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© Wieslawa Czerpinska

Baden Würtemberg



The Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Archäologie des Mittelalters of Freiburg University (DE) has promoted long-term research into the interaction of German archaeology and national identity. It has notably explored in detail the political instrumentation of archaeological research against France and Poland before 1945, as well as the role of rising nationalism in the history of archaeology since the 18th century. As part of its AREA project on 'Silesia Subterranea Effossa', the institute now turns to the time of the Scientific Revolution, to investigate archaeological practices and their interaction with religious and regional identities in the early modern period. Of particular interest is the search for prehistoric urn graves that flourished since the 16th century in the Silesian principalities (today located in Poland). What incentive did scholars have for prospecting, excavating, collecting and publishing archaeological finds? Who were these scholars and what were the holdings of their collections? Little-known manuscript, printed and iconographical sources shall be traced in archives and libraries. AREA has now entered into close collaboration with the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel, the central German research library specializing in early modern science and humanities. The HAB has simultaneously launched the digitization project 'Archaeological Finds in the Early Modern Period', funded by the German Research Association DFG, and this bibliographical project will enable web-based source-readings in the history of archaeology before 1800.