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International Conference
The Transformation of Europe
in the Third Millennium BC

Budapest, Hungary


24 – 27 April 2024

photo by János Dani

Late April 2024 will bring more exciting progress in our understanding of Third Millennium BC archaeology in Europe.

We, Volker Heyd (University of Helsinki, Finland), Franco Nicolis (Archaeological Heritage Office, Trento, Italy) and Gabriella Kulcsár (HUN-REN RCH Institute of Archaeology, Budapest, Hungary) have committed ourselves to organizing a special scientific event under the umbrella title “The Transformation of Europe in the Third Millennium BC”. This major event will, however, be divided into two distinct meetings, to be held in two different parts of Europe and in two different calendar years (2023 and 2024). Our sole purpose for these two meetings is to develop and deepen, through an interdisciplinary approach, all the issues that in recent years have contributed to outlining a new interpretative framework of the cultural and social transformations of Europe in the third millennium BC. We plan to pursue a constructive dialogue between archaeology, anthropology, genetics/genomics, linguistics, and other biological and environmental disciplines.

The first meeting has taken place in Riva del Garda, Trento, Italy, in 25–28 October 2023, 25 years after the International Conference “Bell Beakers Today” under the leadership of Franco Nicolis. Its focus was the mid and second half of the third millennium BC, particularly the Bell Beakers in the west and south. Its programme can still be found on the Conference website at:

The second meeting, under the local guidance of Gabriella Kulcsár (Institute of Archaeology HUN-REN RCH) and funded by the ERC YMPACT project and National Cultural Fund of Hungary, will be held in Budapest in 24–27 April 2024, in the Research Centre for Human Sciences of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and cover the late fourth and the first half of the third millennium BC, especially the Yamnaya, Globular Amphora, and Corded Ware cultures in the eastern, central, and northern parts of the continent.

Each of the two meetings have been planned to include three-and-a-half days of presentations by about 25 speakers in six thematic sessions with four to five speakers and  two keynote speakers per session. Much time has been left for discussion, during and after sessions and in general. The focus of both meetings has been delimited in time and space and aimed at specific themes, taking latest scientific results into account. Needless to say that an adequate social programme has also been organised.

The second meeting will take place along more spatio-temporal session keywords of

1) Early Steppe interactions from the mid to the end of the fourth millennium BC between the Caucasus and the Carpathians;

2) Yamnaya divided? Yamnaya East – Yamnaya West;

3) In and around the Carpathian Basin at the end of fourth and in the first half of the third Millennium BC;

4) Globular Amphora societies in changing worlds; and
5) Corded Ware and parallel societies in the third millennium BC.
6) A special session at the end of the conference is devoted to the ‘Big Picture’ of Eurasia, also bringing the two conferences together, while emphasizing migrations, interactions/admixture and cultural change.


We are looking forward to seeing you in Budapest, either in person or via our remote option.

Volker Heyd (University of Helsinki, Finland)

Franco Nicolis (Archaeological Heritage Office, Trento, Italy)

Gabriella Kulcsár (Hungarian Research Network, Budapest, Hungary)

Franco&Gabi Riva 2023.jpg
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