Events archive

See below for a list of past Prehistoric Society events.

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Kindred: Neanderthal Life, Love, Death and Art

Joint Leicestershire Fieldworkers lecture
Dr Rebecca Wragg Sykes

The Neanderthals occupy a singularly seminal place within human origins, the first hominin to be discovered, the closest to us in evolutionary terms, and with the richest array of evidence to understand their lives. This lecture will explore how understanding of Neanderthals has evolved over more than 160 years

Joint meeting of Leicestershire Fieldworkers, Leicestershire Archaeological and Historical Society and the Prehistoric Society.


AGM & Europa Conference 2022: Sans frontières: mobility and networks in Neolithic Europe in honour of Prof Eszter Bánffy

The Prehistoric Society Europa Conference 2022 will be held at Bournemouth University, 17-19 June 2022, and will celebrate the achievements of Prof Eszter Bánffy, German Archaeological Institute, in the field of European Prehistory.


Hidden depths: revealing new insight into the archaeological human remains from the London reaches of the River Thames

Joint LAMAS lecture
Nichola Arthur (University College London)

This talk will explore how a large programme of research, which includes radiocarbon dating, osteological analysis, and stable isotope analysis, is providing insight into the human skeletal remains - many of Late Bronze Age or Iron Age date - recovered from the London reaches of the River Thames.


Pushing the Boundaries; new approaches in (studying) the prehistoric past: A day in honour of John Coles

This event will be a one-off in celebration of the achievements and legacy of one of Britain’s most influential archaeologists, Professor John Coles, who was sadly lost to us in 2020. It will be organised around four themes that were dear to his heart: Heritage Management, Wetland Archaeology, Experimental Archaeology and Rock Art.


Cotswold-Severn long barrows in the light of recent work

Joint Devon Archaeological Society event
Professor Timothy Darvill, Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, Bournemouth University

This lecture looks at the history of study and widely held understandings of this fascinating group of monuments in the light of on-going excavations at the Sisters Long Barrow near Cirencester.



Connecting tools and materials in the Dutch Late Neolithic through use-wear analysis and experiments

Joint Society of Antiquaries of Scotland lecture
Prof. Annelou van Gijn (Leiden University)

Archaeological artefacts are frequently studied in isolation and not as part of a toolkit. This lecture will show how a combination of use-wear analysis and experimental archaeology reveals the interconnectivities between different tools and activities, showing details about past human life that otherwise remain hidden. 


Piece Offerings: the Destruction and Deposition of Metalwork in Bronze Age Britain

Joint Cornwall Archaeological Society lecture
Dr Matthew G. Knight (National Museums Scotland)

The destruction and deposition of Bronze Age metalwork took many forms. Weapons were decommissioned and thrown into rivers; axes were fragmented and piled in hoards; and ornaments were crushed, contorted and placed in certain landscapes. But what did these practices mean to the people involved?


An Alternative to Agriculture: Mobility and Persistence in Northern New Mexico

Prof. Lindsay M. Montgomery (University of Arizona)

The Taos Plateau in Northern New Mexico is an expansive landscape that contains a rich material archive of 10,000 years of human use. As discussed by archaeologist Sarah Schlanger, the sustained use of particular places is often a result of their unique ecological characteristics as well as their history of prior use. Rather than a cycle of intensive occupation followed by dispersion and migration, human engagements with the Plateau landscape are perhaps better understood as a series of visitations, which vary in duration and frequency over time in response to changing ecological, economic, and social conditions.  In this talk, I will discuss how human mobility systems shaped and were shaped by different features of the Plateau landscape, including playas, mountains, and the Rio Grande Gorge itself. Throughout this discussion, I will draw on an Indigenizing approach centered on persistence in order to challenge archaeological modes of inquiry that focus on why people, practices, and places change. 

Image caption/credit: Twentieth-Century Stone Fireplace at Cerro de la Olla, Taos Plateau, New Mexico. © Lindsay M. Montgomery.



Recent discoveries of archaeological canoes in Aotearoa New Zealand: conservation, analysis of sailing technology and the implications for prehistoric voyaging in the Pacific.

Prof. Richard Flay, Dr Dilys Johns and Prof. Geoff Irwin (University of Auckland)

The recent discovery and conservation of the waterlogged remains of several canoes, including an early complex and carved sailing canoe of East Polynesian type, provides an opportunity to examine ancient sailing technology and to address the question of how islands like New Zealand were settled


Panel discussion: Are Genes Deep History?

Partnered event as part of the Being Human Festival, Queen Mary University of London

Panel discussion chaired by Mike Pitts (Archaeologist, editor and writer), involving:

  • Dr Tom Booth (Crick Institute)
  • Prof. Joanna Brück (UCD)
  • Subhadra Das (writer, historian, curator and comedian)
  • Dr Adam Rutherford (UCL)
  • Prof. Chris Stringer (Natural History Museum)