International Conference: "The 8th Century"

Frederic Krueger's picture
Call for Papers
October 4, 2017 to October 7, 2017
Subject Fields: 
Economic History / Studies, Islamic History / Studies, Medieval and Byzantine History / Studies, Archaeology, Local History

It is our pleasure to announce the international conference:


Patterns of Transition in Economy and Trade Throughout the Late Antique, Early Medieval and Islamicate Mediterranean
Berlin, 4 - 7 October 2017

The “8th century" has been historically and archaeologically considered a sort of watershed between Antiquity and the Middle Ages. The definition of the transformations in this period is a crucial issue, especially concerning continuity and change of the economic structures in the Late Antique Mediterranean world. The aim of this international interdisciplinary conference is to bring together scholars from several disciplines, including Late Antique, Islamic, Byzantine and Medieval History, Archaeology, Archaeometry, Numismatics, Philology and Papyrology, dealing with the 8th century’s threshold from different perspectives, in order to re-evaluate the problematic of this transition in terms of continuity/disruption by combining archaeological data and written—literary as well as documentary—sources.

On the one hand, we welcome contributions drawing on archaeological data and documentary evidence in order to consider the 8th century‘s political, economic and cultural change, elites’ interaction, urban and rural settlement patterns, monetarization vs. demonetarization, using regional case studies. We will focus on archaeological stratigraphies and settlement histories in the Western and Eastern Mediterranean under the rule of the Visigothic, Merovingian and Lombard Kingdoms, the Byzantine Empire and the Umayyad Caliphate, without neglecting the economic and political role of the church. Aspects of Euro-Mediterranean connections, trade and exchange will also be focused, considering the formation of a European economy with the rise of the North Sea Region.

On the other hand, we would like to comparatively analyze archaeological and written evidence of the aftermath of the Arab conquest and its impact on the Mediterranean cohesion and on the different regional settings, focusing on urban and rural settlements, trade and economic interaction at different scales.

Innovative methodological approaches aiming at understanding changing production and consumption patterns as well as cultural practices at the microhistorical level during this transitional phase are also welcome.

We are planning to have thematic sessions with key notes (35 plus 10 minutes) and papers (20 plus 10 minutes), a poster session, and a concluding round table.

1. Settlement patterns and demography
2. Archaeological and environmental data
3. Ceramics and trade
4. Documentary evidence for economic life
5. Literary evidence for economic history
6. Monetary history

The Eighth Century – New Issues and Findings

The Eighth Century in Recent Archaeological Research: Regional Case Studies

Sauro Gelichi (Venice)
Stefan Heidemann (Hamburg)
Richard Hodges (Rome)
Andreas Kaplony (Munich)
Cécile Morrisson (Paris/Dumbarton Oaks)
Bernhard Palme (Vienna)
Paul Reynolds (Barcelona)
Jean Christoph Treglia (Aix en Provence)
Joanita A.C. Vroom (Leiden)
Christopher Wickham (Oxford)

Stefan Esders (Ancient and medieval history, Free University of Berlin)
Silvia Polla (Classical archaeology, Free University of Berlin)
Tonio Sebastian Richter (Coptology, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy / Free University of Berlin)


If you would like to participate with a paper or poster that fits our thematic framework, please provide us with an abstract and a working title by 15 January 2017. To do this, as well as for any questions you mighty have, please contact the conference secretary:

Contact Info: 
Frederic Krueger, M. A.
Freie Universität Berlin
Ägyptologisches Seminar
Database and Dictionary of Greek Loanwords in Coptic (DDGLC)
Fabeckstr. 23-25
14195 Berlin