Topics & Sessions

We welcome abstracts from a broad range of subjects. Prospective participants may submit proposals related to any of these themes or other ones too.

For any questions please feel free to contact us.

Archaeology & Archaeometry

  • Archaeological science – Archaeometry
  • Disaster Archaeology
  • Silk Road (Maritime & Land): Operational Sequences of Artefacts & Diffusion of Ideas
  • Environmental Evidence of Human Migration
  • Skyscape Impact on Cultural Development

Cultural Geography & Geosciences

  • Geoarchaeological Issues
  • Sacred landscapes & Religious Aspects
  • Predictive Modelling of Αrchaeological Sites
  • Climate Change & Ancient Culture
  • Environmental Reconstruction-GIS

New technologies & Sustainability

  • Cultural Management, Innovation Technologies, Sustainability
  • 3D Reconstructions
  • Remote-sensing Applications
  • Quantitative approaches in archaeoenvironmental modelling
  • Conservation of Monuments and Works of Art and Environmental Factors
  • Miscellaneous

Society & Environment

  • Environmental-Cultural reports from European and Asian Ancient Sources
  • Archaeological Parks
  • Geoarchaeological Parks
  • Intangible Cultural Heritage Inspired by the Environment
  • Enviro-cultural Reports from Ancient Literature Sources


Accepted Sessions


Organisers: Prof. Gregorios Tsokas (Lab. of Geophysics, Geology Dept. Aristotle Univ. of Thessaloniki) (; Prof. (Emeritus) Chr. Paliadeli Saatsoglou (Dept. of Archaeology, Aristotle Univ. of Thessaloniki)

Vergina is best known as the site of ancient Aigai (Αἰγαί, Aigaí, Latinized: Aegae), the first capital of Macedon. It was there when in 336 BC Philip II was assassinated in the theatre and Alexander the Great was proclaimed king. The ancient site was discovered in 1976 and excavated under the leadership of archaeologist late prof. Manolis Andronikos. The excavation unearthed the burial sites of many kings of Macedon, including the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, which, unlike so many other tombs, had not been disturbed or looted. It is also the site of an extensive royal palace. The archaeological museum of Vergina was built to house all the artifacts found at the site and is one of the most important museums in Greece. Aigai has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status as “an exceptional testimony to a significant development in European civilization, at the transition from classical city-state to the imperial structure of the Hellenistic and Roman periods”. The royal palace and the area compose an integrated set where archaeology, cultural heritage and environment are combined

Presentations are welcome concerning the research and applications on the archaeological site of Vergina and the associated proximal Macedonian environment on: Archaeology & Archaeometry, Archaeological Prospection, Geoarchaeological Issues, Sacred landscapes & religious aspects, Predictive Modelling of archaeological sites, Cultural Management, Innovation Technologies, Sustainability, 3D reconstructions, Society & Environment.

Keywords: sculptures, environmental archaeology, pigment, painting, tomb, artifacts, monuments, sustainability


Theme Unity: Cultural Geography & Geosciences

Sub-theme: Sacred Landscapes & Religious Aspects

Organizers: Georgios Dimitriadis (

(Group of Quaternary and Prehistory- (FCT), University of Coimbra, Coimbra-PT, ITM- Earth and Memory Institute, Mação-PT, CICH-Centre of Historical Science Investigations, UAL-Autonomous University of Lisbon, Lisbon-PT)

Zhang Tongbiao ( (School of Arts and Aesthetics,  Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi- India)

Yashadatta Alone ( (School of Fine Arts, Jiangsu University, Jiangsu, China)

The Earth is sprinkled with time capsules, places like monuments, tombstones and archaeological sites as well as cultural landscapes created by human initiative. Although these places are dynamic and complex, culture landscapes are created as scenarios for the reconstruction of myth-historical narratives and reflect the cosmological organizing principles of society. Such narrative structure enduring the social memory and the socio-symbolic aspects of human-environment interaction. Sacred places and landscapes can be found both in nature and in the built environment. What distinguishes such spaces is not the degree of human modification, but the acts that are performed there.

The sacred sites in Greece, India and China somehow presents common characteristics and basically has two dimensions: one related with the sites that are in worship and the other sites that are not. Archaeology becomes key to both the sides. The archeological explorations have led to unearthing the sites that have vanished where as there are couple of sites that are still being worshipped. Sacred geography also becomes part of the religious practices as well as worshipping economy, on the other hand, the idea of sacred site or places of worship gets advocated in Orthodox (Meteora Monasteries) and in the Buddhist (Mahaparinibbansutta of the Digha Nikaya) religion according to its textual tradition. From late nineteenth century Greece, India and China rediscover those places as archeological ruins and reconstructs the history. While some sites become part of world heritage, but the environmental aspects and its relations are an area that have been less explored. Many sites have developed keeping in mind its accessibility and public presence. The present inquiry goes into the concerns of the sites specificities in order to understand the very idea of sacred that gets associated as well as the sites that are otherwise not part of the canonical advocacy. In such scenario, the authors agreeing that Orthodox-Byzantine and Buddhist sacred sites present common elements in the historical-religious conception and function as well as in the cultural heritage management (CRM), understood as “a means of investigating qualities of heritages that focuses on them as material manifestations and particular kinds of places”. Archaeological, anthropological and fine arts study cases are strongly welcome.

Keywords: Byzantine and Buddhist sites, culture landscape, CRM-culture heritage management, sacred places, sino-hellenic academic project


Reese-Taylor, K. 2017. Sacred Places and Sacred Landscapes. In:

Sorensen, M.L. and Carman, J. 2009. Heritage Studies. Methods and Approaches. Routledge: London and New York.

Tlley, Ch. 2010. Interpreting Landscapes. Walnut Creek: California.

Waterton, E. & Atha, M. 2008. Introduction: Recovering Landscape as a Cultural Practice. In: Landscape Research, Vol.33, n°5, 509-510. London: Routledge.


Organizers: Prof. I.B. Chinou ( & Assoc. Prof. Nektarios Aligianis (  (National and Kapodistrian Univ of Athens, Section of Pharmacy, Lab of Pharmacognosy and Chemistry of Natural Products, Greece)


The history of technologies of pharmacology and botanology in ancient World characterizes an environmental and political status proper for the development of natural medicine and more. Research on the diachronic information about a region rather than one specific site, coupled with contemporary landscape and vegetation is mostly in demand. There was the wide-scale transition of many human cultures during the Neolithic period from a lifestyle of hunting and gathering to one of agriculture and settlement, making an increasingly large population possible. These settled communities permitted humans to observe and experiment with plants to learn how they grew and developed. This new knowledge led to the domestication of plants.

Nomadic hunter-gatherer societies passed on, by oral tradition, what they knew (their empirical observations) about the different kinds of plants that they used for food, shelter, poisons, medicines, for ceremonies and rituals etc. The uses of plants by these pre-literate societies influenced the way the plants were named and classified—their uses were embedded in folk-taxonomies, the way they were grouped according to use in everyday communication. The nomadic life-style was drastically changed when settled communities were established by the end of the last Glacial period and the onset of the Holocene, with the called agricultural revolution, during the early Neolithic Revolution which extended from about 10,000 to 4000 BP depending on the region. With these communities came the development of the technology and skills needed for the domestication of plants and animals and the emergence of the written word provided evidence for the passing of systematic knowledge and culture from one generation to the next (Morton 1981). Changes in key traits occurring during the processes of plant domestication have long been subjects of debate. Only in the case of genetic analysis or with extensive plant remains can specific sets of changes be documented. Historical details of the plant domestication processes are rare and other evidence of morphological change can be difficult to obtain, especially for those vegetables that lack a substantial body of archaeological data. Botanical records chronicled in the ancient literature of established ancient civilizations, such as that of Greece and China, are invaluable resources for the study and understanding of the process of plant domestication.

In the great civilizations (e.g. Greek, Chinese, Egyptian, Indian) pharmacology and botany are cultural assets, and in antiquity actors played a significant role in the transmission of pharmacological and botanical knowledge. The session welcomes contributions related to sagas, myths and the applications of botanology as pharmaceutical entities to therapy. Botanology first appears in the teachings of Aristotle’s student Theophrastus at the Lyceum in ancient Athens in about 350 BC; this is considered the starting point for modern botany. In Europe, this early botanical science was soon overshadowed by a medieval preoccupation with the medicinal properties of plants that lasted more than 1000 years. During this time, the medicinal works of classical antiquity were reproduced in manuscripts and books called herbals. In China and the Arab world, the Greco-Roman work on medicinal plants was preserved and extended (Wang et al 2008).

The cultivation, trade and transmission of knowledge was established by the authorities who claims to have expertise and effective treatments. Transmission occurred orally, and attitudes toward the written word in general, and recipes in particular, were ambivalent. The question of efficacy from a cross-cultural point of view is of interest and here where botany meets archaeology and archaeometry. The culturally bound efficacy is adopted in the modern era using ancient texts for bioprospecting (“new” remedies). This interdisciplinary session involves collaborative studies including historians, archaeological scientists, environmental archaeologists (ethno)-pharmacists, geoarchaeologists.

Presentations involving documentation of analytical work (organic residue analysis etc), and agro-cultural evidence, but literature sources too, on the duality of pharmacobotany and ancient cultures. Examples of key research interests include: research results on palaeobotanical remains that archaeologists can recover and the methods used to analyse them, the importance of iconographic and textual evidence on ancient plants, diet and palaeoeconomy, medicines, poisons, and psychotropics; perfumes, cosmetics, and dyes; and prestige.


Totelin L.M.V 2016 Technologies of Knowledge: Pharmacology, Botany, and Medical Recipes. Oxford Handbooks online. Series:  Classical Studies, Ancient Science and Medicine.

Morton, A. G. (1981). History of Botanical Science: An Account of the Development of Botany from Ancient Times to the Present Day. London: Academic Pres

Jin-Xiu Wang, Tian-Gang Gao, Sandra Knapp (2008) Ancient Chinese Literature Reveals Pathways of Eggplant Domestication. Annals of Botany, Volume 102, Issue 6, 891–897.

Day Jo (2013) Botany meets archaeology: people and plants in the past. Journal of Experimental Botany, Volume 64, Issue 18, 5805–5816.


Organizers: Prof. Evelpidou N.( (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), Dr Karkani A. ( (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens), Dr Sakellariou D. ( (Hellenic Centre for Marine Research).


Geoarchaeology is a multidisciplinary science that combines and bridges archaeological, geological and geomorphological knowledge, tools and concepts with the aim to answer questions related to the dynamically changing environment throughout the human era, the interaction of humans with the environment and their adaptation to the environmental changes, the migration and settlement history and evolution. Geoarchaeology in the coastal zone and on the seafloor deals with various topics ranging from palaeogeographic reconstructions of ancient settlements, ancient harbors, relative sea level changes, natural hazards, etc. Geoarchaeological researches in the coastal and underwater environment take advantage of various field methods, such as corings, and remote sensing techniques such as drones and various underwater vehicles, laser scanning, as well as photogrammetric approaches and Geographic Information Systems. Presentations should examine the interrelationship between archaeology and the various disciplines within Quaternary science and the Earth Sciences in general, including, for example: geology, geography, geomorphology, pedology, climatology, oceanography, geochemistry, geochronology, and geophysics, as well as those that deal with the biological record of past human activity through the analysis of faunal and botanical remains and palaeoecological reconstructions that shed light on past human-environment interactions.

This session invites scientific contributions on multi-disciplinary and innovative research on geoarchaeological approaches – techniques and methods, paleoenvironmental studies, and landscape evolution focused on the coastal zone.

Keywords: sedimentology, coastal archaeology, environmental archaeology, remote sensing, palaeogeography, sea level changes, marine archaeology, proxy data.


Dean S, Horton B, Evelpidou N, Cahill N, Spada G, Sivan D. (2019) Can we detect centennial sea-level variation over the last three thousand years in Israeli archaeological records? Quaternary Science Reviews, 210:125-135

French, C. (2003) Geoarchaeology in action: studies in soil micromorphology and landscape evolution. London: Routledge

Jing, Z., G. Rapp & T. Gao. (1995) Holocene landscape evolution and its impact on the Neolithic and Bronze Age sites in the Shangqiu Area, northern China. Geoarchaeology 10: 481-513.

Karkanas, P and Goldberg, P (2018) Reconstructing Archaeological Sites: Understanding the Geoarchaeological Matrix. John Wiley & Sons, UK. Kraft, J., H. Bruckner, I. Kayan & H. Engelmann. (2007) The geographies of ancient Ephesus and the Artemision in Anatolia. Geoarchaeology 22: 121-49.


Theme Unity: Society and Environment

Organizers: Nikolaos Zouros ( (Dept of Geography, Univ. of the Aegean, Greece) and Zhang Jianping ( (School of Earth Sciences and Resources, China University of Geosciences, Beijing)


The Geopark concept established in Europe during the last decade of the 20th Century leading to the establishment of the European Geoparks Network in 2000, In parallel the same period effords led to the establishment of the first Geoparks in China. The Geoparks aim to achieve the protection of the geological and geomorphological heritage sites through local community involvement to their management, in the frame of a sustainable development strategy.

Geopark activities have been part of the UNESCO work plan since 2001 and, since 2004, UNESCO has offered ad-hoc support to Global Geoparks upon requests from individual Member States. The Global Geoparks Network (GGN) established in 2004, under the umbrella of UNESCO, including Geoparks from China and Europe, as an international network of cooperation among Geoparks. In 2014 after one decade of successful operation as a volunteer network that led to the establishment of Global Geoparks in all continents, the GGN gained legal personality and became the international non-profit association of the Global Geoparks and the Global Geopark professionals.

In 2015 UNESCO established the International Geoscience and Geoparks Programme, introducing the brand UNESCO Global Geopark as a label of excellence for areas that meet specific criteria. The GGN became officially the partner of UNESCO for the operation of the UNESCO Global Geoparks programme. UNESCO Global Geoparks should manage their geological heritage, in connection with all other aspects of that area’s natural and cultural heritage, to promote awareness of key issues facing society in the context of the dynamic planet we all live on. In doing so, UNESCO Global Geoparks adopt an holistic approach on territorial heritage and resources.

The Geoparks quality control mechanism is the UNESCO Global Geoparks Council through the evaluation and revalidation exercise. The GGN is the operational and coordination mechanism for the Geopark common activities, working to disseminate knowhow, exchange best practice and built capacity to protect and manage geological heritage sites and promote local sustainable development. Today there are 161 UNESCO Global Geoparks in 44 countries (July 2020). According to the Programme Operation Guidelines all UNESCO Global Geoparks should become members of the Global Geoparks Network (GGN).

Participants should address the issue of inter-institutional cooperation around the world for a search for appropriate strategies and methodologies to conserve the integrity and diversity of abiotic and biotic nature, to enhance tangible and intangible cultural heritage, to explore and promote the links between natural and cultural heritage, to ensure that any use of the territorial natural resources is equitable and sustainable, to enhance local communities resilience in natural hazards and climate change, to promote environmental education and geo-tourism activities and to support economic and cultural development of local communities through the valorisation of their unique heritage and identity.

The purpose of this session is to identify best practices in management, protection and conservation of the natural and cultural heritage within UNESCO Global Geoparks and areas wishing to joint this new UNESCO site designation and its international network of cooperation. It also aims to present the results of scientific cooperation in developing, advancing methodologies on geodiversity protection, conservation and management and other disciplines related to geo-conservation, geo-tourism, geo-education as well as on natural and cultural heritage communication and promotion through museums, open-air parks, interpretation centres and visitors information facilities.

Keywords: gediversity, geosites, geo-conservation, geoparks, open air museum, natural and cultural heritage.


Zouros (2010). Geotourism in Greece: A case study of the Lesvos petrified forest. In R. Dowling, D. Newsome (Ed.) Global geotourism perspectives. Goodfellow publishers Ltd. 215-229. ISBN 978-1-906884-17-8

Zouros, N (2004) The European Geoparks Network. Geological heritage protection and local development. Episodes 27, 3, 165-171.

Zouros, N. (2016). Global geoparks network and the new UNESCO global geoparks programme. Bulletin of the Geological Society of Greece, 50(1), 284-292. doi:


Organizer: Dr. Maria Kostoglou ( (Dept of the History of Art and Archaeology, School of Arts, SOAS, Univ. of London)


Iron ores occur in most areas of the world; however, their existence does not predetermine their use. Not all cultures and ancient economies turned to iron, some fully explored its potential early on like China (Wagner 1993) or the Mediterranean and Europe (Pleiner 1980, Wertime and Muhly 1980), while others have never fully utilized it until colonial contact. The iron craft in pre-industrial societies was a powerful factor that produced magnificent everyday tools and weapons that diversified economies and cultures; in many societies acquired magical attributes symbolizing life and cosmological order (Blakeley 2003) closely associated and deeply embedded in indigenous developments. Nevertheless, there are still many gaps in our knowledge that can be addressed with innovative interdisciplinary methodologies (Kostoglou 2010 and 2021) while our archaeological record in both these regions has being expanding hugely over the last few decades forcing a re-visiting of well-established theories on the spread, development and uses of iron. Meanwhile iron objects as well as related technologies are often underrepresented in archaeological and historic narratives, museum displays and heritage preservation projects.

Some of the earliest evidence correlating iron with such complex socio-cultural phenomena is found in the Greek and Chinese archaeological record of the first millennium BCE (covering roughly the later Iron Age to Hellenistic periods in Greece and the Warring States period in China, from Zhu to Qin dynasties). The session invites transcultural comparative perspectives from Europe and China covering the aforementioned periods looking at some of the earliest evidence of iron craft and its products, including archaeological, historical and analytical studies; contributions on how early iron technology in Europe and China emerged/developed, on manufacturing techniques especially forging and carburization methods, technological traditions within local/regional contexts, knowledge/technique distribution and exchange along the silk route and related themes; studies of iron objects from museum collections, including challenges on displaying iron objects and their interpretation/representation in museum context, as well as studies on issues related to the preservation and representation of heritage sites in their natural environment is also welcomed.

The session aims to generate discussion (and future collaborations) on the socio-cultural organisation of iron production, on how superior iron tools and weapons were adapted and used by communities, how they revolusionised other technologies and how ultimately moved ancient communities to complex, albeit different, socio-cultural formations in Europe and China in the first millennium BCE. Ultimately, the session aims at taking a holistic view on the study of current studies of iron in order to identify the current state of research, discuss major challenges and find transcultural ways of addressing them in the field and in the museum.

Keywords: ancient iron, silk route, manufacturing techniques and traditions, innovation, carburisation, technological heritage, transcultural approach.


Blakeley, S. (2003) Myth, Ritual and Metallurgy in Ancient Greece and recent Africa. Cambridge University Press.

ZKostolgou, M. 2021. Iron in Iron Age Greece. In J. Carter and C. Antonnacio ‘The Cambridge Companion to the Greek Iron Age’. New York: Cambridge University Press (in print)

Kostoglou, M. 2010. Iron, connectivity and local identities in the Iron Age to Classical Mediterranean. In P. van Dommelen, and A. B. Knapp ‘Material Connections in the ancient Mediterranean’: 170-89. London: Routledge.

Pleiner, R. 1980. Early iron metallurgy in Europe. In T.A. Wertime and J.D. Muhly (eds), The Coming of the Age of Iron, 375–416. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Wagner, D., 1993 Iron and steel in ancient China.

Wertime T. A. and J.D. Muhly (eds) 1980 ‘The Coming of the Age of Iron’: 335–74. New Haven: Yale University Press.


Organizer: Adele C. Scafuro (
(Dept. of Classics, Brown University, USA & American School of Classical Studies at Athens).

Theme Unity: Cultural Geography & Geosciences

Sub-theme: Sacred Landscapes & Religious Aspects


Sacred landscapes in Greece are shaped by the natural terrain of mountains, rocks, trees, fauna, rivers, streams, caves, and soil; by myths and narratives of gods and heroes that may conform to that landscape and the vicissitudes of nature and climactic change; by the sacred buildings of architects and laborers, the sculptures and ceramic and bronze vessels of artisans and the dedications of worshippers; and by the conduct of priestesses, priests, worshippers and visitors—e.g., processions, sacrifices, dances, ritual dramas, the sea bathings of celebrants and animals and the washing of statues and their wreathing with green finery. Sacred landscapes are nexuses of cultural, environmental, and phenomenological interaction.

Sacred landscapes, like all landscapes in Greece, were subject to natural disasters; many were also subject to devastation by enemies because of the wealth of their temple treasuries and the dedications displayed therein to honor the gods. Some natural and human-devised devastations totally obliterated sacred landscapes and cities. The Persian invasion of Athens under King Xerxes and the sack of the Acropolis in 480 BCE, immediately before the Battle of Salamis, and a second devastation of Athens in 479 under Mardonius (before the Battle of Plataiai) is, with the exception of the destruction of Thebes by Alexander the Great in 335 BCE, the most dramatic destruction of a city state in Ancient Greek History. Such obliterations sometimes make it difficult to locate the sanctuaries of antiquity, or, in cases where locations are known, to date the remnants of buildings and artifacts left behind, sometimes because of confused stratigraphy; sometimes literary and epigraphical sources can offer assistance. The efforts of engineers, architects, archaeologists, epigraphists, historians, art historians and conservationists may all combine together to reconstruct (where possible) sacred landscapes and to maintain many sacred artifacts in museums around Greece.

In this panel, we explore the interplay of environment, culture, and human behavior as we reassess both the fragmentary remnants of built structures and the lost or preserved contents that once belonged to sanctuaries of Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic Greece. We look for presentations that, in their aggregate, will start from the destruction of sanctuary sites and will end in recommendations for site exhibition and museum display. Thus the trajectory of the panel envisions a start from the destruction of sanctuary sites and the possibility of distinguishing between natural destruction over time and man-made destruction; also discussions of reconstruction and its feasibility; it also envisions discussions of the identification of disappeared sanctuary sites and the means for identifying them—or, in cases where sanctuary sites are identifiable, the means used to identify and date the use of buildings; it further looks for discussions of the material objects (e.g., sculpture, dedications) found in sanctuaries and considers problems in dating them, their use, and meaning; finally, it looks to a discussion, on the basis of the particular studies that will be presented, for museum and site displays. Papers on any of these or related themes are welcome.

Please send abstracts for 20-minute presentations to Adele Scafuro. (

Keywords: sacred landscapes, natural destruction, man-made destruction, disappeared sanctuaries, dedications, sculpture, museum and site displays


“Destruction, Survival, and Economic Recovery in the Greek World (May 16-18),” International Conference, May 16-18, 2019, ASCSA, Video Archive,

Häussler, R and G.F. Chiai. 2019. “Interpreting sacred landscapes: a cross-cultural approach,” pp. 1-16 in Hässler and Chiai (ids.), Sacred Landscapes in Antiquity. Oxbow.

Knapp, A. B. and W. Ashmore. 1999. “Archaeological Landscapes: Constructed, Conceptualized, Ideational,” pp. 1-32 in W. Ashmore and A.B. Knapp (eds.) Archaeologies of Landscape: Contemporary Perspectives. Blackwell, Oxford.

Konstantinidis, D. and N. Makris. 2005. “Seismic Response Analysis of Multidrum Classical Columns,” Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics, Vol.34, pp. 1243-1270.

Miles, M.M. 2008. Art as plunder: the ancient origins of debate about cultural property. Cambridge.

Papantoniou, G. and Vionis, A.K. 2017. “Landscape Archaeology and Sacred Space in the Eastern Mediterranean: A Glimpse from Cyprus,” land 6, 40; doi: 10.3390/land6020040

Reese-Taylor, K. 2012. “Sacred Places and Sacred Landscapes in D. L. Nichols, ed., The Oxford Handbook of Mesoamerican Archaeology, Oxford.