Call for Papers: The Fifth Eurasian Archaeology Conference

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The Fifth Eurasian Archaeology Conference
Gods on the Grasslands, Myths in the Mountains
October 26-28, 2017, Cornell University


How can the material traces of the past inform our understanding of the divine, the otherworldly, and the mythical? In contrast to other geographical locales, Eurasian archaeologists have long recognized the vitality of religious practices. This attention to the devotional, however, has been closely linked to conceptions of the ethnos. As the ethnos has been destabilized in contemporary archaeological thought, it is increasingly important to rethink the significance of religion in Eurasia’s past.

The Fifth Eurasian Archaeology Conference invites participants to reevaluate the role of religion and religious practices within and beyond daily life. It encourages participants to explore how religion(s) – and conceptions of a world beyond – have shaped cultural beliefs and practices throughout time and space within this vast and diverse terrain that spans from the Danube to the Gobi, from the Great Caucasus to the Tian Shan mountains.

This conference seeks to examine how religion operates as a materially inscribed social force that played a prominent role in shaping Eurasia’s past. We welcome art historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians alike to explore the beliefs, narratives, and ideologies that shaped experiences of the numinous at both individual and community scales throughout Eurasian (pre)history. We look to investigate how systems of meaning also shaped economic, political, and social orders at multiple spatial and temporal scales. The Fifth Conference on Eurasian Archaeology invites participants to explore how social ideologies, cosmologies, and world orders engendered different aspirations, motivations, obligations, and loyalties within communities of practice. The conference seeks session proposals and paper abstracts that will contribute new data, methodologies, and theories concerning the material manifestations of religion, grounded in studies that extend from prehistory to the present day and from Eastern Europe to the Far East.

We anticipate a range of sessions dealing with various aspects of the experience of the divine.  Sessions could include:

  • Divination and Power: Practice, Politics and the Sacred
  • Religion Matters: The Materiality of Religious Practice
  • Sacred Space: Placemaking and Devotional Landscapes  
  • Deities as Objects and Objects as Deities

We also encourage participants to consider proposing sessions that draw together multiple contributions on a theme.  If you are interested in proposing a session, send a 1 paragraph description and list of 4-6 potential contributors to by March 15.

Abstracts for papers are due May 5, 2017 via the online submission portal at  The portal is now open to receive submissions.