On the 20th and 21st of November 2008, the international conference "Archaeology of the villages in the Early Middle Ages" was held at the Faculty of Arts of University of the Basque Country. The conference was organized by the Medieval and Postmedieval Archaeology Research Group of the University of the Basque Country, in the framework of the research project "La génesis del paisaje medieval en el Norte Peninsular: Arqueología de lasaldeas de los siglos V al XII. The origin of the medieval landscape in the North of the Iberian Peninsula. Archaeology of villages from the 5th – 13thcenturies" (HUM2006-02556), funded by the Ministry of Education and Science in the scope of the National Plan of Scientiﬁc Research, Development and Technologic Innovation (I+D+I), inside the National Program of General Promotion of the Knowledge.
The aim of this conference has been to make a critical evaluation of the last years of researches made in Europe around the archaeology of the villages, key theme to understand the early medieval landscapes and the management of the Archaeological Heritage. The works made during the last years in several European sectors have shown that the main part of the current cities and towns have been founded in the Early Middle Ages, so that is in this period where we should recognize the origins of nowadays landscapes.
We have been working from ten years within the early medieval villages of the Iberian Peninsula, a systematic way, especially in the framework of the professional archaeology. In this conference, we wanted to unite the main interventions made in this sphere, establishing a comparative analysis with other mature experiences that have taken place in other European sectors.
The conference has been articulated into three sessions, the Early Medieval Villages in the European context, the Early Medieval Villages in Spain and Villages and Agrarian Spaces. There are not published the papers "Early medieval villages in Britain" by Andrew Reynolds and "Las aldeasaltomedievales en Castilla y León" by Ángel Palomino and Javier Sanz, because they were not handed on time.
The conference was funded by the Faculty of Arts, the Vicerrectorado del Campus de Álava through an agreement with the DiputaciónForal de Álava, the Basque Government, the Vitoria-Gasteiz city council, the Caja Vital Kutxa and the Ministry of Science and Innovation (Complementary Action "Archaeology of the Villages", HAR2008-01200-E). Likewise, the edition of the proceeds has been co-funded by the archaeology companies "Strato, Gabinete de estudiossobrepatrimoniohistórico y arqueológico" and "Aratikosarqueólogos".