Farewell Symposium Prof. Nico Roymans – 24 November 2023

Farewell Symposium Prof. Nico Roymans:

Between regionality and connectivity. Understanding regional dynamics in the European Iron Age and Roman period

Date: 24 November 2023

Location: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Main Building, room: 14A-33.

Credits: 1 EC

European archaeology has seen a long and varied tradition of regional research. On the one hand a landscape-archaeological tradition has been developed focusing on the analysis of long-term trends in habitation, subsistence patterns, burial practices and transformations of the cultural landscape, in this way providing an original picture of the changing social organisation of groups in a specific region. However, this landscape-archaeological tradition generally pays limited attention to interregional connectivity and its implications for the understanding of regional developments in specific time periods.

On the other hand a tradition of regional studies in which interconnectivity with other regions is a key topic has emerged. Studies from this perspective are strongly based on the research of mobile material culture, exchange networks and human mobility, and focus on themes like the formation of the West-Hallstatt culture, the expansion of the La Tène culture, or the integration of regional groups in the expanding Roman Empire. Their central message is that regional social developments cannot be understood in isolation from the functioning of groups in supra-regional networks. Power networks may play a significant role, certainly in situations of conflict or integration of groups in new socio-political configurations. Different approaches have been employed over time, ranging from diffusionist models, core-periphery perspectives, or network theories. However, in this research the functioning of regional groups in the context of longue-durée trends in land use and habitation often remains underexplored.

Both traditions of regional studies are important and often complementary. In this symposium, we seek to explore the potential of a more balanced, integrated approach which focuses on the ways regionality and interregional connectivity are articulated. A number of regional case studies on the Iron Age and/or Roman period in western Europe have been selected as testing grounds. An integrated approach may generate more complex narratives, especially for periods of intense social change. The substantial increase in both the quantity and quality of archaeological data in many regions, the input of science-based research, as well as the inclusion of insights of the social and historical sciences, offer a challenging perspective for future regional research.


9:15 – 9:30  Walk-in
9:30 – 9:45 Ton Derks (VU Amsterdam), Word of welcome and introduction
9:45 – 10:15 Nico Roymans (VU Amsterdam), Elite burials, interregional connectivity and societal change in the 5th century BC Lower Rhine-Meuse region
10:15 – 10:45 Colin Haselgrove (Leicester University), Coins, connectivities and coming together in Europe in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC.
10:45 – 11:15 Coffee
11:15 – 11:45 Sabine Hornung (University of Saarland), Titus Labienus’ conquest of the Treveri and its archaeological implications – A change in perspective
11:45 – 12:15 Manuel Fernandez-Götz (University of Edinburgh), Regionality and Connectivity in the Roman Iron Age of Northern Britain
12:15 – 13:15 Lunch
13:15 – 13:45 Maaike Groot (Freie Universität Berlin), A long-term perspective on animal husbandry in the Netherlands: chronological developments and regional differences
13:45 – 14:15 Marion Brüggler (LVR Amt für Bodendenkmalpflege im Rheinland), Settlement development from the Late Iron Age to the Early Middle Ages on the Lower Rhine (Germany)
14:15 – 14:45 Lisette Kootker & Stijn Heeren (VU Amsterdam), Unveiling Population Dynamics: An Archaeological and Quantitative Isotope Investigation of the Lower Rhine Borderscape from the Iron Age to the Early Medieval Period

See this document for the abstracts.

Following the symposium, you are invited to attend the Faculty Ceremony including prof. Roymans’s valedictory lecture in the Aula on the first floor of the Main Building. The ceremony will start at 15:45 sharp.

Credits: You can receive 1 EC if you participate the full day and hand in a written report.

Registration: ARCHON members are warmly invited to attend. Admission is free, but registration is required. Please send an email to: symposiumroymans@gmail.com. Those who wish to earn a credit so are kindly requested to indicate this when registering.