LUNCH TIME seminar - Department of Archaeology

15 May

15. května, 16:30

SP417 (Sedláčkova 15)

Guests Lecture Science

We invite you to a lecture by professor Zbigniew Kobylinski entitled: Archaeological Map of Poland (AZP): 45 years of successes and failures

Since 1978, a project of searching, recording and mapping archaeological sites has been carried out throughout Poland, known as the Archaeological Map of Poland (Archeologiczne Zdjęcie Polski). The pilot program of the project was developed and implemented already in 1964–1975 by Stefan Woyda, conservator of archaeological heritage in the Warsaw Province. The aim of this undertaking, which was unique on a global scale at that time, was to obtain complete information about the country's archaeological resources, both for scientific purposes and for the protection of sites and monuments. The project, which is still being implemented today, is coordinated by individual provincial conservators of monuments, and the central database is currently stored at the National Heritage Institute in Warsaw.

The search for archaeological sites was carried out using the so-called surface research, i.e. observation of the surface of ploughed fields in spring and autumn seasons. Additionally, information from archival sources and interviews with farmers were used. Information about the discovered archaeological sites is plotted on maps on a scale of 1:25,000 and 1:10,000 and on special cards uniform throughout the country (Archaeological Site Record Card). To date, much over 500,000 archaeological sites in Poland have been discovered thanks to this project, with great impact on the knowledge of the distant past and on the cultural heritage management.

During the long period of 45 years of implementation of this project, it experienced various periods of development and stagnation, mainly related to the changing interest on the part of government bodies that were supposed to provide financial support for the project. Various methodological errors were also made, resulting, among others, from the lack of research on the relationship between archaeological finds found on the surface of arable fields and archaeological sites preserved below the surface, the rate of destruction of archaeological sites by ploughing, criteria for defining the boundaries of archaeological sites, etc. Another problem was the methodology of observing the earth's surface, such as determination of the necessary maximum distance between people moving around, selecting the most appropriate season for conducting research, etc. Effective implementation of this project turned out to be possible only in areas covered with ploughing, while areas covered with meadows and forests remained beyond the possibilities of observation. One of the serious problems has become the issue of universal sharing of search results due to the development of the movement of detectorists in the last decade of the 20th century, for whom archaeological maps have become a tool for destroying sites in order to obtain collectible artifacts.

With the development of aerial archaeology and archaeological geophysics as well as aerial laser scanning of forest areas, it became clear that the current method of surface exploration cannot be the only form of implementing this project. In recent years, efforts have been made to combine various prospection methods as part of this project.


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