• Time and Place!

    Zoom Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/77724876820?pwd=Y_-IOrSOyDBtgFk4o_gAjzRFpX00rz.1

    Meeting ID: 777 2487 6820

    Password: Gao2022

    11/3/2022 - 13/3/2022

  • Call for Papers

    Art in Archaeology- Production, Transmission, Reception

    The annual Graduate Archaeology at Oxford (GAO) Conference invites the international community of graduate archaeologists working at any level to submit their abstracts for this conference. The conference will be held from 11th – 13th March 2022. Due to the uncertain situation and the possible travel restrictions inflicted by Covid 19, the conference will be held ONLINE through ZOOM.

    This year’s conference has the broad theme of art in archaeology, with each day focusing on a different sub-topic: production, transmission and reception.


    The GAO Conference is an annual event hosted by the Graduate Archaeology Committee at the University of Oxford, providing an opportunity for the international community of graduate archaeology students to share their research with a large and diverse audience. The conference will also feature three keynote speakers, who will present fresh research about art in archaeology. We welcome diverse, innovative and creative approaches to the topic under discussion, with no geographical or chronological limits. Please feel free to email the convenors to discuss any ideas you may wish to present.



    “There really is no such thing as Art. There are only artists” (Gombrich 1950). The Story of Art is perhaps the most seminal work on Art History, and in his opening line, Gombrich chose to centre the creator over the creation. The making of art is one of the defining features of humanity (Morris-Kay 2010). All human cultures have produced art, and our desire to make, to create transcends borders of time and distance. This act of artistic creation is almost “something bred in the bone, so to speak” (Carroll 2004). Art from the archaeological record not only raises questions of ‘what’ was produced, but ‘why’, ‘where’ and ‘how’. If every creation has a creator, art also makes us question ‘who’, and if the mark of cultural or self-identity (Bright & Bakewell 1995), art allows the most direct understanding of who past cultures – or people – really were.


    Contributions may discuss, but are not limited to:

    • Any aspect of material culture studies in archaeology
    • The processes of production of art
    • The reasoning for or theory of art production
    • Artistic style, be it personal, geographical or chronological
    • Object typology




    As long as humans have produced art, it has been sold, traded and disseminated. The movement of art has often been used to identify cultural interaction, or colonial activity (Boardman 1964). The adaptation, incorporation or rejection of artistic styles can also be indicative of wider social interactions between ancient cultures, whose historical sources are now lacking. From China to India, the Levant to Spain, the use and transmission of objects and symbols can be a factor in the alteration or continuation of a culture negotiating identity in the ancient world through art (Feifer, Meltesen, Rathje 2015). Examining the journey of objects through time and space, and the alteration of their meaning and significance, as well as the ways these can narrate the story of the people who produced, transported, received, sold, and worshipped them, can reveal cultural diversity and interaction along trading routes (Galen 2009,Whitfield 2018). Furthermore, the study of visual culture and of the compound interpretation of images can have an impact on the study of a civilisation, in a globalised framework (Mersmann and Schneider 2009).Additionally, the processes of the trade of art, its mechanisms and routes, allows for wider studies of economy.

    Contributions may discuss, but are not limited to:

    • Cultural interaction as seen through art
    • Trade and economy of art
    • Religious identity in art
    • Adaptation and incorporation of iconography in art
    • Political identities in art



    Classical reception is defined as “how the ancient past is visibly interwoven in the fabric of the present moment” (Hanink 2017). The engagement with the past and the process by which people described, evaluated, explained, and finally curated an image of the past, has been a constant practice of humankind.The interpretation and representation of an ancient civilization is a complicated and challenging process, based on the ancient material and literary evidence, yet at the same time largely affected by the period and context during which it is examined. The range of methods and theoretical frameworks employed to examine the past, as well as the diversity of time periods during which it is analysed constitute an important aspect of reception studies. Reception studies have largely engaged with the disciplines of classics and history generally (Hardwick 2003; Hardwick & Stray 2011). Less recognised remains the role and prejudices of the past and present in shaping perceptions of archaeology (Holtorf 2005; Sanders 2009). New methodologies on the field of reception studies can therefore be applied to understand how representations of ancient cultures relate to modern archaeological practice (Moser 2014).


    Contributions may discuss, but are not limited to:

    • Historical perceptions of art in archaeology
    • Changing receptions of art

    - Post-colonial perspectives and their impact on our field

    - Processes, theory and effects of looting and repatriation

    - Museology and collection history



    We look forward to your contributions. Abstracts of no more than 250 words can be submitted to gao2022@arch.ox.ac.uk.

    The deadline for abstracts is 1st February 2022.



    Ollie Croker and Myrto Kokkalia

    GAO Conference Organisers 2021-2022


  • Download Call for papers

  • Contact Us

    School of Archaeology
    1 South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3TG
    Tel: +44(0)1865 288040


    Institute of Archaeology
    36 Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2PG
    Tel: +44(0)1865 278240

    Terms & Conditions