1st ARWA Congress

events 1st ARWA Congress

Dwellings, Living Conditions and Diet in Western and Central Asia

from the Paleolithic to the Achaemenid Period

(Bern, 19-23 April 2022)

1st ARWA Congress – ARWA IC 1 – First Circular

[Mirko Novàk, 01/04/2020]

ARWA’s ( first International Conference (ARWA-IC 1) will be held in Bern from 19th to 23rd April 2022. The conference will deal with dwellings of all kinds (natural shelters, huts, houses, residences) in Western and Central Asia from the Palaeolithic to the Achaemenid Period, considering also the circumstances under which they were created, and the living conditions, which they provided in return. In line with ARWA’s broad understanding of archaeology (, contributions from all disciplines dealing with the cultural history of Western and Central Asia are welcome. We are looking for original papers, which either deal with the form and structure of houses and other dwelling units, or which address material evidence and methodologies used to study circumstances, conditions of life and diets.

In order to stimulate and enable an interdisciplinary dialogue, there will be no parallel sessions but only one panel. This inevitably means that only a limited number of presentations can be accepted. Lectures should be of 25 minutes length, each session will be followed by a discussion with the respective speakers. Complementary to the lectures, there will be two poster sessions a day. For presentation, every single poster will be assigned a slot in a specific session, with the aim of achieving a forum atmosphere through short talks from the presenters and questions by the audience.

Please submit lecture or poster proposals by 31st September 2021 to this address: Accepted lectures and posters will be approved by an interdisciplinary scientific committee. Making academic quality our guideline, the main aim will be to allow for the most diverse, balanced conference programme possible. To help us achieve this, every lecture or poster proposal submitted should be tagged according to

#geographic area [e.g. Central Asia, Egypt, Anatolia, Levant, etc.]
# period [e.g. Epipalaeolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age etc.]
# content/method [e.g. architecture, geo- or bioarchaeology, DNA research, archival documents, textile tools, etc.]

Registration will be opened on 1 May 2021 and will remain open up until 18 April 2022. Reduced registration rates apply during the early-bird period that ends on 31 December 2021. After that date, the increased conference fees will apply. The social programme of the Congress will include two receptions and a party. Watch this space for more news

As Switzerland is not a particularly cheap country, we will keep prices as low as possible. Registration fees will be waived for ARWA student members; members with an income will pay a registration fee of € 80, non-members of € 120. The amounts increase to € 100 and € 140 respectively for registration after 31 December.

The Congress is hosted by:

The Institute for Archaeological Sciences, University of Bern,

The Swiss Society for Ancient Near Eastern Studies (

The Center for Global Studies, University of Bern, (

In the past 10 years, the University of Bern has hosted several large events in Western and Central Asian Archaeology like the ARCANE Final Conference in 2011, the 61e Rencontre Assyriologique International (together with the University of Geneva) in 2015, and two large conferences on Central Asia in 2016 and 2020. Besides that, it is organizing the annual “Berner Altorientalistik-Forum” (BAF) and several conferences of the Swiss Society for Ancient Near Eastern Studies (SGOA). We are excited to welcome you to Bern for the very first ARWA International Congress!

Welcome to Bern!

The Swiss capital is situated in the centre of Europe and can easily be reached by train. International airports at Zurich, Basel and Geneva all have easy access to train connections, either direct (Zurich, Geneva) or via a bus service (Basel). Travel times from these airports to Bern are between 1-2 hours.

The University’s main building and the conference location are located immediately next to the train station.

Bern’s historical Old Town is listed as UNESCO world heritage. Hotels and hostels are available in various price categories. A contingent of rooms in different hotels will be reserved to be booked at a special rate for participants, details will be communicated in the next circular.