• GAO Annual International Conference 2018


    12-13TH MARCH 2019



    The theme of the GAO annual international conference 2018 is Order and Chaos, which we hope will capture the imagination and enjoyment of a wide range of archaeological students and beyond.


    Archaeology, its detailed methods, theories and typologies, brings order to a disordered world, helping us to navigate a path to understand past societies more fully. Chaos is everywhere, from volcanic eruptions that provide ash layers for dating, messy conflicts and population upsets or extinctions, dynastic change, and even in the future for the discipline as Brexit looms and politics bites. This conference aims to bring together graduate students and post-doctoral researchers from every area of archaeology and archaeological science.























  • GAO History

    Graduate Archaeology at Oxford (GAO) is a society at Oxford University for graduates with an aim to bring together archaeologists with shared interests and diverse backgrounds. The GAO runs events throughout the year for Oxford students, but the highlight is the annual conference, attracting local scientists, employees from the industry, and students from institutions across the world. Debate and presentations are of the highest level and opportunities for networking with colleagues excellent. Papers from each conference are collated in volumes of two sequential years and published.

  • Programme

    The preliminary programme for the GAO conference 2018. All timings are guidelines and are subject to change.

    Day 1

    Monday 12th March 2018

    9 AM - 9.30 AM: Welcome and registration (Please place posters up)

    9.30 AM - 11.00 AM: Session 1 - Art and Image in Order and Chaos

    11.00 AM - 11.30 AM: BREAK

    11.30 AM - 1.00 PM: Session 2 - Conflict in Order and Chaos

    1.00 PM - 2.00 PM: Lunch, BAR book stall and poster session

    2.00 PM - 3.30 PM: Session 3 - Interpretation of Order and Chaos

    3.30 PM - 4.00 PM: BREAK

    4.00 PM - 5.00 PM: Session 4 - Law in Order and Chaos

    5.00 PM - 6.00 PM: Keynote talk by Professor Naomi Sykes - Exeter University

    6.00 PM - 7.00 PM: Drinks reception

    7.00 PM - 7.30 PM: Walk to conference dinner at Al-Shami

    7.30 PM - Conference dinner at Al-Shami.


    Stand from publisher BAR, who will be offering a prize draw to win £75.00 of BAR book vouchers and 40% off all copies of books on display!

    Day 2

    Tuesday 13th March 2018

    9 AM - 10.30 AM: Session 5 - Methods and Theory in Order and Chaos (1)

    10.30 - 11.00 AM: BREAK

    11.00 AM - 12.00 PM: Optional tour of Near Eastern galleries in the Ashmolean museum, led by Paul Collins*; Optional tour of conservation gallery at the Ashmolean Museum**, led by Daniel Bone; Oxford City tour TBC.

    12.00 PM - 1.00 PM: Lunch and poster session

    1.00 PM - 2.00 PM: Keynote talk by Dr. Lisa Lodwick - All Souls College, University of Oxford - "After the PhD: planning for a career in Archaeology."

    2.00 PM - 3.00 PM: Session 6 - Methods and Theory in Order and Chaos (2)

    3.00 PM - 3.30 PM: BREAK

    3.30 PM - 4.30 PM: Session 7 - Order and Chaos and Belief

    4.30 PM - 5.00 PM: Prize Giving Ceremony and Conference end


    *Near Eastern Gallery (#19). A discussion on the imagery of Assyrian reliefs in relation to ancient ideas of order and chaos and modern threats to the heritage of Iraq. Limited numbers. Forty-five minute tour begins at 11 AM promptly, max 15 people.

    **Discussing the fine line between restoration and fakery; why items decay and how items are investigated and preserved through the collections; the history of repair, reuse and restoration in the collections. Thirty minute tour begins at 11.15 AM promptly, max 10 people.

  • Keynote Speakers

    Professor Naomi Sykes

    University of Exeter

    Naomi is a zooarchaeologist with a background in medieval and Roman studies. Her research has recently focussed on human-animal-environment interactions during the Holocene. Her work integrates archaeological data with anthropology, cultural geography, (art) history, linguistics and scientific evidence (DNA; stable isotope analysis etc). This data allows the exploration of ideology, structure, impact and well-being of past and present societies.

    Currently, Naomi is leading a project on the origins and spread of Easter and animals associated with that (rabbits, hares, chickens). She has additionally run a many large scale research projects of particular species - notably fallow deer and chickens.

    Dr Lisa Lodwick

    PDRA at All Souls College, University of Oxford

    Lisa is investigating the relationship between urbanisation and agricultural practice in later prehistoric and Roman Europe. For her method, she will firstly be using stable isotope and weed ecology analysis and secondly establish a corpus of corn-drying ovens from north-western provinces to better understand the scale, intensity and organisation of the arable economy in the north-western Roman world.

    Lisa has previously used archaeobotanical analysis of charred, mineralised and waterlogged macroscopic plant remains on different projects to discover more about the excavations of small towns in Roman Britain.

  • 1

    Registration and abstract submission open

    3rd NOV 2017


    Abstract submission closes

    26th JAN 2018

    11.59 PM GMT


    Registration closes

    26th FEB 2018

    16.59 PM GMT



    12-13th MAR 2018

  • Registration and Abstract Submission

    Submission for abstracts has now closed. Registration for this conference has now closed. Please direct any questions you have to gaoconf2018@gmail.com.


    This conference has invited papers, in accordance with the theme Order and Chaos, from researchers of geography to archaeology, from earth sciences to oriental studies, from the scientific to the classical, from all time periods and from all parts of the world.

  • Additional Information

    Information on accommodation, how to get to Oxford, and places to eat and drink.


    How to get to Oxford.


    Birmingham airport is by far the closest to Oxford, followed by Heathrow and Gatwick. All of these have a bus service which runs to Oxford (National Express from Birmingham; The Airline from Heathrow and Gatwick). You can catch a train directly from Birmingham airport to Oxford train station. Be sure to use UK currency on The Airline bus services.



    Oxford has good rail connections with the rest of the UK. If it is possible, we recommend that you purchase your ticket in advance in order to save money - you can do this through websites such as thetrainline.com. The train station is centrally located and walking distance from the city centre.



    The National Express runs services to Oxford (boarding and destination location dependant). The city centres central bus station is called Gloucester Green and is centrally located.

    *If coming from London, or through London, please be aware that there is a very regular and cheap bus service offered by the Oxford Tube and X90 which collects at numerous points in London and drops you at numerous locations through Oxford city centre and the central bus station, Gloucester Green.


    Recommended accommodation in the Oxford area.

    Air BnB - increasingly popular in the UK and provides an opportunity to stay in a house, flat or local residence with one or more persons

    YHA Oxford - an established youth hostel immediately next to the train station that is low budget

    B&Bs - a search engine providing a number of B&B options in Oxford, both centrally and just outside of the centre, catering to a range of budgets

    University rooms - a search engine providing a number of options to stay in Oxford University and Oxford Brookes college accommodation; you do not need to be a student or alumni of Oxford to stay here 

    Food and drink

    Recommended eateries in the Oxford area.


    The Vaults - Tea, scones and lunchtime snacks (£)

    Dosa Park - Indian dinner (£)

    White Rabbit - Oxford's best pizza (££)

    The Rickety Press - Pizza, chips, wine etc. (££)

    Sojo - Chinese Resturaunt and Mongolean Grill (££)

    Cote - French menu (gluten free heaven) (££)

    Gees - Fancy Mediterranean dinner in a conservatory (£££)

    The Breakfast Club - American diner (££)

    Comptoir Libanais - Beautiful Lebanese food (££)



    The Lighthouse - Tapas and cocktails (BOGOF time dependant)

    Turf Tavern - Apparently Oxford's oldest pub serving food and drinks

    The Kings Arms - Predominantly drinks

    Raouls - Drinks

    The Varsity Club - rooftop bar for evening drinks come nightclub

    The Alchemist - cocktail haven with beautiful Oxford views

  • Meet Our Team

    2017-2018 GAO Committee

    Rebecca Smith

    Conference Co-ordinator

    Penny Coombe

    Conference Co-ordinator

    Siobhan Shinn


    Karl Smith

    Vice President

    Sydney Taylor


    Ying-Tung Fung


    Evan Irving-Pease

    Grad Skills Coordinator

    Abigail Desmond

    Social Secretary

    Evangelos Dimopoulos

    RLAHA Rep

    Jill Marcum

    Oriental Institute Rep

    Hadiqa Khan

    Masters Rep

  • Sponsors

    We thank our generous sponsors:

    We thank those attending our conference:

    Please see the website here, www.barpublishing.com

    Please see the website here, www.barpublishing.com