Jan Bouzek (1935 - 2020)

Jan Bouzek, one of the most important classical and prehistoric archaeologists of the later 20th and early 21st centuries, died on 3 November at the age of 85. He suffered a stroke in September, was in hospital in Prague, where he contracted Covid-19 and sadly succumbed to it. He had suffered a number of health problems in recent years, which meant he could only walk very slowly with the aid of two sticks, but continued working almost until the end.

Jan Bouzek was born in Prague on 17 February 1935. He studied prehistoric and classical archaeology in the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University, where he became Assistent (equivalent to lecturer) in 1958; in 1966 he obtained the title of CSc (Candidate of Sciences) and in 1967 PhD. In 1967-69 he held a Humboldt Stipendium at the University of Tübingen, and at the turn of 1968-69 he defended his first habilitation (higher doctorate), but the process was cancelled for political reasons. In 1980 he defended his second habilitation and in 1983 became Docent, in 1991 full Professor, and in 1992 DrSc (a title given by the Czech Academy of Sciences).

Although in practice he ran the Institute for Classical Archaeology in Charles University from the time that Jiří Frel left to go to the USA in 1969, he only officially became its head in 1993, when it split from a more broadly composed Department of Ancient Studies. At the same time he directed the Department of Classical Archaeology in the National Museum in Prague, and established and guided the Gallery of Ancient Art at Hostinné, and the Museum of Ancient Sculpture and Architecture at Litomyšl, to display the cast collection of Charles University. He lectured widely, not only in other institutions at home but also abroad (Tübingen, Vienna, Salzburg, Paris, Montpellier, Minnesota etc). He gave the James Eliot Norton Memorial lectures of the Archaeological Institute of America in 1989.

His many academic interests spanned early Greek, Etruscan, Caucasian, Provincial Roman and Thracian archaeology, as well as central European prehistory and ancient art. He undertook fieldwork at home in north-west Bohemia and Moravia, and abroad he published the excavations conducted in the 1920s at Kyme in Turkey and Samothrace in Greece by Antonín Salač. He was involved in projects under the aegis of UNESCO at Anuradhapura in Sri Lanka and Beirut in Lebanon. From 1984 he carried out many seasons of work at the Greek emporion of Pistiros in Bulgaria (published as Pistiros, Excavations and Studies, I-III, Prague 1997-2007).

He received many honours, not only at home (both the silver and gold medals of Charles University) but also abroad: he was given Honorary Citizenship and the Dignitario dell‘ Ombra della Sera of Volterra (Italy) and was honoured by the Ministry of Culture of the Bulgarian Republic for contributions to Bulgarian culture. He was a full member of the Austrian Institute of Archaeology and a corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute. A number of volumes were created in his honour, most recently the proceedings of the conference held in Prague in 2015 to celebrate his 80th birthday (published as EUDAIMON: Studies in Honor of Jan Bouzek, Prague 2019).

His publications are too numerous to list, but they span the great breadth of his interests. A first list was published in Eirene 31, 1995, with later additions in Eirene 41, 2005, Archeologické rozhledy 57/2, 2005, and Studia Hercynia XIX, 2015.

Some personal reflections

I knew Jan for 50 years, from my time in Prague in 1970 until my last visit to him in 2018 and our last email exchange in May this year. It is hard to imagine a kinder and more generous man: I am one of very many who would say the same. There seemed to be no European language in which he could not converse fluently, though his rapid delivery and soft voice sometimes made comprehension difficult. The range of his knowledge was extraordinary: I knew him primarily as a prehistorian, but for others he was a specialist in Greek sculpture and pottery, Caucasian bronzes, Etruscan culture, and many other things. He was knowledgeable about art, music, philosophy and anthropology, had read the classics in all the major European languages, and cultivated acquaintances (who became his friends) all over the world.

His biography does not fully bear out the way that his achievements took place in an often hostile environment. As a child in occupied Prague he witnessed the burning of the Old Town Hall in May 1945, and spent his teenage and student years under the communist regime established in 1948. Jiří Frel’s departure during the heady days of 1968-69 left Classical Archaeology at Charles University in a difficult position, which Jan had to deal with. Everyone had to submit to questioning about their attitude to the Prague Spring two years before. Jan was never a party member but had to cope with those in the University and outside it, usually in positions of authority, who were. He adopted an attitude of tolerance and understanding, even towards his questioners, and steered a path through the minefield of doing what was asked of him (in order to defend his family, friends and colleagues) and maintaining his international profile, in spite of often being debarred from travelling to the West. Throughout the difficult years of the 1970s and 1980s (and indeed subsequently) he succeeded in keeping up an extraordinary output of books and articles, which were usually at the forefront of research and always perceptive and stimulating. Even if his wide span of interests and the difficulty of getting access to books meant his conference contributions did not always, in later years, seem as up-to-date as one might wish, he could nevertheless hold his own in any academic debate. He was usually the first to ask a question or make a perceptive comment after hearing a paper, in whatever language.

The world is the poorer for the loss of a great scholar and humanitarian, one whose life touched so many people throughout the archaeological world.

By Anthony Harding (A.F.Harding@exeter.ac.uk), EAA President 2003-2009

Jan Bouzek in 1979    

On location in Bulgaria

Professor Evžen Neustupný (1933–2021)

It is with sadness that we announce that Prof. PhDr. Evžen Neustupný, CSc. (born October 31, 1933) died in Prague on January 14, 2021. Neustupný, whose archaeological expertise were known worldwide, was for decades one of the greatest personalities of Czech archaeology as well as a respected member of the European archaeological community. His main fields of research, which gave him wide recognition, were prehistoric archaeology and archaeological theory. His scientific contribution resulted not only from his deep experience and sophisticated methods of work but also from his intuition in recognizing the key topics of current (and future) archaeological research. Many phenomena and relationships which he identified were further developed in his research, as well as in the works of many other researchers whom he inspired.

Evžen Neustupný contributed to the new understanding of the Central European Eneolithic and elaborated its chronology, economics, social structure, and symbolic systems (especially in works on the Globular Amphorae and the Corded Ware cultures). Since the 1960s, he independently formulated some of the principles of the processual paradigm and participated in the development of the radiocarbon dating method, especially by developing the issue of data calibration (cf. joint article with V. Bucha in Nature in 1967) and its application to the chronology of European prehistory. His contribution was well emphasized by Sir Colin Renfrew when he summed up his laureate at the Neuron Award in 2014: “Neustupný was a great innovator in the early days of radiocarbon dating.”

Still highly inspiring, albeit lesser-known internationally, is Neustupný's work on the origins of patriarchy (1967), in which he emphasized the importance of the ploughing and fallowing system of agriculture and their impact on deeper economic and social changes during the Eneolithic. Although Neustupný spent the 1970s and 1980s in isolation due to the communist regime, he was able to remarkably develop his processual way of thinking. Papers he published in those decades concern, for example, the application of quantitative multivariate methods, probabilistic sampling, paradigms of archaeology, the deductive cognitive model, migrations in prehistory, demography, and many others. He also profoundly influenced Czech archaeology with his “settlement (community) area” theory, building on the assumption of an inherent structure of the prehistoric settlement remains. The theory and the related terminology have been widely applied in Czech landscape archaeology, as well as field survey methodology and information systems. In the 1990s, Neustupný summarized the main features of his concept of archaeology in two books published in English, Archaeological method (1993) and Space in prehistoric Bohemia (1998).

With the end of communism in 1989, and the following political changes in Central and Eastern Europe, a new chapter began in Neustupný’s life, that he may not have even anticipated. In the spring of 1990, he became the first post-revolutionary director of the Institute of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences in Prague. This was the first and last time in the history of the Institute that its director was elected by its staff researchers, who thus confirmed Neustupný’s outstanding position in Czech archaeology. As director of the Institute, and acting on behalf of the then Czechoslovakia, Evžen Neustupný participated in the establishment of the Malta Convention (Convention on the Protection of the Archaeological Heritage of Europe) in La Valletta in 1992. He was also involved in the formation of the European Association of Archaeologists (Ljubljana 1994).

His other significant contribution to the discipline was that through his efforts, a network of regional institutes of archaeological heritage management was established. As a direct result, the first non-governmental archaeological units began their active role in the field of rescue archaeology in Czechia.

Following his departure as the director of the Institute of Archaeology, Neustupný founded the Department of Archaeology at the West Bohemian University in Pilsen in 1998. Already in retirement age, he finally found himself in a leading pedagogical position in which (under democratic conditions) he should have been at least thirty years earlier. During the seven years he worked as the head of the Pilsen department, he was able to educate a large group of students and pass on to them his modern view of archaeology.

Neustupný's contribution to archaeology has been also reflected in many Czech and international awards he received. Among these are the Europa Prize, the Annual Prehistoric Society Award for 1999, and the Neuron Foundation Award for Contribution to World Science in 2014. The works of Evžen Neustupný certainly became a standing part of Czech and world archaeology. In this sense, their author lives with us and will continue to live on.

by Martin Kuna (kuna@arup.cas.cz) and Jan Turek (turek@cts.cuni.cz)

Bucha, V. – Neustupný, E. 1967: Changes of the Earth‘s magnetic field and radiocarbon dating. Nature 215, 261–263.
Neustupný, E. 1967: K počátkům patriarchátu ve střední Evropě – The beginnings of patriarchy in Central Europe. Praha: Academia (Rozpravy Československé akademie věd 77-2).
Neustupný, E.1993: Archaeological Method. Cambridge: University Press.
Neustupný, E. (ed.) 1998: Space in Prehistoric Bohemia. Praha: Institute of Archaeology CAS.

Some personal reflections from Kristian Kristiansen

I just learned of the death on 14th January of an old friend of the EAA, and an old friend of mine: Evžen Neustupný. At 87 he had lived a full life, made major contributions to European prehistory, the organisation of archaeology both in the Czech Republic and at the European level. He was thus in the founding group of the European Journal of Archaeology, and later continued in the founding group of the EAA. In that capacity he hosted one of our meetings in Prague in 1992, where we started work on the statutes, and part of the work took place in an estate outside Prague, from where I took several photographs of the group. We published some of these photos in the preface to a Festschrift, but here you can enjoy them again. I had the honour of editing a Festschrift for him, together with Ladislav Smedja and Jan Turek on the occasion of Evžen’s 80 years birthday. He received it after a session to his honour at the EAA meeting in Pilzen in 2013. The significance of that location bears testimony to Evžen’s stamina and engagement in all aspects of archaeology: here he founded a new institute of archaeology in 1998 after he went into official retirement. He crowned this achievement by hosting the EAA annual meeting in the same year as he turned 80, while still active at the PhD seminars.

I had the privilege to serve as visiting professor during three years leading up to the conference and can testify to many lively discussions with Evžen, Ladislav and their students. A fuller picture of Evžen's personality and lifelong contribution is found in the obituaries by Martin Kuna and Jan Turek, above, and in Jan Turek’s online obituary: 'Goodbye Professor. Uncompromising Evžen Neustupný.’ He may have been uncompromising in his archaeological principles, but his attitude to life was one of black humour, always presented in a soft spoken way. This combination of black humour and uncompromising academic principles carried him through the darker time after 1968 that brought an end to the Prague spring, and made him ready for another flourishing after the fall of communism. He has left a strong legacy in the Czech Republic and across Europe. Long live his memory!

by Kristian Kristianseng (kristian.kristiansen@archaeology.gu.se), EAA President 1994-1998

Evžen Neustupný during a conference coffee break, 2008. Photo: Archive of the IA, Prague.

Evžen Neustupný receiving the 2014 Neuron Foundation Award for Contribution to World Science. Photo: J. Kolář.

Evžen Neustupný and members of the EAA, Prague 1992. Photos: K. Kristiansen

Professor Stanisław Tabaczyński (1930–2020)

One who experienced archaeology in a beautiful way...

Polish archaeologist Stanisław Tabaczyński, eminent researcher of prehistory and the early Middle Ages, methodologist, academic lecturer, man of action and intellect, passed away on November 28, 2020. Virtually the whole of his working life was associated with the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology (IAE) of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) in Warsaw. He was a full member of PAN, and was honoured with many state and institutional awards. Professor Tabaczyński initiated the creation of the influential Committee of Pre- and Protohistoric Sciences of PAN and served as its long-term chairman. He was the author and editor of numerous important scientific publications (IAE PAN n.d.), and directed and participated in excavations in Poland (Nakło, Sandomierz, Zawichost), Italy (Torcello, Castelseprio, Capaccio Vecchia), France and Algeria.

His approach to the study of the human past combined archaeology with history, anthropology and cultural history. In his research, he was particularly attracted to periods of rapid transition in the development of human culture, especially the Neolithic Revolution and the formation of states in the early Middle Ages. His work was characterised throughout by deep methodological reflection and attempting to incorporate new epistemological orientations, and often drew from his international experience. Stanisław Tabaczyński sought his theoretical and methodological inspirations in all disciplines that could be helpful in this: from sciences traditionally interacting with archaeology, such as ethnology or history, to mathematics, geology, and the natural sciences.

In his fieldwork, he emphasized the methodical and theoretical foundations of archaeological knowledge and the need to maintain the highest research standards. Following on from the ground-breaking post-War research project on the formation of the Polish state, he promoted methods that were innovative in central Europe at the time for the examination and stratigraphic analysis of multilayered sites, mainly of settlement centres and urban complexes. He created the so-called Sandomierz school of field research, which became - especially in Poland and Italy - a model for many researchers.

Professor Tabaczyński was an unforgettable and respected academic educator. At various times he was engaged as a lecturer at universities in Poland (Warsaw, Lublin, Łódź), France and in Italy. Through them, with their emphasis on multidisciplinarity, he stressed the significance of attention paid to the methodology of archaeological research.

Stanisław Tabaczyński immensely appreciated the value of the culture of dialogue within the community of scientists and academics, as well as in close international cooperation. During seminars, conferences, and archaeological congresses, he expanded the group of people with whom he discussed and debated many issues for hours, exchanged letters and publications. As a member of The European Association of Archaeologists, from the very beginning, he was an appreciative observer of its activities and engaged in them as a member of the Advisory Board. He warmly encouraged his colleagues and students to actively participate in the EAA Annual Meetings and - together with his wife Eleonora, also an archaeologist - he himself participated in them (Kraków, Malta, and Riva del Garda) with enthusiasm. At the Kraków meeting in 2006 he delivered an inaugural lecture "Polish Archaeology: experiences and future" (Tabaczyński 2006/2007).

"We experienced archaeology in a beautiful way ..." - these words reflect well the meaning of the professional life of Stanisław Tabaczyński, his wife Eleonora and a whole generation of Polish archaeologists, whose youth fell in the difficult years immediately after the Second World War and in the problematic times under ‘Communist rule’ (Tabaczyński 2007). "Beautiful" - that is: regardless of adversities, enthusiastically and never indifferently, devoting his strength, skills and knowledge to archaeology, in exchange for a deep but objective experience of the joy accompanying discoveries and creation of knowledge. This also involved making the archaeological perspective a way of thinking about man and the world - through material culture. This led him to become interested in long-term processes and concepts in a way strongly influenced by research being done within the "Annales School" and concerning "deep history”. Marxist inspirations in archaeology also had a role to play in the formation of his theoretical reflections as well as the interactions between prehistoric and medieval archaeology with anthropology and sociology. As an archaeologist, he was an ardent proponent of the concept of the interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary nature of science, the need for the collaboration of researchers and the integration of methods of the humanities and science in the pursuit of getting to know man and his history on the widest chronological and spatial scale (cf Cyngot, Zalewska 2012 [2019]).

His passing has left in sadness a group of students, friends and acquaintances who shared his passions and longed for engaging discussions with the Professor.

Dorota Cyngot (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw), Hanna Kowalewska-Marszałek (Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw), Anna I. Zalewska (Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Lublin), Paul M. Barford, Independent Researcher, http://paul-barford.blogspot.com/

Cyngot, D., Zalewska, A. I. 2012 (2019) A Life in Archaeology and the Specificity of Archaeological Research. Encounters with Stanisław Tabaczyński, „Archaeologia Polona“, vol. 50, pp. 185–205 [ https://rcin.org.pl/iae/dlibra/publication/145822/edition/117547 ; accessed 10.01.2021].
IAE PAN (n.d.) Prof. dr hab. Stanisław Tabaczyński... [http://iaepan.edu.pl/departments/employees-7/prof-dr-hab-stanislaw-tabaczynski-archeolog-czlonek-rzeczywisty-polskiej-akademii-nauk/; accessed 11.01.2021]
Tabaczyński, S., 2006/2007. Polish archaeology: experiences and future, „The European Archaeologist”, Issue no. 26: Winter 2006/2007, pp. 3-5 [https://www.e-a-a.org/EAA/Publications/TEA/Archive/EAA/Navigation_Publications/TEA_content/Archive.aspx#21; accessed 8.01.2021].
Tabaczyński, S., 2007. Polish archaeology in my lifetime, „Antiquity”, vol. 81, Issue no. 314, pp. 1074-1082 [ DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0003598X00096150].

Fig.: EAA Congress, Kraków 2006: in the front row, Stanisław Tabaczyński, talking to Stephen R. Lee, before the inaugural lecture. Photo: Leszek Pizło (with organizer’s permission)

Stanislav Ţerna († 29.12.2020)

We mourn the death of our friend and archaeologist Stanislav Ţerna, who died on 29.12.2020 as a result of a tragic traffic accident. We lose a colleague, friend and scientist who had lived in Kiel for some time. He was employed at the Institute for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology Kiel, conducting research on aspects of the Southeastern and Eastern European Neolithic and Chalcolithic, in particular the Tripolye site of Stolniceni in Moldova. He worked closely together also with the German Archaeological Institute in Frankfurt. He was known as a warm-hearted, cheerful and polyglot person and a passionate and imaginative archaeologist.

Stanislav Ţerna began his academic career at the High Anthropological School University in Chişinău, where he graduated with a Bachelor's degree from the Faculty of Anthropology in 2007 and defended his thesis on anthropomorphic representations of the Cucuteni Tripolye culture, supervised by Prof. Igor Manzura. In 2008, he obtained a Master's degree in Anthropology at the same university, specialising in the history and culture of European civilisations. His thesis dealt with anthropomorphic sculptures from the Romanian settlements of Hăbăşeşti and Trusheşti. As his numerous articles and several book publications show, the subject of anthropomorphic representations of the Cucuteni-Tripolye complex was one of Stanislav Ţerna’s main fields of research.

Stanislav Ţerna was born in Moldova and carried the warmth and cheerfulness of this region. Everyone who met him was fascinated by his liveliness, energy, sociability, knowledge and enthusiasm for archaeology. His origins and his communicative and linguistic talent made him a border crosser and mediator between Eastern and Western scientific worlds. This international cross-border orientation is reflected, among other things, in internships and research fellowships at the Eurasia Department of the German Archaeological Institute in Berlin, the Brandenburg State Office for the Preservation of Monuments, the Archaeological Service of the Canton of Bern in Switzerland and the Graduate School "Human Development in Landscapes" at Kiel University. Moreover, he was also editor and co-editor of important scientific journals such as “Revista Arheologică” and “Stratum Plus”.

Stanislav Ţerna has made important contributions to the study of the Neolithic and the Cucuteni-Tripolye complex of the Carpathian-Dnepr region: In cooperation with partners of the Romano-Germanic Commission of the German Archaeological Institute, the University of Regensburg and Kiel University, he organised diverse field research and thereby contributed to the clarification of Linear Pottery and Cucuteni-Tripolye settlement patterns, among other things. The focus of his research in recent years has been the large Tripolye settlement of Stolniceni in Moldova, where extensive and modern prospections and excavations have been carried out under his direction. It is decisively due to his archaeological skills and positive character that this research was not only very successful but that he was also able to win the hearts and the high regard of his colleagues and the local workers.

Unfortunately for Stanislav despite his excellent talent and ability he was not granted the pleasure to see the final and successful completion of his projects.

European archaeology loses an outstanding researcher and colleague of a new generation. We mourn his early death and would like to express our condolences to his wife Andreea, his family and his friends. We miss you, Stas!

Johannes Müller, Knut Rassmann, Wiebke Kirleis, Robert Hofmann, Mila Shatilo, Marta Dal Corso