SELF-ASSESSMENT REPORT

OF THE CHAIR OF ARCHAEOLOGY
AND THE KABINET OF ARCHAEOLOGY
OF TARTU UNIVERSITY (1998-2002)

4. Results of applied investigations

No branch of the Humanities, as archaeology is, can directly deal with applied investigations only. In indirect sense, applied investigations in archaeology may be rescue excavations where the results of archaeological research are applied to rescue excavations of such antiquities that are on the way of starting important for national economy objects. The same holds true about the work done on the sites for the conservation of antiquities, necessary in towns and certain areas for working out defence strategies, general plans and reconstruction projects of antiquities.

Within last five years the employees of the Chair and kabinet have carried out the rescue excavations in the following areas:

Rebala stone-cist graves in Harjumaa (V. Lang and undergraduates M. Laneman and K. Ilves) 2000
Muraste fossil fields in Harjumaa 2002 (V. Lang)
Ilmandu fossil fields in Harjumaa 2002 (V. Lang)
The site of the Estonian National Museum 1999 (H. Valk)
Paistu churchyard,Viljandimaa 2001.a (M. Konsa)
Tsiistre stone grave, Võrumaa 2001- 2002 (M. Konsa)
Kuradisild (the Devil's Bridge), Tartu 1999. a (H. Valk, M. Konsa)
Installation of electrical lines in Pikk Street, Viljandi 2000 (A. Haak)
Viljandi, Sepa Street 2001 (A. Haak)
Installation of sewage tracks for precipitation water at the conservation of Tartu Cathedral 2001 (A. Haak)
Viljandi, Lossi Street 2001 (A. Haak)
Viljandi, Väike-Turu Street 2001 (A. Haak)
Viljandi, construction site 9 Tartu Street 2002 (A. Haak)
Viljandi, Pikk and Lutsu Streets 2002 (A. Haak)
Viljandi, Oru Street 2002 (A. Haak)
Pärnu, Põhja Street 2002 (A. Haak)
Since 1998, continual trial excavations according to the reconstruction and exposition projects in the ruins of the Viljandi Castle of the Order were carried out to collect data about the location, preservation and depth of the foundation of its walls; archaeological inspection conducted in removing the debris from around the ruins.
Pärnu, Hospidali Street 1998 (A. Kriiska).

Protection of antiquities:

2001 - H. Valk took part in working out the general plan and reconstruction project of the Viljandi Castle Hills;
2002 - V. Lang composed a review of prehistoric values of the Lahemaa National Park as the basis for working out the strategy for organising the protection of the antiquities in the area;
1998-1999 - A. Kriiska worked out the plan of exhibiting archaeological monuments in Hiiumaa;
1999 - A. Kriiska compiled the database for "Archaeological sites and finds of Tori parish".


5. Development strategies

5.1. In 1998 the AK began to compile a database for Estonian antiquities and archaeological sites. The aim was to aggregate the data containing archaeological information about the sites, preserved in various archives and institutions (the Institute of History, Tartu University, Literary Museum, National Board of Antiquities, Estonian National Museum, museums in counties and other museums). In contrasting various data they can be connected with definite sites/objects/antiquities, the sites of the latter are charted on digital maps. The database enables to make various retrievals to be used in research work, also showing the results visually on distribution maps. Currently, the data from about 2/3 of parishes have been entered into the archaeological archives; the data about 13 parishes are coded and linked with maps (mainly from Southeastern Estonia). The project leader is Heiki Valk, a specialist in technical questions of the computer and database (working out the programme for the database) is the technician Marge Konsa. The data are entered by students, the employees of the AK Andres Vindi and Arvi Haak check and link them with maps. 3 seminar papers were completed and 3 papers are worked at in the frames of the project. The results can be used in research work (compiling retrievals for various projects; creating thematic distribution maps). The database and maps, proceeding from the former are used also in writing and illustrating the new comprehensive treatment of Estonian archaeology.

Publications related to the database are presented at the grants above, e.g. 3363, 4366 and 827/1998.

5.2. In the frames of the ESF project "Computering archaeology at Tartu University" (grant No. 3353, project leader H. Valk; investigator M. Konsa) in 1998-2000 the network and computer park of the TU archaeology have been created along with structures of digital databases of the TU archaeological subject library and archives.

5.3. The technician Marge Konsa has created the following Internet homepages: (1) for the project Keava -"The Hand of the Sun" (ESF grant 4563); (2) for the Chair of Archaeology and the Kabinet ; (3) for a course of lectures Digitaalsed meetodid arheoloogias /Digital methods in archaeology/.

5.4. In 1998, the project of the Open Estonia Foundation Arheoloogiaõpetuse arendamine Tartu Ülikoolis /Development of the Teaching of Archaeology in Tartu University/ (project leader A. Kriiska). An interactive textbook Eesti muinasesemed /Estonian archaeological artefacts/ was completed, a new series of lectures Digitaalsed meetodid arheoloogias /Digital methods in archaeology/ was prepared (Marge Konsa); and necessary equipment and software for both study and practical work was acquired.


6. A brief summary of research activities and development strategies

6.1. More important international seminars and conferences organised by the CA and AK

Owing to the shortage of financial resources the number of international seminars and conferences organised by the CA and AK is not very big. There were more events, organised in Tartu (or elsewhere in Estonia) which were supported by several institutions.

6.1.1. International Tartu history and archaeology seminars "The Medieval Towns of the Baltic Sea Region":
26-27 June 1998, Tartu
12-13 June 1999, Tartu
08-11 June 2000, Tartu
14-15 June 2002, Tartu
Organisers: TU Chair of Archaeology (Ain Mäesalu) and the Tartu City Museum (Rünno Vissak)

6.1.2. International conference on Nordic and Estonian urban archaeology "Medieval Towns. Archaeological Results, Problems and Perspectives" 2-4 Oct. 2000 in Tallinn. Organisers: TU Chair of Archaeology (Ain Mäesalu), the Board of Estonian National Heritage (Anton Pärn) and the Ribe Museum.

6.1.3. Organising and chairing the work of the section of archaeology at the Ninth Congress of Finno-Ugric Studies, 7-13 August 2000, Tartu (H. Valk)

6.1.4. Organising the conference of international research project Culture Clash or Compromise - Europeanisation of the Baltic Rim 1100-1400: CCC: the Final Perspectives organising in Tartu, 17-20 May 2001(H. Valk).

6.1.5. Organising a seminar on archaeology in the frames of the Days of Swedish Historians on 27 September 2002, Tartu (H. Valk)

6.1.6. Organising an international seminar "Lands East and West of Lake Peipus in the Iron Age and the Middle Ages" 3-6 Oct. 2002 (H. Valk)

6.1.7. 9-20 May 1998: Aivar Kriiska (Pärnu area and Kihnu) was one of the Estonian contributors to the NorFA interdisciplinary international course "Environmental perspectives on the sensitive coastal areas of the southeastern Baltic Sea, through times" that took place in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and was designed to PhD and MA students.

6.1.8. Aivar Kriiska was one of the main organisers of the international seminar "Planning of interdisciplinary collaboration in current projects", 13-15 October 2001, Pärnu.

6.1.9. Aivar Kriiska was one of the main organisers of the NorFA seminar "Environment and settling along the Baltic Sea coasts through time", 3-6 October 2002, Pärnu.

6.1.10. Before launching the Keava project the Chair of Archaeology initiated an international seminar "Fortified Sites and their Context", 18-20 April 2001, Tartu. The representatives of Tartu, Turku and Latvian universities took part in it.


6.2. Awards and acknowledgements

6.2.1. The Kalmar Castle annual award for historical writings in 2002 to Heiki Valk (monograph Rural Cemeteries of Southern Estonia 1225-1800 AD).
6.2.2. Entering Aivar Kriiska's name on the honorary records of the township of Paikuse (25 October 2002) for the research into the Stone Age settlement done at the lower reaches of the Pärnu River.
6.2.3. The award of the Tartu University Foundation of the City Council for the book "Muinas-Tartu" /Prehistoric Tartu/ to Andres Tvaur, 2002.
6.2.4. The state badge of honour "Order of the White Star" rank IV to Valter Lang, 2000.
6.2.5. The state badge of honour "Order of the White Star" rank V to Heiki Valk, 2000.


7. Cooperation with other Estonian universities and research institutions

7.1. The closest cooperation between the CA-AK and the Institute of History in Tallinn has taken place over many years. As mentioned above, a joint peer-reviewed journal "Eesti Arheoloogia Ajakiri"/ Journal of Estonian Archaeology/ and a series "Muinasaja teadus" / Research into Ancient Times/ are being published. Besides that the two have worked together on a number of joint projects, organised conferences and participated in common international events. Along with it, in 1999-2002, Prof. V. Lang also conducted one of the target-financed themes of the Institute of History ("Centre and Periphery: Fort, Town, Land and Power in Estonia from Prehistoric Times to the Middle Ages"). Ain Mäesalu participated as the principal investigator in the ESF-financed grant No. 3818 ("Prehistoric and medieval weaponry in Estonia. Typology and technology) in 1999-2002. H. Valk and Silvia Laul (IH) analysed together the material from the Siksali burial ground and are preparing a publication.

7.2. Cooperation with the Estonian Academy of Arts: Ain Mäesalu supervised the thesis of an MA student of the EAA department of metallic art Kaupo Kangur "Keskaegsed suurtükid Eestis. Valmistamistehnoloogia ja rekonstruktsioonid esmajoones Tallinna kambersuurtüki näitel"/Medieval cannons in Estonia. Technology of manufacturing and reconstruction illustrated primarily by the Tallinn chamber cannon/ that was successfully defended in June 2002. Aivar Kriiska delivers a course of lectures on "Eesti arheoloogiline ja etnograafiline keraamika" /Estonian archaeological and ethnographical ceramics/ since 1992 and supervises the respective summer practice of the students.

7.3. Throughout years we have cooperated with the Estonian folklore archives of the Estonian Literary Museum in studying place-related oral tradition (H. Valk). In the frames of the research M. Konsa created a model of digital database for the collections of folklore archives and for the information of local tradition. The databases of archaeological sites and local tradition have been worked out together and are linked between them. The database of antiquities involves and is capable of displaying also the data saved in the folklore database about antiquities. It is useful for both partners: the data become mutually available; archaeology helps to distinguish antiquities from among folkloristic sites of tradition; the theoretical research on local tradition helps archaeology to interpret the information on tradition associated with antiquities.

7.4. In cooperation with the Viljandi City Museum and Learned Estonian Society we have researched on the culture layer of Viljandi and later worked the finds through. The employees of the archaeological kabinet Andres Tvauri and Arvi Haak made an inventory of the finds at the museum and researched them. The Learned Estonian Society and the Museum of the County of Tartu deposited their archaeological collections in Tartu University.

7.5. Mutually close and versatile contacts have been maintained between TU archaeologists and researchers of the TU Geological Institute and Technical University of Tallinn Geological Institute. In 1990 the cooperation materialised in the form of a joint international interdisciplinary programme PACT (funded by the Commission of EU, coordinators were Prof. Urve Miller from Stockholm, Prof. Tony Hackens from Belgium, Prof. V. Lang, akademician Anto Raukas and Leili Saarse (PhD) from Estonia). Common field practice was carried out in a number of key areas and conferences were organised to analyse the results. The results were published in three bulky collections, the last of which was completed and published during the period under observation:
1. Estonia: Nature, Man and Cultural Heritage. Proceedings of a Round Table held at Tallinn, April 1991 at the Estonian Academy of Sciences. Edited by T. Hackens, V. Lang and U. Miller. PACT, 37. Rixensart: PACT Belgium, 1992. 173 lk.
2. Coastal Estonia: Recent Advances in Environmental and Cultural History. Edited by T. Hackens, S. Hicks, V. Lang, U. Miller & L. Saarse. PACT, 51. PACT Belgium, Rixensart 1996. 461 lk.
3. Environmental and Cultural History of the Eastern Baltic Region. Edited by U. Miller, T. Hackens, V. Lang, A. Raukas and S. Hicks. (PACT, 57.) Rixensart: PACT Belgium, 1999. 453 pp.

Co-operation with TU Geological Institute has also involved research on the influence of geomorphological preconditions for the genesis of Viljandi. At the end of the 1990s and beginning of the 2000s cooperation has been developed in the frames of the projects financed by the NorFA (mainly seminars and conferences, with Prof. U. Miller as the initiator). During the last couple of years in Tartu, one-day conferences on the theme "Interdistsiplinaarsed meetodid mineviku uurimisel" /Interdisciplinary methods in investigating the past/ have been organised by the CA, the Institute of History, TU Geological Institute and TUT Geological Institute. In the course of the cooperation with a number of disciplines, field research is carried out on the delta of the Reiu River in Western Estonia and in the Keava settlement centre in Northern Estonia.