The first paper was presented by Adrian Davies, who introduced the morning's main themes. I (foolishly) didn't take a pen to make
notes, but what struck me about
his talk (and many of those that followed) was the inclusion of current economic data, concerns of growing poverty and the broader
impact of government policy. Personally* it does sometimes feel like archaeologists – despite widely held beliefs that our understanding
of the past is subjective to the present - shy away from linking archaeology into the big
political issues of the day.
Obviously this was the point of the session and, given how fresh it felt, a potentially vital one. Whether the primarily Marxist approach of many of the speakers is the best way to tackle this may be open to debate.
*(an opinion that's
probably wide of the mark because I haven't read much