Third International Congress on Central Asian Archaeology
January 11-13, 2024
University of Bern, Switzerland   

Mobility and Archaeogenetics in Central Asia
People – Goods – Ideas

C A L L   F O R   P A PE R S
Submission deadline: June 30, 2023

© Margiana Archaeological Expedition                                  


Hergiswil + Bern, 25. May 2023

The Society for the Exploration of EurAsia and the Institute for Archaeological Sciences, University of Bern, have the pleasure of informing you about the following conference:

Date of conference
Thursday 11 January 2024 starting 09:00 am to Saturday 13 January 2024 evening.

The University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.

The language of the congress is English. There will be presentations and discussions in the plenum, no parallel sessions.

Conference subject
Central Asia is a huge region characterized by a rich variety of ecologies, climates, geographical environments, social systems, languages and cultures. Within Central Asia multiple cultural exchanges took place. At the same time, Central Asia stood in bi-directional exchanges with neighboring regions such as the Pontic Steppe, the Near East, the Indian Subcontinent and East Asia. In geographical terms, Central Asia is defined as comprising Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Southern Siberia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Xinjiang. The timeframe is from the Early Bronze Age to the end of the 14th century CE.

A key precondition for these multifaceted contacts and exchanges was mobility. Such mobility concerned people, goods and products as well as ideas, concepts and innovations. Whereas the past second International Conference on Central Asian Archaeology (2020) addressed the question of contacts between cultures, the forthcoming conference focusses howsuch cultural contacts took place. It is well known from archaeological data that goods or ideas were moved across great distances, but it often remains vague how these movements relate to people’s mobility. Postulated physical migrations and transmissions of goods and ideas become verifiable and comprehensive only by demonstrating the corresponding processes.

Cultural transfers may occur through mass or individual migrations, commercial activities, proselytism, spread of technical innovations or military conflicts. All these cultural transmitters are linked to mobility. They are for their parts often facilitated by factors such as environmental and climatic changes, population pressure or innovations like the domestication of the horse and the wheel.

Not only people and goods can move, but also ideas: Technologies, values, scripts, languages and religions spread through cultural contacts and exchange processes. The modes of this intellectual mobility are very different and often very difficult to grasp, and will thus also be a topic of the conference.

Conversely, taking mobility and corresponding innovations as starting point, the question is what kind of cultural transfers and contacts were sparked by innovations in the field of mobility.

An outstanding tool to detect and verify migrations are archaeogenetics which are increasingly growing in importance. Archaeogenetic studies and isotopic analyses help to discern and understand the interconnectedness of different human populations and the emergence of shared cultural contents. For this reason, the conference will include a session dedicated to archaeogenetics in order to illustrate the potential of this scientific approach. (The archaeogenetists for this session will be invited separately.)

The objectives of the conference are:

  1. To contribute to the understanding of howcultural transmission processes developed and to define the role of mobility therein. Such processes may have taken place within Central Asia, out of Central Asia or into Central Asia from other regions.
  2. To stimulate a discussion about the opportunities and benefits offered by archaeogenetics.

The papers presented should be based upon new archaeological investigations, surveys and discoveries. The papers should be the result of original research and should not be a restatement of material and data already available somewhere else in secondary literature. Papers that have been published elsewhere are not accepted.
The inclusion of archaeogenetic aspects in the papers is welcome but not a precondition.

Participants are expected to deliver a paper and to submit an abstract in English. The papers are limited to 20 minutes plus discussion. Participants may submit only one abstract.

The contributions will be published in a printed monograph. It is expected that participants agree to have their paper published in the monograph. Instructions as to format, illustrations, plans, quotation etc. follow.

Abstracts should contain a maximum of 250 words and be written in English. The abstracts will be published at the website of the conference and will be distributed in printed form at the start of the conference, non-English-native speakers are asked to have their abstract proofread. The deadline for submission is 15 May 2023. Abstracts must be submitted online on the conference website.
If you encounter any difficulties with your submission, do not hesitate to contact us.
The abstracts will be evaluated and screened on a competitive basis by a jury which consists of the two convenors and two specialists.

Notification of acceptance of paper: 2 August 2023

Speakers, whose abstracts have been accepted, will receive a voucher code/link for free registration to the conference with their email of acceptance by 2 August 2023. To validate your accepted abstract, you need to fulfil your online registration to the conference latest by 20 September 2023.

Registration fee
No registration fee for participants whose abstracts have been approved and for students of an officially recognized university with identification card.
Students are requested to register until 15 December 2023.

Visitors wishing to attend the conference without presenting a paper are welcome. The registration is CHF 50.- to be paid during the online registration with Credit Card (VISA/Mastercard) at the conference website. They may register until 15 December 2023.

The conference fee includes access to all plenary sessions during the Conference 2024 (11 - 13 January 2024), including coffee breaks but excluding meals & beverages. There will be food purchase options onsite.
Fees in case of cancellation: full registration fees

Infrastructure and accommodation
The two convenors will organise and cover the cost of designated accommodation, breakfast, lunches and dinners for the speakers during the conference. This for 3 days and 4 nights, starting on Wednesday 10 January 2024 p.m. till Sunday 14 January 2024 a.m.
Speakers wishing to stay at another hotel will have to organize and finance such individual accommodations themselves.

Due to limited budgets, the convenors cannot financially support the accommodation and diet of visitors and students.

Travel expenses
The Society has a limited fund to support international travel in economy class of Speakers of accepted abstracts. If you would like to be considered for financial support, please submit the Travel Grant Application, which will be sent to you together with the email of acceptance by 2 August 2023.
The deadline for the submission of Travel Grant Applications is 20 September 2023. Applicants will be informed as soon as possible, if their grant application has been accepted.

All participants are requested to organize their own visas and travel insurances. The convenors are not responsible for these issues, but are pleased to provide Letters of Invitations if requested.

Communication concerning this conference should be sent to:

Viva Management GmbH (congress agency)
Tel. 031 311 74 34

Further information as to abstracts, registration, hotels, local transport facilities and other details will be given at the following

Dr. Christoph Baumer                                                                                                  Prof. Dr. Mirko Novák

| copyright by The Society for the Exploration of EurAsia| E-mail | Home |