Registration open for SMA Annual Conference 2019

Posted On: April 16th, 2019

Society for Medieval Archaeology 2019 Annual Conference 

“The Long Black Death”: New Perspectives 

King’s Manor, University of York (UK), 5-6 July 2019 

A recent upsurge in scholarly interest in the Black Death has been driven in major part by methodological advances and new discoveries across a range of disciplines: archaeology is central to this as analysis of physical evidence has underpinned many recent advances. As our knowledge and understanding of the origins and impact of the Black Death, in the short, medium and long term, becomes increasingly clear, wider interest has grown in the role of plague across the world in periods from the prehistoric to the post-medieval. This is heightened by awareness that microbial resistance to antibiotics now used to treat plague is growing, thus interest in plague pandemics may not for much longer be confined to the past.

This conference brings together researchers in different fields to explore the latest research into the origins and impact of the 14th-century pandemic.  Our keynote speaker is Professor Monica Green (Arizona State University), who will address the wider implications of this emerging understanding of the ‘long’ Black Death for plague studies globally.

Registration is openThe conference registration fee for members of the Society is £35.00 and £20.00 for student members.  The registration fee for non-members is £80.00. Each of these registration packages includes tea/coffee breaks, a wine reception on Friday evening, lunch on Saturday, and attendance at the Friday evening keynote. If you wish to attend the keynote only please select the ‘Registration for keynote and wine reception ONLY‘ package.  Registration can be found here.


Friday 5th July 2019 (2-6pm, reception 7-8.30pm)

Keynote Address – Prof Monica Green The Historian, the Archaeologist, and the Geneticist: Pandemic Thinking.
Marcel Keller Ancient Yersinia pestis genomes: comparative insights into the onset and progression of the first and second pandemics.
Dr David Orton ‘The Long Black Rat’: assessing the a priori feasibility of Rattus rattus as a European plague reservoir during the first and second pandemics.
Craig Cessford New approaches to finding Yersinia pestis in Cambridgeshire cemeteries.
Dr Boris Schmid The role of climate in medieval plague outbreaks.
Dr Philip Slavin The Second Wave: The geographic and demographic contours of the Pestis Secunda in England and Wales, 1361-2.
Reception at Yorkshire Museum &  Public Lecture – Prof Carenza Lewis, Digging the Black Death in your garden: public archaeology reconstructing the impact of demographic change.

Saturday 6th July 2019 (9am – 5.30pm)

Dr Daniel Curtis From universal killer to a discriminant disease? Understanding selective plague mortality through new data from the medieval Low Countries.
Dr Michaël Gourvennec A medieval community faced with the Second Pandemic: the study of Black Death cemetery at 16 Rue des Trente-Six Ponts, in Toulouse, France.
Dr Sasha Kacki and Prof Dominique Castex Digging the grave. An archaeo-anthropological study of plague cemeteries from continental Europe.
Dr Sarah Inskip The impact of the Black Death on Cambridge.
Prof Paul Arthur Plague and the Italian Mezzogiorno: archaeological insights into the impact of the Black Death in southern Italy.
Dr Paolo Forlin Exploring seismic disasters in the wake of the Black Death: the Alpine and Apennine earthquakes of 1348 and 1349.
Dr Richard Thomas Black Death, Green Pastures: 14th-century England in zooarchaeological perspective.
Dr Michael Lewis and Dr Eljas Oksanen Understanding the Impact of the Black Death through finds data from the Portable Antiquities Scheme.
Dr Murray Andrews Pennies and pestilence: medieval European coin hoards and the Black Death.
Dr Euan Roger Living with the Black Death? Exploring attitudes to epidemic outbreaks in early Tudor England.
Prof Ben Dodds The Black Death and the invention of England’s national pasts.
Dr Richard Nevell Digital Diligence: communicating the Black Death in the 21st century.
Discussion The future of Black Death studies