Past Conferences


The Twelfth IEMA Visiting Scholar Conference

Critical Archaeology in the Digital Age

April 6-7, 2019
Greiner Hall,
North Campus, University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14261

Conference Organizer: Kevin Garstki, PhD

The full conference program is available for download here.

Archaeologists have made significant advances in the application of digital technologies in the last few decades. These projects have paved the way for an evolution of data collection, analysis, and publication. However, the epistemological and methodological impacts of digital technologies on the reconstruction of the past are only just beginning to be considered. As all archaeologists now make use of digital tools in some, if not most, aspects of their work, we have the responsibility to critically interact with these tools and their potential impact on the way we do archaeology.

This conference will facilitate a dialogue that addresses the concerns of moving to an increasingly digital field. As we transition beyond the experimental period of digital technologies in archaeology, it is incumbent upon those creating and using digital archaeological data to engage with the effects on archaeological practice and knowledge creation. Knowledge is created at every stage of archaeological practice: data are created during an excavation and during artifact analysis; the choice of what platform to publish data significantly impacts the availability and usability of knowledge; the way archaeology is presented to the public impacts the way the past is negotiated in everyday life. At present, significant attention has been paid to the productive aspect of digital data, especially with regards to digital recording in the field. These techniques have been used to supplement traditional recording practices, while also challenging some traditional aspects of archaeological practice. At the same time, the down-the-line impact of these data on publication, public outreach, and claims of ownership has only recently been considered. This conference will contend with the impact of digital technologies on these broader aspects of archaeological inquiry and data dissemination.

The conference will provide a space to consider how these tools are impacting our work as archaeologists and to critically discuss the ways to move forward in the discipline. This conference will bring together scholars working at different scales to implement digital tools, and whose research focuses on the impact of these tools on different aspects of archaeological practice.



Rebecca Bria (University of Minnesota, Department of Anthropology)
“Collaborative Photogrammetry: Enriching community engagement and increasing archaeological literacy in Rural Peru”

William Caraher (University of North Dakota, Department of History and Indian Studies)
“Collaborative Digital Publishing in Archaeology: Data, Workflows, and Books in the Age of Logistics”

Paola Di Giuseppantonio Di Franco (University of Essex, School of Philosophy and Art History)
“Sensing and Feeling: Experiencing Museum Objects through Digifacts”

Maurizio Forte and Nevio Danelon (Duke University, Department of Art, Art History and Visual Studies)
“Cyberarchaeology and digital redundancy”

Bernard Frischer (Indiana University – Bloomington, Department of Informatics)
“3D Reconstructions as Tools for Scientific Discovery: The Example of Rome Reborn”

Fabrizio Galeazzi (University of York, Department of Archaeology)
“3D Thinking in Archaeology: From Critical Interaction to Effective Evaluation.”

Laura Harrison (University of South Florida, Access 3D Lab)
“At-Risk Archaeological Heritage and the Public: Local and Global Perspectives “

Sebastian Heath (New York University, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World)
“Is ownership part of computational archaeology?”

Jeremy Huggett (University of Glasgow, Archaeology, School of Humanities)
“Is Less More? Slow Data and Datafication in Archaeology”

Eric Kansa (Open Context)
“On Accountability and Governance in Digital Archaeology”

Sara Perry (University of York, Department of Archaeology)
“The case for an affective archaeology”

Adam Rabinowitz (University of Texas at Austin, Department of Classics)
“Imagining the archive: thinking through the effects of current digital practice on future archaeological research”

Lorna-Jane Richardson (University of East Anglia, Interdisciplinary Institute for the Humanities)
“Research challenges and methodological pitfalls: social media as a source for understanding public perceptions of archaeology”

Heather Richards-Rissetto (University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Department of Anthropology)
“Where’s it all going? Critically assessing preservation and access of 3D archaeological data”

Benjamin Štular (Institute of Archaeology, Slovenia)
“Publication of archaeological interpretation of airborne LiDAR data. A decade of experience and future development”

Ruth Tringham (University of California at Berkeley, Department of Anthropology)
“Some thoughts on the Digital and Analog Afterlives of Archaeological projects”

Patrick Willett (University at Buffalo, SUNY, Department of Anthropology/University of Leuven), Chris Carleton (Simon Fraser University, Department of Archaeology), Ralf Vandam (University of Leuven, Department of Archaeology)
“Modeling Archaeological Potential in SW Anatolia: Three Decades of Landscape Research in the Territory of Ancient Sagalassos”

The Eleventh IEMA Visiting Scholar Conference

Homo Migrans: Modelling Mobility and Migration in Human History

April 7-8, 2018
Greiner Hall, Ground Level
North Campus, University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14261

Conference Organizer: Dr. Megan Daniels

The final program is available to download here.

The list of speakers is available to download here.

The full list of abstracts is available for download here.

This conference was generously co-sponsored by the following departments at SUNY-Buffalo:
Department of Geography (​
Department of History (
Department of Transnational Studies (


Kristian Kristiansen, University of Gothenburg: Keynote Lecture: “Re-theorizing Migration. Towards a New Prehistory”

David W Anthony and Dorcas Brown, Hartwick College: “Migration and Ancient DNA in the Eurasian Steppes: a Review of Population Movements during the Bronze Age.”

 Hans Barnard, UCLA: “Movement as Trigger for Consciousness”

Aurora E. Camaño, Simon Fraser University: “Familiar Grounds: An Anthro-Archaeological Approach to Forced Migration Landscapes and Memory in Armenian Cilicia”

 Catherine M. Cameron, University of Colorado, Boulder: “Captives: The Invisible Migrant”

Franco De Angelis, University of British Columbia: “New Data and Old Narratives: Migrants and Cultural Transfers in the pre-Roman Western Mediterranean”

 Omer Gokcumen, SUNY-Buffalo: “The Multiple Histories of Western Asia: Perspectives from Ancient and Modern Genomes”

 Elizabeth S. Greene, Brock University and Justin Leidwanger, Stanford University: “Wandering Ports in the Southeast Aegean: A View of Maritime Mobility and Network Dynamics from Burgaz, Turkey”

 Thomas K. Harper, The Pennsylvania State University:  “The Settlement Record and Evidence for Migrations in Eneolithic Ukraine”

 Elena Isayev, University of Exeter: “The in/visiblity of Migration”

 Kristina Killgrove, University of West Florida: “Methods of Understanding Migration in Imperial Italy: A Synthesis and Prospects for Future Work”

 Tom Leppard, University of Cambridge: “Human Mobility over the Very Long-term: Structure, Dynamics, and Biogeographic Constraint”

 Anne Porter, University of Toronto: “Theorization and Mobility in the Ancient Near East”

 Marc Vander Linden, University of Cambridge: “Surfing with the Alien: Simulations, Archaeological Science and the Spread of Early Farming Across Europe”

 Krishna Veeramah, Stony Brook University: “Using Paleogenomics To Illuminate The European Migration Period”

 Assaf Yasur-Landau, University of Haifa: “Tool Kits and Adaptive Strategies of Mobility and Migration in the Eastern Mediterranean”

Ezra B.W. Zubrow, SUNY-Buffalo, Oleksandr Diachenko, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; and Jay Leavitt, Premata Funds LLC: “Migratory Behavior for Disasters” 

Joel Millman, International Organization for Migration, Perspective Piece: “Anecdotal without Apology, or How a Journalist Uncovered the Secret of New York’s Renaissance: Delivery Boys from Mexico”


The Tenth IEMA Visiting Scholar Conference

Archaeology of Mountain Landscapes: Interdisciplinary Research Strategies of Agro-Pastoralism in Upland Regions

April 8-9, 2017
Greiner Hall, Ground Level
North Campus, University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14261

Conference Organizer: Dr. Arnau Garcia,

The full conference program is available for download here

The schedule for the conference can be downloaded here

Participants of the Tenth IEMA Visiting Scholar Conference

From Left: Eugene Costello, Ralf Vandam, Michael L. Galaty, Martijn Van Leusen, Yannick Miras, Josep M. Palet, Franco Nicolis, José Alejandro Beltrán-Caballero, Stephen Dyson (IEMA Associate Director), Sabine Reinhold, Christopher Prescott, Emilie Gauthier, Klaus Oeggl, Hèctor Orengo, Felipe Criado-Boado, Mercourios Georgiadis, Robert Brunswig, Peter I. Bogucki, Arnau Garcia (Conference Organizer), Phillips Stevens, Pawel Valde-Nowak, Peter F. Biehl (Director of IEMA)

(download here)

Agro-pastoral landscapes characterize not only upland plains or irrigated areas around water courses, but they also define most mountain landscapes, sometimes considered as “marginal lands” when the territories of urban centers are concerned. However, at least a fifth of the terrestrial surface could be defined as mountain areas, hosting a fifth of the human population and providing sustainment for a much larger percentage. Bearing this in mind it is not a surprise to know that mountain areas have been transited, inhabited, exploited and conceptualized by humans since the very beginning of the species.

Due to the multiple factors and relationships involved, landscape-shaping – not only in mountain areas – is an extremely complex subject. Landscape studies are part of a wide range of disciplines such as History, Archaeology, Anthropology, Geography, Geology, Ecology, Economics, and Paleo-environmental Studies. In this research context, interdisciplinary and diachronic approaches have a great potential and they are a practical reality in nowadays research projects about mountain Landscapes.

Fieldwork developed during the last decades has changed our knowledge about the history of mountain environments. The 10th International Visiting Scholar Conference at the Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology (IEMA) at the University at Buffalo will gather researchers who in different geographical areas (in both Eurasia and the Americas) have made significant contributions about land-use in mountain areas and human activities in the shaping of mountain cultural landscapes.

The discussions at the conference are centered around four main issues all papers will try to address:

a) Archaeological record on mountain landscapes: how archaeological remains are identified and documented? The aim is to provide a common ground to discuss about the strategies used in documenting and analyzing the very particular mountain archaeological record.

b) Paleo-environmental data in archaeological contexts and archaeological data in paleo-environmental studies: which interdisciplinary research strategies are used in the different study cases? What kind of data from paleo-botany, geomorphology and other related disciplines are used in the different projects? The aim is to provide an integrative approach to the Research on Mountain Cultural Landscapes and about the role of archaeology on interdisciplinary research groups.

c) Anthropization of mountain landscapes: which processes are involved in the creation of agro-pastoral landscapes in mountain environments – with special attention to the role played by agriculture and herding? The aim is to provide insights on the different models of mountain cultural landscapes management.

d) Colonialism and complex societies in Mountain Landscapes: which usage and management of the mountain areas in the context of complex societies can be identified? The aim is to provide analyses of the development of specialized and intensive activities such as intensive agriculture, transhumance forest exploitation or mining linked to the development of markets, interchange and commerce.


The Ninth IEMA Visiting Scholar Conference

Coming Together: Comparative Approaches to Population Aggregation and Early Urbanization

IEMA poster

April 2-3, 2016
Greiner Hall, Ground Level
North Campus, University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14261

Conference Organizer: Dr. Attila Gyucha,

Download the program here

(download here)

The current, fast-growing tendency of people moving from small settlements to cities has resulted in increased scholarly interest into the origins and different aspects of population nucleation. Coalescence has been a global phenomenon for human societies during the past several millennia, and the long-term perspective of archaeological research has a great potential to provide insights into how urban environments formed and their implications for humanity.
The search for a universal definitions of terms such as ‘urban’ and ‘city,’ has frequently distractedscholars from investigating the processes of how ancient aggregated settlements evolved. Through the reorganization of smaller scale social units into more complex configurations, early centers of economic and political organizations occurred throughout the world at various times and places, and in fundamentally different socio-political contexts. Their architectural and functional characteristics varied extensively, and their evolutionary trajectories took dramatically diverse courses. Nevertheless, one common feature of these nucleated settlements was that they offered a variety of opportunities to their residents that overrode the multitude of challenges of living in close quarters.
To understand the formation, development, and organization of aggregated settlements in their wider spatial and temporal contexts, a multi-scalar perspective in a diachronic framework must be employed. By combining this approach with state-of-the-art field and analytical methods, we now are in a position to identify those various factors and processes that resulted in the movement of people to large centers, and contributed to the sustainability, or unsustainability, of these sites.
This symposium will focus on prehistoric population nucleation and ancient urbanization in a crosscultural framework. An international group of anthropologists, prehistorians, and classicists will explore the integrative mechanisms that brought large populations together, the social practices and institutions that fostered the maintenance of aggregated settlements, as well as the impacts of aggregation on socio-cultural developments. In order to interpret variations in early population nucleation, the geographical focus will include Europe, the Near East, and the New World, and participants will consider the following topics: 1) socio-economic conditions of early population nucleation and urbanization; 2) benefits and disadvantages of coalescence; 3) decision-making and cooperation at aggregated settlements; 4) changes in social organization, economy, and identity stimulated by aggregation; 5) socio-cultural types, political configurations, and layout and functions of settlements; and, 6) long-term mechanisms of integration and disintegration in settlement trajectories.

Titles and Abstracts

Click here to download the conference abstract and entire list of titles and abstracts.

KEYNOTE LECTURE, Michael E. Smith, (Arizona State University): “Aggregation and Urbanization as Fundamental Drivers of Social Change”

Bradley A. Ault (University at Buffalo, State University of New York): Synoikismos: Formation and Form of Ancient Greek Cities

A. Nejat Bilgen (Dumlupınar University, Turkey) and Laura Harrison (University at Buffalo, State University of New York):  Urbanism at a Crossroad: Trade, Settlement, and Society in Early Bronze Age Anatolia

Jennifer Birch (University of Georgia): Settlement Aggregation and Geopolitical Realignment in the Northeastern Woodlands

Manuel Fernández-Götz (University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom): Coming Together in the Iron Age: Population Aggregation and Urban Dynamics in Temperate Europe

Bisserka Gaydarska (Durham University,United Kingdom): Trypillia Mega-Sites—The First Cities in Europe?

Alan Kaiser (University of Evansville): Visual Competition Strategies in Roman Urban Architecture: Micro-Viewshed Analysis at Pompeii

John E. Kelly (Washington University in St. Louis): Contextualizing Aggregation and Nucleation as Demographic Processes Leading to Cahokia’s Emergence as an Incipient Urban Center

Robin Osborne (University of Cambridge, United Kingdom): Why Athens? Population Aggregation in Attica in the Early Iron Age

John O’Shea (University of Michigan): “…the nearest run thing…”: The Genesis and Collapse of Bronze Age Centers in the Maros Valley of Southeastern Europe

Daniel J. Pullen (Florida State University): If You Build It, Will They Come? Will They Stay? The Mycenaean Port Town of Kalamianos

Pál Raczky (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary): Separation and Unity: Spatial Organization and Social Order at Neolithic Settlement Complexes on the Great Hungarian Plain

Clemens Reichel (University of Toronto/Royal Ontario Museum, Canada): Beyond ‘Oriental Despotism’: The Origin of Urban Developments in Dry-farming Syria and Anatolia

Susan C. Ryan (Crow Canyon Archaeological Center): Integration and Disintegration: The Role of Kiva Architecture in Community Formation and the Construction of Identity in the Prehispanic U.S. Southwest

Inés Sastre (Spanish National Research Council, Spain) and Brais X. Currás (University of Coimbra, Portugal): Aggregation and Dispersal from a Long-Term Social Perspective: Rural Landscapes of the Northwestern Iberian Peninsula from the Iron Age to the Early Roman Period

The Eighth IEMA Visiting Scholar Conference

Water and Power in Past Societies

April 11-12, 2015
Greiner Hall, Ground Level
North Campus, University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14261

Conference Organizer: Dr. Emily Holt,

The entire conference can be viewed online here until the end of May.

To view the conference program, please click here.

iema poster v1_2014rr1-page-001

(download here)

As the effects of global warming and climate change are increasingly felt world-wide, the political ecology of water has become a major concern. Whether the problem is too much water flooding low-lying island nations or a lack of water causing drought and crop failure, water’s uneven distributions and unpredictable behaviors contribute to and sometimes destabilize geopolitical inequalities. While the political ecology of water in the contemporary world has drawn much attention, water has always been an essential resource, offering possibilities for differential access and control in the ancient world as well as the modern.
The many ways in which water can be differentially controlled cannot easily be summarized. At a general level, water can be a productive resource, with good water management increasing agricultural and pastoral output. Water can be a substitute for labor, with the control of water through mills and other technologies allowing increases in production beyond what the local population could support. Water can be an ideological resource, with its potential for symbolism offering opportunities to control, display, and enjoy water as indications of power and privilege. Water can be a transportation resource, giving advantages to raiding and trading cultures with superior marine technologies and navigational skills. Water can be a health resource, creating age, gender, and class-related disparities between those who have consistent access to clean water and those who do not. Water can be a protective resource, creating an insulating barrier between hostile groups. Much of the time, water functions as many of these resources simultaneously.
Flowing in and out of these categories is the fact that water, by nature, can be both persistent and changeable, requiring that the specific temporality of individual water sources must be mediated by anyone hoping to use that water as a resource. Water’s fluctuations may be highly predictable or totally unpredictable: dependable events like the annual Nile floods can be harnessed to exacerbate existing social inequalities, while unforeseen events like tsunamis and floods can destabilize existing inequalities or create new ones.

Conference Themes

Water and Power in Past Societies seeks to bring together theoretically-situated, data-rich studies of how water as a resource relates to the formation, maintenance, destruction, or prevention of social inequalities at both intra-and inter-group scales. In assessing how water is used as a resource, the temporality of water’s behaviors over the span of the study period should be explicitly addressed, whether these behaviors result in slow change, sudden change, continuity, or some combination of the three. In an effort to promote cross-cultural comparability and discussion of the conference papers (as well as thematic consistency in the resulting conference volume), contributors are encouraged to situate their work broadly in one or more of the themes below:

Differential control of water and the production of wealth
Cognitive relationships to water and the reinforcement of inequality
Water, environment, and differential wellness
Water, communication, and safety
The (im)persistence of water and power in the longue durée

Titles and Abstracts
(download here)

From Urban Oasis to Desert Hinterland: The Decline of Petra’s Water System. The Case of the Petra Garden and Pool Complex
Leigh-Ann Bedal
(Penn State Erie, The Behrend College)

Making Visible the People Who Are Part of River History
Matt Edgeworth
(University of Leicester)

Maritime power and sea people’s networks in Southeast Asia’s 17th century spice wars
Jennifer L. Gaynor
(University at Buffalo, State University of New York)

Water Management by Transhumant Pastoralists in Southeastern Turkey
Emily Hammer
(The University of Chicago)

Geologies of Belonging: Place Politics and the Political Ecology of Water in Central Anatolia
Ömür Harmanşah
(University of Illinois at Chicago)

Spatial Archaeology, Hydrology and the Historical Dynamics of Water in Ancient Southern Arabia (Yemen and Oman)
Michael J. Harrower
(Johns Hopkins University)

Exploring the dialectic relationship between irrigation and social stratification: A longue durée perspective from the Jordan Valley
Eva Kaptijn
(Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences)

The Effects of Changes in Rivers and Coastlines on Prehistoric Settlements in Anatolia
Necmi Karul
(Istanbul University)

The Power of Coastal Access: Assessing Maritime Economic Opportunity in the Roman Mediterranean|
Justin Leidwanger
(Stanford University)
Water and workshops: Inequality among mining sites in ancient Laurion (Greece)
Kim Van Liefferinge
(Stanford University)

From Elite Villas to Public Spaces: The First Monumental Fountains in Ancient Rome
Brenda Longfellow
(University of Iowa)

Drought and history in the Mediterranean: known knowns and known unknowns
Sturt Manning
(Cornell University)

Chinampas y Chinamperos: The Political Ecology of Raised Field Farming and Water Management in the Basin of Mexico
Christopher Morehart
(Arizona State University)

The Sea and Bronze Age transformations in western Scandinavia
Christopher Prescott
(University of Oslo)

Water Uncertainty: A Primal Organizing Principle in both the Wet and the Dry
Vernon Scarborough
(University of Cincinnati)

The Seventh IEMA Visiting Scholar Conference

Inequality in Antiquity: Tracing the Archaeological Record

April 5-6, 2014
Greiner Hall, Ground Level
North Campus, University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14261
Conference Organizer: Dr. Orlando Cerasuolo

Conference Program

This event is generously supported by:

The Institute for Research and Education on Women and Gender
The Department of Geography


(pdf version)

The social and political division of communities was a common and complex feature of past civilizations around the world. In many ancient cultures there were several discrimination strategies: free people versus slaves, age- and gender-based categories, economic concentration and exclusion. As archaeologists, we have to ask how visible such structures of inequality are in the material record of the past. Where they are visible, how do we interpret their meaning for the marginalized communities that they document? So far, no symposium has addressed these diverse aspects of in equality in a single venue. A wider, interdisciplinary archaeology based approach to these issues should prove especially productive.

The main aim of the symposium is to present methodologies developed in the analysis of ancient inequalities and to offer a comprehensive range of case studies. We know that in ancient times there were men and women, freemen and slaves, locals and immigrants. We can observe some material residues of their existence in the archaeological record. The central methodological problem is how we can extract fuller meaning from the surviving archaeological residues and relate those meanings to issues of gender, legal and ethnic status, and other categories of potential inequality.

This conference will apply two relatively novel approaches. While studies of slavery, gender, and ethnicity are relatively common, the IEMA conference will explore them as intersecting areas of study within the larger framework of inequality. It will also attempt to bring together prehistorians, specialists in classical archaeology, and students of Late Antiquity, as well as physical anthropologists; epigraphers; and statisticians.

Many issues should arise from the perspective envisaged for this symposium. Is it possible to develop a general theory of inequality in antiquity? Is it possible to define wide-ranging strategies for the archaeological analysis of that inequality? To what degree are the inequalities and social boundaries culture specific and how does their emergence relate to growing complexity? To what degree can archaeologists identify and analyze different patterns of inequality?

Inequalities. Sociological theory recognizes a valuable distinction between ascribed status and achieved status of people. The first is constituted by attributes over which we have no control, i.e. age, gender and ethnicity. We are dealing with the social differences of age classes (from infant to elderly); the division between male, female and potential hybrid sexuality roles; and finally, ethnic components and cultural mixing, ultimately leading to the formation of new identities (a phenomenon sometimes labeled as ‘creolization’).

The second is the position attained in life through education and personal advancement, whether achieved in egalitarian context or through heredity. Economical divisions between the rich and the poor, with all the nuances between, become a fundamental aspect; but also the social roles of ruling and ruled people (considering also the other classes of officers, merchants, craftsmen, etc.) and the political division between citizens and non-citizens, that is to say different degrees of freedom and slavery.

Different cultures in time and space. The general and methodological approach of the symposium will be implemented using the widest available evidence. Perspectives of social inequality frequently insisted on a rigid dichotomy between egalitarian and hierarchical, but a combined approach could reveal very useful. The participants should address different time periods of antiquity, while the geographical framework will focus mainly on the Mediterranean area.

Archaeological Sources. The symposium will discuss social organization mainly focusing on the archaeological record. Preference will be given to material culture studies, ritual and burial practices, analysis and forensic research on anthropological remains. There are features of material cultures that clearly denote the political and social conditions of people, e.g. the shackles of forced workers found in the Athenian silver quarries and in the rest of Europe. There are humble potsherds of plain cooking ware and architectural remains that can be associated to foreign people living in a specific working area, whether free workers, prisoners or slaves. In such cases, strategies of spatial segregation can sometimes be defined, whether self-generated or forced. Burial practices seem quite revealing in defining hierarchy and social boundaries, as well as the potential existence of foreigners inside the ancient communities. Sometimes, human sacrifices in graves contexts might indicate the final purpose of prisoners and slaves or the fate of relatives of the dead people. Another archaeological source providing important answers is epigraphy, whether related to engraved pottery, clay tablets or marble stones; in this case very clear indications will come from the onomastic analysis of large amounts of data, that can enlighten about the status, kinship, foreign origin or freedman nature of the people.



The Emergence of Social Inequality
T. Douglas Price
(University of Wisconsin – Madison)

Theorizing complexity. The case of Neolithic and Bronze Age Europe
Kristian Kristiansen
(Göteborgs Universitet)

Transegalitarian societies on the Northwest Plateau: Social dynamics and cultural/technological changes
Brian D. Hayden
(Simon Fraser University)

Bioarchaeology of the enslaved, impoverished, and marginalized: evidence of structural violence in the skeletal archive
Jennifer Lynn Muller
(Ithaca College)

The Emergence of Social Inequality in Southeastern Europe: A Long-Term Perspective
William A. Parkinson
(The Field Museum Chicago)

Leadership, Inequality and Social Status in the Late Prehistoric Eurasian Steppes: Event, Historicity, and the Longue Durée
Bryan Hanks
(University of Pittsburgh)

Inequality during the Iron Age in France. Tracing the Archeological Record
Patrice Brun
(Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Tracing the Etruscan Serf Class
Mario Torelli
(Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei)

Etruscan women and social polarity: two case studies for approaching inequality
Giovanna Bagnasco Gianni
(Università degli Studi di Milano)

Mapping Inequality in Ancient Greece
Rachel Zelnick-Abramovitz
(Tel-Aviv University)

Detecting Inequality in Classical-Hellenistic Houses
Ruth Westgate
(Cardiff University)

Early Iron Age Female Burials in Attica: Ladies and Maidens, Wealthy and Deprived
Vicky Vlachou
(Université libre de Bruxelles, CreA-Patrimoine)

Diversities and Inequality: the Male Burials in Early Iron Age Athens
Anna Maria D’Onofrio
(Università di Napoli “L’Orientale”)

Rome: Social Complexity and the Archaeologies of Inequality
Stephen Dyson
(University at Buffalo, SUNY)

Roman Imperial Estates and their Role in Creating and Perpetuating Social Inequality in the Italian Countryside: An Examination of the Archaeological Evidence
Myles McCallum
(Saint Mary’s University, Halifax)

Demographic trends and composition of society in the Roman world
Luuk de Ligt
(Universiteit Leiden)

Approaches to socio-economic inequality among and between non-elite Roman urbanites.|
Steven J.R. Ellis
(University of Cincinnati)

High Meets Low: Social Binaries and Spectatorship within the Baths of Caracalla
Maryl B. Gensheimer
(University of Maryland)

Barracks for Slaves: housing dependent workers in Roman Italy
Elizabeth Fentress
(International Association of Classical Archaeology)

Countering Inequality through Organized Collective Burial in Imperial Rome
Dorian Borbonus
(University of Dayton)


The Sixth IEMA Visiting Scholar Conference

Engendering Landscape & Landscaping Gender

13 – 14 April 2013

Greiner Hall, Ground Level

North Campus University at Buffalo, SUNY

Buffalo, NY 14261

Conference Organizer: Dr. Will Meyer

Over the past 20 years, an important development in social theory has been the recognition that all human life is embodied. Part-and-parcel to this embodiment is an inescapable sensual connection to the non-human things of the world, with which the human body is in a state of constant interaction. The stage upon which such interactions occur is the landscape. How we act — and interact — on this stage is influenced by the different categories of identity to which we belong, including sex, gender, age, class, faction, and ethnicity. In other words, people have different experiences of and in the landscape depending upon their gender and other identities. Further, just as societies endow different kinds of body with different expectations, rights, and limitations, places on the landscape might also be gendered in similar ways. Such intersections of landscape and gender have been explored in archaeology’s sister disciplines but remain relatively unexplored within archaeology itself. Where they have been looked at, however, these points of overlap have provided a much richer sense of life in the past, revealing complex heterogeneities in the landscapes and societies that we study.  This symposium brings together archaeologists, art and architectural historians, and ancient historians whose expertise spans the length and breadth of Europe in order to build synergy between engendered and landscape perspectives. Drawing on case studies from the Paleolithic to the Modern periods, we examine how people of different genders experienced the landscapes of the past and how specific places or elements within those landscapes became gendered.

Invited Scholars & Presentation Titles:

Staša Babić (University of Belgrade, Department of Archaeology)
“Alterity, Space, Time”

Douglass Bailey (San Francisco State University, Department of Anthropology)
“Cutting the Earth // Cutting the Body”

Sandra Blakely (Emory University, Department of Classics)
“Embodying Samothrace: The Mountain and the Sea”

Margaret Conkey (UC Berkeley, Department of Anthropology and Center for Digital Archaeology)
“Landscape and Gender on the Move”

Thomas Dowson (Independent Scholar)
“At Play in the Baths of the Romans: Queerying the Landscape of Roman-Britain”

Ericka Engelstad (University of Tromsø, Department of Archaeology & Social Anthropology)
“Engendering Arctic Landscapes”

Nena Galanidou (University of Crete, Department of History & Archaeology)
“Engendering the Archaeological Landscapes of Paleolithic Northwestern Greece”

Amy Gazin-Schwartz (Assumption College, Department of Sociology & Anthropology)
“Waulking and Stalking: The Archaeology of Gendered Work in the Scottish Landscape”

Kathryn Gleason (Cornell University, Department of Landscape Architecture and Archaeology Program)
“In Pygmalion’s Garden: The Gendered Figure in Motion”

Matthew Johnson (Northwestern University, Department of Anthropology)
“Landscape, Gender, and the Late Medieval Castle”

Julia K. Koch (German Archaeological Institute, Roman-Germanic Commission)
“Gendered Contacts between Early Iron Age Landscapes in Central Europe: The Case of the Magdalenenberg, at the Edge of the Black Forest, Germany”

Sandra Montón-Subías (Pompeu Fabra University, Department of Humanities; with Sandra Lozano Rubio and Apen Ruiz)
“Gender, Mobility, and Landscape in the Ancient Mediterranean: A Prehistoric Example from Southeastern Spain”

Matthew Murray (University of Mississippi, Department of Sociology & Anthropology)
“Gender, Cosmology, and the Organization of Space in Early Iron Age Funerary Monuments and Landscapes: A Maintenance of ‘Balance’?”

Lisa Nevett (University of Michigan, Department of Classical Studies and Interdepartmental Program in Greek & Roman History)
“Engendering the Landscapes of Classical Greek Cities: Athens in Context”

Eoín O’Donoghue (NUI Galway, Department of Classics)
“Performing Gender and Experiencing Death in the Etruscan Landscape”

John E. Robb (University of Cambridge, Department of Archaeology)
“Journeys to (and with) Bodies”

Suzanne Spencer-Wood (Oakland University, Department of Sociology, Anthropology, Social Work & Criminal Justice, and Harvard University, Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology)
“Sex and European Gardens: Medieval to Post-Medieval”

Silvia Tomášková (UNC Chapel Hill, Departments of Anthropology and Women’s & Gender Studies)
“Land, Humans, and Animals in the Making of Gender, in Rock Art for Example”

Ruth Tringham (UC Berkeley, Department of Anthropology and Center for Digital Archaeology)
“Pivoting and Jumping through the Fabric of Çatalhöyük to an Imagined World of People with Faces, Histories, Voices, and Stories to Tell”

Nancy Wicker (University of Mississippi, Department of Art)
“Halls, Hoards, and Graves: The Gendered Places and Placement of Bracteates”

Times of Change:
The Turn from the 7th to the 6th Millennium BC in the Near East and Southeast Europe

International Conference of the Çatalhöyük West Mound Project
November 24th – 26th 2011
Free University Berlin
Hittorfstraße 18
14195 Berlin-Dahlem

The Fifth IEMA Visiting Scholar Conference

Approaching Monumentality in the Archaeological Record

12-13 May 2012
Greiner Hall, Ground Level
North Campus University at Buffalo, SUNY
Buffalo, NY 14261
Conference Organizer: Dr. James F. Osborne

The building of sculpted monuments and monumental architecture seems to be a universal human trait at all levels of social complexity and in all parts of the world, from the grand pyramids of ancient Egypt to the modest inuksuit cairns of the Inuit. Unfortunately, the words “monumental” and “monumentality” as used by scholars have different meaning and intent in nearly every work in which they appear. This symposium seeks to clarify just what we mean by “monumentality,” but more than that, to understand the social and political significance of monumentality as it was manifested in various ways around the world. The primary purpose of the symposium is to study the role of sculpted monuments and public buildings in the creation and maintenance of political and social discourses, and to evaluate how monuments were received and understood by human actors. Approaching Monumentality brings together archaeologists, art historians, epigraphers, historians, and architects whose areas of expertise span from the Neolithic to the Classical era, and from Europe and the Mediterranean basin to the New World. In this way we will be able to explore monumentality both as a general human phenomenon as well as in its rich and varied particular social contexts.

IEMA Conference 2012
Titles and Abstracts


“Death and the City: Asiatic Column Sarcophagi in Context”, Annetta Alexandridis, Cornell University

“Returning to Forget: Problematizing Settlement Mounds as Contexts for Monumental Building in Bronze Age Anatolia”, Christoph Bachhuber, Brown University, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World

“Planning for the Past in Neolithic Central Europe”, Peter Bogucki, Princeton University

“Function and Impact of Monumental Grave Vases in the 8th Century BC”, Dietrich Boschung, Archäologisches Institut der Universität zu Köln

“Patronage and Reception in the Monumental Architecture of Early Christian Greece”, William Caraher, University of North Dakota

“The Creation and Experience of Monumentality on Protohistoric Cyprus”, Kevin Fisher, University of Arkansas, Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies

“Monuments in the Landscape: Exploring Issues of Scale in Political Contest”, Claudia Glatz, University of Glasgow

“A Monument of the Morea? Projecting Local Identity through Church Building in Thirteenth-Century Greece”, Heather E. Grossman, University of Illinois at Chicago


“Roman Soliloquies: Monumental Interventions in the Vacant Landscape in the Late Republic and Early Empire”, Alvaro Ibarra, College of Charleston

“The Development of Monuments among Mediterranean Isles”, Michael Kolb, Northern Illinois University

“Human-Monument-Place Performative Dialogue in the Altar of Tukulti-Ninurta”, Stephanie M. Langin-Hooper, Bowling Green State University

“European Megaliths: The Means of Social Change”, Johannes Müller, Institute of Protohistoric and Prehistoric Archaeology, Christian-Albrechts University at Kiel

“The Phenomenon of Residential Cities and City Foundations in the Near East – Common Idea or Individual Cases?” Mirko Novák, Institut für Archäologie, Universität Bern

“Mobile monumentality? The case of obelisks”, Grant Parker, Stanford University

“From Memorials to Imaginaries in the Monumentality of the Americas”, Timothy R. Pauketat, University of Illinois

“Elamite monumentality and architectural scale: Lessons from Susa and Choga Zanbil” Daniel T. Potts, University of Sydney

“Göbekli Tepe (southeastern Turkey) – Megalithic Sanctuaries of the 10th and 9th Mill. BC”, Klaus Schmidt, German Archaeological Institute

“Varieties of National Monumentality: European Capital Cities in Comparative Perspective”, Göran Therborn, University of Cambridge

“The Monumentality of Text”, Edmund Thomas, Durham University

“The Perception of Monumentality, a Diachronic Approach: Digital Models of Ancient Egypt”, Willeke Wendrich, UCLA

The Fourth IEMA Visiting Scholar Conference

Worlds of Sacrifice:
Exploring the Past and Present of Gifts for the Gods

16-17 April 2011
380 Academic Center, Ellicott Complex
North Campus University at Buffalo, SUNY
Buffalo, NY 14261

Conference Organizer: Dr. Carrie Murray

Sacrifice is central for many societies—past and present—in cultural, religious, political, and economic terms. The parts, processes, and meanings transform over time and space. Sacrificial practices embody a contradiction of sorts, creating both loss and gain in real and metaphorical terms. Practicing sacrifice is a means of communicating simultaneously with the supernatural and members of a society. The beliefs and performances relate powerfully within each cultural context. Important parameters of social hierarchy determine what is sacrificed, how it is enacted, and by whom it is performed. By investigating the dynamics of how sacrifice is conducted, and the changing views in scholarship related to sacrifice, we can attempt to better understand people of the past and present. The interdisciplinary nature of this conference will bring together scholars from anthropology, archaeology, classics, and religious studies, whose work encompasses the Mediterranean and Northwest Europe. Sacrifice as performance will be discussed by exploring the essential components involved in these practices through material culture, iconography, literary sources, and ethnographic observation. The diverse forms of evidence, cultural contexts, and approaches will allow participants to create new insights on the interpretation of sacrifice within social context.



Session Discussants:

Jan Bremmer (Internationales Kolleg Morphomata, Cologne)
Barbara Kowalzig (Department of Classics, New York University)
Alan Shapiro (Department of Classics, Johns Hopkins University)
L. Vance Watrous (Department of Visual Studies, University at Buffalo)


A View from a Fen— A Critical Perspective on the Concept of Sacrifice in Archaeology

Åsa Berggren (Lund University)

Etruscan Human Sacrifice: The State of Research
Nancy T. de Grummond (Florida State University)

Ancient Greek Laws on Sacrifice
Michael Gargarin (University of Texas, Austin)

Understanding the Burial Placement and Reason for Death of Northern European Bog Bodies
Guinevere Granite (University at Buffalo, SUNY, Doctoral Candidate)

In What Way Is Christ’s Death a Sacrifice? Theories of Sacrifice and Theologies of the Cross
S. Mark Heim (Andover Newton Theological School).

Post-domestic Sacrifice: Exploring the present and future of gifts for the gods
Samantha Hurn (University of Wales, Trinity Saint David)

Gifts from the gods – A new look at some weapons and vessels from the metal ages
Christoph Huth (Universität Freiburg)

Staging Roman Sacrifice
Philip Kiernan (University at Buffalo)

The Pervasiveness of Sacrifice in Protohistoric and Historic Greek Society and the Use of Sacrifice in Reinforcing Social Ideology
Thomas G. Palaima (University of Texas, Austin)

The Slaughtering of Dog as a Prestigious Animal in the Protohistoric Site of Mas Castellar de Pontós (Empordà – Spain)
Enriquetta Pons Brun (Museu Catalunya, Girona, Spain)

Every Good and Pure Thing: Sacrifice in the Egyptian context
Mary-Ann Pouls Wegner (University of Toronto)

Anglo-Saxon non-funerary weapon depositions: a consideration of purpose and meaning
Andrew Reynolds (University College London)

The mythology of Carthaginian child sacrifice: A physical anthropological perspective
Jeffrey H. Schwartz (University of Pittsburgh)

The Art of Ancient Greek Sacrifice: HIERA KALA Revisited
Tyler Jo Smith (University of Virginia)

The Anthropology of Sacrifice
Phillips Stevens, Jr. (University at Buffalo, SUNY)

Sacrificing the Sign: The Alphabet as an Offering in Ancient Israel
Roger Woodard (University at Buffalo, SUNY)

Human sacrifices as crisis management? The case of the early Neolithic site of Herxheim, Palatinate, Germany
Andrea Zeeb-Lanz (Generaldirektion Kulturelles Erbe Rheinland-Pfalz, Speyer)


The Third IEMA Visiting Scholar Spring Conference

IEMA Visiting Scholar Conference Schedule

April 24 and 25, 2010


 The history of childhood is a nightmare from which we have only recently begun to awaken.” (Lloyd De Mause)

Children existed in ancient times as active participants in societies they lived and cultures they belonged to. Hence, without any question they are represented in archaeological contexts whether archaeologists can explore them or not. However, in many current archaeological discourses children are almost completely missing despite their various roles in their cultures and in spite of their large percentage in the demographic composition of ancient societies. Possibly because the notion of childhood is commonly a biological and social construct and because of specializations in disciplines children have been either studied from a mere biological perspective in archaeology or from a social perspective in anthropology. Social and biological approaches were combined only within a few studies. To remedy this, the IEMA Conference herewith proposing an interdisciplinary platform focusing on the notion of childhood from an archaeological perspective.  Whatever the real reason(s) for missing children in archaeology we need to move beyond the present situation by “materializing” children in prehistory, and we should discuss how we can address this lacuna and fill it in. As a matter of fact, archaeological records provide substantial material to explore childhood in some degree so that archaeologists are encouraged to use this opportunity and create a think-tank altogether.

This conference aims to instigate inter-disciplinary dialogues on notion of childhood and children and to develop theoretical and methodological approaches to analyze the archaeological record in order to explore and understand children and their role in formation of past cultures.  Speakers and discussants will consider how notion of childhood can be expressed in artifacts and material record and examine how it is described in literary and historical sources of people from different regions and cultures. A mutual benefit will result from collaboration of archaeologists with scholars from other disciplines, more specifically those from in the field of cultural and physical anthropology, ethnography, history, psychology, art history, geoarchaeology, genetic studies, and isotope analysis. Perhaps we never will be able to reconstruct what childhood was really like in the past but we can certainly bring abandoned children back into archaeological thinking and research, and correct archaeologists’ erroneous and gender-biased interpretations.


Conference Speakers

Where Are the Children? Using Geoarchaeology to Explore Childhood and Family Life

Trina Arpin, Boston University

Children of the Ice Age

Paul G. Bahn, London

The Devil’s Advocate or Our Worst Case Scenario: The Archaeology of Childhood without any Children

Jane Eva Baxter, DePaul University

Children in the Anthropomorphic Imagery of the European and Near Eastern Neolithic

Peter F. Biehl, SUNY Buffalo

Where Have all the Children Gone in Hunter-gatherers’ Cosmologies? A Relational Perspective on Hunter-gatherers’ “Children” as Phenomena and Concept

Nurit Bird-David, Haifa University

Placing Children in Society: Using Ancient DNA to Identify Sex and Kinship of Child Skeletal Remains, and Implications for Gender and Social Organisation

Keri Brown, University of Manchester

“Tophets”: The Problem of Phoenician Infant Cremation Cemeteries in the Ancient Mediterranean

Joseph Greene, Semitic Museum, Harvard University

Going Blind: A Sightless Approach for Young Subjects

Scott Hutson, University of Kentucky

Object Lessons:  Theory and Application for an Archaeology of Children’s Play

Karen Johnson, Detroit

Making Children Legitimate: Negotiating the Place of Children and Childhoods in Archaeological Theory

Kathryn Kamp, Grinnell College

The Ends and Means of Childhood: Methods for an Archaeology of Children in Early Greece

Susan Langdon, University of Missouri

Metaphors for Understanding Children and Education

Jack Meacham, SUNY Buffalo

The Sacred Nature of Play: Evidence of Children in Household Ritual Performancesat Neolithic Çatalhöyük? A Native American Perspective

Sharon Moses, Cornell University

Grown up – Adult Height Dimorphism as an Archive of Living Conditions of Boys and Girls in Prehistory

Eva Rosenstock, Free University of Berlin

Growing up on a Bronze Age Tell

Joanna Sofaer, University of Southampton

The Children’s Cemetery of Lugnano in Teverina, Umbria: Hierarchy, Magic and


David Soren, University of Arizona

The Age of Consent:  Children and Sexuality in Ancient Greece and Rome

Jeannine Diddle Uzzi, University of Southern Maine

Precedence, Posterity and Population Trends during the Urban Revolution

Patricia Wattenmaker, University of Virginia


Traci Ardren, University of Miami

Stephen L. Dyson, SUNY Buffalo

Frank Hole, Yale University

Mehmet Özdoğan, Istanbul University

Second IEMA Visiting Scholar Conference

April 18th – 19th 2009

The Archaeology of Violence:
An integrated approach to the study of violence and conflict

Today, violence is an everyday occurrence and we are always reminded that violent encounters are never that far away. As a result, people have come to expect violence as part of everyday life. Whether experienced at the group or individual level, the ‘emotional, economic, demographic, logistic and political impact of violence reaches well beyond its physical location’ (Shiels et al. 2008).

This conference aims to consider the causes, actions and effects of violence through the study of skeletal remains, identity, literature, iconography, ritual behavior, and landscapes. Violence plays an important role in the development of social-political systems in the past and therefore, its archaeological identification is an essential part of our understanding of social change, both on a micro- as well as the macro-scale. Studying the material remains of violence allows us ‘to consider the importance of violent interaction and its impact upon family and settlement units; and to explore the function, causes and consequences of violent interaction in different groups and societies’ (Shiels et al. 2008).

The interdisciplinary nature of this conference will allow for a variety of research to be presented and will highlight the diversity of approaches to violence and the consequences for understanding social, political and economic relationships between individuals, kin, communities and society as a whole.

Shiels, D., L. Fibiger, W.O. Frazer and C. Murphy. 2008. Abstract for Session at WAC-6 “Changing identities: exploring the materiality of conflict I”.

Conference Details

Conference Program

All are welcome to attend this two-day conference. The conference is taking place from Saturday 18th April to Sunday 19th April and will be held at the historic Jacobs Executive Development Center (672 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14209).


Conference Participants

John Carman

Past War and European Identity:  notes towards a new conception of European-ness

Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity, University of Birmingham, NY
Michael Carter

“Convince the People”: Violence and Roman Spectacle Entertainment in the Greek World

Department of Classics, Brock University , ON
Mike Galaty

 “An offense to honor is never forgiven…”: Violence and Landscape Archaeology in Highland Northern Albania

Department of Anthropology, Millsaps College, MS
Simon James

Facing the sword: confronting the realities of martial violence and other mayhem, present and past

School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, UK
Eamonn Kelly

An Archaeological Interpretation of Irish Iron Age Bog Bodies

Keeper of Irish Antiquities, National Museum of Ireland, Dublin
John Pollini

The Archaeology of Destruction: Christians, Images of Classical Antiquity, and Some Problems in Interpretation

Department of Art History, University of Southern California, CA
Anne Porter

The State of Sacrifice: Divine Power and Political Aspiration in third millennium Mesopotamia

School of Religion, University of Southern California, CA
Rebecca Redfern

Violence as an aspect of the Durotrige female life course

Centre for Human Bioarchaeology, Centre of Human Bioarchaeology, Museum of London, UK
Werner Riess

Cursing Democracy: The Magic of Binding Spells and Athenian Law Court Procedures

Department of Classics,University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
Rick Schulting

Lex talionis, ‘an eye for an eye’?: Contexts for Violence in Neolithic Europe

School of Archaeology, University of Oxford, UK
Tina Thurston

Artful Words: the public performance of conflict and resolution in Early Medieval Denmark

SUNY, University at Buffalo , NY
Helle Vankilde

Warfare and pre-state societies: 20th century presentations and recent archaeological research inquiries

Department of Anthropology, Archaeology and Linguistics, Aarhus University, Denmark

Eric Varner

Violent Discourses: Visual Cannibalism and the Portraits of Rome’s ‘Bad’ Emperors

Departments of Art History and Classics, Emory University, GA
Mary Voigt

Ritual Murder and Sacrifice at Galatian Gordion (Turkey)

Department of Anthropology, College of William and Mary, VA

First IEMA Visiting Scholar Conference

Friday and Saturday, April 4 and 5, 2008

Toward an Eventful Archaeology:
Approaches to Structural Change in the Archaeological Record

Dr. Graeme Barker’s keynote lecture:
Archaeology as History: Revolutions, Transformations, Events

Click here to download the

Organizer: Dr. Douglas J. Bolender

The IEMA 2008 Visiting Scholar conference will focus on the archaeology of sudden social transformations. Papers will examine the identification and interpretation of eventful episodes in the archaeological record and explore their connection to other temporalities and modes of historical process and change.

Conference Participants:

Oscar Aldred, Institute of Archaeology, Iceland
Penelope Allison, University of Leicester, UK
Bettina Arnold, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, WI
Françoise Audouze, René Ginouvès Institute for Archaeology and Anthropology, Nanterre Cedex, France
John Bintliff, University of Leiden, Netherlands
Dušan Boric, University of Cambridge, UK
Pedro Díaz del Río, Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, Madrid, Spain
Jean-Paul Demoule, Institut National de Recherches Archéologiques Préventives, Paris, France
Joan Gero, American University, Washington, DC
John Grattan, University of Wales, UK
Dan Hicks, University of Bristol, UK
Michael Kolb, Northern Illinois University, IL
Christopher Matthews, Hofstra University, NY
Louise Revell, University of Southampton, UK
Timothy Taylor, University of Bradford, UK
Julian Thomas, University of Manchester, UK
Alasdair Whittle, HISAR, Cardiff University, UK