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Back from NESAT.

I’m back home from NESAT – and it was utterly, utterly glorious.

This was my fourth NESAT conference. The first three had all been splendid, breathless experiences full of interesting papers and posters and with many, many lovely people and brilliant weather and good food and nice surprises, and I was hoping for something in that range – and I’m happy to tell you that NESAT XIII was no exception at all to what seems to be the rule for this conference. Time just flew past, with a (modern) loom presentation and posters and reconstructions to look at in the breaks. There was traditional Czech food, there was coffee galore, there were intense discussions about textiles and many, many other exciting news of what people had done or were planning to do. One of these things that made me totally geek out? The CTR in Copenhagen is working with Motion Capture technology to record and analyse textile techniques, and they are planning to link this up with neurological scans, to see which brain areas are firing when you are, for instance, spinning on a hand spindle. Isn’t that awesome?

To give you an inkling of how packed that programme was – we had 48 papers over the course of three days, there was a festive lecture, there was poster presentation time, there was a festive evening. On the fourth day, we had an excursion where we got to visit three exhibitions (one specially made for us in the textiles depot, one in the Hrad, and one in a beautiful museum in the city).

I managed to only buy two books – one about the Early Medieval finds from the Netherlands, and one about Czech finds. I also brought home a bit of Czech chocolate – and almost a sunburn from the one and three quarters day in Prague that I spent with four other conference participants, having an inordinate amount of fun (and coffee). We also managed to walk more than 21 km on the excursion day altogether, which means we slept really, really well that night!

Now, my coffee, water, and exhaustion levels are all slowly settling back towards a normal range. The place for the next NESAT, in three years’ time, has also been settled: it will be in Finland… so I now have three years to save up and two-or-so years to come up with something exciting to offer for a paper. Because, you know… after NESAT is before NESAT!

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