Canal at Pujini, Pemba Island (photo. Hannah Parsons-Morgan)

About GIAS

Rationale and Event Details


Though there are several notable Islamic archaeology conferences, including the annual Islamic Archaeology Day, UCL, and more bespoke conferences such as the International Congress On Islamic Archaeology which took place in 2005 and 2011 in Turkey and Pakistan respectively, as well as the Archaeological Perspectives on Conversion to Islam and Islamisation in Africa Conference, IAIS, University of Exeter, 2019, there are none focused purely on Ph.D. students and Early Career Researchers. Indeed, presentation slots for young researchers are often limited and students especially struggle to cover the costs of conferences (travel, visa and accommodation, as well as registration fees, etc.) which makes it particularly difficult for students in the Global South to attend conferences in the Global North.

The summer of 2020 has seen many changes to academia, not least with the impact of COVID-19 and the ongoing and recently renewed discussions and movements to Decolonise the curriculum and the academe. This discussion is particularly relevant to the discipline of archaeology and especially regards its application on the African and Asian continents. This conference was therefore intended as an opportunity to utilise the time during the COVID-19 lockdown (Spring-Autumn 2020), a time when many conferences have been cancelled, fieldwork postponed and scholars isolated and unmotivated, to explore new ways of working within academia and to bring disparate scholars together, helping to bridge the continental isolation that has often happened within the field of archaeology and in so doing inspire greater collaboration.

As hoped, Academics at every stage of their career, from undergraduate to Emeritus, joined us as audience members to learn more about the innovative and exemplary research being undertaken by new and Early Career Researchers in the vast and varied field of Islamic archaeology and material culture.

Event Details

GIAS is now successfully completed and closed

  • Day-1 Saturday 26th September, 2020 (8.50 - 18.30 BST) via Zoom

  • Day-2 Saturday 3rd October, 2020 (8.50 - 19.00 BST) via Zoom

  • Papers were 15 minutes long followed by 5 minutes discussion  

  • Presentations were live or pre-recorded followed by a live Q&A

  • Chat feature was open to ask questions and foster debate throughout the event

  • Sessions were recorded (with permission of speakers) and are now available on our YouTube channel ( (