My first video conference presentation - EAA Barcelona 2018

Following on from my previous post, I am disappointed I couldn't go to Barcelona in person for the European Association of Archaeologists conference last week. The EAA itself is one of the few chances I get to meet up with European colleagues and friends in person, and Barcelona is one of my favourite cities. On the plus side, it did give me the opportunity to learn how to make a video presentation. It turns out my beloved Surface tablet has a bells and whistles version of PowerPoint that lets you record your presentation with video and sound all in one go, and export it as an MP4. The presentation focused on pilot studies I have been leading as part of a Wellcome Trust seed award in Humanities and Social Sciences, to test the feasibility of applying various civil engineering methods to an archaeological settlement, and building a network of researchers in Turkey and Europe. Pilot studies are fantastic as a 'proof of concept' to justify full scale studies, but also in some ways frustrating, as we have some really exciting results, but can't make any firm conclusions until we go ahead with a full scale study. Fingers crossed that will be happening soon, pending the outcome of a Very Important Interview I have next week.

I even followed along with the EAA session in real time via Twitter, and answered a couple of questions remotely. A completely new experience for me, and reassuring for the future that I have a good back up plan if I can't travel. I'll be posting the video on YouTube at some point too, and I am tempted to start recording presentations even in cases where I do present in person. Whilst the networking and discussion aspects of conferences are crucial, sometimes it feels like they are a lot of hard work with no obvious output, and this will provide a permanent record of the presentation, as well as making it open access for people who could not attend in person. And even for those that did attend, in case they want to view it again! It will be interesting to keep track of the viewing statistics and see if people find this useful, and will also mean the video is available as a possible teaching resource.

As well as my main presentation, I was also involved in a number of other talks, notably two papers on my NERC project. The first was presented by Dr Helen Whelton, in session #492 From excavation to sedimentation: the multi-proxy and biomolecular environmental revolution in archaeology, focusing on lipid biomarker analysis, and the second in session #172 Mediating proxies and choice in a Stone Age World by Dr John Blong,  discussing the latest results on the dietary analysis at paisley Caves. Finally I also made a contribution to a paper for the Case Bastione project in session #677 Communities, environment and resources: the structuration of cultural landscapes in prehistoric Sicily and the central Mediterranean basin.