Red Sea VIII Conference in Warsaw, 4–9 July 2017
Coveted treasure. The economy of natural resources: extraction, processing and trade
Ten years after the Red Sea III conference: "Natural Resources and Cultural Connections of the Red Sea", held at the British Museum on 27–28 October 2006, enough new data has been made available to warrant another in-depth look at the archaeology of natural resources extraction and processing (mines, workshops, etc.).
The main themes of the conference are:
- economic significance of commerce in natural resources passing through the Red Sea
- intermediaries in the natural resources trade (“Who dun’it”)
- other archaeological categories coexistent with the natural resources trade (pottery, glass etc.)
- language/epigraphy: terms for natural resources: mining and processing/crafts work
- ethnoarchaeological evidence for exploitation and processing of natural resource
"The Arabian Red Sea Route" Workshop will be held on Monday, 3 July 2017. Participants in the Red Sea 8 conference are free to participate in the proceedings of this workshop. Details of the program will be available from this site.
Latecomers! The NEW deadline for abstracts for the Workshop is 30 April 2017.
CALL FOR PAPERS
Panel 1: Natural resources on the move
The main objective of the archaeological approach will be to work toward a network visualisation of how the different commodities – natural resources specifically –and related finds moved according to different patterns. The results will then be compared to a similar network analysis of comparable commodities traded along the Red Sea, extracted as a list from the Periplus, the 1st century AD sailing and trading guide. We shall seek to include in the workshop the different places represented in the Periplus, which are currently under excavation.
Panel organizers: Dr. Eivind Seland (University of Bergen), Prof. Steven E. Sidebotham (University of Delaware), Iwona Zych (PCMA UW) , Joanna K. Rądkowska (PCMA UW)
Panel 2: Indian steel and other metals: reconstructing the metalworking craft (co-organized with the State Archaeological Museum in Warsaw)
The panel will take a look at metalworking technologies from prehistoric times to the Islamic period. A workshop organized as part of the session will conduct an experiment aimed at reconstructing the unknown process of melting hypereuctectoid steel, commonly known as Indian steel, in its variant produced in antiquity between 300 BC and AD 600. Participants will observe the preparation of a melting crucible and the actual melting process, as well as see the results — if successful. The discussion and presentations will concern metal as a resource as well as metal objects as a category.
Panel organizers: Marek Woźniak (PCMA UW), Władysław Weker (State Archaeological Museum in Warsaw), Martin Hense (University of Leiden)
Panel 3: On the 'Bead Road'... Studying materials and techniques for the jeweler's craft in the Western Indian Ocean Basin
Long disregarded and overlooked in research, personal adornments are an important aspect of material culture which can contribute significantly to studies of economic, social and even political issues. The aim of this workshop is to provide an overview of ancient jewelry from various periods, beads in particular, circulating in the Red Sea and around the Arabian Peninsula to East Africa and India. In line with the main theme of the conference, we will focus on raw materials and technologies for the production of beads and other personal adornments, their origins and distribution. By highlighting diverse aspects connected with raw material extraction and technologies for making adornments, we intend to bring out the wider chronological and geographical context of the overseas trade in the products themselves, as well as the background commerce in supply materials essential for the pursuance of the craft.
Panel organizers: Dr. Joanna Then-Obłuska (PCMA UW), Dr. Zuzanna Wygnańska (PCMA UW)
Panel 4: Incense trade in the Red Sea
Incense was one of the most important luxury items of trade in antiquity. The incense trade flourished from the 8th century BC to approximately the 2nd century AD and linked the incense producing areas of Arabia and Africa with markets as far and wide as the Mediterranean, the Levant, Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Indus and China. This trade led to many wide scale cultural, social, political and economic changes. With this special session we would like to investigate the socio-political and economic implications of this trade on the Red Sea regions, its people and its landscape. We welcome interested researchers from all disciplines to contribute to the discussion and envisage that this session will provide a stimulating setting for enriching discussions and helping promote studies of the impact of the incense trade within a multidisciplinary research arena.
Panel organizer: Dr. Julian Jansen van Rensburg (Dahlem Research School POINT Fellow Excellence Cluster Topoi)
Special session on climate change
In response to a general need expressed at various recent conferences, the organizers propose a separate session to undertake the issues of climate change as attested in the archaeological evidence from regularly excavated sites.
Sessions addressing current work in the region will include:
Current fieldwork: recent results, news from the field
Conservation and site management issues
Lamps on the Red Sea caravan and coastal routes: Special session organized in cooperation with the International Lychnological Society (ILA), aimed at supplying an overview of the lamp assemblages from Red Sea sites
Papers and posters are invited on these topics (see Registration Form for details)