The years 2020 and 2021 have been difficult for most of us – whether worrying about family members and friends, being caught in a lockdown, teaching online, working from home, etc. It has been very silent on our part for a long time – the pandemic has prevented us from organizing a meeting in 2020 and 2021, as we all prefer to meet in person rather than on our computer screens. Indeed, this was the main purpose of the Necropoleis Research Network (NRN) in the first place: to meet and exchange research results, views and experiences in a different setting every year and in an informal manner.

The Necropoleis Research Network brings together people working on any aspect of mortuary archaeology in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Near East between the Iron Age and the Late Roman periods (all loosely defined). Although mortuary remains – arguably – represent one of the most dominant categories of evidence for this period/region, we feel that its scholars are widely scattered, not only geographically, but also in terms of methodological and theoretical approach. We believe that we can benefit greatly from closer collaboration. Furthermore, advances in study of human remains are opening the field to new questions of relevance to all mortuary archaeologists. This network, thus, is primarily intended to facilitate an exchange of ideas and methodological best practices. An explicit aim of the network is to involve museum personnel, members of Antiquities Services, and scholars in universities and research institutes, and to discuss not only the past, but also contemporary issues revolving around mortuary archaeology (i.e., excavating human remains, storage, lack of funds for publication). We do this (usually) in an annual meeting, as well as in panels organized at international conferences. Previous meetings were held in Groningen (2016), Isparta (2017), Beirut (2018) and Berlin (2019).

 In 2022 we intend to reconvene our yearly meetings. Thus, we are pleased to invite you to the 5th Annual Meeting of the Necropoleis Research Network that will take place next academic year in Athens, Greece.

The meeting will be held at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens on Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th of October 2022. On the first day the focus will be on “The Study of Cremations”, while the second day will be open for papers on “New Methods” and “Recent Finds” in mortuary archaeology. As we can only have a limited number of speakers, we invite papers which go beyond the description of individual assemblages and attempt a broader contextual study or adopt an interdisciplinary approach.  

On “The Study of Cremations” (sessions 1 and 2), we invite papers on aspects such as, but notØ limited to:  

–  The rite of cremation

–  The technology of cremation

–  Bioarchaeological analysis of cremated human remains

–  Regional variation and change through time in the practice of cremation

–  Cremation and its social, economic and cultural dimensions

–  Funerary rituals and ideologies of fire

–  Terminology, interpretation and reconstruction of cremation burials

-On “New Methods” (session 3) we invite papers on new methods in mortuary archaeology, with anØ emphasis on bioarchaeological or digital methods.  

-On “Recent Finds” (session 4) we invite papers on important new discoveries.

The Organizing Committee withholds the right to make a selection in order to ensure an even coverage of themes, periods and regions.

Practical Notes:  

-Papers (in English or Greek) will last sharply 20’and will be followed by 10’discussion.

 -Poster sessions will be held during the breaks. Practical details on format etc. will be circulated later.  

-The deadline for abstract submissions is March 30, 2022. Please send a title and a short abstract (ca. 300 words) together with a short cv (max. 200 words).  

-Accepted papers will be notified by May 15th, 2022.

-Attendance of the meeting is free of charge. For public health and logistical reasons, however, it is necessary to register for the event by September 1, 2022. For this purpose please fill in the attached registration form (we may have to restrict participation to 60 people in the (we hope) unlikely event that covid measures are still in place).  

-There are no publication requirements following presentations at the meeting. The main purpose of  the annual meetings is to share research and exchange new ideas.  

-Speakers are kindly asked to cover their own travel expenses, subsistence and accommodation.

-Coffee/tea will be offered at the venue. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are not included.

 -Speakers only: excursions to the archaeological site of Kerameikos and the First Cemetery of Athens.

For abstract submissions on the upcoming meeting in Athens, please fill in the form below and send it to Nikolas Dimakis at [email protected] (please type as email subject: NRN2022_your full name). Questions can also be addressed to him.

Get in Touch with the NRN!

For further information on the Necropoleis Research Network and to follow our updates, find us on Academia at

If you would like to join the Network and be on our mailing list, please send us your details to the following address [email protected].

The NRN 2022 Meeting co-organizers

Nikolas Dimakis (National & Kapodistrian University of Athens)

Eurydice Kefalidou (National & Kapodistrian University of Athens)

Willem Ledeboer (interim Director, Netherlands Institute at Athens)

Jutta Stroszeck (German Archaeological Institute)

Sofia Voutsaki (University of Groningen)