Jarlabnake Runic Stone

XIV Nordic TAG 2014

Nordic Theoretical Archaeology Group organizes its 14th meeting in April 2014 in Stockholm

In April 2014 the fourteenth Nordic Theoretical Archaeology Group conference – XIV Nordic TAG 2014 – will be hosted by the Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies at Stockholm University.


The theme of the conference, Archaeology as a source of theory, takes as its starting point a well-known paradox in current archaeology. Our discipline has long been used in other fields as a metaphor for exploring the unconscious, uncovering an unknown past, or investigating origins. On the other hand, archaeology has a tradition of borrowing and applying theories from other fields, rather than developing theoretical approaches within archaeology itself. It is as if traces from the past are difficult to use in theory building. However, recently some attempts have been made to overcome this situation.

Starting from this theoretical paradox, we invite colleagues to XIV Nordic TAG to explore the potential of archaeology as its own source of theory. The aim of these explorations is to contribute not only to archaeological thinking but also to dialogues with other scholarly fields. Many aspects of the discipline may provide inspiration, with suggestions for this conference including archaeology as craft, and themes of time and materiality.

Archaeology as a craft may include reconsiderations of classic issues of stratigraphy and typology, as well as bodily knowledge of digging, surveying and documenting or the art of the trowel, the pen, the measuring instrument, the camera or the computer. The theme of time includes aspects such as long term perspectives, encountering time through space, breaking down time barriers, or reconsidering origins, processes, changes and continuities. Materiality has recently been centre-staged through the “material turn”, but we suggest that more specific aspects of materiality can be explored further, such as surfaces, traces, fragments, rubbish, styles and copies.

We look forward to critical discussions about these and related issues, encouraging archaeological thinking and archaeological contributions to wider scholarly debates.


The academic programme of XIV Nordic TAG opens 22 April 2014 with a keynote lecture, followed by three days of conference sessions at Aula Magna, Stockholm University Campus.

22 April

13.00- Registration
15.30 Opening of XIV Nordic TAG.
 Keynote lecture: Theory Building, Theory Borrowing, by Professor Gavin Lucas.
17.00-19.00 Welcome reception

23 April

Parallel sessions

09.00-12.30 Beyond Mimesis. Exploring non-representational approaches to rock art
13.30-17.00 Unearthing the modern world: Historical archaeologies of the North
09.00-17.00 Garden Archaeology: a theoretical and methodological challenge

09.00-17.00 Landscapes of temporalities and activities
09.00-17.00 ‘Small things brought together’: How we build agency
09.00-12.30 The dissemination of technological knowledge: archaeological perspectives
13.30-17.00 Exploring socio-economic mechanisms in the past and present
18.30-20.30 Reception at Stadshuset (Stockholm City Hall)

24 April

Parallel sessions

09.00-17.00 Archaeology and memory

09.00-17.00 Sámi archaeology and postcolonial theory
09.00-17.00 Natural sciences and archaeology: a widening gap or a source of theory?
09.00-12.30 From the ground up: archaeologies of a flat ontology
13.30-17.00 Archaeological aesthetics and the theorization of experience

09.00-12.30 Wetland archaeology
13.30-17.00 Good fences make good neighbours: notions of colony, nation and empire in a northern context

25 April

Parallel sessions

09.00-15.00 Material citations in the Viking Age

09.00-15.00 History and archaeology: a very long engagement
09.00-15.00 Archaeology as a source for prehistoric religion
09.00-15.00 No man is an island: archaeology as multidisciplinary metaphor, myth and method
09.00-12.30 Heritage beyond preservation

15.30-17.00 Final Plenum of Nordic TAG 2014
19.00- Conference dinner (Swedish History Museum)

26 April


Excursion 1. Between Gods and Giants. The Late Iron Age North of Lake Mälaren.
Excursion 2. Landscape, inheritance and memory – a rune stone trip to Täby, Vallentuna and Orkesta.
Excursion 3. Medieval Stockholm.


Registration for XIV Nordic TAG is now open. Please note that registration will close 13 March 2014. Register online Registration will close 13.03.2014

XIV nordic tag 2014
Aula Magna, University of Stockholm
22.04.2014 – 26.04.2014

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