Flights into the past
Documentary film on the history and current developments in Europeanaerial archaeology.
IntroductionThe Department of Archaeology at the University of West Bohemia is the largest university centre for archaeological study in the Czech Republic. It offers both undergraduate (BA) and graduate (MA) study programmes. Apart from the principal focus of the department on the Czech and European archaeology (prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval) its study plan is orientated towards stressing the importance of non-destructive methods of fieldwork, towards the conception of archaeological sources in their wider context (spatial / landscape archaeology), towards the extensive cooperation with natural sciences and towards the development of theory and methodology. The aim of the department is the archaeology-based education of students who should gain a deep sense of the past artefactual heritage and its significance for humankind. Also, the students are trained to achieve abilities in disciplines which university study programmes of other social sciences do not offer, such as special software and hardware application (databases, GIS, digital image processing, GPS), aerial archaeology, remote sensing, etc. The department also prepares students for both specialised work in archaeology and allied disciplines, and for their follow-up post-gradual education.
The department is also active in theoretical research and field archaeology. These activities are interrelated with its study plan in that the students participate in research projects through their obligatory field training courses. In January 2005 the department gained a state-funded grant for an extensive six-year project titled "The Neglected Archaeology". For this reason a special unit was established within the department which coordinates the department's research activities. In 2004 - 2007 the department also participates at the European Union project "European Landscapes: Past, Present and Future" (the Culture 2000 programme). The activities within this project are focused on the production of an internet encyclopaedia of aerial archaeology, a film document and an exhibition (at the National Museum in Prague). Other grant projects at the department are orientated to the study of settlement structures at the turn of the Bronze Age and Iron Age in Central Europe, and on medieval monastic archaeology.
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