Common salt (sodium chloride) is an invisible object for archaeological research, but the ancient texts, the history, the ethnography and our everyday life confirm that both Man and Animal cannot live without it. Salt is a primordial reference for humanity. This “fifth element” is universal in a double sense, diachronically and diatopically. How can archaeology and related disciplines or sciences approximate this soluble good, this “white gold”, this invisible past?
From the diatopic and diachronic perspective, common salt—with all its natural or artificial metamorphoses—has influenced humanity in the most diverse aspects. This is why, within a brief enumeration, the salt-related research themes are intriguingly various: explorations (hunting for salt), exploitation techniques, techniques to obtain different products, exploitation and use tools, transport and storage containers, human and animal feeding, conservation (meat, bacon, cheese, vegetables, green goods, fruits). The themes also include manufacture-related uses (including the construction of salt houses), mythology, religion, cult, rituals, beliefs, superstitions, mentalities, secret societies, magic, vows, curses, prohibitions, popular medicine, sexuality, economy, hide working, population, alchemical procedures, scientific and cultural representations, treatment of the deceased, barter, commerce, contraband, robbery.
On the other hand, the themes also include human and animal mobility, the attraction exerted on savage beasts, symbolic uses, folk literature (stories, tales, and proverbs) and cult literature, the control of salt resources, conflicts, strategic value, geographic perceptions, professions related to salt exploitation and uses, economic, legal and administrative regulations, vocabulary, toponymy, anthroponomy and the list can go on.
All these themes already constitute a study object for an impressive number of sciences, disciplines, or sub-disciplines, such as archaeology, heritage studies, history, ethnography, ethnoarchaeology, economic anthropology, food sciences, statistics, sociology, geology, mineralogy, geography, hydrology, botany, chemistry, medicine, pharmacology, ethology, theology, agronomy, symbology, linguistics, folklore studies, cultural studies, literary studies, hermeneutics, legal sciences, etc. Obviously, some themes must be approached only in an interdisciplinary vision.
For more information, please visit the dedicated website of the EthnosalRo project — ethnosalro.uaic.ro
* Cf. M. Alexianu, Anthropology of salt. A first conceptual approach, 2012.
No registration fee! — The congress is organised within the framework of project The ethno-archaeology of the salt springs and salt mountains from the extra-Carpathian areas of Romania financially supported by the Romanian National Council of Scientific Research — ethnosalro.uaic.ro.
The organisers will cover the expenses regarding the registration fee, the welcoming dinner and the study trip to the Targu Ocna salt mine.
Expenses for travel, accommodation, meals and activities outside of the set programme will be covered by the participants.
The working languages of the congress are English, Spanish, French, and Italian. The congress welcomes both papers and posters.
In order to ensure the greatest comprehension of the contributions, all abstracts submitted in languages other than English will be translated to English by the organisers. Alternatively, you can submit the English translation alongside the non-English abstract.
The abstracts can be submitted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline for submission: 20 June 2015
Abstracts should be around 200–300 words, and may also include one image.
Please also provide the following information: (1) title; (2) name and affiliation of the author(s); and (3) presentation type (oral or poster).
Abstracts should be sent to email@example.com, not later than the 20th of June 2015.
The abstracts will be reviewed by the Scientific Committee, and the acceptance notifications will be sent by 30th of June 2015.
The social programme includes the welcoming dinner on the 21st of August, local tour of Iasi on the 22nd, and the study trip to the Targu Ocna salt mine.
The Airport is located at 10 km from the city centre (~6 euros taxicab fare). Please let us know if you would, however, like to be picked-up from the airport.
Transportation: the recommended hotels are relatively close (~1 km / 0.7 mi) to the Congress venue. Alternatively, you can use a taxicab (0.6 euros/km) or public tranportation (0.5 euros/ride)
Currency: Romanian Leu or RON:
1 EURO = 4.50 RON, 1 USD = 4 RON, 100 JPY = 3.3 RON
Air temperature in August: 25-35 °C (accuweather.com)
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org