What is MERC?
MERC is the successor body of the Medieval Europe Congresses that were held in York, Bruges, Basel and Paris from 1992 to 2007 (see details here). MERC exists for the same purposes. It aims to promote research through medieval archaeology (AD 400-1600) in every country in greater Europe by providing a hub for existing societies and researchers, aiding practitioners in Europe and the rest of the world. Its ethos is a medieval archaeology without borders.
In 2012, at its inaugural meeting in Helsinki, MERC signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the EAA for the period to 2017, open to review every five years. Through this the five-yearly meetings of the Medieval Europe Congress have been superseded by meetings at and within the annual conference of the European Association of Archaeologists. MERC’s principal objective is to raise the profile of medieval research within this conference.
MERC is represented by an elected MERC Committee. MERC’s chair from 2015-16 is Dr Dries Tys. See details of the other Committee members here.
EAA members can register their interest in MERC by ticking the relevant box in their membership profile. This enables the MERC Committee and EAA to contact just those EAA members who have an interest in medieval Europe. MERC also has a Facebook page where you can exchange information and ideas, and ask questions.
Since 2012, MERC’s presence at the EAA annual conference has evolved to now include:
– an annual MERC Forum (discussion of topical issues; election of new Committee members)
– MERC-branded sessions (so sessions related to medieval archaeology can be readily identified); contributors to MERC sessions may use this logo in their presentations
– a MERC Reception (to aid networking with others particularly interested in medieval Europe).
There is a MERC nominee from the MERC Committee on the Scientific Committee of the EAA Annual Meeting considering sessions and their content, and we encourage local organisers to ensure that medieval archaeology is included in the pre- and post-conference tours that they offer.
If you are interested in exploring how MERC may lend its support (name and logo) to events and activities that align with its objectives, please contact the MERC Secretary with details of your proposal for the Committee to consider.
The funds that were left over from the Medieval Europe Congress have been passed to MERC, which dispenses them in pursuit of its aims, and especially in assisting students who have joined the EAA to attend the annual EAA conference to present new research in the Middle Ages.
See details of our organisation and election procedures here.