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The International Symposium on Archaeometry

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International Symposium on Archaeometry


The aim of the Symposium is to promote the development and use of scientific techniques in order to extract archaeological and historical information from the cultural heritage and the paleoenvironment. It involves all Natural Sciences and all types of objects and materials related with human activity.

Short History

The International Symposium on Archaeometry is a biennial meeting, the beginning of which can be retraced as early as to the 1960s, when the applications of natural sciences in archaeology started to gain more and more importance. While during the early years the main focus of the meetings was on archaeological prospection by Geophysical methods by now all topics in the field of Archaeological Sciences are covered, such topics are the characterization of inorganic and organic materials for the identification of provenance and technology, dating, paleoenvironment and paleoclimate investigations, bioarchaeology, field archaeology etc. . The meeting is usually organized as a five day conference presenting sessions on standard topics as well as special theme sessions on selected specific topics. Parallel sessions are avoided for the sake of the interdisciplinary character of the symposium and the need of the participants to be informed on the status of the research in all aspects of Archaeological Sciences. A very important aspect of the Symposium is the Poster Sessions which attract the largest number of papers and which generate ample discussion during the specially designed long poster sessions and during the breaks.

The subjects covered by the Symposium are grouped in the following topical fields that form the regular sessions in which both oral and poster papers are presented:

Special sub-sessions are sometimes introduced and different emphasis maybe given to one of more of the above sessions from venue to venue.

Special Theme Sessions are also organised in every venue on subjects that reflect recent trends in the field of Archaeometry or related to particular interests in the region or country where the Symposium takes place

The submitted abstracts are reviewed by a board of international convenors to confirm that they are within the scope of the conference and also to be assigned as oral or poster presentation according to the nature and extend of research, subject and general interest. Papers that deal with weathering and deterioration of archaeological objects or monuments are welcome provided they are relevant to one of the main themes of the Symposium.

The symposium is usually attended by an international audience of several hundred scholars from diverse fields, such as physics, chemistry, materials science, geology, biology, conservation science, computer science, archaeology, anthropology, art history etc.. Since the 1980s the symposium is taking place in an alternating mode at locations in Europe and in the Americas organized by respective local organizing committees.

In order to ensure the continuity and maintain the standards the organization is assisted by the International Standing Committee composed of past meeting organisers. The first Chairman of the S.C. was Martin J. Aitken (1961-1986) who was succeeded by Michael S. Tite (1986-2004). Since 2004 the S.C. is chaired by Yannis Maniatis.

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