TAG2019-UCL has ended
The UCL Institute of Archaeology is delighted to host the 41st annual Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference in December 2019. Founded in 1937, the Institute is one of the largest centres for world archaeology, archaeological sciences and heritage & museum studies in the UK, situated in the heart of the capital.

Venue: UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL
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Tuesday, December 17 • 2:00pm - 5:30pm
TAG41 | Palaeolithic societies, sociality and social life: archaeological perspectives 20 years after Gamble (1999)

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Twenty years ago, Gamble’s “Palaeolithic Societies of Europe” was published, representing a landmark moment in the study of the social lives of both archaic hominins and early members of our own species, Homo sapiens. For arguably the first time, Palaeolithic populations, and the archaeological record which they generated, were analysed within an explicitly social framework interpreted in terms of the nested scales of social networks and the resultant interactions within and between individuals, groups, and regional populations. Two decades later, social approaches have become fundamental to Palaeolithic archaeology. However, the Palaeolithic archaeological record does look rather different. Not only does it now extend back in time to 3.3 million years ago, but it also incorporates at least three new hominin species (Homo floresiensis, Homo naledi, the Denisovans and possibly a fourth, Homo luzonensis), and falls increasingly under the purview of geneticists, whose research provides unique insights into hominin interactions and evolution. What has been the impact of these developments on how we conceive of Palaeolithic society, and what should be research priorities moving forward? Taking the 20th anniversary of Gamble (1999) as our impetus, we invite papers from researchers working on all aspects of Palaeolithic society, social life, and sociality, broadly defined. Papers are welcome from all Palaeolithic sub-periods, geographic regions, and theoretical perspectives. Possible topics include, but are not limited to: population connectivity and landscape use; group size, life history and demography; social organisation and economic strategies, including the role of individuals of different ages and sexes in Palaeolithic societies. Complementary perspectives from scholars working on primate archaeology or early farming societies are also welcome.

Organisers: Jenni French; UCL • Fiona Coward; Bournemouth University

14:00 | Jenni French, UCL; Fiona Coward, Bournemouth University | Introduction

14:10 | Becky Wragg Sykes, Independent scholar / Trowelblazers | Neanderthal Revolutions: radical manifestos for Palaeolithic Societies

14:25 | Gail Hitchens, University of York | Carrying on with Neanderthal mobility: a new approach to understanding group movement

14:40 | Annemieke Milks, UCL; Sheina Lew-Levy, Simon Fraser University; Noa Lavi, University of Haifa; Rachel Reckin, University of Cambridge; David Friesem, NA | Creative, influential, and daring! A review of the archaeological evidence for prehistoric hunter-gatherer children

14:55 | April Nowell, University of Victoria | Reconsidering the personhood of Gravettian infants

15:10 | Session organisers | Discussion

15:30 | - | BREAK

16:00 | Juana Maria Olives Pons, Max Planck Institute of Social Anthropology; Jordi Estévez Escalera, ARESOCARE-UAB | The social regulation of reproduction among hunter-gather-gatherers: an interdisciplinary and experimental approach

16:15 | Matt Grove, University of Liverpool | An unbounded social landscape: demography, complexity, and inter-assemblage variability

16:30 | Natasha Reynolds, University of Bordeaux | Scaling up, scaling down: how to describe a heterogeneous European Upper Palaeolithic record

16:45 | Taryn Bell, University of York | Emotional baggage? Emotion, material culture and social life in the Palaeolithic

17:00 | Clive Gamble, University of Southampton | Discussion

17:30 | - | END


Fiona Coward

Bournemouth University

Gail Hitchens

University of York

Sheina Lew-Levy

Simon Fraser University

Noa Lavi

University of Haifa

Rachel Reckin

University of Cambridge

April Nowell

University of Victoria

Juana Maria Olives Pons

Max Planck Institute of Social Anthropology

Matt Grove

University of Liverpool

Natasha Reynolds

University of Bordeaux

Taryn Bell

University of York

Becky Wragg Sykes


Clive Gamble

University of Southampton

Tuesday December 17, 2019 2:00pm - 5:30pm GMT
Room 739 20 Bedford Way, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0AL