Lisa Westcott and Nadia Durrani head out to Dublin for the 6th World Archaeological Congress, the Olympics of Archaeology.
First impressions: Dublin is cold and grey – and full of archaeologists! I've never seen so many of us in one place at one time, from all aspects of the discipline and all countries of the world. It seems a daunting task to somehow organise all these people into sessions and parties and accomodation; perhaps because of this, the session packet is the size of a telephone directory. In fact, the conference pack is so large that it comes in a burlap bag, and weighs about 4 pounds. This event is overwhelming on every level!
Last night was the opening plenary and welcome reception. The mingling is still at a very low buzz; however I can certainly see that it will get ever more feverish as the delegates get sessions and more evening events under their belts. It's definitely different overhearing bits of talk at these parties than at your typical gathering; all one hears here is archaeology, archaeology, archaeology. And then more archaeology. I'm wondering – when will people switch off – or, will they ever switch off? Possibly not, now that sessions have begun and there are ideas to be discussed and debated.
It's time to head back in to a session myself: Heritage Management. Nadia is in a session about The Future of Palestinian Archaeology. I'm sure she'll have plenty to report!