Conference: “Place-making in the desertscape”

The Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale and the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw, Research Center in Cairo are organising an international conference entitled: “Place-making in the desertscape: the socialisation of the Egyptian-Sudanese Eastern Desert landscape in the longue durée (4th millennium BCE–4th century CE).”

Abstract: “The desert to the east of the Nile Valley has had a long use-life since Prehistory, which has resulted in a multi-layered network whose nodes consist of mines and quarries together with their processing sites, connecting roads and waystations, cairns, rock shelters carved with petroglyphs, inscriptions and graffiti. All these nodes are the embodiment of individual and collective perceptions and understandings of the desert environment through time. Landscape, and perhaps even more the desertscape, is indeed a living process: whether built or not, it is constantly a work-in-progress. It is the very process of apprehension and appropriation of the environment that constitutes the landscape. The use, re-use, and abuse of the Egyptian-Sudanese Eastern Desert by various peoples over time expresses not only the control over mineral resources but also a search for continuity, the attempt to elaborate one or several group identities.

The conference, covering a wide geographical and temporal range, aims to bring together scholars who have approached the topic of the relationship between man and the desert landscape from different but complementary theoretical and methodological perspectives. In particular, the focus is on the processes of place-naming and place-making, understood as the social practices of defining places, plotting mental maps, constructing shared meanings and cultural memories, mechanisms in which the negotiation between places and people comes into play.”

The conference is organized by Dr. Cristina Alù, the current Ifao-PCMA PostDoc fellow. See the conference program: PDF

The conference will take place in Cairo from 27th to 29th April 2024 at both PCMA UW and Ifao. You can attend the conference both online and in person. The deadline for registration, in both cases, is 19th April.

To attend, register by filling in the Google Form (link).