Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists

24th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists

Reflecting futures

Barcelona has been an urban laboratory since the high Medieval Ages. A place of diversity, a backdrop for  a multiplicity of social and cultural processes on multiple scales that reflect different ways of constructing the future, a city with a long experience of urban life and social innovations.
From the prehistory of Modernity through to Upper Modernity, the city space of Barcelona has always reflected the arising Modern order. It has also been through phases of subsequent modern disorder, struggles for workers’ rights, modernist social identities, and alternative ways of living. This is a city that has constantly reinvented itself. The early industrial era, the periods of strife such as the Tragic Week of 1909 and the May Day of 1937, the Spanish Civil War, the transition to democracy, the 1992 Olympics, and present day cultural activity all reflect how Barcelona has experienced new ways of reclaiming the city for its citizens. Its history is reflected in its urban layout, and in the way that it continues to take shape.
Barcelona offers a reflection of our future pasts, much in the way that archaeology does: our profession embodies an ability to reflect on how the future comes into existence and how the past influences it. We must also have the power to prototype the future. Everyone falls in love with Barcelona. One way or another, this love affair has to do with how the future challenges our past and our present. Barcelona is a perfect location for holding the 24th Annual Meeting of the EAA, the ideal setting for an Association that seeks to continuously develop and change the direction of its ability to reflect the past, in order to be able to reflect about the future.
by Felipe Criado-Boado (EAA President)


The Annual Meeting themes, as defined by the Scientific Committee, incorporate the diversity of EAA and the multidimensionality of archaeological practice, including archaeological interpretation, heritage management and politics of the past and present.

1*Theories & methods in archaeology
This theme will include sessions on theory and methods, in particular those related to topics such as palaeoclimate, environment, genetics, diet, palaeopathology. It will embrace all other scientific techniques and methods offered by other disciplines, as well as theoretical reflection on the philosophy and sociology of archaeological science, the history of archaeology as a discipline, and debates on its place in the contemporary world.


2*The archaeology of material culture, bodies & landscapes

This theme defines sessions related to the archaeological interpretation of material culture and the lives of people in the past. It will examine how people used objects and interacted with them, how they used objects and interact with them, how they constructed new landscapes and transformed their environment. Likewise, it will include reflections on social and spatial aspects of archaeological sites and archaeological landscapes, and include topics related to subsistence and economy. The theme is also aimed at addressing material culture from a cultural standpoint.

To many archaeologists, the social interpretation of material culture and the archaeological record continues to be the defining and ultimate purpose of their work. Sessions and papers addressing this theme are invited to debate on this theme in its broadest sense, including the interpretation of people’s tangible and intangible worlds in the past. Sessions will provide reflection on the social and spatial aspects of archaeological sites and archaeological landscapes and incorporate themes related to subsistence and economy, politics, social behaviour and ideology. The broad scope of the theme also applies to chronology, covering the timespan that ranges from early human evolution through to contemporary archaeology. Sessions may focus on archaeological interpretation linked to, or related to a wide range of theoretical concepts including (but not limited to) technological knowledge, gender, transmission, networks, social and cultural contact, mobility, colonisation, landscapes, soundscapes, wetlands, gardens, ritual, body, myth and even rubbish. Sessions covering related topics in which over broad perspectives are examined are particularly encouraged. Theoretical considerations on tangible and intangible culture and the archaeological record are also welcome.


3*Mediterranean seascapes

"Mediterranean seascapes" has been chosen to highlight the role of the Mediterranean as a communication route and nexus of both past and present cultures as a theme that is closely linked to the region and the city in which the Annual Meeting is being held.

4*Archaeology and the future of cities & urban landscapes

Archaeology can provide evidence for interpretations of past responses to social and environmental stress. This theme will include sessions on urbanization, urban planning, sustainability, resiliency, risk management, heritage preservation, and territoriality. These sub-themes will all be examined from an archaeological perspective. The sessions will take into consideration the framework established by the UN's 2030 Agenda and Goals for Sustainable Development.


5*Archaeology & the European Year of Cultural Heritage

2018 has been declared European Year of Cultural Heritage. In this context, this theme will bring together the sessions and round tables on cultural heritage policies in Europe and the place of archaeological heritage in that context. Other topics on archaeological heritage include heritage management, the social and economic impact of heritage conservation and management, preventive conservation, illegal trafficking of antiquities, heritage legislation, archaeological tourism and sustainability.


6*Musems & the challenges of archaeological heritage in 21st century

Barcelona, the city of many museums, welcomes this theme. Sessions addressing this theme will be organized focusing on the debate around how museums can serve their public. It will also examine ways in which the presentation of heritage is achieved and how the exhibition and conservation of archaeological objects in museums contributes to that mission.



Call for contributions for sessions is open from 15 December to 15 February. However, in some cases formal requirements have not yet been met by the session (co)organisers (i.e. payment of EAA membership and/or registration), so these sessions are not available for submission of a paper, poster or other contribution yet - please check later for the availability of the session. The list is updated regularly, the final list of sessions will be announced on 1 February.



Session #154 'Manipulated bodies: Case studies of post-mortem interactions with human remains'

From bones in ossuaries and human remains in museum collections to puzzling body parts discovered beneath prehistoric houses, people have been curating others throughout the centuries. What can we learn from such post-mortem biographies, and what are the challenges faced by archaeologists and curators? This session aims to highlight potential comparative perspectives across social, cultural and temporal contexts, thereby examining the reasons why, contexts within and means by which the material body is manipulated after death. Therefore, we welcome case studies that examine post-mortem interactions with the dead and the archaeological body.


You can register for EAA 2018 now. Also excursions have been added to the programme, so you can choose from the long list of excursions. Please note that it can take one business day to process the payment in the system.

archaeology congress

Montalegre 6, 08001 Barcelona Spain