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Antiquity

The language of archaeology

"God created humans as a sociable animal, with the tendency and the necessity of coexistence with other human beings, and gave them a language, as a great instrument for the society development"
John Locke

The Fifth World Archaeological Congress was an unforgettable experience for me. This was my first time at a world congress and I had contact with number of archaeological researchers, who work in different parts of the world, but towards a common aim.

As a student of Information Systems Engineering and without any archaeological experiences, I could see the congress from a different perspective to that of the other attendants. The congress had a tendency to have more equality in all archaeological terms and that is the things that captivated me the most. The congress brought together archaeologists from a wide diversity of cultures who worked together very successfully in a social context during the time of the congress. The congress accommodation was comfortable and incorporated exhibits, plenary sessions and paper presentations, fulfilling the overall aim to "promote the exchange of the results of archaeological research". However, there are many things that could be undertaken to make improvements for future congresses. These include more direct translations to other languages like Spanish, French or Russian. Also, the simultaneous presentation of themes meant that you were always attending one session at the same time that other sessions of interest were occurring.

Among the things that made WAC-5 a congress which achieved some global equality among archaeologists was the effort of the WAC-5 Funding Committee which worked intensively with a large number of people who submitted applications for support. While not all applications were supported the committee prioritised applications from undeveloped countries. In this way, the congress attendance of more than one thousand researchers was assured, many from the most remote places of the world.

Beyond the variety of papers and archaeological researchers and the great diversity of culture gathered in the same place, WAC has an excellent internal organization committed to creating fairness in the global archaeological community, though this community is embedded in an unequal world. During the congress week these researchers can relate to each other in the one language that joins them, the language of archaeology.

Javier Andrés Comín, Santa Fe, Argentina

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