Ian Hodder
Professor of Anthropology, Stanford University, Director of Çatalhöyük Research Project and Excavations ~

“There has indeed been a long history of using Native America to understand prehistoric Europe, but it is true that there is room for a reconsideration given recent developments both in prehistoric Europe and in the Americas where indigenous people are increasingly proposing new interpretations of their own pasts.  I do think that there is an exciting potential for getting the new generation of Native American scholars to interpret the monuments of the 'origin of civilization' in the Mediterranean and Middle East - a wonderful example of 'talking back'.” 

18 - 22 March 2018
paper presentation sessions: 19, 21, 22 March 2018
(half day of sessions) and field trip 20 March - Vernal Equinox
Sarasota/Bradenton area of Florida, USA
specific venues are awaiting confirmation and will be advised

Advance Registration    US$ 350
cheerfully and promptly refunded in full on receipt of cancellation in writing by 01 JAN 2018

Opening Reception 18 March
all conference presentation sessions
appropriate coffee breaks, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
​Special Equinox Event with chartered transport
badge and preparatory materials



Considering non-industrial cultures, targets to be addressed from both (either) Old or New World perspectives:

(to include personal adornment and body modification)
as expressions of emotions and beliefs
Cosmology, burial and marriage custom,
rites of passage, rituals & ceremony
Class distinctions, task specialization,
cohesion and motivation, psychology
Survival strategies, resource management,
​defense and contested territory, preservation of history & traditions
indications for intention -includes Archaeoastronomy and interpretation of cosmological events,
Archaeoacoustics and special sound behavior

What kind of rituals and ceremonies may have belonged to our ancient ancestors?


The PEOPLE of the GREAT STONES SYMPOSIUM welcomes contributions from researchers, scholars and technologists working across diverse disciplines, sites and practices.  Typical presentation time for accepted papers is 25 minutes.  At least one author must attend to present and for inclusion in the conference publication.  Our program will include selected individual papers as well as an anticipated satellite program of events.  Sessions will bring together scholars and practitioners representing different cultural perspectives.  Presentations and subsequent publication will be in English. 

 250-300 word abstracts of presentations should be submitted in English, in either Text, Word or PDF formats.   Please include author's background, and any academic or institution affiliation.  Deadline for submission is 31 May 2017, and may be extended with a second call for papers at the discretion of the committee.
Send to:  ​<< symposium@OTSF.org >>

Presentation Scientific Review Committee

  • Michael Buonanno: Anthropologist,  Department of Language and Literature, State College of Florida
  • Fernando Coimbra: Archaeologist, rock art specialist, Centre for Geosciences from the University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • Dragos Gheorghiu: Professor of Cultural Anthropology, expert in Late Prehistory and experimental archaeology, Doctoral School, University of Arts in Bucharest, Romania​
  • Jeffery Grieneisen: Department of Language and Literature, State College of Florida
  • Ian Hodder: Professor of Anthropology, Stanford University, Director of Çatalhöyük Research Project and Excavations, Turkey 
  • Katya Stroud: Archaeologist, Senior Curator of Prehistoric Sites, Heritage Malta  
  • Robin Wright: Department of Religion, Affiliate Faculty, Department of Anthropology, Affiliate Faculty, Center for Latin American Studies, Coordinator, American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program, University of Florida

​​​Non-presenting observers are welcome,
​but must be registered in advance.


Questions?  Drop us an email   << symposium@OTSF.org  >>

Katya Stroud
Archaeologist, Senior Curator of Prehistoric Sites, Heritage Malta ~

"Think of the possibilities when one gets anthropologists studying various Indigenous tribes (ancient and modern) in the same room with archaeologists studying Neolithic societies. The two sides have had an ocean (physically and metaphorically!) separating them and when one brings the two together it will bring out many possibilities in a new understanding of the Neolithic.  I do believe that this conference has a lot of potential when simply using the information we have about Indigenous societies, including those that are still existing today, and how these could inform our understanding about how societies functioned in the Neolithic. It would not only bring two academic circles together, but hopefully also scholars from two sides of the Atlantic together." 

Monumentality and the materiality of stone . . .

Can Indigenous traditions help us understand what the world's first builders were thinking? 



Satellite Exhibition
Interpretive Art Installation

What drove people 
​to start leaving their mark on the landscape?