Prehistoric Personal Adornment in Social and Economic Context

Claire Heckel, American Museum of Natural History – AMNH (US) (AMNH) – Central Park West at 79th Street New York,
NY 10024 – États-Unis

Solange Rigaud,CNRS PACEA (UMR5199) – Université de Bordeaux Université Bordeaux, Bâtiment B18, Avenue des
Facultés, 33405 Talence – France

Quartier latin, Paris, France
3-9 Juin 2018

You are warmly invited to take part in the XVIIIe Congrès de l’UISPP, which will be held in  Paris, France, from 4th to 9th June 2018

Personal ornaments are polythetic artifacts that are intimately connected to identity, social organization, and ritualized material practices. Their analysis, when performed with appropriate tools, offers unique insights into the social organization of prehistoric societies and, when considered longitudinally, cultural evolution. Evidence that has been uncovered in the last twenty years has substantially altered the timeline for the emergence of symbolic behavior and also shown that instead of a sudden emergence, personal adornment has a complex and mosaic prehistory marked at certain times and places by intensified investment. The conditions that motivate investment in symbolic material culture are complex and varied, and untangling them is crucial to understanding the contribution of symbolic practices to the form and function of human societies. This session will focus on methods and approaches that further a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the factors that have influenced personal adornment production and use over time and space, going beyond typology and technology to examine broader economic, social, and cultural contexts. Examples are welcome from a wide range of contexts across pre- and proto-history, from hunter-gatherer bands of the Pleistocene to early pastoral and farming societies and including ethnographic and ethnohistorical examples, without geographic restriction. Contributions should focus on analytical methods and techniques (including microscopy and imaging, use-wear analysis, sourcing, morphometrics, GIS analysis, and statistical approaches) that contribute to discussions of production organization, social organization, demography, mobility, landscape use, technology, exchange, and cultural transmission. The primary focus of the session is beads and pendants in biogenic materials (tooth, shell, ivory, bone, antler, amber, ostrich eggshell), but we invite contributions based on other materials related to adornment such as minerals, metals, pigments, residues, and perishable materials
such as hide, sinew, and hair.

The general theme held for the congress is :

Sub-Themes :

  • Historiography
  • Archaeological methods
  • Archaeological theory
  • Archaeological training
  • Archaeological prospection
  • Field archaeology
  • Computing archaeology
  • First Humans
  • Lower Palaeolithic
  • Middle palaeolithic
  • Middle Stone Age
  • Upper palaeolithic
  • Final palaeolithic
  • Mesolithic
  • Neolithic
  • Chalcolithic
  • Metal ages
  • Bronze Age
  • Iron Age
  • Prehistoric art
  • Rock Art
  • Mobile Art
  • Functional studies
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Lithic industries
  • Bone industries
  • Ceramics
  • Palaeometallurgy
  • Flint mining
  • Raw material procurement
  • DNA studies
  • Geoarchaeology
  • Archaeozoology
  • Funerary archaeology
  • Paleoanthropology
  • Archeobotanics
  • Archeometry
  • Landscape archaeology
  • Archaeology in the mountains
  • Desert archaeology
  • Tropical archaeology
  • Absolute dating
  • Paleoeconomy
  • Heritage site management
  • Rescue archaeology
  • Cross-cutting themes
  • The Intellectual and Spiritual Expressions of Non-Litterate Societies

As for each UISPP World Congress, the Congress is open to all other sessions, regardless of the general theme above, which may be proposed in the context of the call for sessions.

For more information, visit:

CFP: TAG Gainesville May 11-13, 2018

TAG Gainesville 2018 Theme: Matter Matters

Even as it has long aspired to legitimacy as a discipline of inquiry through an engagement with theory, archaeology as a practice is literally grounded in the physical matter that makes up the enduring traces of human existences. Theory is, by definition, conceptual or immaterial, but its productive application requires attention to matter. That is, matter matters. Matter has its own properties, agencies, vibrancies, durations, and biographies, all of which may lend support to, or alternatively constrain or resist, the various theoretical concepts archaeologists employ to orient their analyses and explications of human experiences. This theme is intended to encompass all the different aspects of matter—matter matters—in archaeology at all spatial and temporal scales, from molecules to landscapes, with a focus on human-matter interactions. A certain dynamism—as flow, perdurance, or transformation—is implied in attending to matter, which is never static. The virtual or potential properties of matter are actualized in both anthropogenic and environmental processes. They therefore have consequences for human intentions, practices, and projects. Economies, religions, and politics are shaped by the properties and spatial distributions of matter. Furthermore, archaeological analyses are driven by our discipline’s particular categorizations and measurements of matter, which will likely conflict with those of the peoples we investigate.

Call for Sessions and Papers

TAG Gainesville welcomes sessions and papers on any and all of these matters pertaining to human-matter interactions past and present. Suggested titles include the following as examples of theoretical approaches to matter: matter theory, matter metaphysics, matter politics, making/unmaking matter, matter alchemy, entangling matter, assembling matter, transforming matter/transforming selves, moving matter, bodily matters, living matter/decaying matter, matter methods, scaling matter, mind and matter, sensing matter, matter in time. Because matter as a construct evokes its opposite, sessions on anti-matter and virtual matter are equally welcome. Sessions may also address theories of matter for specific materials: lithic, ceramic, faunal, metal, soil, water, feather, horn, textile, and so forth. These sessions may incorporate demonstrations of working with matter; contact the organizers for information on special needs for such demonstrations.

Anyone can submit a proposal for a session that may include up to ten 20-minute papers. Proposals for sessions (title, organizer, and 250-word abstract) may be submitted with some or all of the session participants pre-identified, or they may leave it open to anyone contributing a paper who considers their topic relevant to the proposed session topic. Authors of contributed papers are asked to contact the session organizer(s) if they wish to present in that session. However, contributed papers on the theme “Matter Matters” can be submitted in the absence of any pre-organized session. Presenters of contributed papers should submit a title, list of authors, and 250 word abstract. Conference organizers reserve the right to assign contributed papers to appropriate sessions or create new sessions out of papers on a similar topic. A growing list of proposed sessions can be found under the “Session Abstracts” link of the TAG 2018 homepage. Go to the “Registration” link to upload proposals for sessions and papers, or to simply register as an attendee.

Contributors are allowed only one conference role as first author of a paper and one additional role as organizer, second author, or discussant. 

Special Call for Artist’s Proposals

TAG Gainesville invites artists to present their original works as they relate to the theme “Matter Matters.” More information will be forthcoming regarding exhibition space and installation requirements.

If you have any questions about an organized session or contributed papers, please contact the conference organizers at [email protected]. The deadline to propose an organized session is January 15, 2018, and for all papers (contributed or identified as part of an organized session) is March 16, 2018.

The deadline to register and pay the pre-registration fee is March 16, 2018.

Fieldwork Opportunity: Irish Archaeology Field School

The Institute for Field Research (IFR) Ireland Ferrycarrig Program

We are Ireland’s leading provider of accredited, field-based archaeological research and training. The ethos of the school is to provide an opportunity for students of archaeology and anthropology to experience at first hand the excitement of archaeological excavation in a teaching environment.

Our archaeological and heritage include research projects in a number of locations in Ireland, including Co. Offally, Co. Wexford. Our new projects include, historical research, remote sensing and non-invasive survey, ground investigation and excavation. Our courses include programmes for novice and experienced students, internships, faulty led purpose-built programmes, and accredited programmes with partner organisations including the Institute for Field Research.

Whilst our programs are excavation-centered and aimed primarily at students of archaeology, anthropology and forensics, courses are open to all, and are guaranteed to give you an enriching and thoroughly worthwhile study abroad adventure.

This year the IAFS are launching an exciting new excavation at Carrick Castle (and settlement), the first Norman Castle in Ireland, constructed in 1169. The site is locating within the stunning confines of the Irish National Heritage Park, a 40 acre parkland featuring the largest open air museum in Ireland, in Wexford, southeast Ireland. The course is suitable for students from a wide range of backgrounds including archaeology, history, anthropology, experimental archaeology, medieval studies – or just students looking for a unique study abroad experience in general. The programme will include students of all ages and nationalities.

Most courses are open to undergraduate, graduate and post graduate students undertaking any major, and from any university in the world. Students must be 18 years or over, to participate. The courses are designed to support student development and are relevant to those who are not yet enrolled in university as well as current or graduate students.

For more information and to apply, visit our website: