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d’archéologie orientale du Caire


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Colloque international

Du samedi 27 avril 2024 au mardi 30 avril 2024 (heure du Caire), IFAO géolocalisation IFAO

Place-making in the desertscape: the socialisation of the Egyptian-Sudanese Eastern Desert landscape in the longue durée (4th millennium BCE- 4th century CE)
Call for Papers - deadline 17 December 2023

Cristina Alù

Partenaire(s) de l’Ifao : PCMA

Langue : anglais.

IFAO and PCMA UW, Cairo, Egypt

The Institut Français d'Archéologie Orientale and the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology, University of Warsaw, Research Center in Cairo are jointly organising an international conference entitled: Place-making in the desertscape: the socialisation of the Egyptian-Sudanese Eastern Desert landscape in the longue durée (4th millennium BCE- 4th century CE). Conference will take place in Cairo from 27 to 30 April 2024 at both PCMA and Ifao.

The desert to the east of the Nile Valley has had a long use-life since Prehistory, which have resulted in a multi-layered network whose nodes consist of mines and quarries together with their processing sites, connecting roads and waystations, cairns, rock shelters carved with petroglyphs, inscriptions and graffiti. All these nodes are the embodiment of individual and collective perceptions and understandings of the desert environment through time. Landscape, and perhaps even more the desertscape, is indeed a living process: whether built or not, it is constantly a work-in-progress. It is the very process of apprehension and appropriation of the environment that constitutes the landscape. The use, re-use, and abuse of the Egyptian-Sudanese Eastern Desert by various peoples over time expresses not only the control over mineral resources but also a search for continuity, the attempt to elaborate one or several group identities.

The conference, covering a wide geographical and temporal range, aims to bring together scholars who have approached the topic of the relationship between man and the desert landscape from different but complementary theoretical and methodological perspectives. In particular, the focus is on the processes of place-naming and place-making, understood as the social practices of defining places, plotting mental maps, constructing shared meanings and cultural memories, mechanisms in which the negotiation between places and people comes into play.

We invite papers tackling one (or more) of the following themes:

Papers that apply cross-disciplinary methodologies and interpretative frameworks to the study of the mining landscape of the Egyptian-Sudanese Eastern Desert, borrowing new tools of analysis from disciplines other than Egyptology and Archaeology – such as linguistics, sociology, cognitive sciences, computer sciences, geography, ecology and topography – are very welcome and encouraged.

Abstract submission

Please fill the linked online form including: Name, affiliation, email, short bio (150 words max) and an abstract in English (300 words max).

Deadline for submission: December 17, 2023.

For any enquiry or question, please contact Cristina Alù (

Conference proceedings

The conference proceedings will be published by IFAO-PCMA UW. Due to the limited timeframe for the publication, participants will be requested to submit their contributions by July 15, 2024 at the latest. The editorial guidelines for the proceedings will be announced by mid-May 2024.