Call for Papers: The Spade Cannot Lie*

This year the Theoretical Archaeology Group (TAG) is holding its annual conference in Exeter (X-TAG) on 15-17 December 2006. I am organising a session called ‘ ‘The spade cannot lie’ – fresh perspectives on medieval material culture’. The session abstract is reproduced below. Please email me if you would like to give a paper, participate in the discussion afterwards or are interested in the creation of a Medieval Material Culture Communication Network.

The deadline for paper proposals is 30 September 2006 (no more than 300 words).

‘The spade cannot lie’ – fresh perspectives on medieval material culture

On what basis can people who work in historical archaeologies, particularly the medieval past, converse with each other effectively and meaningfully? How can the standing of material culture in the broader sphere of medieval studies be improved? This session aims to start a wide-ranging debate about the ways in which we can improve how we interrogate medieval material culture from across Europe and the Mediterranean, and how we can apply useful theoretical frameworks to our interdisciplinary work. Papers are sought from anyone who feels they have something to contribute to challenging established paradigms about the Middle Ages that so often perceive material culture as either ‘objective’ or ‘mute’.

The session will end with a discussion of whether it would be worthwhile to create a Medieval Material Culture Communication Network of academics, professionals and postgraduates who work in archaeology, museums, history, conservation, art history, materials technology and other fields, so we can continue to share our expertise and knowledge.

Email paper proposals of no more than 300 words to

*Taken from: P. Grierson, ‘Commerce in the Dark Ages’, Royal Historical Society Transactions (1959), p. 129