Skip to main content

Thoughts on the 13th ICAANE

Some scattered thoughts about the last major conference for west asian archaeologists.

I recently read a recent blog post by Sebastian Hageneuer and decided to do a similar thing with my impression on the latest ICAANE conference.

A red house on the left and a black house on the right. A cyclist in front of the first house

What is the ICAANE? #

ICAANE stands for Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East. It is one of the major conference for archaeologists dealing with West Asia. It is held every 2 year (except 2020 due to the pandemic) in a different country, and this time was held in Denmark, at Copenhagen University over 5 days. Main themes of this session were sustainability and inclusivity (let's remember these). At the ICAANE there are usually pre-defined themes on which scholars will present their work, but you can find also latest excavation reports and see a lot of interesting topics discussed. Along the main program there are also workshops, smaller (in topic and usually in numbers - but not necessarily) sessions self-organized by scholars on specific topics.
In general, it is a vibrant conference in which is highly unlikely you will get bored (even only by spending hours trying to mix and match your time to follow all the things that interest you).

My experience on this edition #

Overall, I had a positive experience at this edition. This is my fourth ICAANE and it did not disappoint me at all. I had tree talks (one single and two co-authored talks), and had fun and a great experience. For one day I followed a workshop on Drowned Landscapes, organized by my colleagues Paola Sconzo and Francesca Simi, and Jesper Eidem. This workshop was really interesting, we saw many different approaches, heard different stories, and I learned a lot from presenting colleagues. I also attended the last two or three talks of Sebastian's co-organised workshop on decolonizing the orientalist narrative in archaeological practice. This was one of the best workshop I have ever been to (and I hope there will be a way to see a full recording). The final discussion was incredible and one could really feel the need and will to change our field for the better (I can't describe it better than Sebastian already did, please see the first link on this page). It was also very nice that gaming and its representation of the past made its way to the ICAANE, finally. I also attended lots of interesting talks outside the workshops and learn a lot of new things about topics I was definitely not knowledgeable about.

The good #

The bad #

The so-so #

In general, it was a good experience with some missed opportunities and some interesting ideas, and I hope some of these will be picked up from in the future ICAANE.

Last updated: 2023-06-18

Reply by email
Back to top