As lockdowns continue across Europe, as regulations change weekly, border crossing are pre-Schengen, and most of us eagerly await vaccines, EAA, TEA and preparation for the 2021 Annual Meeting in Kiel are in full swing. We remind all of you to continue your safety precautions, even as vaccines are rolled out. The 2021 AM will be a hybrid event, allowing both in-person and remote participation, and of course all appropriate cautions will be taken to ensure the safety of our members.
This issue of TEA includes a short report from the front lines of the Croatian earthquake crisis, along with a call for support. EAA will update this as more information becomes available. Two Croatian colleagues took time from the rescue and clean up efforts to provide some words to describe this tragic event, which in fact was an entire month of earthquakes. The 6.4 magnitude quake on 29 December was the largest, but was bracketed by smaller quakes and aftershocks. Needless to say, rescue and humanitarian efforts led to an increase in Covid-19 cases. We ask that you help in any way you can.
Our debate piece focuses on the nature of scientific and academic disagreements, and whether archaeology, as well as the larger enterprise of science and the humanities, can survive as a healthy discipline without active debate. We are seeing ever more frequent effort to block presentations and book publications by speakers and authors deemed ‘controversial’. Many members of EAA see these developments in the light of former totalitarian dictatorships in Europe, or the McCarthy era ‘Red Scare’ in the United States. These periods were marked by control of ideas by a small number of people who held the ‘correct’ ideas and were able to prevent the dissemination of work by those holding ‘bad’ ideas, those ideas deemed too dangerous to be disseminated. Scholars who refused to give up their dangerous ideas were fired and blacklisted, and in some cases disappeared. Are we able to confront our ideological opponents in active debate, or must we prevent their ideas from seeing the light of day? As academic freedom is under attack by several European governments amongst others, it is disheartening to see some colleagues attacking freedom from another direction.
Sadly, this issue also includes obituaries for four colleagues. Three giants of east-central European archaeology died since the autumn 2020 issue of TEA. Jan Bouzek, Evžen Neustupný and Stanisław Tabaczyński survived the decades of Soviet domination in their respective countries, made internationally significant contributions to archaeology, and contributed to the development and annual meetings of the EAA. In a tragic accident in December, we lost a young colleague, Stas Terna, who many expected would make his own great contributions to the future of archaeology. We mourn their passing.
In happier news, this issue contains a report and announcements on positive developments from our Scottish colleagues. Rock art and Scotland’s archaeology strategy are the highlights. Finally, remember that the European Archaeology Days will take place in June 2021. Following the success of last year's virtual EAD, we look forward to even greater participation this year! #Archaeorama! Information for registering your event is in the announcement.
The TEA spring issue has a deadline of 15 April 2021. As usual, please send all items you wish to see published in the newsletter to firstname.lastname@example.org. We especially hope for news on how we can help our Croatian colleagues to recover from the 2020 earthquakes. We look forward to hearing from you.
Roderick B. Salisbury and Katharina Rebay-Salisbury