Greetings and welcome to the Raw materials exploitation in Prehistory: sourcing, processing and distribution website.
The study of raw materials has been of major importance to infer important traits from past human populations. Among those traits one can name ecology, cognition, behaviour, technology, territory and social complexity. This has been possible to achieve across chronologies and regions. By merging archaeology with anthropology, geology and geography we have been able to acquire outstanding insights about those populations. In the last decades, these have been progressively refined due to the increased use of high-resolution methods and quantitative data, mostly brought by other fields such as physics or chemistry.
Considering such advances and the success of recent meetings, the University of Algarve with the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (IMF, Barcelona) are pleased to announce the organization of an international conference focusing on ongoing projects studying the inorganic raw materials used during Prehistory entitled: Raw Materials Exploitation In Prehistory: Sourcing, Processing and Distribution.
Topics are open to a diversity of issues, but we would like to give preference to high-resolution methods such as PIXE, XRF, EDS, mass spectrometry or other, because they give measurable data, progressively reducing the sometimes highly-criticized subjectivity of the available data; something which has been giving increased importance to archaeology and anthropology in the 21st Century. Applications of such methods to different inorganic materials (lithics, ceramics, metals, glass, beads, colorants, etc.) are welcome. Moreover, works emphasizing integration of results obtained on different subjects will be prioritized.
The number of studies is large and numerous projects using these methods are ongoing throughout the World and covering all Prehistoric periods. Therefore, a new meeting will be the perfect setup to present fresh and more mature information along with critical opinions on the advantages and limits of these methods.
Did you have frustrating results? Great! Come to Faro and show them; they will be crucial to discuss field and laboratory protocols along with applicability, ranges and limits of these methods.
The meeting will take place between the 10th and 12th March 2016 at the University of Algarve, Portugal.
Looking forward to meet you in Faro!