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ICAS-EMME 4 International Conference: Exploring Archaeological Frontiers


The fourth edition of the International Congress on Archaeological Sciences in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East (ICAS-EMME), a leading international conference organized by the Science and Technology in Archaeology and Culture Research Center (STARC) and the A. G. Leventis Chair in Archaeological Sciences at CyI, jointly with ARU, the Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus, and the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI), was successfully held at The Cyprus Institute in Nicosia, Cyprus, from May 15-18, 2024. 

The conference brought together scientists and archaeologists working in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, aiming to highlight the latest advances in natural, material, and computational science applications to archaeology and cultural heritage in the region, providing an international academic forum for the dissemination of results of current research in these fields.
The conference covered a wide range of topics, including:
  • Immersive Technologies in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage.
  • Climate Change and Cultural Heritage.
  • Environmental archaeology: The study of human-environmental interactions.
  • Premodern Plasters and Ceramics from the Eastern Mediterranean.
  • Human Osteoarchaeology in the EMME region.
  • Instrumentation and Analysis Innovation.
  • Combatting Illicit Trafficking and Looting of Cultural Heritage
  • Archaeological Sciences in the EMME region
  • Keros – the extended Archaeological Science Laboratory.
Welcoming the participants at the opening ceremony, CyI President, Prof. Stavros Malas, emphasized the responsibility of researchers in the field of archaeology to protect and preserve the cultural heritage for future generations. He also noted the crucial role of archaeology in fostering intercultural understanding, accepting diversity, and collaborating to build a more inclusive and sustainable future, especially in light of the climate crisis affecting the planet.
In a greeting, on behalf of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Member of the Democratic Party (DIKO) Mrs. Christina Erotokritou, highlighted the importance of the conference in the broader context of efforts to protect Cyprus’s rich cultural heritage. She referred to the significant role played by The Cyprus Institute in the advancement of archaeological science, not only in Cyprus but also in the wider Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East region, noting that CyI’s work establishes and strengthens the presence of our country at the forefront of archaeological innovation.
Mr. Stathis Raptou, representative of the Department of Antiquities, noted that this conference serves as a platform for exchanging experiences and practices among scientists from around the world, aiming to bring to light significant scientific findings and innovations, while reminding everyone of the crucial importance of archaeological sciences.
Dr. Mersileia Anastasiadou, from the Department of Economics, Climate, and Cultural Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, praised the role of The Cyprus Institute and emphasized that the conference has become a reference point for archaeological developments. “ICAS-EMME 4 has now become an institution, bringing together scientists from around the world”, she noted. The conference, she said, serves as a beacon of knowledge and inspiration for policymakers, as well as a valuable tool for addressing the challenges of adaptation to climate change.
Mr. Eric Tosatti, Head of the Cooperation and Cultural Action Office and Director of the French Institute of Cyprus, noted that CyI is a research hub for the region and a national partner for the French Institute. He continued, stating that ICAS-EMME has, over the years, become a regular meeting point and is gaining momentum with its interdisciplinary academic and scientific approaches.
Prof. Ourania Kouka, Acting Director of the Archaeological Research Unit at the University of Cyprus, stated that archaeological science is an inherently multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary field. ARU has close ties with STARC and CyI, and it is expected that in the near future, these relations will be strengthened through more collaborations.
Dr. Lindy Crewe, Director of the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI), noted that STARC plays a crucial role in the archaeological community in Cyprus, with its main role being the preservation of the cultural heritage of the region.
Dr. Michel Menu, STARC Director, emphasized that heritage science serves as a compass for the human world and described STARC as a revolutionary research center with state-of-the-art laboratories for interpretation, conservation, preservation, and management of precious cultural heritage. “The ICAS-EMME Conference is inspiring, aiming to cover all aspects of archaeological and heritage science to adequately prepare and address numerous worldwide challenges”, he added.
Finally, Prof. Thilo Rehren, A. G. Leventis Professor for Archaeological Sciences at STARC, concluded that CyI officially has the mission to act as a mutual ground, a meeting point for the troubled region, advancing peace, research, and cooperation, and ICAS-EMME 4 brought together numerous people from around the world for this purpose.
As a special activity, the Cyprus Handicraft Center displayed a selection of its activities and products for purchase. This initiative was planned to strengthen the interaction between academia and the traditional craftsmanship of Cyprus.
After her return from ministerial meetings in Brussels during the day of the opening of ICAS-EMME 4, Deputy Minister of Culture Prof Vasiliki Kassianidou addressed the conference dinner on Thursday 16th May and interacted with our participants.




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