More than 150 experts participate in an international conference on experimental archaeology in Tarragona

Theory sessions were held on 25 and 26 October at the Catalunya campus, followed by a practical session at Tinglado 4 and the Port Museum on 27 October

Gathering and preparing firewood for an experiment.

More than 150 experts in different disciplines from France, England, Morocco, Algeria, Italy, Romania, Portugal, Belgium, Poland and Japan participated in the 5th International Conference on Experimental Archaeology, which was held in Tarragona and organised by the IPHES (Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution), the ICAC (Catalan Institute of Classical Archaeology), the ICRPC (Catalan Cultural Heritage Research Institute) and the Experimenta Association. Also collaborating in the event were the Port of Tarragona and the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV).

The theory sessions were held on 25 and 26 October in the Main Lecture Theatre of the URV’s Catalunya campus (Av. Catalunya, 35), while the practical session took place in Tinglado 4 and the Port of Tarragona Museum (Moll de Costa, s/n).

The sessions focused on three particular areas of interest under the titles ‘From hunter-gatherers to farming societies’, ‘The beginnings of complex human societies and their evolution to the present day’ and ‘The teaching, dissemination and valorisation of heritage’. In total, there were 62 presentations and 40 posters.

Inauguration and closing acts

The inaugural presentation was given by Dr Linda Hurcombe (Exeter University, United Kingdom), an archaeologist renowned for her application of experimental archaeology and ethnography to the prehistoric manufacture of stone tools. This was preceded by an opening ceremony involving the rector of the URV, Josep Anton Ferré, the councillor for Education, Employment and Economic Development of Tarragona City Council, Francesc Roca, the director of the IPHES, Robert Sala, and IPHES member and president of the Experimenta Association, Isabel Cáceres.

The closing act took place on 27 October in the Port of Tarragona Museum and involved Josep Andreu, president of the Tarragona Port Authority, Lluís Rovira, director of the Catalan Research Centres Institution, Maria Targa, general manager of the IPHES, and Isabel Cáceres.

On 27 October, the conference moved to the port for the practical sessions, which were divided into two parts. The first was in the morning and allowed conference attendees to give practical demonstrations and explanations of their research. In the afternoon, these activities were opened up to allow the general public to gain first-hand experience of experimental archaeology.

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