The Roman Archaeology Conference organising team has announced a new session: “The importance of post-depositional processes”.
It is widely acknowledged in archaeology that objects are seldom found at the exact place where they entered the archaeological record. In most cases, once deposited, objects were exposed to a variety of factors leading to their eventual finding spot. However, post-depositional factors are rarely openly discussed in archaeological research, leading to skewed results and false conclusions.
While we all are taught to beware of post-depositional factors in theory during our studies, it is striking how often in practice it is assumed that the find spot is also the place the object was lost and that processes of recycling, household cleaning and rubbish removal (to name but a few) are hardly taken into account. Another dangerous trap are the processes by which sites are found, explored and recorded. For instance, differences in excavation techniques can lead to very different outcomes. While reconstructing the biographies of find assemblages can be a tough ask, it is crucial for their interpretation.
This session will explore all types of post-depositional processes and how they should be conceptualized and anchored within archaeological research. It aims to not only combine theoretical models of waste disposal and site formation in Roman settlements but also to present case studies on dumps and middens, layers and backfills, deposits and depositions. Interdisciplinary papers either with a regional focus or on all types of site (town, rural settlements, graves, shipwrecks) are especially welcome where synthesized analyses of artifacts and biofacts can lead to a more complete picture of the composition of an assemblage.
For further information, please contact the session organisers:
Stefanie Hoss, Universität zu Köln, Archäologisches Institut, Kerpener Straße 30 / Eingang Weyertal, 50931 Köln; [email protected]
Andrew Lawrence, Institut für Archäologische Wissenschaften, Universität Bern; [email protected]
The deadline for the submission of papers proposal is 15th November 2019.
Submissions should be sent by email to the RAC Executive Committee: [email protected].
You will find all the detailed information concerning the submission process at http://www.romansocietyrac.ac.