Postgraduate Research Archaeology Symposium

Book Sale and Cake Sale

May 5, 2015
by Katherine Crawford

Do you have books gathering dust at home? Give them a new home! Consider donating your old books to this year’s charity book sale, taking place during the symposium May 20-21. You can find donation boxes in the Archaeology coffee room or near the reception desk at Avenue Campus, building 65.

If you like baking and love showing off your creations consider baking a cake for the PGRAS bake sale! If you would like to make something email us at, just so we don’t end up with 10 different types of banana bread.

All profits from the book and bake sale go to supporting the local refugee support service Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group.

Logo Competition

February 18, 2015
by Katherine Crawford

Dear All, 35281

Do you like shoving bits of cocoa-flavoured goodness in your mouth? Maybe you like to share, maybe you don’t – we won’t judge! The only thing we will judge you on is whether you’ve earned said chocolatey delights, by creating the most eye-catching,memorable and cheaply reproducible logo for this years Postgraduate Research Archaeology Symposium!

Don’t like chocolate? No worries! You can just use your logo-inspired influence upon us to give you the most convenient scheduling for your presentation! We like to think that we can all be winners at PGRAS! Except those who don’t win.

Send your entry to by March 9th as a jpeg file, to ensure you don’t miss out on this fantastic career-making opportunity!

Seriously though, we expect about 2 entries so there’s a good change you’ll score the munchies. Better get cracking!

Looking forward to receiving your creative genius,

Your PGRAS Committee

Call for Papers 2015

February 17, 2015
by Katherine Crawford

The call for papers for the Postgraduate Research Archaeology Symposium 2015 (20th-21st May) is now open. It is compulsory for all full time 1st, 2nd and 3rd year PhD students to give a presentation (part-time students are required to present every other year).

Presentations are in the form of a talk of no more than 15 minutes (questions will be asked in the form of panel discussions involving 4-5 students each).

The deadline for the submission of abstracts (no more than 250 words) is 15th April 2015. Please fill out this form with your details and abstract and save it as LASTNAME_2015. Please then email the form to

We encourage you to send your abstracts as soon as possible  – the more promptly we receive them, the better we will be able to organise them into coherent and stimulating sessions.

We look forward to reading about your research!

Many thanks,

The PGRAS 2015 Committee.

Reflecting on PGRAS 2014

June 4, 2014
by Helen Chittock

The last two weeks have given us all time to reflect on PGRAS 2014 and what we were able to take away from the symposium.

We kicked off on Thursday 22nd May with a session entitled ‘Thinking and Doing in Archaeology’, which was concerned with looking in detail at the methodological and theoretical constructs that Southampton PGRs are making use of in their research. A really diverse range of thought-provoking topics were presented, ranging from art to emotion, which gave rise to some stimulating discussion and set the tone for the rest of the symposium.

That day, we went on to hear papers on ‘Exchange and Contact on the Fringes of the Mediterranean’ and, despite some technical issues, we were able to connect with students from far flung corners of the world and hear their presentations via Skype – appropriate given the theme of the session, which focused on communication and interaction. Day one finished with a session on ‘Museums, Heritage Management and Public Engagement’, where we heard about the fantastic work our PGRs are doing within the vital sphere of connecting academia to the wider world and making archaeology relevant to everyone. Following a successful first day of papers and discussion we headed to the Crown Inn for some well-earned pints and relaxation.

Day two began with a session on ‘Settlements, Migration and Social Landscapes’, which covered a diverse range of archaeological periods and geographical locations, from Mesolithic Britain to Late Postclassic Mexico. Following this was a session on ‘The Archaeologies of Technological Innovation’. Students from CAHO gave the first group of papers, focusing on lithic technology, while the second half of the session comprised students from the CMA, talking about some of the complex technologies involved with seafaring, and its related activities happening on dry land. The afternoon began with talks on ‘New Approaches in Computational Archaeology’, where we were able to see the fruitful results of Southampton Archaeology Department’s engagement with computing technology. The final papers of the day were on another of Southampton’s strengths, osteology, and made up the ‘Old Bones, New Stories’ session.

Following this we handed out prizes for this year’s photo competition, logo competition and archaeology buzzword bingo, after which we were treated to an excellent keynote speech by Dr Alistair Pike, who enlightened us on his research in the field of isotopic analysis. While his paper focused partly on the technicalities of ‘doing isotopes’, as he put it, he also spoke about using these techniques to bring us closer to the lives of individuals in the past and to ‘give life back’ to those individuals. This potent message rounded off the symposium perfectly, summing up what many of us are attempting to do on a day-to-day basis and giving us all food for thought.

With that we proceeded to the atrium of the Archaeology Department for a fabulous drinks reception and it’s safe to say, I think, that a good time was had by all, courtesy of a monumental amount of ale!

All that’s left to say is that the committee would like to sincerely thank all the speakers, chairs, competition entrants and everyone who contributed to the running of the cake stall and book stall and who donated to both. We’re pleased to say that between these stalls we raised an amazing £430.87 for Naomi House Children’s Hospice, and that this amount will be added to during the upcoming Buildings and the Body Symposium on the 27th-28th June.

Thank you everyone for a fabulous two days, see you next year!

PGRAS 2014 Programme Update

May 15, 2014
by Charlotte Dixon

Slight changes have been made to some of the timings for the Thursday afternoon sessions. Please be sure to check the amended programme by clicking on the link below:

PGRAS 2014 Programme

PGRAS 2014 Abstracts

May 14, 2014
by Charlotte Dixon

The abstracts for the symposium are now ready!

We have a great line up of speakers and topics for the duration of the symposium, we hope you are all looking forward to it as much as us! Watch this space for more updates and notices about the event…

PGRAS 2014 Programme

May 14, 2014
by Helen Chittock

We’ve just published the PGRAS 2014 programme!

Watch this space for the abstract booklet, list of session chairs and details of our exciting keynote speaker…

Call for session chairs…

May 7, 2014
by Helen Chittock

The PGRAS 2014 committee are looking for some willing PGR students to chair our sessions. This will involve introducing the speakers and fielding questions from the audience during panel discussions.

The session titles are:

Thinking and Doing in Archaeology,

Exchange and Contact on the Fringes of the Mediterranean.

Museums, Heritage Management and Public Engagement.

Settlements, Migration and Social Landscapes.

Archaeologies of Technological Innovation.

New Approaches in Computational Archaeology.

Old Bones, New Stories.

We will (hopefully) be releasing the full timetable later today.

These sessions are all different lengths but we are generally looking for 2-3 chairs per session. Please let us know if you’d be interested in chairing part of a session – it should be a really useful experience! Email

Abstract deadline today

April 28, 2014
by Helen Chittock

Midnight tonight marks the deadline for PGRAS abstracts. We’re really enjoying reading through those we’ve received so far and hearing about what everyone is researching. We’ll be spending the next week organising a series of exciting sessions and will be back in touch with everyone with the symposium timetable soon.

Call for papers 2014 now open

February 21, 2014
by Helen Chittock

The call for papers for the Postgraduate Archaeology Symposium 2014 is now open! For details of how to submit your abstract, please follow this link

It’s compulsory for all 1st, 2nd and 3rd year PhD students to present at the symposium (part time students present every other year). Please note that the deadline for abstracts is the 28th April.

We look forward to reading about your research!