P rogram
S cientific

13th to 15th of September will be filled with thought provoking and interesting presentations. Take a look at the full session programme and the poster programme. Abstract book can be found here.

Wednesday, 13th September
8.00-9.00 Registration
9.15-9.30 Welcome to ISBA10!
9.30-10.30 Keynote Anne Stone
10.30-11.00 Coffee break
11.00-12.30 Session 1A: Kinship and social structure Session 1B: Ancient foodways I
12.30-14.00 Lunch
14.00-15.30 Session 2A: Domestication Session 2B: Methodological advancements
15.30-16.00 Coffee break
16.00-16.30 Invited talk Melanie Roffet Salque
16.30-17.00 Invited talk Giedrė Motuzaitė Matuzevičiūtė
17.00-17.30 Flash talks I
17.30-18.30 Poster session I
18.30-19.30 Annual general meeting for ISBA members
19.30-21.00 Reception at the ENM
Thursday, 14th September
9.00-9.30 Invited talk Benjamin Vernot
9.30-10.00 Invited talk Beatrice Demarchi
10.00-10.30 Coffee break
10-30-12.00 Session 3A: Community, sustainability & environment I Session 3B: Ancient fauna
12.00-13.30 Lunch
13.30-15.00 Session 4A: Human population genetics I Session 4B: Health and disease I
15.00-15.30 Coffee break
15.30-17.00 Session 5A: Ancient foodways II Session 5B: Community, sustainability & environment II
17.00-17.30 Flash talks II
17.30-18.30 Poster session II
18.30-19.30 Break / Guided tours at the Estonian National Museum (optional)
19.30-23.00 Dinner at the University of Tartu Museum
Friday, 15th September
9.00-10.00 Keynote Carl Heron
10.00-10.30 Coffee break
10.30-12.00 Session 6A: Diet & environment Session 6B: Pleistocene
12.00-13.30 Lunch
13.30-15.00 Session 7A: Health and disease II Session 7B: Origins, dating & authentification
15.00-15.30 Coffee break
15.30-17.00 Session 8A: Human population genetics II Session 8B: Novel Approaches
17.00-17.30 Coffee break
17.30-18.00 Invited talk Martin Petr
18.00-18.30 Closing of the conference
18.30-19.30 Break / Guided tours at the Estonian National Museum (optional)
Saturday, 16th September
Starting at 9.00 Excursions (optional)
K eynote

The conference will start with the keynote talk by Prof Anne Stone and end with a keynote by Dr Carl Heron. In addition to these keynote talks bridging different disciplines, we have invited five early career researchers to present an overview of the state-of-the-art of the different biomolecular fields in archaeology (metagenomics, population genomics, isotope studies, lipidomics and proteomics) and explore their possible new avenues.


Anne Stone is a biological anthropologists and Regents’ Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at the Arizona State University, USA. Stone’s research focuses on the analysis of genetic data to investigate population history and adaptation in humans, other animals, and pathogens. She is particularly interested in adaptation in the context of disease and diet which have been particularly important over the course of human evolution.


Carl Heron is Director of Scientific Research at the British Museum. He took up the position in 2016 after 25 years at the University of Bradford. At Bradford, he taught biomolecular archaeology to a generation of students and established a laboratory for lipid analysis. His research into lipids and other small molecules spans a wide range of archaeological interests and inquiries. He is also fascinated by the history of biomolecular archaeology and interactions between the humanities and the sciences played out in the study of the human past.

I nvited


Giedrė Motuzaitė Matuzevičiūtė is a bioarchaeologist that studies past food and foodways in various regions of Eurasia mainly using archaeobotany and stable isotope methods. She is a professor at the department of Archaeology, Faculty of History, Vilnius University and also a head of Bioarchaeology research centre that studies and archives a divers bioarchaeologocal material (mammalian, fish, bird bones, egg shells, mollusks plant remains) that is coming to the Centre from all over Lithuania and beyond.


Beatrice Demarchi is an Associate Professor at the Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology, University of Turin, where in 2017 she established the ArchaeoBiomics lab. She is a specialist in archaeological research methods, bridging archaeology and the natural sciences. She is especially interested in the use of ancient proteins to clarify the relationships between humans and their environment in the past, with a focus on less-investigated species.


Melanie Roffet Salque is a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellow and Proleptic Lecturer in Environmental Chemistry at the University of Bristol, UK. A core aspect of her research is the analysis of lipids in archaeological and historic artefacts, and modern environments to investigate the use of natural products, subsistence practices and human-environment interactions. Her work is currently focusing on milk and aquatic resource use and the construction of precipitation-driven climate records.


Benjamin Vernot runs an independent group at the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, where he studies human and environmental history using ancient DNA from sediments. His most recent work brings traditional population genetics analyses to these metagenomic environmental samples.


Martin Petr is a researcher at the Globe Institute, University of Copenhagen. His main research focus is on the development of methods for spatio-temporal data simulation and inference in population genomics.

S ocial

Members Only Event on the 13th of September

ISBA Members will be able to attend a 'Members Only Event’ on the first evening of the conference. Here, we will host the annual general meeting (AGM) of the International Society for Biomolecular Archaeology. The AGM will include short presentations detailing the activities of the society from board members including the President, Treasurer, and Secretary of the society. At the end of the meeting, we will announce the newly elected board members for the upcoming year. Following the AGM, there will be a wine reception and networking event. If you would like to attend this event, please join the International Society for Biomolecular Archaeology by following this link: https://www.isbarch.org/membership

Dinner on the 14th of September

Dinner takes place at the University of Tartu Museum, which is located next to the medieval Dome Church of Tartu.

Post-conference programme on the 16th of September

Trip to wilderness: Meenikunno bog hiking trail (5.8 km)

The hiking trail in Meenikunno bog is one of the most visited and appreciated recreational areas in Southern Estonia. It is included in the Meenikunno Nature Reserve (3028 ha), and its 5.8 km circular hiking trail runs on a 2.4 km wooden boardwalk (stroller and wheelchair accessible) and 3.4 km forest path.

There are 13 information points introducing the bog and forest along the trail, although the hiking trip will be assisted by our professional tour guides Marko Kohv and Piret Pungas-Kohv. In addition, cabins for hikers, an observation tower, and numerous viewpoints can be found along the way. While walking down the boardwalk, you may find the most common local bog plants: leather leaf, bog rosemary, crowberry, Marsh Labrador tea, and tussock cottongrass; at the edge of the bog, dwarf birches and pines can also be observed.

This creates a gorgeous and particularly original landscape that is typical of Estonia, made of dwarf trees and different species of peat moss of various colours. The landscape changes at every season with amazing combinations of textures and nuances. The bravest hikers can also try drinking the bog water (it has an interesting taste!) from the overgrown ditch near the edge of the bog. It is a fascinating trail for nature enthusiasts, hikers, berry-pickers, and bird-watchers.

Meenikunno bog hiking trail (5.8 km): More details are here.

The Jõmmu barge boat trip

The Jõmmu barge is a unique timber vessel for the transportation of goods, employed on Estonian waterways from the Hanseatic times until the mid-20th century, thus greatly contributing to the prosperity of several Estonian towns, including Tartu. During the establishment of the Hanseatic League across the Baltic and North Seas in the 14th-16th centuries, Peipsi barges heading for Novgorod mainly transported salt, cloth, beer, sweet wine, and oriental spices. On the return, they brought to Estonia furs, honey, and wax.

By the 19th century, more than 500 barges worked on Lake Peipsi, and around 200 were anchored at the Tartu harbour. The last of the historic barges could be seen on Lake Peipsi by the middle of the 20th century. Most were lost during the two world wars, as they were reused as military landing ships.

The boat we will be sailing on was crafted using the archaic building methods dating back to the time of the Hanseatic trade. Jõmmu sails on the River Emajõgi, Lake Peipsi, and Lake Võrtsjärv from the start of April to the end of November, and trips can be booked for groups for a range of events, including seminars. A competent tourist guide will lead you along the trip, and coffee and tea are offered!

More details are here.

Tallinn Old Town

Visitors from all over the world are truly fascinated by the beauty of Tallinn Old Town, the best-preserved mediaeval city in Northern Europe. Its atmosphere is mesmerising and somehow dark, haunting you with its Gothic vibes, ancient cobblestone streets and enchanting architecture. During the Middle Ages, it was a thriving centre in which wealthy merchants from Germany, Denmark, Sweden and beyond settled and exercised their influence. The nuances of German mediaeval architecture can be surely sensed while frolicking around the original cobblestone streets, intertwined with mediaeval churches and merchant houses, barns, and warehouses, many of which are perfectly preserved mediaeval buildings. Tallinn Old Town today is enjoyed by locals and visitors, with restaurants, bars, museums, and galleries bringing this historical city centre back to life.

More details are here.