Friday, 22 March 2013

Detective work

This year is probably the 20th anniversary of many things, but I spotted that it is 20 years since Ingold’s seminal article on taskscapes, a concept our ‘ceramiscene’ owes more than a reference. As a consequence, we are planning to arrange a TAG session (TAG is the annual Theoretical Archaeology Group conference in UK - the forerunner of the Nordic, Turkish and American TAGs - that incorporates the nationwide Christmas party) on taskscape and its developments, including ceramiscene. We just had one problem. We had not made it to the Liverpool TAG, so we did not know where the next TAG was going to be.

The first port of call in modern times when you have any enquiry is to google. I tried it, my co-session organiser tried it and I tried it again, but with no results. We could find out that the Nordic TAG is definitely still going to happen in Iceland, the American TAG will be in Chicago and that the Turkish TAG was going to be as well. Nevertheless, there was no sign of TAG 2013. I even considered for a fleeting moment, if archaeologists had become superstitious... Then I started e-mailing the usual suspects.

My friend at Liverpool clearly had read my Facebook message, but she apparently did not know, since I received no answer. Cambridge archaeologists, including Pam Smith, whose Personal Histories interview series, to be including this year the films on Martin Carver and Tony Robinson, is a visible presence every year, gave negative answers. Even John Carman from Birmingham, who has attended the meetings regularly, did not go to Liverpool and was not any wiser than anybody else. I asked around in the CAA UK with no result either; the news had not reached London, yet.

Then my co-organiser did what I should have done earlier. He e-mailed Britarch. We got a reply that somebody had an understanding it was going to be Bournemouth – to the amusement to one of our friends who lives in Bournemouth and will not have any excuse this year. Now I only had to get a confirmation, since there was nothing on the university web site. Finally, a friend working at Bournemouth confirmed that Bournemouth will organise the TAG 2013. Their web site is under construction and will go online for the normal start of the session proposals later in the spring. Now their research blog announcing the conference, dated to early February, is fortunately coming up in the search engine. So the search is over and we can start putting the session together.

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