Online seminar series: Archaeology of Migration. Moving Beyond Historical Paradigms

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Migration has always been a reality of human existence, but its scale and impetus have varied widely throughout history. Migration can involve entire communities, specific social classes or occupations, or can be the movement of individuals. It can be voluntary or forced, or somewhere in between. It can take place over a wide range of chronological scales. It can be unidirectional or can involve returns to the migration’s point of origin. In most cases, migration and human mobility more broadly also involve interactions between different communities and cultures that can provoke conflict but that also lead to the formation of new local hybridized identities. 

The purpose of this seminar series is to examine different types of ancient and modern migration through a material lens. Approaches to past migrations have shifted significantly over the last century, as new methods have been pioneered to track the movement of individuals and groups (e.g. DNA, isotope analysis) and as our understanding of the materiality of identity categories (e.g. ethnicity) have become more sophisticated. This seminar series aims to explore a variety of theoretical paradigms, perspectives, and methodologies for visualizing the movement and settling of migrants through material culture. To that end, we invited scholars to present archaeological or ethnographic case studies on a broad geographical, chronological, and thematic range of topics on migration and mobility. We intend for this seminar series to be broadly cross-cultural and to promote dialogue between disparate archaeological subdisciplines as well as with related disciplines.

The seminar is organized by Catharine Judson and Hagit Nol (CReA-Patrimoine, Université libre de Bruxelles). They both carry projects funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801505.

For registration (for individual or all sessions), questions, and further information, please contact us at:


Thursday, October 21st, 2021, 17:00 (GMT+1)

Mapping Greek mobilities: Introducing the MIGMAG project 
Naoise Mac Sweeney (Universität Wien)

Ceramics and migration in early Islamic al-Andalus (Iberia). An approach to the Vega of Granada (SE Spain)
José C. Carvajal López (Leicester University)

Tuesday, November 16th, 2021, 17:00 (GMT+1)

New Guinean social life and the archaeological imagination: Language, material culture, and dynamic networks 
Mark Golitko (University of Notre Dame & The Field Museum of Natural History)

The more we are together, the happier we shall be? Archaeological migration narratives and DNA
Daniela Hofmann (University of Bergen)

Tuesday, December 14th, 2021, 17:00 (GMT+1)

A river runs through it. The role of the Danube in facilitating population movements in Late Antiquity
Susanne Hakenbeck (University of Cambridge)

Migration, cultural encounters and economic changes: The emergence of specialized pottery workshop clusters in the Crusader kingdoms and states (12th-13th centuries)
Edna J. Stern (Israel Antiquities Authority & University of Haifa)

Tuesday, January 18th, 2022, 17:00 (GMT+1)

Where have all the Vikings gone? Some reflections on the missing archaeological evidence in the Frankish area
Anne Nissen (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

The Vikings in Pomerania and the Piast state: History, archaeology, and reception
Leszek Gardeła (Nationalmuseet – National Museum of Denmark)

Tuesday, February 15th, 2022, 17:00 (GMT+1)

Tracing diaspora communities in early modern Sweden with the aid of regional staple foods and fish bones. 
A case study from the town of Nya Lödöse (1473-1624 AD)
Emma Maltin (Stockholm University)

Migration, diet, and health in the colonial Caribbean: New insights from isotope bioarchaeology
Jason E. Laffoon (Leiden University)

Tuesday, March 15th, 2022, 17:00 (GMT+1)

An archaeology of the contemporary crises: The material culture of the end of the world as we knew it
Dimitris Dalakoglou (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

Friday, April 22nd, 2022, 17:00-19:00

Indigenous diasporas in North America: Puebloan adaptation, resistance, and refuge on the Great Plains
Sarah Trabert (University of Oklahoma)

Kasongo (Im)material: Screening and discussion
Noemie Arazi (Université libre de Bruxelles) and Alexandre Livingstone Smith (Musée royale de l'Afrique centrale)

Thursday, May 5th, 2022, 17:00-18:00 (moved from March 15th)

Excavating Sobibor Death Camp: Transnational identities, forced migration and the material memories of victims
Hannah Wilson (Nottingham Trent University)

Tuesday, May 17th, 2022, 17:00-18:30

Chinese ceramic sherds discovered in Arabia and Africa: An archeological view of exchanges in the Indian Ocean (9th-16th century)
Bing Zhao (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Some thoughts on mobility and the spread of innovations in prehistoric sedentary societies 
Silviane Scharl (Universität zu Köln)