanda, numerous memorials have arisen to remember the 1994 genocide and its victims. This paper considers the effect of Rwanda's national genocide memorials on Western tourist visitors in the context of research on “dark tourism” and Western attitudes toward death and the dead. This paper draws on the idea that, in a Western context, the viewing of the remains of violent death can be a kind of “soft murder,” and that the act of witnessing violence creates a community of witnesses implicated in that violence. Western visitors to Rwandan genocide memorials therefore form a community of implicated witnesses whose responses generally fall within a constrained set of options. I argue that this visitor community follows a particular set of rules guiding their behavior and experiences during and after the visit, and that these rules are rooted in pressures to perform morality and assert oneself as a properly moral individual within a morally ambiguous setting.

Ash Scheder Black

University of York

MSc Archaeological Information Systems
Visualising environmental change at the scale of a human lifetime.
Understanding past coastlines, climate, and vegetation can set the physical stage for our interpretation of human activity in the past, but our understanding of the environmental past typically comes at a scale of thousands, or tens of thousands of years. What possibilities are there for understanding past climatic processes at the scale of a human lifetime?

Through the use of computer modelling and large relational databases, it is becoming possible to translate empirical climate data into a visualisation of a past world and to interpolate at a temporal scale relevant to human groups - but what are the implications, limits, and pitfalls of this approach to research? In this presentation I will demonstrate a model of the the British Isles 1000 years before and after its separation from mainland Europe, along with relevant archaeological site data that may inspire a view into the landscape of Mesolithic Britain during this period. The talk will also bring into focus the complexities of tackling issues of scale in archaeology, particularly as they relate to computational approaches.

Ellis Bridgers

University of Durham

MA Archaeology
Not so Empty-Headed: The Significance of the Julia Domna Head Pots found around Roman York
When examining Severan art and architecture, it is easy to detect Septimius Severus’ propagandistic agenda to establish legitimacy and dynastic succession. But is it possible to identify the absorption of these political messages into the public psyche? Members of the imperial family were regularly depicted as embodying Roman virtues or possessing divine qualities. Such messages can be ascertained through an analysis of Severan coin types, art, and architecture. However, it is much more difficult to understand whether or not the propagation of such abstract, intangible concepts was successful. Because the ancient sources concerning the Severan period do not contain such information, it is necessary to turn to material culture in order to answer this question. A unique group of artifacts found around Roman York can be demonstrated to reflect the public reception of Severan propaganda: head pots fashioned in the image of Julia Domna, the wife of Severus. Such head pots traditionally depicted deities or were found in ritual contexts in Roman Britain. Taking into account the fact that Domna was regularly associated with deities on her coinage, the creation of such pots shaped in her image indicates the reception of the idea that the empress possessed divine qualities. Therefore, the head pots depicting Julia Domna provide a rare example of the successful dissemination of imperial propaganda in a Roman province.

Jocelyn Baker

University of Durham

Postgraduate Researcher
Understanding Colour in Early Medieval England: An interdisciplinary approach using material culture and Old English literature
This paper will explore how linguistic and material evidence can be used to reconstruct a past culture’s colour perception. Colour is a basic attribute through which we perceive and understand the world, but it does not have an absolute cultural value or consistent understanding. In past societies the perception of colour was not necessarily the same as it is in our own and this is commonly overlooked when interpreting archaeological materials. When examining the visual world of the early medieval period, cultural and linguistic influences and traditions should be considered.
The frequency and use of colour words in Old English literature can reveal the importance or popularity of colours in the ancient mindset as well as the stages of colour language evolution likely to have been in use throughout early medieval period. Fashion and symbolic value associated with colour add to desirability and govern use, and thus the use of colour in and on Anglo-Saxon material culture is a primary source of information about colour perception.
In early medieval archaeology, we have a limited corpus of coloured material culture and written evidence from which we can understand how colour was interpreted and used. An interdisciplinary approach using both material culture and linguistic semantics can attempt to reconstruct the understanding of Anglo-Saxon colour space and thus allow us to better understand the importance of colour and its use in the early medieval period.

Erika Graham

University of York

MA Medieval Studies
Visiting History: Medievalism and the Meaning of Modernity in Nineteenth-Century Paris
Over the course of the nineteenth century, a particular form of medievalism arose in Paris, playing into the Europe-wide vogue for tourism. Parisians sought to visit historical spaces as if they still existed in the Middle Ages, via both imaginary and physical tourism of medieval sites: imaginary at the beginning of the century, thanks to the popularity of Romantic novels; physical after the advent of the mid-century restoration movement. By the end of the century the two had combined, as modern buildings constructed in 'medieval' style as imagined by the Romantics allowed visitors to further relive the medieval past. In doing so, they also sought to retain specific meanings from the past, and unearth the seeds of modern ideas and issues in the medieval world. This paper will highlight certain key moments in the Parisian exploration of the Middle Ages and the accompanying efforts to define modern ideology through medieval imagery.

Amanda Hauer

University of York

MA Medieval Music
Assembling the Puzzle of Song: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Early Medieval Music
The study of early medieval music can be at times problematic. Notation and direct musical reference are often difficult to locate and decipher, and can be absent altogether. In approaching music that in many cases cannot be heard or seen, the focus of study must be widened to take into account all of the information available. Interdisciplinarity is key in studying early, largely un-notated material. The fields of codicology, paleography and historiography are just some of the disciplines which can be useful in piecing together a more uniform picture of the musical past. This paper will explore several specific examples of interdisciplinary work and their application to liturgical music of the eighth and ninth centuries.



Rebekah Maarschal