Inaugural Meeting of the EAA in Ljubljana

Hugh Jarvis (C129QP43@UBVM.BITNET)
Wed, 5 Oct 1994 22:51:34 EDT

Inaugural Meeting of the EAA, 22.-25.9.1994, Ljubljana, Slovenia

After some years of planning and preparing, the Inaugural Meeting of the
_European Association of Archaeologists_ (EAA) took place last week in
Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia (former Yugoslavia).

This seems to be an important event that perhaps deserves some
thought on this list. In the following, I will give you briefly a few comments
about the conference, before you -- I hope -- begin a discussion about
more specific issues relating to the conference or the EAA. (Sorry if you
see this message twice. I cross-post it to ARCH-L and ARCH-THEORY;
the latter list, being a 'European' and a 'theoretical' list, would perhaps
be the best place for a discussion about archaeology in Europe and the

First of all, for all those who are not too familiar with European
geography: LJUBLJANA lies in the very West of the former Yugoslavia
and is now the capital of Slovenia. It is *not* an area where any war is, or
recently was taking place. Slovenia appears today more like Northern
Italy and Austria (both countries are very close, and their culture clearly
does not stop at their borders) than like a typical 'Eastern European'
country. We all, I believe, were very impressed by the beauty of the town
and its surrounding landscape, but also by the living standard in this
country which appeared to be virtually no different from the UK. We were
also impressed by the Department of Archaeology at the University of
Ljubljana which organised this meeting perfectly.

Present at the conference were APPROX. 250 PARTICIPANTS from
almost all European countries: field archaeologists, heritage officers as
well as university lecturers. Unfortunately, a number of Russian and
Eastern European archaeologists could not come at short notice,
because it turned out to be financially impossible (those who came
travelled mostly by train -- one apparently had spent 7 days on the
Transsiberian railway!). In relation to their absolute numbers, not very
strongly represented were French and German archaeologists, while lots
of participants came from the Iberian peninsula, Scandinavia,
SE-Europe, Britain, and of course Slovenia itself.

At the actual INAUGURAL MEETING of the EAA, its first Statutes were
unanimously accepted. However, in the future the ruling that the working
language is English will be reviewed with the acceptance of more (main)
European languages in mind.

Currently the 'officers' of the Board of the EAA are Kristian Kristiansen,
Gothenburg (President), Alain Schnapp, Paris (Treasurer) and Henry
Cleere, Paris (Secretary). For elections at the coming regular meetings a
Nomination Committee has been elected which consists of Angeles
Querol, Madrid (for 1 year), Anthony Harding, Durham (for 2 years), and
Predrag Novakovic, Ljubljana (for 3 years). The office of the EAA is at
Oslo until the end of 1995 (address see below).

Besides the organisation of an annual conference, the WORK OF THE
EAA consists of the production of the lively new _Journal of European
Archaeology_ of which the third issue (2.1) has just appeared. The EAA
also produces a regular Newsletter _The European Archaeologist_
which is open for all sorts of announcements (edited by Henry Cleere).

The ACADEMIC PROGRAMME of the conference consisted of the
Inaugural Lecture by Colin Renfrew, Cambridge, who emphasised the
"perversion of ethnicity" as it can be seen in the ethnic propaganda of
some of the new states of the former Yugoslavia, as well as a number of
partly parallel sessions of papers:

* Contemporary Myth of the Past (chairperson: Bozidar Slapsak,
* Gender Studies (chairperson: Elisabeth Arvill-Nordbladh, Gothenburg)
* Archaeological Landscapes (chairperson: Felipe Criado Boas,
Santiago di Compostela)
* The Role of Population Movements in Creating the Multicultural Nature
of Europe (chairperson: Kristian Kristiansen, Gothenburg)
* Science in Archaeology
* The Interaction between Animal Husbandry and Agriculture in
European Prehistory (chairperson: Bogdan Brukner, Novi Sad)
* Legislation Problems (chairperson: Henry Cleere, Paris)
* The 'Long Duree' in the Archaeology of Europe (chairperson: John
Bintliff, Durham)
* The Role of Early Metallurgy
* Traditions in European Archaeology (chairperson: Alain Schnapp,
* Reconstruction and the Issue of Authenticity (chairperson: Michael
Shanks, Lampeter)
* The Interface between Archaeology and History (chairperson: Matthew
Johnson, Durham)
* New Developments in Cemetery Analysis (chairperson: Anna Maria
Bietti-Sestieri, Rome)
* Regional Perspectives in European Archaeology (chairperson: Phil
Mason, Novo Mesto)
* 'Commercial Archaeology' (chairperson: Gustav Trotzig, Stockholm)
* Passing the Alps: The Study of Cultural Relations (chairperson: Mitja
Gustin, Ljubljana)
* Rock Art and Symbolic Representations (chairperson: Jarl Nordbladh,

In addition, two Round Tables on the 'European Institute of Archaeology'
and 'Archaeology in SE-Europe' took place.

We also were invited to two rather nice 'parties' in local Galleries as well
as to a field-trip to the karst area of Slovenia and the most amasing caves
which many of us have ever seen in their life!

The NEXT CONFERENCE of the EAA will take place in late September
1995 in Santiago di Compostela (Galicia, Spain). For 1996 negotiations
are being carried out with Latvian archaeologists for a meeting in Riga. In
the future, participation of Eastern European (incl. Russian)
archaeologists will be crucial for the success of the EAA. It is hoped to
raise funds that could allow giving grants to those who could not
otherwise afford to come.

For a continous cooperation of European archaeologists, e-mail and
discussion groups on the INTERNET as well as access to the 'World
Wide Web' (WWW) can provide a generally cheap and quick medium of
communication. Many continental Departments of Archaeology and
Universities, however, are not yet 'on the net'. It should therefore be a
priority for the EAA to improve such facilities all around Europe.

This, however, in turn demands that the European archaeologists accept
the EAA as 'their' association and representational body. With currently a
bit more than 400 members, many more European archaeologists or
archaeologists interested in European archaeology* are invited to join
the EAA! (* Full MEMBERSHIP is open to professional archaeologists --
you are a professional archaeologist if you feel you want to belong to this
organisation, according to Henry Cleere, Secretary of the EAA)

If you want to join the EAA (and get the _Journal of European
Archaeology_ for free) or contribute to _The European Archaeologist_
newsletter, please contact:

The Secretariat of the EAA at Oslo
c/o Riksantikvaren
Dronningens gt. 13
Postboks 8196 Dep.
N - 0034 Oslo

I am sorry if this message is a bit long, but I thought it is worth it ...

Cornelius Holtorf
Department of Archaeology, University of Wales, Lampeter, UK