By Charles C. Kolb (associate editor, archaeological ceramics)
The 25thAnnual Meeting of the Association of European Archaeologists (EAA) was held 4-7 September 2019 in Bern, Switzerland. The event is organised by the Institute of Archaeological Sciences at the University of Bern.There were 162 sessions at EAA 2019 and more than 600 papers were presented. Among these were 49 contributions on archaeological ceramics. Go to the program website and type in “ceramics” which will provide the list of contributions and links detailed abstracts and information on their authors and their affiliations:
Of special note: Session #162 Culture Contacts in the Western Mediterranean Sea during the Roman Age. Pottery as Cultural Marker between Traffics and Local Productions. Main organizer: Marco Giuman (Italy). 5 Sep 8:30 - 16:00.The study of pottery of the ancient world is an important element to analyze the contacts and the transmissions of social and cultural models. By this way, in consideration of its geographical extension and the long process of its political, economic and socio-cultural hegemony, the Roman Age can be a privileged field of study in a research perspective, that aims to highlighting how and how much the dynamics of integration following the conquest are carried out, also through the commercialization of pottery classes and uses of some vessel shapes. In fact, this latter topic can constitute an important way to demonstrate the possible relations between the diffusion of specific vessel shapes and the transmission of Roman traditions and symbolic customs, in the geographical area object of this investigation. Given these premises, the so-called local productions also play a key role in this work of interpretation of the pottery material culture, because they are inspired by the great Mediterranean circulation and represent a focal point for understanding, in a primarily comparative perspective, the different degree of penetration of the Roman integration processes, in different social and geographical contexts. For example, the selection of ceramic forms can reflect the spread of cultural models, as in the case of those that seem to be directly linked to food trends. Therefore, in the comparison of the various contexts proposed, this study could make a significant contribution to a coherent reconstruction of these kinds of phenomena. In fact, this approach in the study of material culture can be workable to the analysis of the models of ‘Romanity’. It will be important to highlight the role and importance of local productions as phenomena that could be the expression of reception and re-elaboration of Roman cultural models in a diachronic perspective.
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