Session: #409

Theme & Session Format

6. Material culture studies and societies
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Archaeologists, Sites and Methodologies: Professional and Personal Networks in mid-20th-Century Europe (Part 2)
At the EAA Virtual Annual Meeting in 2020 part 1 of our session addressed the professional and academic exchange in the decades before and after World War 2. In the follow-up session we want to – in accordance with the EAA 2021 conference motto – widen the horizon and to include further aspects and expand the time period under investigation. The post-war generations were indeed widening horizons and increasingly put the socio-political implications of archaeological interpretations on the agenda and discussed how archaeological results became used for political ends. This awareness culminated in archaeology losing its innocence. This conforms to Theme 6, seeing the changes in understanding of material culture and how it could be interpreted to reveal insights about past societies. Part 2 of our session on the 20th century history of archaeology thus addresses the rise and challenge to culture history in the mid-century and the attempts to develop New Archaeologies. We suggest considering on the one hand whether these developments lead to a split of research traditions across Europe into Western, Northern, Central, and Eastern European schools of thought or whether diverse traditions already existed before, and on the other hand whether or to what extent personal connections and institutional international links circumvented a split. Communication and exchange surely existed – but what was communicated: methods, theories, or results? And how far were these taken up? Did the 1960s and 1970s experience a loss of the previous European perspective, regained only in the 1990s? We encourage addressing individual biographies, institutional level networks, and trans-national to trans-continental research agendas.
History, Networks, New Archaeology, Methodology, Biography
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Main organiser:
Alexander Gramsch (Germany) 1
Harold Mytum (United Kingdom) 2
Staša Babić (Serbia) 3
1. Römisch-Germanische Kommission (RGK)
2. University of Liverpool
3. Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade