WAC Inter-Congress

23 DEGREES SOUTH: The Archaeology and Environmental History of Southern Deserts

15-18 January 2003,

National Museum of Australia, Canberra, Australia


Some of the great deserts of the world lie in the Southern Hemisphere, astride the Tropic of Capricorn at 23oS: the Atacama and Puna deserts in South America; the Australian deserts; and the Namib and Kalahari deserts in southern Africa. The aim of this conference is to review and compare the archaeology and environmental history of these regions, identifying common themes in human responses to these environments, as well contrasts in their environmental records. The meeting will explore what happens when human social systems interact with desert environments and how settlement, when combined with climate change, has shaped these distinctive and often precarious environments. It will comprise interdisciplinary regional sessions – on southern African deserts, Australian deserts, and South American deserts – linked by forums on: Colonising and recolonising arid lands; Interactions between foragers, herders and farmers in southern deserts; and Human impacts and responses in desert environments.

Venue, dates and sponsors

The conference is an official inter-congress of the World Archaeological Congress. It will be held from 15-18 January 2003, at the new National Museum of Australia complex in Canberra, overlooking Lake Burley Griffin and adjacent to the Australian National University. The meeting is hosted by the National Museum of Australia. Other academic sponsors conference include: the World Archaeological Congress; the Centre for Archaeological Research, Australian National University; and the IGCP413 program (Understanding Future Dryland Changes From Past Dynamics), Sheffield Centre for International Drylands Research, University of Sheffield UK.


If you wish to offer a paper, please send a title and abstract to Mike Smith (m.smith@nma.gov.au) by 1 May 2002.

Papers are welcome on the environmental history of southern deserts, any aspect of their settlement history, or human interactions with these desert environments – from studies of late Pleistocene settlement through to the archaeology of the colonial period (see First Circular for details of themes). We particularly encourage review papers, regional overviews and interdisciplinary papers.

Abstracts should be 200-300 words. Please include the speaker’s name, affiliation and address and include the text within the body of an email. Speakers will be notified by 1 June of acceptance of papers and a provisional program will be issued at that time.

ARCLING II The Second Conference on the Archaeology and Linguistics of Australia

Echoes of ancient footsteps: archaeological and linguistic evidence in Australian culture history

1-4 October 2002

National Museum of Australia and Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, Canberra, Australia

Contact: Dr. Patrick McConvell, Convener, Planning Committee

Email: patrick.mcconvell@aiatsis.gov.au

phone: +61-2-62461116; fax +61-2-62497714 (GMT+10hrs)



12 – 18 August, 2002

Queen Rania’s Institute for Tourism and Cultural Heritage

The Hashemite University

Zarqa, Jordan.

Queen Rania’s Institute for Tourism and Cultural Heritage has been established to meet the rising demands for skilled human resources and research in Sustainable Tourism and Cultural Heritage Management in Jordan.


Archaeology, Tourism, Cultural Heritage Management, AIS: Archaeological Information System, GIS: Geographical Information System, Information Technologies, Stone Weathering, Restoration of Monuments and Historical Artifacts, Policies and Strategies in Conservation, Archaeometry, Museology, Imaging And Non-Destructive Techniques Applications, Ancient Art and Technologies, Landscape Archaeological Conservations.


Prof. Talal Akasheh takasheh@index.com.jo

Tel: 00962-5-3826600 Ext. 4480 Fax: 00962-5-3826613

Mr. Maher Abu Jafar mjafar@hu.edu.jo

Tel: 0096253826600 ext. 4383