A network for the Archaeology at CSIC
A Network for the Archeology of CSIC
CSIC is the Spanish National Research Council, the largest research institution in Spain with 120 Research Centers, more than 10.000 employees and thousands of projects and publications. In 2021, it started a pilot program to create internal networks in order to foster new synergies within the Institution and consolidate its international impact. One of them is ArchaeologyHub.CSIC.
Archeology studies human populations through their material remains, from their origins to contemporary times. As such, it is a crucial discipline to know our past and inform in making decisions that improve our present and future. Archeology is deeply interdisciplinary, since it encompasses all dimensions of human materiality and its environment, the understanding of which requires the confluence of Physical Anthropology, palaeoenvironmental disciplines, the studies of material culture in all its dimensions (style, chemical composition, manufacturing techniques), absolute dating techniques, methods applied to landscape analysis, architecture and urban planning, etc. In addition, Archeology allows us, through the analysis of these material evidences and their interrelation and evolution, to approach questions related to the cognitive and symbolic aspects of human societies. For this reason, Archeology is a discipline with great potential for transfer and collaboration. At the same time, the complexity and diversity of the materials require a high degree of specialization, whether in a specific (pre)historical period, a precise geographical area, or a specific material (eg. flint, pottery, metal, or organic materials). This makes research groups, at times, isolated from other teams dealing with similar topics (eg. social complexity) in other areas or different chronologies.
It is necessary to emphasize, at the same time, that Archeology is one of the disciplines most involved in the research, management and socialization of Cultural Heritage, a crucial element in contemporary societies due to its strong social, economic and political implications, and that in fact, it is conceived as an expression of rights that must be recognized in any democratic society. This dimension is especially relevant in the context of the current challenges of society in matters such as climate change, in which the study and protection of heritage (natural/cultural) has been highlighted as a priority in the international context.
The objective of the Network Conexión-Arqueología / ArcheologyHub CSIC is to strengthen collaboration between research institutes through different actions designed to promote the exchange of knowledge and a better use of available infrastructures. The main goal is that all research and technical personnel can acquire new knowledge taking advantage of the great human capital and infrastructures available in the Archeology of CSIC statewide.
Other objectives include achieving a greater internationalization of the Archeology from our institution and its research groups, as well as attracting young talent that contributes new ideas, facilitating the stability of available human capital, and effectively transmitting research to society.
Currently, ArchaeologyHub.CSIC consists of 24 research institutes, 42 research groups and 245 people. This includes archaeologists, but also many other profiles that complement a rich environment and large capacities. You can have a glimpse of the network in the following map:
ArchaeologyHub.CSIC fosters collaboration between the different groups that are part of the network in order to achieve its objectives. To do so, we have several programmes that align with the main outcomes expected: internationalization; talent atraction; collaboration.
So far, the main actions are: a call for JAE Intro grants (12 5-month contracts for BA/MA students to work and train with CSIC staff); a call for internal grants (120.000€ to aid research and organize scientific and outreach activities, as well as a short-term mobility grant within the centers of the network); a series of strategic reflection meetings (three meetings in Madrid (infraestructures), Barcelona (prospective challenges) and Santiago de Compostela (internationalization and work abroad) that should shape the future of archaeology in CSIC); a summer school (TBA); and other actions we are currently preparing…
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