First Circular

The Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna is proud to host the 12th ICAANE from 6th to 9th April 2021. We look forward to welcoming you in a multidisciplinary environment pursuing interconnections (geographical and chronological as well) and inclusivity at all levels: the congress themes have been selected in an attempt at representing the current breadth and urgency of global challenges and research perspectives. The participation of students and of colleagues from the Near East is especially encouraged. Our e-mail contact address is



1. Field Reports. Recent excavations, surveys and research
Excavations of sites, or even of areas within sites which present a specially coherent meaning, territorial surface surveys or field systematic sampling programs (not falling into themes 2 and 3), all preferably from the last four years or otherwise little known. Reports should also systematically address chronological issues, both absolute and relative, as well as intercultural connections in order to foster discussions among scholars working in different areas.


2. Environmental Archaeology. Changing climate and exploitation strategies: impact on ecology, anthropized landscapes and material culture
The relationship between humans and environment may be viewed from a plurality of angles and a multitude of approaches, through a variety of techniques, in a process which also affects our own perception of landscapes and resources in their spatial and chronological sustainability.


3. Hammering the material world. Characterization of material culture, processes and technologies
From pottery typologies, to artifacts biographies and archaeometrical analyses, the material sphere reveals ultimately the underlying processes with which ancient societies interacted and changed through time.


4. Cognitive archaeology. Reading symbolic and visual communication networks and structures
The world view of ancient societies is often embodied in their material culture, specifically in visual materials with their internal as well external set of interconnected relations, but also in how space was built, chaînes opératoires and transmission of knowledge were organized.


5. Modeling the past. Contemporary theoretical approaches to the archaeology of economies and societies
Data need explanatory models to be properly framed and appreciated: the functioning of societies and the ways in which their economies worked are informed by theoretical models, which thus need a discussion of their own in order to evaluate different approaches, from settlement patterns to cross-cultural comparisons, from subsistence strategies to the commodification process.


6. Networked archaeology. Global challenges and collaborative research in the new millennium
The Open Data approach requires a coordinated effort if we strive for changing radically the way archaeology works on the field and how data are produced, managed and shared, either online or through timely and accessible publications. New criteria for allocating credit for production and re-use of digital data (e.g. metadata with embedded authorship, and extensive use of DOIs linking publications and primary data) should be evaluated in order to make the open release of primary digital data as the customary output of archaeological projects, which should ideally be conceived according to collaborative and open patterns.


7. Endangered cultural heritage. Coordinated multilateral research, conservation and development strategies
The last three decades witnessed a steady growth of grave threats to heritage in the Near East: the challenges of its documentation, conservation, reconstruction, protection and enhancement should be set within a truly multilateral approach, respectful in the first place of national needs and policies coupled with best practices, new legislations, such as preventive archaeology, and an inclusive vision.


8. Islamic archaeology. Continuities and discontinuities between a deep past and modernity
Islamic archaeology, i.e. the archaeology of the Middle Ages and early modern times in the Near East, is the fundamental link for letting contemporary societies bridge the gap with the high antiquity of ANE studies, a long stretch of eventful developments which ultimately shaped the current natural, social, rural and urban landscapes of the region. Papers sharing this chronological focus will be grouped here. We strongly encourage the submission of papers and workshops within this theme of Islamic archaeology.