I’m back now from the European Association of Archaeologists conference in Plzen. It was in a lovely city, small and not oriented for tourism, but with lovely buildings in the old town.The way out to the university was lined with very nice Art Nouveau buildings with a hint of Art Deco.
The conference was at the University of West Bohemia. They coped well with 1,300 delegates and the organisation was well handled. The army of student helpers were superb. I missed the lithics sessions I wanted to see as I was co-chairing and present a paper in the morning and completely chairing an afternoon session that clashed with them. Still, we had good papers and very good discussion, well worth organising the sessions.
There is a growing interest in public archaeology in the rest of Europe, especially driven by the possibilities presented by digital communications technology. The context for a publicly engaged archaeology is very different than in the UK where community archaeology has become embedded in recent years.
The best paper I saw was by Antastasia Chourmouziadi from Thessaloniki who gave a moving account of what the economic problems of Greece have mean for archaeologists and the relevance of archaeology. For all that we love to complain and that there are difficulties in the UK, we are so well off and thriving by comparison!
On a more personal note, it was also good to see my book on sale and being sold. It was also good to see old friends again. And thanks to Paloma and Marina for looking after me when I was a little ill!