Conference Sessions

Chaired Sessions

14C and the Protection of Cultural Heritage

Chairs: Tim Jull and Irka Hajdas

 This session invites papers on 14C in the protection of cultural heritage. Topics include:

  1. 14C of important cultural heritage and their preservation: art works and artifacts;

  2. Legal and ethical questions related to 14C dating of material of insecure provenance;

  3. Questions of authenticity and provenance.

Time to Eat: Recalibrating Dietary Changes and Domestication in Human History

Chair: Timothy Baumann

Radiocarbon dating has been a primary tool used by archaeologists to understand human dietary patterns and the domestication of plants and animals over time. Recent studies have applied Bayesian statistical analysis to reexamine these dates and create regional models of when and how food/foodways developed, transformed, and spread. These models have then been used to address larger questions on cultural complexity, community and trade networks, conflict and migration, health, climate change, and environmental impact of humans.

Coastal Archaeology

Chair: Susanne Lindauer

Coastal archaeology requires an interdisciplinary approach for a precise chronology and to gain a thorough insight into settlement patterns. Radiocarbon in terrestrial and marine materials plays an important role to provide the temporal aspect of the processes involved. This session invites papers on archaeology at the coast, including reservoir effects and dating of marine and estuarine organisms.  

Beyond Site Sequences

Chairs: Seren Griffiths and Derek Hamilton

 This session examines how recent developments in the analysis of scientific chronologies have related to archaeological narratives. We would like to consider how much new chronological sequences challenge the structure of archaeological chronological narratives. The session invites papers discussing: how we can use chronological approaches to investigate, critique or challenge pre-existing interpretations rather than replicate them; the challenges in producing narratives that tack between precise chronology and areas of relative imprecision; the tensions in dealing with large datasets, the legacy of grand narratives and individual sites; and the challenges in relating unique or exceptional sites to wider narratives of change.

Latin America Archaeology

Chair: Kita Macario

The Latin America Archaeology session is intended for the presentation of studies regarding the occupation of Southern and Central Americas. Different time scales and cultures found amongst the pre-colonial archaeological sites distributed all over Latin America are the focus of this session.

Resolving Ambiguities in Calibrated Age Determinations

Chairs: Jennifer Birch and Sturt Manning

Plateaus, reversals, and other “wiggles” in the calibration curve that lead to multiple intercepts and ambiguity of radiocarbon age determinations have led scholars of the recent past to question the utility of radiocarbon dating for such periods. Papers in this session will address strategies for dealing with such “messy” portions of the calibration curve and how contemporary scientific, statistical, and archaeological methodologies are overcoming these challenges. Participants are asked to consider both advances in radiocarbon science and the implications of the derived insights on understandings of the archaeological record in the period in question.

Radiocarbon Laboratories Past & Present

Chair: Jeff Speakman 

Since the first published application in 1949, radiocarbon dating has been the most widely applied analytical approach for dating archaeological and historical materials. Over the past 70 years, numerous radiocarbon labs have opened and/or closed—each with its own unique history, trajectory, and contribution(s). This session provides a forum for documenting the specific histories of radiocarbon laboratories both, past and present, that have existed over the past 70 years. The purpose of this session is to document in one place, the histories of individual laboratories, their major accomplishments and their major contributions to the field, so that as we look to the future of radiocarbon dating in archaeology, we have documented, to some extent, where we have already been.

Archaeology and the Environment

Chair: Kita Macario

The Archaeology and the Environment session is intended to bring together researchers of environmental sciences who work with archaeological remains. Multidisciplinary studies comprising subjects such as zooarchaeology, past marine reservoir effects, and paleoenvironmental reconstructions are the focus of this session.

General Sessions

Developments in Sample Pretreatment

This session will cover technical advances in radiocarbon dating archaeological samples, including sample evaluation; contamination detection; novel approaches to dealing with problematic sample types; samples with low carbon concentration; ultra-small samples; and developments in compound-specific approaches. 

Peopling of the World

This session invites papers on the timing and pace of human dispersal, migration, and settlement of the major landmasses of the world, from the Middle Paleolithic through the settlement of the last inhabitable islands. 

Statistical Analysis and Modeling 

This session invites papers on statistical and model-based approaches to interpreting radiocarbon data, such as data simulations, Bayesian chronological modeling, and the interpretation of summed probability distributions. 

Calibration and Calibration Records

This session will cover developments in calibration records, including updates on the new IntCal19 curves, regional offsets in tree-ring calibration data, and the incorporation of annual tree-ring data.