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Infrastructure Archaeometry

Im Mai 2019 startete das „Archäometrie Kolleg“, ein von der Klaus Tschira Stiftung finanziertes Projekt zur Etablierung einer Infrastruktur für Archäometrie als Zusammenschluss des CEZA und der Universität Tübingen.

  • Runtime: 01.04.2019 - 31.03.2022
  • Supporter: Klaus Tschira Stiftung
  • Partner: Universität Tübingen

The long-term aim is to offer courses and internships for students from different fields of study as well as extramural further training on selected archaeometric topics in order to teach the basics and specific applications of scientific methods.

Archaeometry Bootcamp in Mannheim, Photo: E. Duberow, CEZA

These are not part of the training of cultural and classical scholars, while the specific application of scientific methods to cultural studies issues is not part of natural science subjects. An agency was engaged for the rapid development of a teaching module, including its own public image, which is intended to represent the two participating institutions. In addition to its own website, the agency is also designing the seminar and advertising materials.

The website provides information about the current dates and their content. It is structured in such a way that completed events remain visible in order to document the continuity and breadth of content of the series. Two different formats have been developed for the “Archaeometry College” in order to reach groups of people with different levels of prior knowledge, as this enables both an introduction to various topics and a deepening of knowledge. Once a year, a general “boot camp” is offered, which provides an insight into various topics and teaches general basics. In spring and autumn, workshops in Mannheim and Tübingen offer in-depth knowledge in a selected subject area.

Archäometry Bootcamp in Mannheim
Photo: E. Duberow, CEZA

The first successful event, the so-called “Archaeometry Bootcamp”, took place from 23 to 27 September in Mannheim and was designed primarily for first-year students to provide a general insight into various topics in archaeometry. In addition to a historical review of the development of archaeometry, the bootcamp is divided into three thematic blocks. The first provides an overview of the most common dating methods such as dendrochronology, radiocarbon dating and luminescence. The bioarchaeology topic block teaches methods of physical anthropology and the use of isotope analysis to reconstruct the diet and mobility of humans and animals. Inorganic materials such as ceramics, glass and metal as well as relics and their production and processing belong to the largest group of archaeological finds, which is why the third thematic block explains the various methods of material characterisation for process reconstruction and determination of origin.

Each area also includes a practical part to illustrate the application and implementation. The interested participants were students and graduates from various disciplines in the humanities and natural sciences from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Brazil. From spring 2020, the first archaeometry workshop on dating will be offered in Mannheim and the second on ceramics in autumn in Tübingen. In addition to the “Archaeometry College” series of events, the project also provides for the supervision of additional internships and qualification theses by making scientific project staff available for the planning, organisation and implementation of the events, but also for the supervision of internships and the practical parts of qualification theses.

In Tübingen, interested students were continuously introduced to various research methods on archaeological pottery finds in the laboratories of the CCA-BW during the semester. In Mannheim, a student of scientific archaeology from Tübingen completed a six-week internship in the laboratories of the CEZA, where she became familiar with various methods of investigation on archaeological metal objects and was able to apply them systematically as part of a case study. The Romano-Germanic Central Museum in Mainz had provided several sword fragments from the Late Bronze Age hoard from Slavonski Brod in Croatia.