We are pleased to report on our highly successful network conference that took place in Perth (Scotland) during 27 – 29 November 2014. This interdisciplinary conference celebrated the first modern excavations at Scone by bringing together academics working on aspects of royal centres and ceremony from across Northern Europe.
The conference audience enjoyed a wide-ranging series of facinating talks by leading authorities in their field. The presentations covered new research about central places from accross Nothern Europe. Our broad chonological scope explored sites from the Migration Period, through to modern political reappropriations of these powerfully symbolic places, and complexities in the conservation managment of these often vast multi-phased complexes that are affected by competing public uses.
The conference programme and abstracts for the talks can be viewed by following this link.
For the benefit of those who could not attend we have posted links to videos of the conference talks below. Some of the talks are not available due to copyright restriction:
Session 1: Scone: Exploration and Interpretation
Oliver O’Grady (video not currently available)
Richard Fawcett (video not currently available)
Session 2: Royal Assembly sites and Ceremonies
Session 3: Royal stones and thrones
Elizabeth FitzPatrick (no video available)
Session 5: Heritage interpretation and exploration of Royal Centres
Erica Utsi (no video available)
A series of discussion panels facilitated a rigous debate between the sessions. Key themes of convergence to emerge were reassessment and critique of traditional Celtic / Roman dicotomies inherent within established interpretive models of northern royal centres. Specific convergence was identified in the central role of the royal hall accross period and geographical boundaries; the shared role of elite hunting, public games and horse racing, and symbolic stone thrones in both the Celtic and Roman worlds; and links between elite burial, processional ceremony, cultic practice and control of elite craft production. The proceedings of the conference are to be published in a peer-reviewed monograph.
Through this blog we hope to continue the debate online with our network collaborators and the wider community. We also plan a further conference session at next year’s EAA Glasgow 2015, entitled ‘Medieval royal centres, the heritage of power and national identity’, which I pleased to say has been accepted so please take note.
The Perth conference was co-organised by Dr Oliver O’Grady (OJT Heritage / Independent Researcher) and Professor Richard Oram (University of Stirling). This event was funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh Research Network Grant: www.royalsoced.org.uk