Institute of Archaeology


TAG 2019

TAG@UCL-IoA will be held between Monday 16 – Wednesday 18 December 2019. Registration is now closed — maximum capacity has been reached.

Arrival and registration

Download conference key information (PDF)

Almost all of the conference takes place at the UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL; the nearest tube station is Russell Square.

Registration will be situated on Level 3, just below the Level 4 main entrance to the IOE on Bedford Way; additional access to the building is via the footpath between Woburn Square and Russell Square. Registration is open from 10am on Monday 16th December. We will have a full list of registered delegates, so arriving delegates should simply supply their names (no email / registration code is required). 

The Logan Hall (plenary session) and Jeffery Hall (refreshments, bookstalls and exhibitors) are on Level 1 (the basement), the entrance lobby is on Level 4, and the majority of sessions take place in rooms on Levels 7 and 8. Lifts and stairs are amply provided in the two main building cores (A & B), and will be clearly signposted.



The UCL Institute of Archaeology is delighted to host the 41st annual Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference in December 2019. Founded in 1937, the Institute is one of the largest centres for world archaeology, archaeological sciences and heritage & museum studies in the UK, situated in the heart of the capital.

Venue: UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

Our theme for TAG 2019 will be 'Power, Knowledge and the Past'

Antiquity Plenary Session 'What is the past good for in the world of 2020?'

We are delighted to announce the first of our special events at TAG on 16 December, sponsored by Antiquity.

Liv Nilsson Stutz
Senior Lecturer, Linnaeus University, Sweden
TAG2019 Plenary Panellist: Liv Nilsson Stutz, Senior Lecturer, Linnaeus University, Sweden
Arike Oke
Managing Director, Black Cultural Archives, UK
TAG2019 Plenary Panellist: Arike Oke, Managing Director, Black Cultural Archives, UK

Janet Miller
Chief Executive Officer, MoLA (Museum of London
Archaeology), UK

TAG2019 Plenary Panellist: Janet Miller, Chief Executive Officer, MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology), UK
Alfredo González-Ruibal
Institute of Heritage Sciences, Spanish National Research Council (Incipit-CSIC), Spain
TAG2019 Plenary Panellist: Alfredo González-Ruibal, Institute of Heritage Sciences – Spanish National Research Council (Incipit-CSIC), Spain

Gordon Childe Lecture 2019

This year's Gordon Childe Lecture will be held in association with TAG 2019 and will take place just prior to the conference on Thursday 12 December.

On Writing the Past Backwards
Speaker: Matthew Johnson
Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University, USA
Matthew Johnson, Professor of Anthropology, Northwestern University who will give the Gordon Childe Lecture 2019
lecture details
  • Time: Thursday 12 December, 6.30-7.30pm
  • Location: Harrie Massey Lecture Theatre, 25 Gordon Street, London WC1 followed by a reception in the A.G. Leventis Gallery, UCL Institute of Archaeology
  • Registration: Eventbrite registration is now open
LECTURE Abstract

I am writing a book on English landscapes in the context of the north Atlantic.  It spans the 2nd millennium CE, and works backwards, from New World colonial encounters, to interactions with Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, back to medieval infrastructure and beyond.

I discuss two challenges for this project. First, while there is much written on how time is socially embedded, there is little on the reversal of time.  Such a theoretical gap is strange, given that working backwards, peeling off the layers, is so central to what archaeologists do. Second, identities are never essential, and are always in a state of becoming.  So there is no essence to ‘Englishness’; the English re-made themselves over and over again. 

Time and cultural identity come together in understanding the long term, and in reconciling enduring structures with the importance of human agency.  And they unavoidably speak to the populist nationalisms of recent and not-so-recent times.

British Museum Access 

Between 9am and 10am on Tuesday, TAG delegates are permitted free access to the British Museum's fantastic new Troy exhibition, Troy myth and reality. Once inside the exhibition you may stay past 10am. No need to book, just turn up! Delegates must present their TAG name badges to museum staff to gain entry.

The legend of Troy has endured for more than 3,000 years. The story of a great city, plunged into a 10-year war over the abduction of the most beautiful woman in the world, is irresistibly dramatic and tragic. This allure has sent adventurers and archaeologists in quest of the lost city, which is now widely believed to have existed.



TrowelBlazers TAG2019 Bursary
TrowelBlazers are offering a £200 bursary to help meet the cost of attending TAG@UCL-IoA. The bursary is available to any potential attendee TrowelBlazer who identifies as dis/abled, 1st generation university student, BAME, or who has added costs related to caring responsibilities, etc.
TrowelBlazers logo
All that is needed for potential attendees to enter is to send their name into TrowelBlazers at teamtrowelblazers@gmail.com by 30 September and reference the bursary; explanations or proof of status are not required, and the winner will be chosen by random draw. 

Follow us on social media for further TAG-related announcements!


Any queries may be addressed to the UCL committee at tag2019@ucl.ac.uk, or Andy Gardner at andrew.gardner@ucl.ac.uk.