Meetings, workshops, conferences

Click here to see IASC’s
"Survey of Arctic meetings"

24-25 July 2006: Forum on Sustainable Development of the Arctic Countries and Northern Regions of the Russian Federation in the Context of Education, Science, and Culture
Yakutsk, Sakha Republic, Russian Federation

You are invited to attend the Forum on Sustainable Development of the Arctic Countries and Northern Regions of the Russian Federation in the Context of Education, Science, and Culture, which will be held on 24-25 July 2006 in Yakutsk, Sakha Republic, Russian Federation. The UNESCO Director General Koichiro Matsuura will participate in the forum. The forum languages will be Russian and English.

The goal of the forum is to define a new strategy and policy concerning culture, education, science, and information technology for arctic countries and the northern regions of the Russian Federation under the auspices of UNESCO (with participation of the Arctic Council and the Northern Forum). The aim is to preserve biological and cultural diversity as a basis for the sustainable development under conditions of globalization.

You are invited to submit an abstract for the forum. Abstracts should be sent by 10 July 2006 to:
Zakharova Agafya Yeremeevna

For further information, please contact:
Vladimir Vasiliev

19-21 October 2006: Reindeer civilisation present and past
Ethno-historical, archaeological and anthropological perspectives
Juan-les-Pins, France

CEPAM (Centre d’étude Préhistoire, Antiquité, Moyen Âge – Centre of Prehistoric, Antique and Middle Age Studies)
CNRS (Centre national de la recherche scientifique – National Scientific Research Centre)

In a prehistoric context the degree of human group mobility is a direct reflection of different resource exploitation strategies within a given territory. Defining the degree of mobility, therefore, the assessment of the extraordinary adaptation faculties of mankind to the major climatic changes that the earth has been subjected to during the Quaternary period.

The reconstruction of forms of mobility is based on functional characterisation and description of sites, on possible discrimination of their respective importance and status, and on an assessment of their role in subsistence strategies. Sites can thus be linked to one another in order to put forward a model of social and economic organisation.

At the end of the Palaeolithic, when Western Europe was subjected for several millennia to quite drastic economic conditions, the hunting of reindeer was often at the heart of the subsistence economy.

It has been systematically argued that the hunting of this animal was at the basis of the logistical organisation of hunters. Other subsistence strategies, such as the gathering of plant and animal foodstuffs (like fishing and foraging of wild grasses and vegetables), were considered to be only complementary and possibly seasonal activities. Hence group mobility was closely related to the behavioural patterns of reindeers and, more specifically, to their migrations and movements.

Despite their apparent standardisation, the various technical systems that derive from this economic strategy present an extensive range of different specific and slight variations that can be related to the environmental context. To a certain extent, this diversity of technical systems could be a picture of social complexity. Given the chronological lack of precision for these periods, it is often difficult to distinguish between what results from strategies of adaptation to specific ecological conditions (climatic change or geographical particularities), and what is the consequences of cultural choice and preference.

The vast territories of Siberia are an ideal setting for the observation of the behaviour of humans and animals living in a biosphere comparable to that of the abovementioned prehistoric periods. The different traditions and lifestyles of indigenous communities (Chukchi, Koriaks, Evenks,…), be they related to the economic, social or symbolic spheres, are all based on the ever-present reindeer.

Major differences in logistics and organisation can be noticed among Siberian groups: they are in part linked to cultural particularities of the various human groups, but also to substantial variations in ecological conditions within this zone. Between 63° and 70° north, climatic variations are spectacular and plant formations show extremely varied forms, both in structure and in composition (from the permafrost of the Tundra to the coniferous forests of the Taiga). This variability accurately reflects the biodiversity of the environments inhabited by Palaeolithic bands during the cold spells of the Quaternary.

Each biological zone presents unique and special characteristics in terms of seasonal contrast and potential resources (particularly plant resources). This specificity is paramount to subsistence strategy, since it develops differently in time and space according to whether one finds oneself in an ecosystem or another.

Similarly, technical and symbolic systems can show different degrees of complexity. The different parameters influencing systems based on the exploitation of reindeer can be assessed and studied in the Siberian region.

The aims of this symposium will be:

- To present interdisciplinary models based on present-day observation that can partly be transferred to the past for understanding of prehistoric systems. Speakers should emphasise applications to archaeological environments, diets, structures, material culture and symbolic notations.

- To justify application of data from present day to archaeological contexts.

This symposium will constitute the first synthesis of the ACI-French Ministry of Research, Field, techniques and theory - Biological and cultural adaptation: the system reindeer.

Further information:

Organizing committee:
Sylvie Beyries, CNRS, UMR 6130 – Cépam,
Dorothée Drucker, CNRS - UMR 7041 – ArScAn,
Virginie Vaté, Max Plank Institute,

Scientific committee:
Marie-Françoise André, Université de Clermont-Ferrand
Anne Bridault, CNRS - UMR 7041- ArScAn
Yvon Csonka, University of Greenland
Roberte Hamayon, École pratique des hautes études
Claudine Karlin, CNRS - UMR 7041 – ArScAn
Joëlle Robert-Lamblin, CNRS - UPR 2147
Isabelle Théry, CNRS, UMR 6130 - Cépam

Jeannine François
Cépam - UMR 6130, CNRS-UNSA, Rencontres d’Antibes, 250 rue Albert Einstein, 06560 Valbonne - France
Tél. 00 33 (0)4 93 95 42 99
Fax. 00 33 (0)4 93 65 29 05