Theme and Sessions

Serving as a bridge for the field of archaeology, anthropology, history, and metallurgy, “the International Conference on the Beginnings of the Use of Metals and Alloys” intends to create a forum for scholars from different specialisations and backgrounds to present and share new research, insights, approaches, and results of archaeometallurgical investigations. The goal of the conference is to provide an opportunity for the academic discussion as well as the exchange of thoughts and dialogues concerning the inception, adoption, expansion, and impact of metals on ancient Asian societies, as well as interactions among people influenced by metals. This conference is also hoped to emphasise and strengthen the collaboration, interdisciplinary approach, and activities of archaeometallurgy among researchers who share the same interest in Asian archaeometallurgy.

This year theme is set to “diversity and connection of metallurgy across Asia”. This is to reflect Southeast Asia being a host of the BUMA conference for the first time. The region, in recent years, has seen significant progress on archaeometallurgical research since it commenced in the mid-1960s. Situated at the end of the Eurasian transmission route, Southeast Asian metallurgy is intimately connected to those developed in neighbouring Eurasian populations. This certainly demonstrates a long history of connection and transmission of metallurgical knowledge as well as people across Eurasia and beyond. This provides the scholars a great opportunity to further explore how rich, complex, and diverse the ancient metallurgy and its socio-cultural processes and interactions involved were throughout the vast region.

This “diversity and connection” is hoped to be demonstrated through contributions from archaeological expeditions, analytical results of finds, new approaches and new technologies in archaeometallurgical studies, new interpretations of previous data, comparative studies, as well as experimental and ethnographic data drawn from various regions in Asia, covering from Mesopotamia, Middle-East, Central, North, South, East, and Southeast Asia.

Lastly, through these contributions, this conference hopes to convey, through this academic assembly, to Southeast Asian non-archaeometallurgist scholars the potential of metals-based research to address wider archaeological questions and encourage new generations of scholars to take part in this research.

These sessions are preliminarily proposed in hope of capturing the main theme as well as open a forum for other related topics. The conference themes cover all of Eurasia geographically, chronologically, technologically. We will evaluate all papers and will assign sessions based on the abstracts we receive. The participants are encouraged to propose new sessions or papers relevant to the main theme. Please feel free to discuss the sessions.

The themes preliminarily proposed are as follows:

  1. Archaeometallurgy in Southeast Asia
  2. Archaeometallurgy in East Asia
  3. Archaeometallurgy in Central Asia
  4. Archaeometallurgy in North Asia
  5. Archaeometallurgy in South Asia
  6. Archaeometallurgy in Western Asia (including Middle East and Near East)
  7. Archaeometallurgical connection between Asia and Europe
  8. New analytical techniques in archaeometallurgy

• New sessions can also be based on metal groups or technology

There will be a distinct session on 8 September organised to celebrate Prof. Vincent Pigott and Associate Professor Surapol Natapintu for their contributions to the Southeast Asian archaeometallurgy community.