York hosted the 3rd International Symposium on Biomolecular Archaeology. With over 175 at the meeting, participants and the chairs struggled to cope with the large number of papers and posters over the course of a very crowded three days. Special thanks must go to the Poster and Presentation Prize committee (Alan Cooper, Richard Evershed, Michael Hofreiter, Henk Kars, Kerstin Lidén, Mike Richards and Sue Stallibrass) for somehow managing to assess the more than 70 presentations and 60 posters in the short time demanded.
The prize for best presentation went to Meirav Meiri for her talk on the Phylogeography, Ancient DNA and the Post-Glacial Recolonisation of Europe (books provided by the new journal of Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences), with a special mention to Hannes Schroeder Isotopes, population genetics, and the transatlantic slave trade: Reconciling individual and population based approaches
The best poster presentation went to Emma Brown for her work demonstrating Evidence for Coca and Alcohol Ingestion in the final months of the Llullaillaco Maiden's life, with runners up prizes going to and our own Beatrice Demarchi for her work on racemization in Patella. Thanks to Dionex and the York Archaeological Trust for providing prizes
The IsoAnalytical Prize for the best use of stable isotope analysis went to Carlos Tornero & Maria Saña for their study Evaluating the seasonal reproduction control of first domesticated cattle in PPNB tell Halula site: d13C and d18O values from sequential bioapatite enamel of wild and domestic populations.
Last but not least - the treasure hunters and the poster prize winners are deeply indebted to the York Archaeological Trust for its range of excellent prizes, with many winners demonstrating both their building and survey skills as Lego Indiana Jones hunted for treasures on many a table top at the conference dinner.
The meeting saw the a showcase of GeneTime projects organised by students from the GeneTime Marie Curie EST and a launch for the new LeCHE program given by its coordinator Anders Gotherstom (Uppsala).
The 2010 meeting is due to be held in Copenhagen with the symposium returning to its roots, the meeting in 2012 being held in Amsterdam (were in 2002 Henk Kars and Miranda Jans decided it might be an idea to hold a small symposium to promote Biomolecular Archaeology...)
It seems as if the name suggested by Henk and Miranda will stick, as by the date of the conference 70 votes had been received to maintain the title 'International Symposium on Biomolecular Archaeology' with less than half that number (34) to rename it the International Symposium on Ancient Biomolecules.