A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America
Brian Fagan's sneak preview of the forthcoming World Archaeological Congress
Brian Fagan began his career studying the Iron Age in Africa, but for much of his professional life he has written books for general audiences. His latest is Before California (2003), an account of the West Coast in antiquity. He recently talked to Archaeology about the World Archaeological Congress (WAC), to be held this June in Washington, D.C. WAC is the only truly global meeting of its kind, bringing together 650 archaeologists from some 35 countries.
How is the World Archaeological Congress different from national archaeology gatherings?
How successful have WAC meetings been in the past? Haven't there been difficulties at previous congresses?
WAC's ultimate objective is to provide a forum for multiple voices and interpretations of the past, which means that debates will sometimes be heated, conversations wide-ranging and often pointed; priorities other than science may come to the fore. War and archaeology will be an important focus of the forthcoming conference, for obvious reasons.
What do you personally hope to gain from WAC 5?
You're giving a plenary address. What do you plan to say?