Just found out about an interesting conference, that is going on right now, of archaeologists working in the first five civilizations that developed writing, presumably independently.
I got an email from Andrew at National Geographic letting me know about their twitter hash-tag #5civilizations. In should be going on till this weekend if you want to follow along. They also have a website- http://www.dialogueofcivilizations.com/
Something that I thought was neat is that it appears to be happening across multiple cities. It started in Istanbul, then moved to Şanlıurfa, Gaziantep, and finally Ankara. It looks like they the conference in different cities on different days. Essentially it turns the conference into a mini tour of Turkey. Logistically complex but when people travel very far to go to conferences they tend to then tour the country a bit anyways. That could actually be a very interesting concept to replicate here in Scotland- Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Orkney.
Edit- I got some more info on the event: