CA Festival of Archaeology Conference

First off.. I would like to thank Lisa, Rob, and of course Andrew Selkirk for a brilliant conference. And another big thanks to the Cardiff students who worked their socks off, as well as the guy, who kindly lent me a couple of cigs! (and his lighter). The conference was more than I could have expected, it was well attended, and I took copious notes from more than a score of seminars I attended. I intend to write this all up into a review for Past Horizons magazine. Did it inspire? YES. Did it give me information that even as a professional I found fascinating and relevant? YES. Did it talk down to the public who attended? NO. There were so many highlights, and so many great speakers I am going to have trouble fitting it all in. In truth, if I was to pick out one single event? A[prat from the kids in the National museum being Neanderthal musicians.. to walk through a museum with drums and whoops — inspired! Nice one Steve Mithen! As I said, if I was to pick one talk… it would be Prof Brian Fagan who proceeded to talk without his images (when the Mac refused to connect to the projector) and hold the entire audience rapt with all the skill of a Homeric Poet, as he went on to explain one reason why archaeology is relevant in the 21st century, examining the connection between the Medieval Warm period, and what is happening right now with climate change. His words were a warning from the past and a hope from the future – as he said, will humanity survive.. yes we will, as archaeology has taught us that no matter what, we as a species are infinitely adaptable.. and although the world will change.. it always does, civilisations will fall and rise, we will survive.. I came away thinking, I have just heard a classic. Will I go to the next one? You betcha. Will I say to you.. sign up! YES YES YES if you go to one conference in 2010.. go to the next one in London. Watch out for the next issue of Past Horizons and ca to read more. (5 star!)

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