"Land Burst" artwork by Miranda Creswell.

The 44th Conference of the Association for Environmental Archaeology will be held in Oxford between 12th-14th December 2024, with the theme Past Environments for Emerging Worlds. It will be hosted by the School of Archaeology of the University of Oxford and Oxford Archaeology, one of the UK's leading archaeological practices.

The field of environmental archaeology in academic and professional realms is at a cross-roads. With the current ecological crisis unfolding, adopting long-term perspectives has never been more important, extending far beyond the confines of Archaeology alone. Environmental archaeology holds a critical position in addressing this challenge, through its generation of fresh primary data concerning the distributions, communities, and ecologies of plant and animal species, including their microbiomes, that have shared an intertwined journey with humanity for millennia. The interpretation of these data reveals alternative ways of living with nature and makes it possible to identify novel (now extinct) ecological relationships of relevance to ongoing nature recovery practices. 

From providing perspectives on global biodiversity loss over thousands of years, to informing emerging habitat creation strategies here in Oxfordshire, environmental archaeologists are in a powerful position to engage in discourse surrounding global challenges well beyond archaeology. 

What does the world want from environmental archaeology? How should environmental archaeology approach global concerns? What role does it have to play in contemporary challenges at a range of scales? The 44th annual conference of the AEA, 'Past Environments for Emerging Worlds', aims to address these questions and facilitate a lively conversation around this vital challenge. 

The conference events will be held at Keble College and the Department of Continuing Education in Oxford. 

The organisers particularly welcome submissions in three formats - standard 15-minute presentation, 5-6 minute-long ‘lightning’ or ‘storytelling’ presentations, or poster presentations - on the following themes:

  • Soils and microbiomes
  • Wildlife
  • Farming
  • Open data
  • Sustainable practices
  • Perspectives beyond archaeology

General queries about the conference can be addressed to the organisers at aea.conference@arch.ox.ac.uk

Further information, including key deadlines, will shortly be available on the website.