The EAC Conferences

The EAC Conferences began as fora for building knowledge and capacity around the archaeology of the Eurasian continent–a region long neglected in the Euro-American academy due to the impediments of the Cold War and the folly of civilizational thinking. Five Eurasian Archaeology Conferences (EAC) were held at the University of Chicago and then Cornell University between 2002 and 2017. Beginning in 2024, the EAC conferences expand their ambition, addressing critical problems in archaeology that arise out of the Eurasian continent but are not unique to it. The first of these more ambitious gatherings is entitled “Unearthing, Unseeing: Archaeology, Heritage, and Forensics in the Shadow of State Violence”. Conflicts and crises across Eurasia, from Ukraine to the Caucasus to Xinjiang, underscore the precarity of archaeological remains and heritage sites amidst a turn toward authoritarianism and state-sponsored violence. But this condition is not unique to Eurasia. Hence “Unearthing, Unseeing” will look outward from Eurasia to understand the global threat and build coalitions and capacities for countering it.

Past Eurasian Archaeology Conferences have been focused on a number of key themes in the field.

The 2017 conference, held at Cornell University, was titled “Gods on the Grasslands, Myths in the Mountains”. The final program is available online.

The 2012 conference was the first convened on the campus of Cornell University. It centered on the the theme of “Fitful Histories and Unruly Publics: Rethinking Community and Temporality”. The resulting volume, edited by Kathryn Weber, Emma Hite, Lori Khatchadourian, and Adam T. Smith, was published by Brill in 2015.

The 2008 Eurasian Archaeology Conference was the last held at the University of Chicago. It centered on the the theme of “Regimes and Revolutions: Power, Violence, and Labor in Eurasia Between the Ancient and the Modern”. The resulting volume, entitled, The Archaeology of Power and Politics in Eurasia: Regimes and Revolutions, (edited by Charles Hartley, G. Bike Yazicioğlu, and Adam T. Smith) was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012.

The 2005 conference, held at the University of Chicago, was entitled: “Social Orders and Social Landscapes: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Eurasian Archaeology”. The proceedings (2008) were published by Cambridge Scholars Press in a volume edited by Laura Popova, Charles Hartley, and Adam T. Smith.

The 2002 conference, held at the University of Chicago, was entitled “Beyond the Steppe and the Sown: Integrating Local and Global Visions”. The proceedings (2006) were published by Brill in a volume edited by David Peterson, Laura Popova, and Adam T. Smith.