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CALL. 15.11.2019: Roman Archaeology Conference 2020 - Split (Croatia)








Session 2: "The importance of post-depositional processes"

It is widely acknowledged in archaeology that objects are seldom found at the exact place where they entered the archaeological record. In most cases, once deposited, objects were exposed to a variety of factors leading to their eventual finding spot. However, post-depositional factors are rarely openly discussed in archaeological research, leading to skewed results and false conclusions.

While we all are taught to beware of post-depositional factors in theory during our studies, it is striking how often in practice it is assumed that the find spot is also the place the object was lost and that processes of recycling, household cleaning and rubbish removal (to name but a few) are hardly taken into account. Another dangerous trap are the processes by which sites are found, explored and recorded. For instance, differences in excavation techniques can lead to very different outcomes. While reconstructing the biographies of find assemblages can be a tough ask, it is crucial for their interpretation.

This session will explore all types of post-depositional processes and how they should be conceptualized and anchored within archaeological research. It aims to not only combine theoretical models of waste disposal and site formation in Roman settlements but also to present case studies on dumps and middens, layers and backfills, deposits and depositions. Interdisciplinary papers either with a regional focus or on all types of site (town, rural settlements, graves, shipwrecks) are especially welcome where synthesized analyses of artifacts and biofacts can lead to a more complete picture of the composition of an assemblage.

For further information, please contact the session organisers:;

Session 3: "Coinage, culture and society in Illyricum and the Danubian provinces: new thoughts and perspectives"

This panel aims to look at the economic and socio-cultural landscape of the eastern European regions that were part of the Roman world through the lens of coinage. The vast area stretches north of peninsular Greece, from the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic in the west to the Black Sea in the east, encompassed a great array of cultural realities that came together under the aegis of Rome as a unified political entity for the first time. The encounter between Rome and the rich pre-Roman cultural background of this region can be well analysed, among other historical filters, also from the point of view of the coinages that were in use from the end of the Republic to the Late Roman Empire. One of the characteristics of this diversity in monetary terms is the coexistence and interplay between ‘foreign’ coins, mainly Roman, being introduced especially in the provinces where a civic monetary culture did not exist, and coins produced locally by civic mints, mainly (but not exclusively) in the provinces where Greek culture and institutions were more deeply rooted. Within this scope, the panel aims to bring together a diverse range of speakers, both from eastern-European ‘numismatic schools’ (e.g. Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria) and from other European institutions, to discuss a number of case studies combining old and new data from excavations and museum depositories. Each speaker will be focusing on one sphere of the cultural and social life of these regions in the Roman period to interpret the combined evidence of imperial and provincial coinages in relation to other archaeological materials. These categories can be defined under broad headings as: a) cult/religious traditions; b) festivals/games; c) funerary practice; d) impact of the army; e) local production/imitative coinage.

Places are limited, so priority will be given to contributions presenting new materials from archaeological contexts and museums which discuss the numismatic evidence from a social and cultural perspective, as explained in the panel description.

For further information, please contact the panel organisers:;; Proposals should be submitted by 15th November to the RAC Executive Committee: and to

Session 4: "In Response: Exploring Provincial Identities under Rome's Globalising Empire"

This session will explore the impact of Rome’s globalising Empire upon identity in the provinces, particularly as it pertains to the realities of ‘glocal’ identities across the ancient Mediterranean. Across the Empire, individuals and/or groups were able to balance a duality of selves, dependent on their circumstances, needs, and circles, resulting in uniquely localised versions of Roman identity. Moreover, the interconnectivity promoted by Roman Empire facilitated the diffusion of peoples, ideas, and technologies, resulting in an entity that was diverse and multicultural to its core. This panel treats this conclusion as a jumping off point. We accept papers that present a different region of the Roman Imperial state, investigating the impact Rome’s globalising presence had on the formation, negotiation, and continuation of local identities through numismatic, epigraphic and textual evidence.

For further information about the session, please contact Dustin McKenzie at or Luca Mazzini at

Session 5: "Going beyond funerary anomalies: Burial manipulations as signs for the interpretations of interactive and dynamic social identities"

One of the most important traditions in archaeology is the interpretation of funerary contexts.

In the last 40 years, the approaches to burial evidence have changed widely. Graves have been considered for some time the domain of impenetrable religious beliefs (1970s), direct reflections of socio-economic status or ethnic affiliation of the buried individuals (since early1980s), and then, through a hermeneutic vision, as systems composed of elements holding a conscious and communicative value. Nowadays, approaches, although sometimes encapsulating elements of the previous ones and ethnographic additions, tend to stress the vision of burials as the result of dynamic and adaptive practices that we ought to reconstruct through a study of depositional details.

The newest successful interpretive framework provides a promising venue for investigating specific types of funerary evidence that, despite widely acknowledged in all case study, have traditionally been neglected or given a marginal role in the final social interpretations. Such evidence is accounted for as burial manipulation/reopening within Roman-period and early Late Antique cemeteries. However, behind this umbrella term lies a plethora of potential behaviours to which we can be led only following the details of such evidence. From the discussion promoted here are excluded case studies of secure bone-reductions, explained with the – universally applicable – practical reason of making space for a newer burial.

This session, rather, addresses scholars and students of Roman archaeology who have encountered – in any part and period of the Roman Empire – clearly manipulated funerary contexts that have not yet found a place within the site's interpretive narrative. The session invites to reflect on yet-unexplained burial manipulations (movement of bones/grave goods within the same grave or from grave to grave, grave goods) as gestures performed by specific communities/individuals in antiquity to interact with their past. It aims to stimulate a discussion around previously unexplained burial manipulations as potentially foundational moments, for the communities under analysis, in shaping their social identities via a physically visible contact with the materiality of their past.

Submissions should be sent by email to the RAC Executive Committee:

You will find all the detailed information concerning the submission process at

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