EUROPEAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL HERITAGE PRIZE 2005
The 7th European Archaeological Heritage Prize has been awarded to Kristian Kristiansen from Sweden, in recognition of his contributions to the study of European archaeology and heritage management, and of his role in creating the instruments for communication and organisation at the European level.
For some 30 years, ever since his publications on Scandinavian archaeology reached a European audience, professor Kristian Kristiansen has been a prominent figure in European archaeology. He has published extensively on European prehistory and in particular on research into Bronze Age societies. The great strength of much of his academic research and publications is the broad European perspective that betrays an intimate knowledge of research in all parts of Europe, irrespective of the language used to report the results of that research. Certainly of equal importance to his publications about the interpretation of the past are his writings on the role of archaeology in present-day society, about the management of archaeological heritage resources. As director of the Danish Archaeological Heritage Administration in Copenhagen since 1979, Kristiansen became involved with the practice of archaeological heritage management in Denmark and played an important role in its modernisation. At the European level, his contributions have primarily been in publications about the history and theoretical aspects of archaeological heritage management. These have continued after his move to Gothenburg in Sweden in 1994, to become Professor of Prehistory and head of the Department of Archaeology at Gothenburg University where he has taught for the past decade. A good example of this writings on theoretical aspects of heritage management is the first article in the first issue of the first volume of the Journal of European Archaeology in 1993, an innovative paper entitled ‘The strength of the past and its great might; an essay on the use of the past’. This is only one of many such stimulating contributions and its mentioning here is also because the creation of this journal that after 5 volumes was relaunched in 1998 as the European Journal of Archaeology is another achievement of Professor Kristiansen. He saw a need for a European journal and in the late 1980s used his international network to assemble a group of scholars that created the journal. Today, the EJA has become an important medium for communication in European archaeology. Ever since its first volume, the pages of the Journal have not become a purely academic journal but they have remained a mixture of academic research papers – information and theory about the past – as well as articles on the theory and practice of heritage management, about the way we deal with that past in the present. As one thing leads to another, the work on creating the journal led to another result that has truly changed archaeology in Europe, namely, the creation of the European Association of Archaeologists. In the years around 1990 and through the initiative of Professor Kristiansen, members of the editorial group and of a committee of experts that drafted the Malta Convention for the Council of Europe, got together to form a founding group: a fruitful mixture of individuals driven forward by his chairmanship. The inaugural meeting took place in Ljubljana in 1994, where he was elected the first president of the EAA. Since that year, the Journal, the Newsletter, but especially the EAA annual meetings have become an indispensable medium of communication for archaeologists in Europe. The meetings are an annual highlight in the calendar of international archaeological events, from a social as well as an academic and a professional perspective. Kristian Kristiansen remained president of the EAA until 1998, when he organised the annual meeting in Gothenburg. He has continued to serve the cause of European archaeology in various capacities within and outside the EAA ever since and in international projects. His current involvement with the project on ‘The Emergence of European Communities’ (Italy, Hungary, and Sweden) is an example. In recognition of Kristian Kristiansen´s many outstanding contributions to European heritage management during nearly three decades, the EAA awards him the seventh European Archaeological Heritage Prize.