Presentation of archaeological sources and data from interdisciplinary research (website under construction)

Dedicated to interdisciplinary research in Prague archaeology, this section seeks to create an environment to focus and continuously update the information about implemented analyses from various scientific fields that archaeology cooperates with.

Interdisciplinary studies using modern devices and methods of natural sciences appeared in Prague archaeology in a greater extent as late as the last decades of the past century. This is also true about the fields focusing on various areas of studies from animate and inanimate nature, such as geology and botany, which emerged in archaeological topics in Prague already during the interwar period. Back then, systematic interdisciplinary collaboration was not developed yet. Today, archaeological findings can be analysed via a plentiful array of methods recording their physical and chemical qualities, no matter whether the objects are made of metal, ceramics, or whether they are products of nature. These analyses provide an infinite amount of new and previously inaccessible information about these findings. Natural scientific analyses assist in dealing with specific archaeological topics such as the diversity of natural and living environments, the way man uses the surrounding world and also the impact of man on his environment, the issues of resources and structure of used raw materials and crops, technologies and their development, and the area of relationships and intensity of interpersonal relationships in micro and macro regions. Not only is systematic interdisciplinary collaboration essential, but also the mutual exchange of information concerning the possible sources of samples for exact analyses and the quickly developing possibilities of these analyses.

It is our endeavour to make accessible at least basic information about the existing analyses and, potentially, if not impeded by circumstances, in addition gradually make accessible the results of these analyses.

The results of these analyses, which are usually rather expensive, are often inaccessible to the professional public and in some cases they even receive no information about the existence of an analysis or finding of a certain type. This has happened even despite the fact that along with the increase of new technologies, a wide array of various specialised information systems emerges which deal with some topics of interdisciplinary collaboration in archaeology via differently oriented professional databases. However, the usability of this information for the professional public is rather problematic, even in the case of such an archaeologically exposed area like Prague. The absence of the central evidence of analyses of archaeological sources thus significantly hinders not only interdisciplinary collaboration, but also such a development of the knowledge of Prague history that would correspond with today’s possibilities of science and modern society.

Although professional protocols have recently become standard parts of reports for investors or finding reports, whenever some time elapses between the terrain research and an analysis, e.g. when large publications are prepared, professional reports remain scattered in the archives of archaeological organisations; in the worst cases, they remain in drawers or computers of archaeologists or the report authors.

The Interdisciplinae section opens a brand new possibility for easy and continuous updating of information about interdisciplinary study and its results by the creators of archaeological research from which the analysed material was acquired or by the relevant collaborating specialists.

What will you find here?

The section is divided into four principal categories: natural sciences, archival sources, building historical research, geological points

The data in this section will include available fundamental information about the origin of the collection of samples or data, their type, character or amount, information about the author of the analysis, and relevant links to the original source of data or information, or possibly a link to a document at the digital archive of the Institute of Archaeology in Prague or other institutions. Within IIS_APP, information about newly conducted analyses and their types will be added to the website environment along with continuous information about their results. Special analyses, e.g. chronometric analyses (typically dendrochronology, 14C) as well as other types of analyses, will be registered to the level of individual samples which will enable a wide use of acquired unique data and also the review of the legitimacy of the put forth interpretations. A comparative database of the selected reference collections of ceramics from Prague and its close vicinity, including other justified localities, should be a part of this section because there is a lack of it on a long-term basis.

The documents in the archive of the Institute of Archaeology in Prague, some of its detached and specialised workplaces, and the archives of collaboration Prague institutions and specialists are the sources of data. The data need not necessarily come from the analyses of archaeological sources, but may also be the results of other research related to archaeological research or its assessment.

How will data be displayed?

The data in the Interdisciplinae section may be displayed in the form of an abstract on the data display page (DATA page) or by symbolic icons referring to implemented analyses in map materials (MAP page).  In selected cases, the results of analyses will also be presented by presentations with picture and text documentation and links to the sources of information.

How to search and sort data?

There are several criteria for searching in the Interdisciplinae section. The analyses may be interconnected with the place of finding and specific archaeological research, but they can also be related to the samples of various origin examined by a specific type of analysis or a collection of objects with specific qualities, e.g. part of a museum collection. The selection may be limited by sample qualities, material, age of findings, type of analysis, and also by the place of the samples’ origin. The selection may be done both in the data and map windows. In presentations, which will perhaps focus more towards the wider public, may include more general information and synthesis of the acquired knowledge, can be searched through tags.