Hunter-gatherer Connections – a Workshop on hunter-gatherer archaeology in Europe and beyond

Hunter-gatherer Connections – a Workshop on hunter-gatherer archaeology in Europe and beyond

30 January 2020

Venue: University of Groningen

1 EC

Some of the most remarkable evidence for Europe’s prehistoric hunter-gatherer past has been unearthed in The Netherlands. And some of the leading researchers in hunter-gatherer material culture and osteoarchaeology are based in or trained in The Netherlands. And yet hunter-gatherer archaeology is one of the most understated themes that crosscut our shared research interests. This symposium aims to bring together both established and early-stage hunter-gatherer specialists, from the Netherlands and abroad. The focus of the papers is on connections–both connections between hunter-gatherers and other actors in regional and interregional networks, and connections between hunter-gatherer specialists, in the Netherlands and further afield.

Hunter-gatherers worldwide play a crucial role in their regional networks related to resources and trade. Connections between groups result not just in the exchange of materials, but also of ideas, beliefs and practices.  As archaeologists we rely on the first, material culture, to understand the second, socio-cultural transmission. While much research to date has placed emphasis on the influence of the environment and neighbouring groups on hunter-gatherers, this workshop focuses on the connections negotiated by hunter-gatherers and their influence on other groups, on their environment, and on the movement of resources.

While comparative reviews of hunter-gatherers provide interesting insight into similar adaptations, they also shed light on the inherent diversity of hunter-gatherers, particularly in relation to development through time. Recent research has focused on this topic in a global perspective (see for example Finlayson and Warren 2017), but in a European context, a 2015 conference on Mesolithic pits illustrated the broad spectrum of environmental, social and cultural adaptations within the same period and geographic region ( By including hunter-gatherer researchers from beyond The Netherlands it is hoped to illustrate common themes and connections between hunter-gatherer studies in The Netherlands and elsewhere, but also provide students and other participants with an insight into hunter-gatherer diversity across the globe.


After this event students will understand the history of hunter-gatherer archaeology, as well as current approaches, in Europe but also in other regions. They will have learned about hunter-gatherer connections, how hunter-gatherers influence and are influenced by their connections with other (HG and non-HG) groups.

Students can make connections with other hunter-gatherer specialists, in the Netherlands and abroad, presenting possible opportunities for fieldwork or future research collaborations.

If accepted they are given the opportunity to present their own research.

Registration: register by sending an email to