Category Archives: News and Events

CFP: Context and Meaning XV: Sensing Matter(s)

The Graduate Visual Culture Association of Queen’s University presents CONTEXT AND MEANING XV

Formal museum etiquette and the discipline of art history have long instilled in their audiences a compulsion to look but not touch. How might we as historians and theorists revaluate the way in which we examine art in order to move beyond solely a consideration of the visual? Can methodologies be bolstered or problematized when we address and approach art with varying sensory engagements beyond the visual? How can works of art stimulate the senses, and how have the senses influenced the creation and interpretation of historical or contemporary objects? What can the museum experience tell us about curatorial and display techniques that move beyond the visual to create narratives and illuminate histories of objects and experiences? More recently, the realm of the digital humanities and emerging technology has facilitated the re-creation of art objects and architectural settings in virtual environments. What effects might this emerging virtual frontier have on how historians understand three-dimensional objects without their tactile qualities, and the phenomenological impact of inserting ourselves into these virtual worlds?

We are pleased to announce the fifteenth annual Context & Meaning Graduate Student Conference, taking place at Queen’s University on Friday, January 29th and Saturday, January 30th, 2016. We are seeking papers that address this year’s theme, “Sensing Matter(s),” with the aim of critically examining and challenging the dominance of visuality in visual culture. To that end we invite graduate students to submit proposals for papers that address the engagement of haptic, sensory, or phenomenological experience in the treatment or analysis of visual and material culture. We are interested in exploring this theme in a variety of contexts and strongly encourage interdisciplinary approaches and related fields that may move beyond the purely visual (i.e. performative art pieces). Possible topics may include but are not limited to:
– Depictions of the five senses in art – music, movement, food, and so on
– Material and object-centered approaches: tactility and the haptic
– New museological and curatorial approaches beyond the hanging frame
– Installation and performance art
– Phenomenology and synaesthesia – the body as sensory apparatus
– Technical art history and conservation practices
– Virtuality and the digital humanities
– Extrasensory experiences of artists and artworks (e.g. miraculous objects)

This conference is open to both historical and contemporary topics, and may relate to things considered “fine art” as well as those encountered everyday. Submissions are welcome from current graduate students, as well as those who have completed their graduate studies within the last year, from across Canada and the United States conducting research in all disciplines that engage with visual and material culture. In light of our theme, we seek to assemble a diverse group of scholars in order to foster interdisciplinary discussions. Each presenter will be allotted twenty minutes to deliver her or his papers, followed by a ten- minute discussion period.

If you are interested in speaking or performing at Context and Meaning XIV, please email an abstract of no more than 300 words with the title of the paper, along with a separate document that includes a brief letter of introduction, to Abstracts should be submitted by Friday, November 6, 2015. As a blind panel will review all submissions, please ensure that your name and the title of your paper are included in your letter of introduction, but that your name and other identifying marks are left off the abstract.

We thank all that apply and will only contact those who have been accepted. Accepted applications will be notified by December 5th, 2015.

Deadline for submission: November 6, 2015

If you have any questions concerning the conference, please contact us at

Graduate Student Conference Committee
Graduate Visual Culture Association
Department of Art, Ontario Hall
Queen’s University!
Kingston, ON
K7L 3N6! Canada

Conference: Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future: the Potential of Digital Archaeology — February 27-28, 2015

On February 27-28, 2015, the Wentworth Institute of Technology (WIT) in Boston, MA will host “Mobilizing the Past for a Digital Future: the Potential of Digital Archaeology.” The proceedings will be live streamed. Registration for attending the workshop in person closes on February 5.

This two-day, NEH-sponsored workshop brings together pioneers in archaeology and computing to discuss the use, creation, and implementation of mobile tablet technology to advance digital archaeology, i.e., fully digital recording systems to create born-digital data in the field. Session themes are aimed at facilitating presentation, demonstration, and discussion on how archaeologists around the world use tablets or other digital tools in the field and lab and how best practices can be implemented across projects. The workshop highlights the advantages and future of mobile computing and its challenges and limitations. The workshop consists of formal paper sessions and opportunities for informal discussion of the issues and themes at moderated discussions, demonstrations, round tables, and speaker meals. The workshop’s goal is to synthesize current practices and establish a blueprint for creating best practices and moving forward with mobile tablets in archaeology.

Organizers: Erin Walcek Averett (Creighton University), Derek Counts (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Jody Gordon (Wentworth Institute of Technology), and Michael K. Toumazou (Davidson College)

PhD Scholarship Opportunity at University of Glasgow — Deadline 23 January 2015

University of Glasgow Lord Kelvin/Adam Smith PhD Scholarship Competition 2015/16:

Consuming Identities in the ‘Cradle of Civilisations’ – Food Consumption and the Emergence of Social Complexity in Greater Mesopotamia

Supervisors: Dr Claudia Glatz (Archaeology/School of Humanities) and Dr. Jaime Toney (School of Geographical and Earth Sciences)

This project will shed new light onto practices of food consumption and identity in the proverbial
 ‘Cradle of Civilizations’ by investigating the role of specific organic substances in the (re-)production 
and negotiation of social status and cultural identities at a time when the world’s first urban societies
 developed in greater Mesopotamia. Drawing on recent anthropological and archaeological theories of
 emergent social complexity and the role of food consumption in these processes, the proposed 
project will examine questions of diet and food habits using a tightly integrated framework of historical, 
iconographic and archaeological contextual analysis in conjunction with methods derived from organic
 geochemistry to isolate and identify the residues of perishable substances on pottery and lithic tools.
 Of particular interest will be substances generally associated with socially significant consumption 
events such as wine and beer, whose preference may indicate social and cultural differences in 
consumption practices in the study region. Secondary products of livestock-rearing such as milk,
 yoghurt and cheese, will be investigated to provide insights into the relationships of settled farmers 
and more mobile pastoral groups and their connections with the highland regions of the Zagros. The
 question of the local production or importation of such substances will also be addressed. The focus
 region of the project comprises the south Mesopotamian plains and the Zagros piedmonts of modern-day 
Iraq from the fifth to the second millennium BC.

Candidates interested in being considered for funded PhD study on this project are encouraged to make informal contact with the Lead Supervisor ( in the first instance. Further information, including details of how to apply, can be found on the Postgraduate Research web pages:

The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday, 23 January 2015. Applications should be emailed to Adeline Callander (

Free eBook: Marcos Martinón-Torres (ed.) – Craft and Science: International Perspectives on Archaeological Ceramics

At <> is this downloadable book:

[Go there for links to book and/or individual chapters]

UCL Qatar Series in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage
ISSN: 2312-5004
Volume 1

Craft and science: International perspectives on archaeological ceramics

Edited by Marcos Martinón-Torres

ISBN: 978-9927-101-75-5

Foreword (selection)

Ceramics are among the most abundant materials recovered in archaeological sites. Traditionally, they have served as the main staple for archaeologists to establish chronological sequences within sites and cultural affiliations between sites. They are also a primary source for a wealth of information about past economies, social structures and ritual behaviour. In addition, ceramics preserve in their bodies the traces of countless forms of experimentation, knowledge transmission, technical ingenuity and artistic sensitivity, transcending the boundaries between art, craft and science both in their original production, and in their current study.

As a sustained area of research, the study of ceramics has historically served as a prime arena for innovation, both through the pioneer application of instrumental analyses and as a core foundation and testing ground for influential archaeological theories. Inevitably, some research methods are well-established in some regions, whereas they are still emerging in others. Also the integration between science-based approaches and archaeological theory is uneven. However, emerging academic traditions, and those in less-resourced regions, should not be overshadowed by the more established paradigms. While it is impossible to keep up with all the work carried out on archaeological ceramics worldwide, it is essential that researchers continue to exchange and compare their methods, results and ideas, and that these are made available to a broader archaeological readership.

This book aims to facilitate this exchange and update of information on diverse approaches to archaeological ceramics across much of the world.

About the Editor

Marcos Martinón-Torres is Professor of Archaeological Science at the UCL Institute of Archaeology, where he co-ordinates an MSc in the Technology and Analysis of Archaeological Materials and supervises several research students working on ancient materials and technologies across the world. His research interests include material culture and technology, the applications of science to archaeological problems, and the interplay between archaeology, anthropology, science and history. Ongoing projects focus on Renaissance alchemy in Europe, Pre-Columbian metallurgy in America, and the logistics behind the making of the Chinese Terracotta Army.


Foreword –  PDF
Pots as signals: Explaining the enigma of long-distance ceramic exchange –  PDF
Lessons from the Elephant’s Child: Questioning ancient ceramics –  PDF
Inferring provenance, manufacturing technique, and firing temperatures of the Monagrillo ware (3520–1300 cal BC), Panama’s first pottery –  PDF
The use of andesite temper in Inca and pre-Inca pottery from the region of Cuzco, Peru –  PDF
50 left feet: The manufacture and meaning of effigy censers from Lamanai, Belize –  PDF
Molding the ‘collapse’: Technological analysis of the Terminal Classic molded-carved vases from Altun Ha, Belize –  PDF
Ceramic technology and the global world: First technological assessment of the Romita ware of colonial Mexico –  PDF
Pottery production in Santa Ponsa (Majorca, Spain) from the Late Bronze Age to the Late Iron Age (1100–50 BC): Ceramics, technology and society –  PDF
Archaeometric investigation of Punic lamps from Ibiza (Balearic Islands, Spain) –  PDF
Ceramic technology between the Final Bronze Age and the First Iron Age in NE Italy: The case of Oppeano (Verona) –  PDF
Hispanic terra sigillata productions documented on the Catalan coast: Some unexpected results and new issues –  PDF
The ways of the lustre: Looking for the Tunisian connection –  PDF
Capodimonte porcelain: A unique manufacture –  PDF
Late Neolithic pottery productions in Syria. Evidence from Tell Halula (Euphrates valley): A technological approach –  PDF
Assyrian palace ware definition and chaîne opératoire: Preliminary results from Nineveh, Nimrud, and Aššur –  PDF
Messages impressed in clay: Scientific study of Iron Age Judahite bullae from Jerusalem –  PDF
The geochemistry and distribution of Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic wares of the territory of ancient Sagalassos (SW Turkey):
A reconnaissance study –  PDF
The colour and golden shine of early silver Islamic lustre –  PDF
Experiments with double chamber sunken up-draught kilns –  PDF
Petro-mineralogical and geochemical characterisation of Middle Neolithic Bükk Culture fine ware from Garadna, NE Hungary –  PDF
Archaeometric investigation of Celtic graphitic pottery from two archaeological sites in Hungary –  PDF
Archaeometric investigation of Buda white ware (12th–14th century AD, North Hungary): Initial questions and first results –  PDF
The ceramic technology of the architectural glazed tiles of Huangwa Kiln, Liaoning Province, China –  PDF
Parallel developments in Chinese porcelain technology in the 13th – 14th centuries AD –  PDF
Luminescence dating of ceramic building materials: application to the study of early medieval churches in north-western France and south-eastern England –  PDF
Computerised documentation of painted decoration on pottery vessels using 3D scanning –  PDF
Insights into manufacturing techniques of archaeological pottery: Industrial X-ray computed tomography as a tool in the examination of cultural material –  PDF
Thermal shock resistance of tempered archaeological ceramics –  PDF
The second life of ceramics: a new home in a lime environment –  PDF

SAA November 6 Online Seminar Now Open

Please direct all replies to

Back by popular demand — a  free , 2-hour class taught by former SAA President Fred Limp!

New developments in technologies for the measurement of form and space in archaeology: An introduction for students.  This online workshop is free to SAA members and will be taught by Dr. Fred Limp, RPA. Dr. Limp has been involved in the application of geomatics methods to archaeology for more than three decades. He was the founder and director of the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies for 18 years, and has taught numerous undergraduate and graduate and short courses on the topic.

Exactly 60 years ago Gordon Willey famously stated that the objectives of archaeology are “approached by the study and manipulation of three basic factors: form, space and time.” Since then we have seen the huge impact that improved technologies for the measurement of time have had on the field. We are currently in the midst of a similar revolution in the methods for the measurement of space and form. The workshop is designed as an introduction to these developments – providing an accessible review of the characteristics and uses of such methods as high-resolution GNSS, “laser scanning,” close range photogrammetry and related methods for the measurement of space and form of landscapes, sites, structures and objects.

Course: New developments in technologies for the measurement of form and space in archaeology: An introduction for students.

Instructor: Dr. Fred Limp, RPA

Date: November 6, 2014

Time: 2:00-4:00 PM EST

Space is limited and seats fill up quickly. Register today at