WOAM Conference 2025

Vy över Göteborgsoperan och älven.
Fotograf: Peter Kvarnström/Mediabank Göteborg & Co.

It is a great pleasure to announce that the 16th ICOM-CC Wet Organic Archaeological Materials (WOAM) Working Group Interim Meeting will take place on 15th-19th September, 2025 in Göteborg, Sweden.

16th ICOM-CC Wet Organic Archaeological Materials Conference (WOAM) Call for papers

The conference will be held 15th-19th September, 2025 in Göteborg, Sweden. Our host is director Sara Roberts and her team at Studio Västsvensk Konservering and colleagues at Göteborg Universitetet. 

The conference is planned as a hybrid-format: both in-person and virtual attendance will be possible. Presenters are expected to attend the conference in person.  

The Wet Organic Archaeological Materials Working Group (WOAM) exists to:

  • Disseminate scientific research in the field of wet organic archaeological materials.
  • Promote the application of new materials and technologies for conservation.
  • Investigate new tools for analysis and documentation.
  • Present relevant case studies in the conservation of wet organic archaeological materials.
  • Identify further areas of research.
  • Facilitate networking for future collaborative activities.

In the Triennial Programme for the 2024-2026 period, ICOM-CC’s Wet Organic Archaeological Materials Working Group (WOAM) has established a particular focus on the following subjects, and papers on these themes are invited:

  • The ethics and practicalities of treating waterlogged materials, especially  large structures or large assemblages.
  • Exploration of different sustainable concepts and methods within our field:  for example, comparison of different materials used for impregnation, regeneration/reuse of materials used during treatment, methods used to reduce microbial growth during storage and impregnation of waterlogged organics.
  • In-situ preservation of waterlogged organics.
  • The documentation and characterisation techniques for recording, analysing and assessing waterlogged organics.
  • New treatment techniques and continued review of older techniques, such as Kauramin, PEG, Sugars, Alum etc.
  • The treatment of composite materials.
  • The treatment of non-wood organics.
  • The display and storage of waterlogged (and previously waterlogged) organics.
  • The role of sulphur and other contaminants in the deterioration of wood and other organics and ways to mitigate these effects.
  • The Working Group welcomes research especially from students and emerging professionals.

Although papers and posters addressing these subjects are most welcome, the list is not exclusive. We encourage all original submissions covering topics relevant to the analysis, treatment, study and care of wet organic archaeological materials for consideration. The Working Group particularly encourages research from students and emerging professionals.

After the conference, papers will be published as post-prints on the ICOM-CC Publications Online Platform and will later be available to buy as print on demand via Lulu (www.lulu.com). All authors will be asked to complete and deliver an Author Copyright Agreement to ICOM-CC, before their paper is processed for publication.

Abstract submissions for Papers

We are using the Coms conference management system to facilitate the submission of abstracts and papers and to make it easier to communicate regarding the reviewing and publication of papers.  Please submit abstracts for papers to 16th ICOM-CC Wet Organic Archaeological Materials (WOAM) Working group Conference (coms.app) and follow the steps to create an account. They are due by 8th of June, 2024.

Abstracts should be a minimum of 250 words and a maximum of 500 words. The work must be original and not previously published (ie print published, as a poster, as an internal review report, or online eg youtube). The abstracts must contain the title, author(s) name and contact details as well as the body of the abstract.  They should not contain images or graphs. 

Key dates:

Call for papers issued on 1st of May 2024

May 5th 2024: Start of abstracts submission.

June 8th 2024: Deadline for abstracts submission.  

July 8th 2024: Authors notified of abstract review decision.   

October 8th 2024: Deadline for final paper submission. 

March 15th 2025: Authors notified of final paper review decision.

Abstract submissions for Posters

Abstracts for posters should not be submitted yet.  The Call for posters will be announced 15th September, 2024. Start of submission October 1st. Deadline for final submission of posters 15thNovember. Notification 1st January.

We look forward to an interesting and stimulating conference.