AEA Spring Conference 2018 – Pests of Society

Saturday, April 21, 2018 to Saturday, April 21, 2018
University of Birmingham

Pests of Society

AEA Spring one-day conference

Saturday 21 April 2018

University of Birmingham

Organised by:

David Smith (University of Birmingham),

Zoë Hazell and Ruth Pelling (Historic England)


Encountering evidence of infestations and damage caused by pests, both invertebrate and vertebrate, to material from archaeological and other historic environment contexts is common, yet it is less-commonly studied in its own right. Insect pests in particular are an understudied aspect of environmental archaeology, even though they have a clear potential to severely damage timbers and food products, thereby potentially reducing the lifespans of buildings and the viability of stored products.

This AEA spring conference will present a one-day series of papers which will document both modern and archaeological examples of pests, from a range of situations, such as historic buildings, museum collections, and archaeological materials (including maritime), the damage they cause and the implications of their actions.

The day conference will be followed by a day school on 22 April 2018 (led jointly by the Charcoal and Wood Work Group and the Archaeobotanical Work Group) where methods and approaches to identifying pests and the types of damage they cause will be explored.


Book Now

Conference Outline Programme Now Available


Conference sessions and themes

Pests of food production and storage

From field to store: this session will cover synanthropic pest infestations/damage to crops and food supplies (including livestock) caused, for example, by insects and rodents.


Pests in buildings and structural timbers

This session will deal with evidence of pest damage in archaeological (including maritime) contexts (wood, charcoal) and in standing buildings. The damage could be contemporaneous or post-depositional, or provide evidence for reuse of old timbers.


Pests in Collections

This session will report on infestations of museum reference collections, and also of fixtures, fittings and decor in historic properties (eg textiles).


Pests in the wider environment/landscape

This can include evidence of pestilence in humans as well as plants eg Dutch elm disease.


Abstract submissions

Please email abstract submissions (max. 200 words) for posters to:

Deadline: 16 March 2018



Booking is now open via the University of Birmingham.

For accommodation information click here.



AEA Conference, Conference