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Life Waves 16th - 17th April 2009


Conference Location

The Martin Harris Centre

(Building 42 on the Campus Map)

Registration starts at 10 AM Thursday

The final revision of the programme may be read here

Click HERE to read the abstracts.

Registration is free to all, and is still open. Details can be found on the Registration pages of this website.

Details of available conference accommodation are now online under the Accommodation pages of this website.

Conference Abstract

A downloadable version of the Conference Abstract is available at

The abstact is in PDF, you will need acrobat reader to be read the abstract.

You can download the reader from the adobe web site

To view the document as a web page click HERE

Speakers Abstracts

A downloadable version of the Speakers Abstracts is available at

The abstract is in PDF, you will need acrobat reader to be read the abstract.

You can download the reader from the adobe web site

To view the document as a web page click HERE

Lifewaves logoLog boat

Registration is now open.

Follow the links on the left hand side of the page to register your details.
The conference is free to all delegates.

A provisional timetable and speakers' abstracts are now available to download from the Programme Section of the website.
It may be possible to accommodate a small number of research Posters. Those wishing to submit a poster should email the convenors at lifewaves@live.co.uk.
Please watch this space for further updates regarding the event.

Log boat

Conference Aims

The forthcoming conference has been designed to invigorate the study of different aspects relating to prehistoric saltwater societies. Archaeological research has tended to ignore the specific practices and qualities associated with saltwater societies. Discourse has tended to focus on a past of fairly uniform land based societies, and notions of maritime navigation and contact have been explained in terms of population diffusion and cultural correlates. Despite recent critiques of culture historical models little has been done to readdress this imbalance when considering the sea. Direct archaeological evidence is extremely variable for such societies and alternative methods by which consider their existence in specific contexts have not yet been fully explored by archaeologists who are themselves both land based and land orientated. Yet despite this, the concept of maritime travel and contact is often implicit within many dialogues concerning prehistoric societies.
However, recent archaeological debate has opened up new ways of thinking about the nature of material culture and the ways in which identities are created and mediated through being in the world. We would like to apply these theories to studies that deal directly with the sea and the activities that take place upon it. In particular we would like to explore notions of social identity that accompany such practice. By doing this, we hope to open up a forum for debate in which the sea and saltwater peoples can be better integrated into the wider discourse on prehistoric life. We would also encourage contributions from those outside of the discipline to provide contributions which allow us to deepen our understanding of saltwater communities.