The Trial by Fire conference was first held in May 2019 at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. It was organised by two PhD students from the Institute, Lisa Monetti and Kate Gafner. Lisa studies burned bone in archaeological contexts and Kate focuses on modern, forensic contexts. The two often discussed the disconnect between archaeological and forensic literature on burned bone and also considered that there may be information on burning that they were missing from other sub-disciplines.


The Trial by Fire conference was developed to address the theme of fire in archaeological research and beyond and to offer a place to discuss future collaboration between subdisciplines joined by the omnipresence of fire. The 2019 conference was successful with over 75 attendees, 21 podium presentations, and 8 posters, and included a tour of the Institute's Wolfson Archaeological Science Laboratories. 


Many attendees of the 2019 conference expressed interest in a second meeting. Overworked with PhD responsibilities, Lisa and Kate are endlessly grateful for the 2020 organisers, Sally Hoare and Ceren Kabukcu who offered to host Trial by Fire 2020 at the University of Liverpool. 


We invite students and professionals alike from all archaeological and anthropological subdisciplines (and others!) to submit an abstract and register for the 2020 Trial by Fire conference. We look forward to seeing you all in Liverpool! 


Trial by Fire Team

Kate Gafner

Lisa Monetti 

2019 Organisers and

Trial by Fire founders

Sally Hoare

Ceren Kabukcu

2020 Organisers

Trial by Fire Team

and a brief history of the conference

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