2006 Conference

From Concepts of the Past to Practical Strategies: the teaching of archaeological field techniques

takes great pleasure in announcing a 4 day International Conference, to be held at Peking University from April 17 to April 20, 2006:

The primary focus of this conference is the examination of the relationship of archaeological theory to practice as articulated through excavation and other archaeological field techniques. It will discuss the training for archaeological fieldwork as offered through higher education institutions in many different areas of the world. Within this global context, it will compare the different archaeological curricula offered by a range of universities and other training institutions, not least in terms of the part played by 'scientific archaeology' in such training.

The conference will also investigate what are - or should be - different training strategies for prehistoric as compared with urban sites, as well as variations in training dependent on different environmental site conditions. Variations in the lengths of obligatory field training courses for undergraduate university degrees in archaeology will also be discussed. In this context there will be presentations on different methods of assessing student fieldwork exercises.

Discussion will also focus on the needs of archiving archaeological investigations, and how such techniques should feature within student instruction.

Another topic of the conference will be the way that the public is involved in excavations in different areas of the world (whether by adults or children). In some national traditions, archaeological fieldwork is restricted to the professional, in others it is seen as a means of incorporating the amateur into the archaeological domain, and in some it is viewed as an educative device for children.

Most of the overseas invited speakers are those responsible for field training in their own universities or other institutions, either at undergraduate or postgraduate levels. Others have extensive excavation experience in their own countries or abroad, whether of prehistoric settlement or cemetery, or of urban conglomeration and standing buildings. Overseas participants are expected from many parts of the world including: America, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Britain, Colombia, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, Madagascar, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, southern Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and Thailand.

(Conference languages are Chinese and English)

Preliminary Conference Timetable

17 April

Chair: Prof. Li Boqian
9:00-10:00 Welcome by ICCHA (Gao Chongwen, Peter Ucko)
Address by the Deputy Director of National Administration of Cultural Heritage, China
Address by the representative of Education Ministry of China
10:00-10:30 Group picture
10:30-11:00 Discussion Paper: “From Concept to Practice” (Stephen Shennan)
11:00-11:30 Discussion Paper: “The History and Development of Field Archaeology in Peking University” (Zhao Hui)
11:30-12:00 Discussion

12:30-13:30 Lunch

14:00-18:00 Co-Chairs: Peter Ucko, Gao Chongwen
Discussion of pre-circulated summaries of curricula from different universities within China which teach archaeological fieldwork methods.
Han Guohe (Zhengzhou University), Jiao Nanfeng (Shaanxi Provincial Institute), Lang Baoli (Shanxi University), Li Yongxian (Sichuan University, Chengdu), Lu Liedan (HongKong Chinese University), Luan Fengshi (Shandong University, Jinan), Pei Anping (Nanjing College), Shui Tao (Nanjing University), Song Dachuan (Beijing Institute of Archaeology), Sun Hua (Peking University, Beijing), Sun Xinming (Henan Provincial Institute of Archaeology), Wang Jianxin (Northwest University, Xi’an), Wang Ran (Wuhan University), Wang Wei (Institute of Archaeology, CASS), Wu Chunming (Xiamen University, Xiamen), Zhang Tinghao (National Institute for the Relics Studies), Zhou Daming (Zhongshan University), Zhu Hong (Jilin University, Changchun), ? (Shandong Provincial Institute).

Discussion of pre-circulated summaries of curricula from different universities outside China which teach archaeological fieldwork methods.
Javier Aceituno (Colombia), Brigitte Cech (Austria), Sarah Colley (Australia), Bayo Folorunso (Nigeria), Marta Luciani (Italy/Austria), Bertram Mapunda (Tanzania), Arek Marciniak (Poland), (Tim Maxwell (America), Sergei Minyaev (Russia), Rabi Mohanty (India), Surapoi Natapintu (Thailand), Shizuo Onuki (Japan), Dominic Perring (UK), Gustavo Politis (Argentina), Innocent Pikirayi (Zimbabwe), Jean Aime Rakotoarisoa (Madagascar), Yi Seonbok (Korea), Raj Somadeva (Sri Lanka).

19:00- Welcoming Banquet

18 April

9:00-10:20 Co-Chairs: Peter Ucko, Gao Chongwen
“The challenges of conducting archaeology field courses at the University of Ibadan: a historical perspective” (Bayo Folorunso)
“Training and Practice in Bronze Age Archaeology in China” (Xu Tianjin )
10:30-11:15 “The Place of ‘Archaeological Science’ within the Curricula” (Dorian Fuller)
11:15-12:00 Continuation of discussion and comparison of pre-circulated summaries of curricula
12:00-12:30 “The ‘New Technique System’ in Fieldwork Training at Baligang Site” (Zhang Chi)
12:30-13:30 Lunch
14:00-18:00 Co-Chairs: Lukas Nickel, Wang Wei
“Evaluating Student Fieldwork Exercises” (Dominic Perring)
“Assessment of Archaeological Fieldwork” (Sarah Colley)
“The Chinese Student’s View Point” (Liu Jing)
“The English Training: a student’s view point” (Roya Arab)
“My Experience of both Chinese and British Systems: a comparison” (Chai Rui)

19 April

9:00-12:00 Co-Chairs: Wang Tao, Zhu Hong
“University Strategies in Teaching Fieldwork Techniques: a view from an independent practitioner” (Brigitte Cech)
“Archive Awareness in Fieldwork Training” (Gus Milne)
“Digging a Site, Nation beside Nation: the case of Chatal Huyuk, Anatolia, Turkey” (Arek Marciniak)
12:30-13:30 Lunch
14:00-18:00 Co-Chairs: Jeremy Tanner,
“Several Samples of Collaborative Excavations between America and China” (Li Shuicheng)
“The Problem of Assessing Gender Bias in Teaching Fieldwork Methods: a recent controversy”(Gustavo Politis)
“Public and Local Influences on Excavations in Madagascar” (Jean Aimé Rakotoarisoa)

20 April

8:30- Visit to a local site under excavation, or visit a site museum instead.

14:00-18:00: Co-Chairs: Peter Ucko, Gao Chongwen
“Excavations for Whom?: the amateur and/or children within archaeological practice” (Tim Schadla-Hall)
“Recent Experience from Central Thailand: the involvement of elderly people and children in excavation” (Surapoi Natapintu)

“Excavation Training for a Variety of Different Types of Sites: from the Near Eastern tell to the prehistoric settlement camp” (Marta Luciani)
“Excavation Training in a Variety of Different Socio-Cultural Situations” (Mike Parker-Pearson)

19:00- Closing Reception