Institute of Archaeology Gordon Childe Lecture and Seminar 2018

Start: Feb 21, 2018 06:00 PM
End: Feb 22, 2018 04:30 PM

Location: UCL Institute of Archaeology Lecture Theatre G6 (Lecture) & UCL Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre (Seminar)

Prof Kristian Kristiansen, University of Gothenburg (Image courtesy of the British Academy)

The Institute of Archaeology Gordon Childe Lecture and Seminar 2018 will be given by Kristian Kristiansen (University of Gothenburg) on 21 & 22 February.

The remit of the Gordon Childe Lecture is to take a broad view of its topic and make it interesting and relevant to both the general public as well as subject specialists. It is hoped that the eminence of the speakers will not only make this a well known event within the archaeological community, but will also significantly raise the profile of archaeology with audiences far beyond academia. The Seminar offers an opportunity for extended discussion on the themes raised in the Lecture.


Kristian Kristiansen is a Danish archaeologist known for his contributions to the study of Bronze Age Europe, heritage studies and archaeological theory. He studied prehistoric archaeology at Aarhus University and the University of Copenhagen, obtaining his PhD from Aarhus in 1975. He was Director of the Danish Archaeological Heritage Administration from 1979 to 1994, and since then has been Professor of Archaeology at the University of Gothenburg where, amongst other activities, he has been engaged in an interdisciplinary collaboration called The Heritage Academy to promote research and teaching on cultural heritage.

Kristian initiated the founding of the European Association of Archaeologists in 1994, and served as its first president until 1998. He was also the founding editor the European Journal of Archaeology. He received the Graham Clark Medal from the British Academy in 2016 for his contribution to the study of the European Bronze Age, and the management, protection and interpretation of archaeological heritage.


The Gordon Childe Lecture: Towards a new European Prehistory - genetics, archaeology and language dispersals

21 February 2018: UCL Archaeology Lecture Theatre G6, 6pm start


In this presentation I outline the effects of the ‘third science revolution’, and the need to re-theorize and re-interpret European prehistory. I propose that we are experiencing a transformation from relative to absolute archaeological knowledge, which in much the same way as the C14 revolution allows us to invest more theoretical labour and methodological rigour in interpretation. We are thus moving increasingly towards ‘archaeology as history’ by combining small scale historical events in real time with long-term transformations, based on the application of big-data. It will allow new interpretations also of how language dispersals took place, as we can now start combining archaeological and linguistic changes due to progress also in historical linguistics. This I shall exemplify in a number of case studies.

The Lecture will be introduced by Sue Hamilton (Director, UCL Institute of Archaeology) and will conclude with a response by Stephen Shennan (Professor of Theoretical Archaeology, UCL Institute of Archaeology).


The event is free but registration is essential.

A wine reception in the Institute's A.G. Leventis Gallery follows this event.

The Gordon Childe Seminar: Response to the Gordon Childe Lecture

22 February 2018: *The Gordon Childe Seminar has now been cancelled*

Any enquiries about the Lecture or Seminar may be directed to Gail Hammond.