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Archaeologists at Work

Apr 26, 2013

Together with local experts and researchers from Cornell University, Cluster Member Dr. Philipp W. Stockhammer is leading in a large excavation project in Bulgaria. The photographer Victor S. Brigola has accompanied the scholars for several weeks. His photos give a great impression how archaeologists work.

The photos by Victor S. Brigola document the daily work of archaeologists from digging to studying the finds. On top of this, Victor S. Brigola has shot a documentary film which was already selected for the program of the renowned "8ème Festival international du film d'archéologie de Nyon". Victor S. Brigola is a freelance photographer from Stuttgart with vast experience in architecture and landscape as well as in people and travel photography.

The focus of Dr. Stockhammer’s project is on the understanding of this landscape as a so-called "peripheral" or "contact zone" between the Aegean, Anatolia and Central Europe in the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age, i.e. the second half of the 2nd millenium BCE. The denominations as "periphery" or "contact zone" have long been taken as the starting point for further reflections and not as the result of the in-depth analysis of past perceptions and appropriations of landscape. The fieldwork was initiated with the goal of achieving a new understanding of this landscape which neither presupposes its role as a connecting axis nor as a border region. The project understands the inhabitants of the region as actors within their specific lifeworld, who were confronted with otherness to the north and to the south and continuously had to decide which objects, practices and technologies to appropriate, which to reject, which to hand over and which to resist. These decisions were not only the result of individual agency but also influenced by the surrounding landscape that either facilitated or impeded human decisions.

For this project, Dr. Stockhammer collaborates with the Bulgarian researchers Professor Ivan Gatsov and Assistant Professor Bogdan Athanassov from the New Bulgarian University, Dr. Ilia Kulov from the Regional Historical Museum in Blagoevgrad and Professor Nerissa Russel from Cornell University. The fieldwork is financed by the Central Research Pool of Heidelberg University, the Bulgarian National Science Foundation and the American Research Center in Sofia.

Dr. Philipp W. Stockhammer is a Postdoctoral Researcher and head of the project MC8.2 "Innovation Management – Bronze Age Entanglements between Asia and Europe" at the Cluster of Excellence "Asia and Europe in a Global Context". Besides, he is affiliated with the Institute of Pre- and Protohistory at Heidelberg University.

Impressions of the excavations

Impressions of the excavations

Documentary film by Victor Brigola

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