20. Mai 2020 – 23. Mai 2020

PeBA 2020 – The Mechanism of Power in Bronze and Iron Ages in Southeastern Europe

3rd Perspectives on Balkan Archaeology International Conference

The discovery of the extraordinary finds at the Glasinac plateau and in Trebenishte at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century marks the beginning of the scientific research on the topic of elites and power in the Southeastern Europe. The so-called princely graves of the Balkans have been repeatedly associated to similar phenomenon in the Central Europe and different approaches were used to explain the establishment of these ostentatious burials in the past.

Nevertheless, outstanding graves represent only a fraction of the accumulation of wealth. This led to interpretations that focus more on the individual than on the origins of wealth and power.

  • How are power and wealth reflected besides the richly furnished graves of Iron Age?
  • To what extent are power relations archaeologically evident in Bronze Age societies?
  • Does the emergence of significant supra-regional hilltop settlements relate to shifts in power relationships?
  • Which socio-economic processes led to a massive accumulation of metal in depositions and can these be linked to a redistribution of power?

A further aspect of power structures can also be opened up by means of far-reaching trade networks and their hubs, which control a supra-regional exchange of desirable goods and imports.

  • To what extent can we conceive the emergence of elites and influential agents through the equipment of graves and how does gender affect the power concepts of societies?
  • Is there a correlation between access to resources and social inequality?
  • Is it possible to distinguish aspects of political, economic and religious power on the basis of the archaeological record?

These and further questions should allow us to understand the phenomenon of power and to recognize its redistribution as well as to describe its mechanism within and between the prehistoric societies and regions in the Southeastern Europe. For this reason, papers adopting both comparative or diachronic perspective as well as a look at singular archaeological case stressing local characteristic and/or supra-regional features are welcome.

The conference is organzied by Mario Gavranović, Daniela Heilmann and Marek Verčík in cooperation with Pero Ardjanliev, Aleksandra Papazovska (both Archaeological Museum Skopje) and Valentina Todoroska (Museum Struga). The conference is supported by the Archaeological Museum of the Republic of North Macedonia and the University of Information Science and Technology St. Paul the Apostle, Ohrid.