Call for Papers

Animal, Vegetable, Mineral: Using Specialist Studies in Archaeological Interpretation

Boston University, October 31, 1998

The Graduate Student Association of the Department of Archaeology at Boston University is pleased to announce the Fourth Annual Open Forum for Graduate Students, on the theme of integrating specialist studies into archaeological interpretation. The goal of the conference is to provide a venue for encouraging the use of specialist studies in broader syntheses of human culture.

Although specialist studies are often isolated in archaeological discussions and publications, their results frequently have significant implications for questions beyond typology, species, or technology. For example, broad questions such as social identity, class, and status, economic and spatial organization, and regional interaction may be addressed through the use of various specialist studies. While many archaeologists include specialized studies in their research designs, the resulting data are often not fully incorporated into final reports. This conference will examine how feedback between various lines of evidence can strengthen archaeological interpretation.

Papers may address any chronological period and geographic area, and are limited to twenty minutes in length. Collaborative papers co-authored by specialists and non-specialists are particularly encouraged, as are interdisciplinary papers. For example, a paper might integrate more than one line of specialist evidence into a general synthesis in order to inform interpretation of a whole site or region. Papers may examine one type of evidence from the perspective of several disciplines, for example, using osteology and art history to examine the difference between taxonomic and cultural categorizations. Papers may also address methods for the use of specialist data or their incorporation into larger syntheses.

This conference is interdisciplinary. Submissions from departments of anthropology, archaeology, art history, classical studies, earth sciences, history, and related disciplines are welcome. Papers will be organized thematically into sessions on the basis of the abstracts selected.

Abstracts of 500 or fewer words should be submitted to the addresses below by post or e-mail on or before Friday, May 1. Please include your name, college/university and departmental affiliation, address, telephone number, and e-mail address.

This conference is sponsored by the Archaeology Graduate Student Association and the Department of Archaeology at Boston University. There is no registration fee. Contact: Graduate Student Conference Committee ‘98, Boston University (Karin Dunwoody, Susan Allen, Britt Hartenberger),

Department of Archaeology, Boston University, 675 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215. E-mail:; web: