ARCHON CONFERENCE: Pathways to the Present – 3 June 2022


Date: 3 June 2022

Location: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, HG 12A00

Credits: 1 ECTs

On  June 3, ARCHON will organize a one-day conference dedicated to developing a research agenda for Dutch archaeology on the deep history of social and environmental resilience. The aim of the conference is to exchange viewpoints on how archaeology contributes to understanding the roots and historical backgrounds of current environmental and societal problems, dilemmas and challenges, and how Dutch archaeology can develop a common research programme to tackle these questions within the context of the NWO Zwaartekracht (Gravity) programme.

The day will consist of two parts. In the morning, position papers will be presented on three main topics relevant to developing the research programme:

–              Human impact: how did the human niche develop, and how environmentally sustainable has it been, for example when looking at land use, water management and urbanism?

–              Societal resilience: how have human forms of social, political and spatial organization evolved over the long-term, and how did this influence interaction with the natural environment?

–              Identity: what has been the importance of identities and identity formation for the stability and sustainability of societies, and how does this relate to current questions of identity and belonging?

Furthermore, we will pay attention to the overarching topic of the necessary research infrastructure for Dutch archaeology: what shared methods, techniques, datasets and resources are needed to fruitfully investigate these questions?

In the afternoon, participants will then discuss these topics in more detail in workshops in order to identify the most promising lines of research and to define a strategy for achieving the research agenda. The results of these discussion will be summarized at the end of the day to arrive at concrete action points for further collaboration.

Preliminary Programme:

9:30 – 10:00 Registration and coffee

10:00 – 10:20 Welcome and introduction (prof. Jan Kolen, LU)

Position papers

Social Resilience

10:20 – 10:40 dr. Gert Jan van Wijngaarden and dr. Heleen van Londen, UvA

10:40 – 11:00 prof. David Fontijn, LU

11:00 – 11:20 Coffee break

Human Impact

11:20 – 11:40 dr. Canan Çakırlar, RUG

11:40 – 12:00 dr. Sjoerd Kluiving, VU

Identity and Belonging

12:00 – 12:20 prof. Leonard Rutgers, UU

12:20 – 12:40 dr. Jason Laffoon, LU

12:40 – 13:30 Lunch break

Research Infrastructure

13:30 – 13:50 dr. Lisette Kootker, VU

13:50 – 14:10 dr. Philip Verhagen, VU


14:15 – 15:45 Focus group discussions

15:45 – 16:15 Tea break

16:15 – 17:00 Plenary discussion (moderator: prof. Jan-Paul Crielaard, VU)

17:00 – 18:00 Drinks

Credits: ARCHON members can receive 1 ECT for attending the conference and handing in a reflection report afterwards.