Balkan Dialogues - Concept
The relationship between material culture and group identity is a major concern for the discipline of prehistoric archaeology and, simultaneously, a highly political issue. In the Balkans, (re)constructions of prehistoric identities still tend to follow the political borders established after the Second World War or to reflect current political aspirations. Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent end of the socialist regimes in the Balkans, a new generation of scholars is struggling to move beyond this traditional approach and to reintegrate Balkan archaeology into the international scientific debate. The main objective of the proposed conference is to provide a setting for a reassessment of the meaning of spatial patterning and boundaries in the distribution of material culture in the prehistory of the Balkans, from the beginning of the Neolithic period to the Middle Bronze Age. The event will assemble established and young scholars from different countries and research traditions that are currently involved in archaeological fieldwork in the Balkans. The presentation of novel theoretical approaches and new data from the region will provide an interdisciplinary background for a critical reconsideration of the traditional approach to cultural identity which forms the theoretical backbone of the prehistoric research in the peninsula.