September 5, 2013
Representatives from the AIA traveled to Pilsen in the Czech Republic to participate in the 19th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA). Pilsen is the capital of West Bohemia and the fourth largest city in the Czech Republic. The conference, hosted by the University of West Bohemia, officially opened on Wednesday, September 4 at 5pm local time. Over 1,300 archaeologists from Europe and the rest of the world are in attendance. While European prehistory and history dominate the meeting’s academic program, there are several important sessions on public archaeology, cultural heritage management, and role of professional organizations in archaeology.
The conference began with an opening ceremony that included welcome addresses from Martin Gojda, Chair of the Local Organizing Committee and faculty member at the Department of Archaeology at the University of West Bohemia; Miroslav Simandl, the University’s Vice-Rector for Research and Development; Martin Baxa, the Mayor of Pilsen; and Friedrich Lueth, the President of the EAA. Preeminent European archaeologist Evzen Neustupny, who is also the founder of the Department of Archaeology at the University of West Bohemia, gave the keynote address. The speeches were interspersed with musical performances by the Mixed Choir Post Scriptum from Prague. The day ended with a opening reception.
The official academic program will begin on Thursday. The AIA is participating in two academic sessions and will be presenting a poster on public outreach through International Archaeology Day on Thursday and a paper on preparing archaeological sites for tourism on Friday. Both the poster and paper highlight important AIA programs and initiatives. The AIA will also have a booth in the conference’s exhibit hall. Through participation in the EAA Annual Meeting the AIA is reaching out to a wider audience and building relationships with an important professional organization and our European colleagues.