Combat Archaeology is proud to participate in the Nordic TAG conference as a session organizer and will be organizing a session entitled "Conflict Archaeology and the Practice Approach". See our session description below.
The deadline for our paper abstracts is 30.1.2015. Abstracts can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the conference itself, please visit the Nordic TAG 2015 website (session descriptions remain to be updated).
Conflict archaeology, as a distinct strand of archaeological research, is still in its earliest stages and, as such, still in need of much refinement. In view of the multifaceted aspects of combat and the longstanding and multi-generational social structures that underlie it, there are obviously manyapproaches that can be employed in studying phenomena of conflict. One major concern for the progress of studies of conflict in archaeology is the general attenuation of the practice of violence, entailing an examination of agency in terms of how people act in the world, i.e. what they actually do, think and feel. When archaeological studies have focused upon subjects of or related to violence or warfare, it is not uncommon for the main area of debate to be restricted to such subjects as origins, social consequences, ceremonial aspects, social stratigraphy and weaponry typologies and dispersion etc. Certainly, a rich and nuanced understanding of the relationship between violence and society has been attained as a result of these investigations into the diagnostic traces of violence and warfare; but the broad contextualization comes at a price of an impoverished understanding of the practice itself. Regrettably, there has been little focus upon the methods by which it was conducted and how it was conceived, of the reasons for military success and failure. This session, therefore, aims at exploring how a practice approach towards understanding archaeologies of conflict can contribute to the field. We invite papers which relate to studies of conflict and employ clear theoretical frameworks in order to explore interpersonal violence through direct consideration of how it is undertaken and understood. We welcome contributors discussing the theoretical and philosophical treatments of this general approach as well as specific case studies that apply it.”