Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Industrial Archaeology?

The EAA conference in Cracow was extremely interesting, with a number of important sessions reflecting the currently very dynamic state of European archaeology. The session hosted by Kenny Aitchison and Mark Spanjer on the effectiveness of implementation of the Valetta Convention was particularly good. Both the papers and subsequent discussion drew attention to the vast differences between the 'Anglo-Saxon' model of privatised commercial archaeology as exemplified by the UK, and the central-eastern European model of state-funded Museum-focused archaeology. With of course a wide range of other approaches - such as those of the French - in between.

Cracow is an extremely beautiful and pleasant city and well worth a visit.

A rather more grim aspect of European history was presented at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the most notorious of the Nazi death camps. The mechanisation of the process of genocide was striking, and the scale of what had happened was extremely moving.

Factory of death.

Railway sidings.


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