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Andean Technology Conference - June 2015 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bill Sillar   
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 14:35
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This is a call for papers for a conference and publication on Andean Technology. The conference will take place at UCL, London from the 16th-18th of June 2015. The theme and format of the conference are summarized below, with further information at: If you wish to offer a paper or poster please send a title and an abstract (of around 200 words) to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by 14th December 2014.

Best wishes
Bill Sillar, Viviana Siveroni and Miguel Fuentes

Technology: Ideology, Economics and Power in the Andes

Organizers: Bill Sillar, Viviana Siveroni and Miguel Fuentes
UCL, Institute of Archaeology
Sponsors: The Institute of Archaeology, UCL, the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London.
16th-18th June 2015

Conference Structure

The conference will consist of two days of presented papers, followed by a half day round table discussion. We particularly welcome papers that address some of the ‘issues for debate’ We will use these issues, as well as topics raised by the presented papers, to develop our round table debate and publication plans.

Conference Theme

Economic and ideological concerns both influenced the development and deployment of Ancient technologies, and researchers working in the Andes have been at the forefront of archaeological studies of these issues. Heather Lechtman’s proposal of ‘technological style’ included an assertion that cosmology and cultural values influenced metal working techniques, and similar concerns are seen in Izumi Shimada’s analysis of cross-craft technologies. Cathy Costin and Dean Arnold’s analysis have also helped to show how social, economic and environmental influences affected the scale and organisation of craft production. A pertinent question for these studies is the degree to which the Andean region is merely an exemplar of global trends and the degree to which it presents unique situations (e.g. due to the development of complex societies without a significant market economy). In this conference we wish to consider how ideology and symbolism as well as economic systems and political control helped to shape technological change, in order to discuss how these perspectives can be combined within our analytical methods and interpretations. We invite papers that draw upon recent fieldwork and material analysis to debate what influenced the choice of techniques and the scale of production within Andean crafts, construction and agricultural technologies. While the conference will focus primarily on pre-Columbian examples, we are conscious of issues such as the economic, environmental and social impact of current mining practice and encourage participants to reflect on the relevance of their research for the region today.

Participants will have to find their own funding for travel and accommodation. But, we can help to find you suitably priced accommodation close to UCL and the BM. There will be a charge of £50 for the conference pack, lunch, teas, coffees and a conference dinner. Space for the round table discussion and conference dinner are limited and will be prioritise for those presenting papers or posters.

Graduate students with valid ID from any university will not be charged to attend the conference presentations (although numbers are limited by the size of the lecture room). We also welcome offers of papers and posters from graduate research students, who have suitable data and are exploring ideas relevant to the conference theme, please note the stage you are at in your studies when submitting your abstract.

The conference will be used to develop a peer reviewed book for publication. We intend to publish with UCL press, who have expressed interest in this proposal, as this would allow us to make the papers freely available online as well as in print.

Dr. Bill Sillar
Senior Lecturer
Institute of Archaeology,
University College London,
31-34 Gordon Square,
London WC1H 0PY
Ph: (0)20 7679 1538
Fax: (0)20 7383 2572

Last Updated on Monday, 17 November 2014 17:44

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