The World Archaeological Congress, January 14-18, 2013
Early registration ends October 20, 2013.

As members of the Society for Historical Archaeology, I would like to invite you to the Seventh World Archaeological Congress, held in Jordan from January 14 – 18 in 2013. WAC is a vital, diverse, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization which promotes world archaeology. It is our pleasure to remind SHA members that the WAC conference follows directly after the SHA conference in Leicester, UK (January 9-12) and that it is a relatively inexpensive flight away from the UK for attendees.

The World Archaeological Congress holds a dynamic, diverse, and international conference every four years, with a strong commitment to participation by indigenous and underrepresented voices. This Congress should hold particular interest for SHA members, as it is deeply involved in current issues that have near-universal importance in our profession.

Three sessions of particular interest to SHA members might be:

Session Title: Socially Sustainable Development
Organizers: Claire Smith, Flinders University, Australia and Sandra L.
Lopez de Varela, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Mexico

Throughout the world, cultural heritage is at risk, due to the pressures of development, population increases and urban growth. However, we lack much of the basic data and essential tools needed to address the ‘big picture’ challenges of heritage and development. We have not yet identified the most valuable ways of growing a workforce
around cultural heritage, or of building heritage capacity. We do not have the tools to evaluate the social and economic consequences of a loss of cultural heritage. Throughout the world, we are facing an irreversible loss of cultural heritage, without the data to understand what this might mean, not only in terms of lost pasts but also in
terms of lost futures.

This session will present case studies on ways to move forward. It will focus on how cultural heritage can be used to generate jobs, create a sense of connection between people, promote cross-cultural understandings, and contribute to social inclusion and wellbeing. It will present examples of new thinking around cultural landscapes,
development and communities; finding a balance between conservation and development; and using cultural heritage to sustain communities, especially in remote regions.

Decolonizing the Ranks: Using Indigenous and Decolonizing Pedagogies
in Teaching, Mentorship, and Training
Organizers: Sara L. Gonzalez (Carleton College), and Peter A. Nelson,
UC Berkeley (Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria)

Decolonization provides a process for thinking about the ways that our research can and does matter (and to whom?). It involves thinking through the wider implications of the craft of archaeology and examining how the process of interpreting and representing the past is both deeply meaningful and politically powerful. It also entails a willingness to think beyond the traditional scope of research, focusing not solely on the products or results of archaeology, but also on how the process of collaboration offers spaces to empower,
benefit, and advocate for communities. What results from asking a basic question—How and to whom will I make my research matter?—is something that is potentially transformative, for when we highlight our accountability to both discipline and community we change what the goal of science can and should be. Envisioned thusly, archaeology
becomes a tool for increasing our understanding of the past and our ability to empower individuals and communities through that knowledge.

In this session we will consider the role of decolonization in the classroom. We invite participants to examine how engaging with indigenous and/or decolonizing pedagogies has transformed the ways in which you train and mentor the next generation of heritage

Heritage as a ‘common’: a novel perspective on the entanglements of
culture and economy
University of los Andes, Colombia.

“The commons” has emerged in recent years as an exciting arena for the examination of multiple problematic ownership situations around the globe, and thus, of an exit from the simplistic dichotomy of “private” vs. “public” property. In the form of laws, the latter categories have wrought poverty and suffering on a globalized capitalist world.” Commons” can take multiple forms, from pre-industrial remnants in rural Europe to claims by Indigenous communities against Western corporate attempts to appropriate bio-knowledge in South America. Our symposium will discuss its implications in the field of heritage and archaeology. We encourage participants from around the world to share
their ideas in theoretical and empirical papers on the connections between archaeology, heritage and property relations, addressing questions such as:

  • Could “the commons” provide a way out of problematic issues of ownership and the public/private dichotomy?
  • What is the potential of “the commons” in the fight against the commodification of heritage?
  • How can the notion of a “shared” heritage be mobilized by local communities to implement politics of redistribution and rethinking of ownership against an alienated “world heritage” that frames itself as globally “shared” common heritage of humanity?
  • What are consequences of heritage as a commons for identity politics?

Early registration for WAC ends October 20th, register now!

We sincerely hope that you will consider participating in WAC-7!

SHA 2013: Public Archaeology event

The Past Beneath Your Feet: archaeology and history in Leicestershire

In addition to a three-day academic programme the Society for Historical Archaeology’s 2013 conference will include a free, public programme of events, to be held at Leicester University on the afternoon of Saturday 12th January.

The event will feature three headline public lectures, re-enactment performances, living history displays, archaeological exhibits, interactive and educational activities (delivered by Leicester University’s student outreach team), and stands containing information from local and national archaeology and history societies. The Portable Antiquities Scheme will be present so if you are from the local area and have a ‘find’ why not bring it along to be identified and logged on the national database?

There will be something of interest for everyone – from the youngest child to the oldest adult – and the event will showcase the depth and richness of Leicestershire’s archaeological heritage, representing a diversity of peoples, places, and events.

The provisional timetable for the afternoon’s events is as follows:
Public lectures (Peter Williams Lecture Theatre, Fielding Johnson South Wing)
12pm-1pm: Prof. Francis Pryor MBE FSA: The prehistory of the recent past
2pm-3pm: Dr Carenza Lewis FSA: Disaster Recovery? Reconstructing the impact of the Black Death from mini-digs in medieval villages
4pm-5pm: Dr Kevin Leahy: Historical archaeology and the Portable Antiquities Scheme: the Staffordshire Hoard and other bits and pieces

Archaeology and history exhibition (O2 Academy at the Percy Gee Students Union)
Confirmed exhibitors so far include:
- Re-enactors
- National organisations: National Trust, English Heritage
- Leicestershire museums: Jewry Wall Museum, Belgrave Hall, Guildhall, Snibston, Bosworth, Donnington-Le-Heath Manor House, Sir John Moore Foundation, Heritage Forum, Leicester County Council Parks
- Local archaeology and history societies: Archaeological Fieldwork Group; Leicestershire and Rutland Family History Society, Great Bowden Archaeology and Heritage Group, Friends of Jewry Wall, Croft Heritage Group, Vaughan Archaeological & Historical Society, Friends of Grace Dieu, Leicestershire Industrial History Society, Leicestershire Victoria County History Trust, Wigston Historical Society
- National archaeology groups: Portable Antiquities Scheme, Young Archaeologists Club
- University of Leicester: School of Archaeology and Ancient History (distance learning and campus-based education programmes), University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS), Department of Genetics, Archaeology and Ancient History student outreach team.

Biographies of speakers
Dr. Carenza Lewis is an archaeologist based at the University of Cambridge. She is widely recognised for her 13-year stint on the innovative, long-running and award-winning Channel 4 archaeological series Time Team, and more recently for her involvement in Michael Wood’s The Great British Story (BBC). Outside of her television appearances, Carenza has long-standing research interests in settlement development in medieval England and since 2004 has developed and co-ordinated the Access Cambridge Archaeology programme at the University of Cambridge. The aim of this programme is to enhance educational, economic and social wellbeing through active participation in archaeology. It seeks to achieve this by running novel, fun and challenging activities for members of the public, including school pupils, to develop new skills and confidence; raise their educational aspirations, boost their academic performance; enjoy learning for the love of it; take part in new archaeological excavations and make new discoveries about themselves and the world around them.

Professor Francis Pryor has been a British archaeologist for over forty years, having excavated several major sites, mostly in the Fens of eastern England. He is famous for his role in the discovery of Flag Fen, a Bronze Age archaeological site near Peterborough. Francis has now retired from full-time field archaeology, but still appears on television and writes books as well as being a working farmer. His specialties are the Bronze and Iron Ages, to which he brings a unique perspective as a working farmer. Francis has tried to bring archaeology to a wider audience, with a number of books, radio and television programmes, including Channel 4’s Time Team and Britain AD.

Dr. Kevin Leahy. Before starting in archaeology Kevin trained as a foundry engineer and remains interested in metals. He read archaeology at Leicester and then spent twenty-nine years as archaeologist at the North Lincolnshire Museum. While at the Museum he excavated some important Anglo-Saxon sites including the Cleatham cemetery, which formed the basis of his Nottingham PhD. He started recording metal detector finds more than thirty years ago when he saw how ploughing was destroying sites. Kevin has written a number of books including ‘Anglo-Saxon Crafts’, ‘The Anglo-Saxon Kingdom of Lindsey’ and ‘Interrupting the Pots; Excavation of Cleatham Anglo-Saxon Cemetery’. Retiring from the museum in 2007 he now works part-time for the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), as a National Finds Advisor covering the early medieval period but also assisting with flint and stone. Whilst with the PAS he was responsible for the first catalogue of the great Staffordshire Hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure, a project with which he remains involved. He is also working on Anglo-Saxon tools hoards and Irish metalwork from England.

SHA 2013: Registration now open!

Registration for the Society for Historical Archaeology’s 46th Annual Conference on Historical and Underwater Archaeology, to be held in Leicester, UK, on 9th – 12th January 2013 is now open!

Conference registration is via the Conftool website, where you can also register for the many special events, receptions, round table luncheons, training workshops, trips and tours, and the Conference Banquet and Awards Ceremony. You can also plan your time in Leicester by viewing the conference program.

Discounted registration fees are available for delegates who are members of the Society for Historical Archaeology or its sister organization the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology, and the first fifty members of SPMA to sign up for the conference will also have the opportunity to join SHA for a one-off special price of $20. Here are the Early Bird registration rates, which will apply until 3rd December:

- Member of the SHA or SPMA: $180

- Non-members: $280

- Student member of SHA or SPMA: $85

- Student non-member: $140

- Guest (includes entry to free events, but not paper sessions): $50

All the information you need to arrange your trip to Leicester, including travel and accommodation is located on the conference webpage, along with details of how your organization can assist with the running of the event by taking advantage of conference sponsorship opportunities, and exhibiting products and services in the conference bookroom.

The SHA and the local conference organising committee in Leicester will continue to make full use of social media in the run up to, and during, the conference; as well as this blog and the conference webpage, you will be able to follow the latest news on Twitter (#SHA2013) and Facebook, especially the conference event page.

If you have any questions regarding the conference or the registration process, please do not hesitate to contact us by emailing

We look forward to meeting you all for an exciting, stimulating conference in Leicester in January 2013!