The Universidade de Evora (POR), the University of Leicester (UK) and the Marie Sklodowska-Curie MED-FARWEST Project are running a two-day international conference that draws together academic and professional (field- and museum) colleagues to discuss new results and approaches, recent finds and alternative theoretical assessments of a crucial theme in archaeology, namely the end and transformation of classical towns in Late Antiquity. Towns were the key arena for monumental, political and religious display in the Roman world: Late Antiquity (AD 300-650) marked the progressive, or sometimes rapid, decline and transformation of these urban sites, with monuments failing and urban society itself changing. As towns changed so did the empire and the political and economic make-up of the Mediterranean and European world; and yet, if in some territories the urban spaces largely failed, in other provinces, the towns kept the status of political and religious centres.

The aim of this conference is to bring together experts from the Hispanic Peninsula and an array of modern countries to explore, discuss and re-assess the transformation of towns. It will be an opportunity to compare and contrast critically archaeologies of diverse regions and to debate the qualities of the archaeology and the methods of study. It will also be an opportunity to debate the evolving society of these late antique centres, with their populations too often neglected in favour of discussion on churches and town walls.

There will be two days of contributions: papers will outline and discuss the material changes in towns from the provinces of Hispania, Gallia, Italia and Germania especially; papers should also question the socio-economic implications of the evidence, and ask specifically who were involved in the changes, from dukes to bishops, artisans, and the poor. Papers may also question the idea of a ‘barbarian’ imprint or presence in these modified towns.

The programme will feature core papers on both days, plus themed discussions; we hope also for poster presentations by PhD students, other researchers, field archaeologists and museum teams.

We anticipate a maximum 60 attendees. There is a conference fee of 25€ for students, and 50€ for other attendees.

We identify Evora University and the city of Evora as an ideal venue for the event: the stunning architectural setting of the University is matched by the rich and relevant archaeological heritage of the city itself, showing in its very heart a transformation of a Roman monument to a late antique complex, while the city walls reflect the diverse image of towns after Rome.

We very much look forward to your participation in this event.