Jersey’s rich heritage will provide the backdrop to a major national conference this weekend when the Island plays host to the Prehistoric Society’s Europa Conference 2019.
Academics from the UK and France will be in Jersey to speak at the annual conference, which takes place from 14-16 June at the Pomme d’Or Hotel. The theme of this year’s event is ‘Neolithic Connections: Britain, the Channel Islands and France’ and more than 130 delegates are attending, representing America, France, Germany, the Channel Islands and the UK.
The Prehistoric Society was formed in 1935 to bring together specialists in the period of history for which Jersey is becoming increasing renowned for on the international stage. Professor Clive Gamble, President of the Prehistoric Society, said this made the Island an ideal location for this year’s conference.
Prof Gamble said: “Jersey has a wonderful showcase of prehistoric monuments of all ages, from La Cotte de St Brelade to La Hougue Bie. New excavations and exceptional discoveries, such as the coin hoard, make Jersey the island that keeps on giving when it comes to finding out about our prehistoric past; a past that makes new connections across time and between countries. The Prehistoric Society is excited to be holding its Europa Conference on such a heritage-rich island.”
The conference weekend will start with a fieldtrip organised by Jersey Heritage and the Prehistoric Society, with support from the Société Jersiaise, to show delegates some of the incredible archaeological sites across Jersey, ranging from La Hougue Bie in Grouville and La Pouquelaye de Faldouet in St Martin, to Le Pinacle in St Ouen.
Delegates will then enjoy nearly two days of lectures, with Jersey Heritage’s Curator of Archaeology Olga Finch joining speakers from the Natural History Museum and Universities of London, Durham, York, Rennes and Paris, as well as the Cornwall Archaeological Unit.
The 2019 conference also celebrates the achievements in the field of European prehistory of Dr Alison Sheridan, from National Museums Scotland and winner of the 2018 British Academy Grahame Clark medal, and she will give a lecture herself on Saturday.
On Saturday night, Jersey Heritage will host a drinks event at Jersey Museum, at which the Chief Minister Senator John Le Fondré is due to speak.
Jon Carter, Jersey Heritage’s Chief Executive, said: “It is an honour for Jersey to host the Prehistoric Society’s annual conference and testament to the international significance of the Island’s prehistory and the growing interest from international academics to carry out research here. The Island’s prehistoric sites are a rich source of stories from our past and we continue to find ways to bring those stories to life, whether it is through the Neolithic Longhouse at La Hougue Bie or archaeologists returning La Cotte de St Brelade this summer.”