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18 October 2003
The Archaeology of World Megalithic Cultures

The University of the Aegean, Dept. of Mediterranean Studies, Laboratory of Archaeometry, announced an International conference that will take place next year in Rhodes (Greece) from 28 to 31 October 2004. The title of the meeting is 'The Archaeology of World Megalithic Cultures - Theme Session: Euro Mediterranean Megalithic Cultures 5,000-1,300 BCE'.
     The first annoncement and call for presentations (October 2003) says: "The various world cultures that developed megalithic monuments during prehistory are not well known. The origin of these peoples, the acquisition of masonry techniques, their sudden decline and disappearance, the lack of sufficient archaeological data concerning the interaction with neighboring people, the indirect and thus insecure dating of these monuments, the lack of ancient literature or insufficient historical accounts regarding their construction, the submerged underwater monuments, the trade of goods during the period of megalithic cultures, the lost lands on which once megalithic cultures flourished, and many more intriguing issues will be tackled under the newest available archaeological data.
     The goal of this conference is to gather the newest archaeological and archaeometric information on world megalithic monuments, explain their use, decipher their isolation or contact, and place them in a correct chronological order in relation to their adjacent or distant counterparts. The theme session will focus on the megalithic monuments found along the Mediterranean and expanding throughout central Europe.
     This International meeting will provide the opportunity for world experts in the field to meet and exchange views on analogous structures made by different cultures. It is our hope that the event will initiate international collaboration via European or International financial schemes, and contribute to the understanding of these sophisticated monumental masterpieces and the unsolved issues that surround them."
     Particular topics will include dating and use of megalithic structures, analytical techniques applied to artifacts, pigments, and carved rock for provenance studies, religion and worshiping: the role of priesthood, Earth goddess, figurines and gender, trade of artifacts (obsidian, flint, ceramic pots, metals, etc), DNA studies of bone remains within megalithic structures, Inundations, the decline of megalithic cultures and the survival of their cyclopean masonry, Natural / social factors causing their demise, Astronomical significance, Masonry techniques, Recording of meteorological / astronomical events, Insular versus mainland megalithics.
    Registration fee is 350 Euros and includes: conference material, 4 nights hotel accommodation with breakfast and lunches, guided archaeological tour, coffees and refreshments during breaks, gala dinner, free of charge volume of proceedings. Potential presentations should be received by 30 June 2004.
     For more information please contact Prof. Ioannis Liritzis, Editor-in-Chief, Mediterranean Archaeology & Archaeometry, University of the Aegean, Laboratory of Archaeometry, Dept. of Mediterranean Studies, 1 Demokratias Ave., Rhodes 85100, Greece (e-mail: liritzis@rhodes.aegean.gr).

Source: Prof. Ioannis Liritzis - Mediterranean Archaeology & Archaeometry (12 October 2003)

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