Prehistoric archaeologist with a foci on landscape archaeology, settlement archaeology and the Iron Age in Europe. I have been working as an editing assistant, PI in a research project on Early Iron Age "Princely Sites" ("Fürstensitze"), project coordinator in a geophys project, project leader in a large scale EU project on archaeological prospection and as a stand-in for the Assistant Professorship in Digital Geoarchaeology of Bamberg University. I am now head of the Research Centre of the "Keltenwelt am Glauberg" (http://www.keltenwelt-glauberg.de/en/research-centre/the-research-centre/).

A transition period in the life of an archaeologist

The career of an archaeologist usually has its ups and downs and is not a straight forward road. No surprise that I am again somehow between 2 jobs. Well, okay, I started my current job at the Research Centre of the “Keltenwelt am Glauberg” nearly 3 months ago (http://www.keltenwelt-glauberg.de/en/research-centre/the-research-centre/) – the museum is a must-see if you are interested in the Early Celts and if you want to see the rich burials of three Early Iron Age men with bronze flagons, gold rings and necklaces, prestigous brooches and many other things more, not to forget the life-size sand-stone statue of one of the buried persons).

But my past job as a stand-in for the Assistent Professorship for Digital Geoarchaeology at Bamberg University (https://www.uni-bamberg.de/ivga/) still needs my contribution: In my Bamberg time I had organised this summer’s student field trip to Scotland.

Bamberg University Archaeology Fieldtrip 2016

Bamberg University Archaeology Fieldtrip 2016

On the Day of Archaeology 2016 we will visit the Corrimony Chambered Cairns (https://canmore.org.uk/site/12256/), Urquhart Castle (https://canmore.org.uk/site/12547/)

Urquhart Castle

Urquhart Castle

Dun Telve Broch

and the Glenelg Brochs (Dun Telve: https://canmore.org.uk/site/11798/  and Dun Troddan: https://canmore.org.uk/site/11797/) – definitely not the worst places to spend one’s day!

Dun Troddan Broch

Dun Troddan Broch

We will travel around Scotland with it’s rich and fascinating heritage to show the students places with a highly interesting landscapes and with sites from the Neolithic to the modern era.

This trip ties in to my research plans for investigations in Scotland, comparing indigenious societies and ‘their landscapes’ in the light of the Roman occupation in areas in Scotland and in the German state of Hesse. Meeting various Scottish colleagues to talk about this project idea will be part fo the trip as will be the preparation of a special exhibition we plan at the Glauberg museum (more to come as soon as our ideas become more ‘stable’). So it’s a great opportunity to combine old obligations with plans in my new job (and of course with enjoying Scotland, its landscapes, its archaeology and last but definitely not least its people and their various [cereal] products).

As I will most likely not be extensively online (and not in the mood to work online) too often during that trip I will use the images of a previous trip to Scotland to illustrate this day in the highlands. I might however – depending on my mood – use Twitter (@posluschny) every now and then.

ArchaeoLandscapes Europe

Increasing Public Appreciation, Understanding and Conservation of the Landscape and the Archaeological Heritage of Europe

Archaeology can be so fascinating – digs in nice and exotic places, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures, teaching students and learning from students, telling stories about the past to the public.

But I am sitting in my office in Frankfurt/Main (Germany) today and trying to cope with our new website. The old one was hacked a while ago to be used for DoS attacks on another server so we had to take it offline. We used that opportunity to refresh the old page so now I am working on tinkering the new site a bit, adding content here and there, trying to find mistakes and replacing some placeholder images with pictures from the project before the site will go live again as soon as the provider has managed the domain transfer.

Sounds all rather boring but in the end it’s exactly part of the things I like so much in archaeology: teaching and telling stories! And the background of the webpage of course is the project ArchaeoLandscapes Europe (ArcLand), funded by the EU culture programme for 5 years (sept 2010 – sept 2015) to foster all kinds of remote sensing and surveying techniques, to spread the knowledge all over Europe within the archaeological community and of course also to the broader public. It’s about telling the public that archaeology is more than a dig in a temple in the jungle or an investigation of a pyramid. It’s also – and mainly (?) – about understanding the history of a landscape and the people that lived in it, it’s about trying to find out how people could cope with their environs and which traces they left – and it’s about finding these traces. From the air (aerial archaeology, LiDAR, satellite imagery) and from the ground (geophysics, field walking) and in all cases non-invasive.

From left to right: near infrared aerial image - rob aerial image - LiDAR scan - geomagnetic survey

From left to right: near infrared aerial image – rob aerial image – LiDAR scan – geomagnetic survey

And yes, this is absolutely fascinating – and it brings me to many nice (though not always exotic) places where I meet new people and old friends, where I experience new and well known cultures and where I have the opportunity to tell the stories that are relevant within the framework of the project. It is talking to archaeologists who know a lot about the remote sensing and surveying techniques and learning a lot from them, it is talking to students to make them aware of the fantastic options of these techniques and it is talking to the public to share the fascination that I still feel when I look at a newly discovered site on an aerial image, on a landscape palimpsest on a LiDAR scan or on the hidden subsoil feature visible in the geophysical data.

I really feel very happy when I can see that the grants that our project provided helped students and young researchers to experience new techniques, to exchange knowledge and expertise with other people and to meet people from different areas of Europe to widen their (cultural) perspective. And I am happy to see that all these activities have always been a lot of fun for all those that have been involved.

amersfoort

ArcLand partners meeting in Amersfoort (NL) in 2013

Sure, it’s a EU project which means that there is a lot of administrational work to do. The EU is supporting us with a lot of money and I can understand that they want to make sure that this money is well spend. Still, I am swearing a lot over time sheets and lists of invoices and all that. But that is a very fair price for all the options this support offers to many people all over Europe and abroad! And it shows that Europe is more than a bunch of bureaucrats that only care about the bend of bananas to be imported into the EU! Seeing all these people from the Baltic to the Iberian Peninsula, from Ireland to the Balkan getting together, learning from each other , exchanging ideas and enjoying themselves at our workshops, at our conferences or when visiting our travelling exhibition really makes me feel the the idea of a joint and peaceful Europe is worth all that money.

So all in all, working on a webpage is not that bad, it’s raining outside anyway, so I am sitting in my dry office and I know that the work that I am doing is one tessera in the large archaeological mosaic. Watch out for our webpage http://www.archaeolandscapes.eu to go live again hopefully soon!