International Young Archaeologists' Conference in Vardzia

Annually, as part of ongoing international collaborations, the International Young Archaeologists' Conference takes place in Georgia. The impressive backdrop for this event is the medieval cave city of Vardzia, located to the west of the city of Achalkalaki in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, in the southern part of Georgia. Vardzia continues to serve as a monastery to this day.




The conference places its focus on young and aspiring researchers, who present both ongoing and completed research projects to an international academic community comprising educators, researchers, and students. In addition to topics centered on the archaeology of the Near East and the South Caucasus, participation in the international conference is also open to speakers from related historical and philological disciplines.

The conference offers a platform not only to acquaint oneself with the international academic landscape and stay updated on new developments and research in the field but also to engage in dialogue with other internationally active students, educators, and researchers.




The conference in Vardzia has been organized since 2009 and is led by a renowned team of international scholars. Among them are Prof. Dr. Vakhtang Licheli from Tbilisi State University, who is also the founder and director of the conference. Other organizers include Associate Prof. Dr. Sandra Heinsch from the University of Innsbruck, Dr. Walter Kuntner from the University of Innsbruck, Prof. Michael Vickers from the University of Oxford, Prof. Eberhard Sauer from the University of Edinburgh, Prof. Askold Ivanchik from CNRS and Bordeaux University, Professor Paolo Biagi from Ca’Foscari University of Venice, Professor Annegret Plontke-Lüning from the University of Jena, and Prof. László Borhy, Rector of Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest.



The international conference is conducted as part of the collaboration between the Institute of Ancient History and Near Eastern Studies at the University of Innsbruck and the Institute of Archaeology at Tbilisi State University, a partnership that has been in place since 2010. Joint excavations in Khovle Gora, located approximately 45 km west of the capital city of Tbilisi, are carried out in connection with the international summer school program "Archaeological School in the Orient," based at the University of Innsbruck. These excavations focus on the study of the development of material culture in the 1st millennium BCE.



Participation in 2024

In the year 2024, the International Young Archaeologists' Conference will once again take place. Participation is available through enrollment in the Archaeological School in the Orient. We encourage you to contact us for further details and information on how to participate.

If you have any specific questions or require additional information regarding registration, dates, application procedures, or any other aspects of the conference and the Archaeological School in the Orient, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We are here to assist you and provide you with the necessary information to ensure a successful and enriching participation experience in this prestigious event.








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