The University of Glasgow hosted the annual conference of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAAGlasgow2015) on September 2-5 2015, celebrating its 21st annual meeting in Scotland. With topics varying from Virtual Archaeology to Celtic Connections, this conference gathered around 2500 delegates from all over the world.
Conference themes were quite broad and inclusive allowing thus various research initiatives to be heard with wide geographical, chronological and methodological span. More particularly, the themes centered around:
- Archaeology and Mobility
- Reconfiguring identities
- Science and Archaeology
- Communicating Archaeology
- Legacies and Visions
- Celtic connections
- Interpreting the archaeological record
Among the presentations and the whiskey tasting, archaeologists discussed the increasingly multidisciplinary nature of the field, ranging from Anthropology and Chemistry to Computer Science, the distinction between the representation, digital or not, and the actual archaeological site/artefact and its meaning, altmetrics and electronic publications, new opportunities for communicating archaeology today, methodology and scientific terminology.
Living in an age of uncertainty, the field seemed to be puzzled about its future development. Will new generations experience archaeology and its remains only through their digital representations? Will that be matter of choice or matter of necessity? Do we have a duty as archaeologists? How can archaeology be more engaging for the public?
As the sessions ran parallel so was the discussion held in the conference; capturing all its aspects is hardly possible. From innovative technologies enforced in projects to more “traditional” archaeological research, the discussion revolved around a wealth of topics.
The initiative of Europeana Research was among the projects introduced in the context of its potential collaboration with the digital heritage library of ARK4. Aiming to engage the audience and to transform a passive to an active user, ARK4 experiments with archaeological content, among other, to develop digital games and 3D environments as a new way of cultural heritage dissemination. In this context, Europeana Research aspires to serve with its archaeological content to a new target audience of young users and in digital gaming and learning activities.
Besides, “teaching and discussing heritage within the archaeological education in our present society, with its uncertain political situation is more crucial and important than ever”.