Developing International Geoarchaeology (DIG) is the title of a series of very successful international conferences. The goal of DIG is to bring together a wide variety of international researchers, practitioners and students in this diverse and interdisciplinary field in order to facilitate discussion, stimulate research, and promote international scholarship in geoarchaeology. The conference is biennieal, having first been held in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada 2005, followed by Cambridge, UK, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, University of Tennessee Knoxville, USA, University of Basel, Switzerland and Alghero University in Sardinia. In 2017 the 7th DIG conference will be hosted at Newcastle University UK, organised by the School of History, Classics and Archaeology and the Great North Museum: Hancock, in association with the McCord Centre for Landscape and the Cluster for Interdisciplinary Artefact Studies.

For general enquiries please contact lisa-marie.shillito@ncl.ac.uk

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Conference workshops

As is traditional for DIG, there will be a thin section micromorphology workshop at the end of the conference. This is an informal workshop that will take place in the Wolfson Archaeology Laboratory, equipped with a series‌ of Leica DM750P microscopes and other environmental microscopes. A selection of petrographic reference slides and sediment thin sections will be available to look at from archaeological sites around the world, and delegates are encourages to bring their own slides for discussion.

Delegates will also have the opportunity to take a tour of the archaeology and geology collections at the Great North Museum: Hancock, including a look behind the scenes at material used in research and teaching. The museum is located a short walk from the conference venue. The Great North Museum: Hancock was purpose built in Newcastle as a natural history museum in 1884 to house the growing collections of the Natural History Society of Northumbria. Today it contains large collections in natural history and archaeology, including the Shefton Collection of Greek Art and Archaeology. On the ground floor, the Hadrian’s Wall gallery enables visitors to discover the detailed history and view many of the artefacts recovered along the wall, and is ideal for giving the overall context of the World Heritage Site prior to the field trip.

Conference field trip

The North East of England has a rich archaeological heritage, from prehistory through the Roman period, the Anglo-Saxon origins of English and the venerable St Bede, to the modern industrial heritage of Tyneside. As part of the conference there will be the opportunity to take part in a field trip to explore parts of what is arguable the region's most famous landmark - Hadrian's Wall. The region is fascinating both in terms of the archaeology, but also the geology and natural history, making it an ideal destination for geoarchaeologists! The trip will include a visit to Vindolanda Roman Fort, followed by a short walk along a section of the wall to the famous Sycamore Gap, also known as the Robin Hood tree, giving the opportunity to see the great whin sill outcrop along which the wall was built, as well as the more recent landmark of the tree itself.

Archaeology at Newcastle has a strong tradition of Roman archaeology and landscape studies. Delegates who want to learn more about this fascinating region can register for our free online course, Hadrian's Wall: Life on the Roman Frontier, prior to the fieldtrip.

vindolanda1 ‌ whin sill