Broadening Horizons - Multidisciplinary approaches to the study of past landscapes (BH)

Venue: Faculty of Arts and Philosophy

Location: Ghent, Belgium

Event Date/Time: Feb 27, 2006 End Date/Time: Feb 28, 2006
Early Registration Date: Dec 31, 2005
Abstract Submission Date: Nov 01, 2005
Paper Submission Date: Jan 01, 2006
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Over the last decades increasing research has been done into past archaeological and physical landscapes, leading to an explosion of disciplines and sub-disciplines occupied with this theme. The use of field and aerial survey techniques, the investigation of various historical sources as well as the study of archaeological arte- and ecofacts are but some of the means available for assessing and reconstructing these changing environments. The aim of the international symposium “Broadening Horizons” is to bring together young researchers in the field of archaeology, geography, geomorphology, history and related disciplines occupied with the investigation and discovery of past landscapes. In doing so, it aims for a much-needed cross-pollination of these diverse disciplines.

In general, the purpose of this event is threefold:
•to provide a survey of present methodologies used in unravelling physical and archaeological landscapes;
•to encourage communication between these disciplines and promote interdisciplinary study;
•to stimulate discussion and future progress.

In this way, the symposium can be seen as an opportunity for researchers to present on-going research and to allow young researchers to set up new collaborations with members of other fields of research as well as to go into discussion with more experienced members of their own discipline.


The geographical scope of the symposium is restricted to the Mediterranean region and the Near East, excluding the purely methodological papers presented on the first day. There are no restrictions as to the period that was studied.


The symposium aims mainly at a public of doctoral and post-doctoral researchers, hoping to improve contacts within specific disciplines and to open a dialogue between members of different disciplines. However, to encourage discussion the organizers hope more established researchers will also be present, so that everyone sharing either a scholarly or a professional interest in these topics is kindly invited to attend.


The first day of the symposium will begin with the presentation of papers on various methodological approaches to the question of past landscapes and environments. The second part of this day, as well as the entire second day of the symposium, will be dedicated to more detailed presentations of results obtained through the integration of diverse methods. Furthermore, on both days a keynote speaker will be invited to give a more extensive lecture. Finally, during lunch and coffee breaks there will be ample time for poster presentation.

Keynote speakers

Prof. Dr. Tony Wilkinson of the Edinburgh University has already been confirmed as keynote speaker. The second speaker will be announced on the website as soon as confirmation is received.


In order to emphasize the interdisciplinary aims at the heart of the meeting, the symposium will be organised by young researchers of three different departments. of Ghent University, i.e. the Dept. of Languages and Cultures of the Near East and North Africa, the Dept. of Archaeology and Ancient History of Europe and the Dept. of Geography.

Call for Papers

The symposium aims, in the first place, to attract doctoral and post-doctoral researchers for paper presentation. In addition, several papers may be presented by more advanced researchers and two established keynote speakers will be invited to give a more extensive lecture.
Papers will be divided into two classes. The subject of the methodological papers presented during the first day is not geographically restricted, but priority shall be given to papers providing well-structured and general insights into the application of specific research-methods.
The remaining papers, presenting in more detail the results of such research, will be restricted to the Mediterranean region and the Near East. As the different disciplines tend to specify in particular time-frames or conceptions of time, neither the methodological presentations nor the research papers are subject to any time-boundaries.
In all papers the emphasis must be on the landscape in a broad sense. Priority will be given to papers presenting the results of multi-disciplinary research or new approaches to the use of known techniques. Investigation of settlement patterns in relation to the landscape, as well as inter- and intra-site analyses lie beyond the scope of this symposium, as these would introduce a third type of landscape: the perceptive landscape. By restricting the topics to (results of) methodological approaches to physical and archaeological landscapes, the ever present trap (and discussion) on environmental determinism is avoided. As a result, pure GIS-technical or site-bounded spatial analyses are not encompassed by the goals of this meeting.
The organizing committee would like to draw attention to the exclusive on-line abstract submission: this will only be possible through filling in the appropriate form on the symposium’s website.

Call for Posters

As posters provide an excellent forum for authors to present their on-going work or giving an introduction to interesting, innovative projects, they are heartily welcomed. Moreover, researchers who have not been selected to give an oral presentation are encouraged to present their work by means of a poster. The posters will be restricted to the topics covered by the symposium and geographically confined to the Mediterranean and the Near East. They will be located in a public area, viewable for all conference attendees. Presented topics can be discussed during both morning and afternoon breaks.
Poster submission also needs to be done through the web form and must include an abstract as to the proposed presentation.


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Additional Information

Registration is possible via the website – – or by sending in one of the flyers. The early registration fee is 15 euros for the entire symposium or 10 euros for a single day. After January 1st, 2006 the registration fee will be increased to 20 euros for both days and 15 euros for a single day. These fees include two sandwich lunches, afternoon tea or coffee and an abstract book. There will also be an optional closing dinner and guided tour in Ghent’s historical centre (more details to follow). Accepted speakers will be exempted of the fees for registration and closing dinner. Important dates The symposium will be held on Monday February 27th and Tuesday February 28th, 2006. Call for papers and posters will start on June 15th, 2005. The deadline for paper abstract submission has been set to November 1st, 2005. At this time invitations will be sent to accepted speakers. Poster abstract submission will be extended to January 1st, 2006. To enable a fast publication of the proceedings, invited speakers are asked to ensure all texts and figures are at the organizers' disposal by January 1st, 2006. Early registration will close on December 31st, 2005. From January 1st, 2006 until February 27th registration will be possible at increased cost.