JU Vice-Rector for Educational Affairs Prof. Armen Edigarian as well as the Dean and the Vice-Dean of the JU Faculty of History Prof. Jan Święch and Prof. Stanisław Sroka have visited an archaeological site in Colorado (USA), where the JU Institute of Archaeology is currently conducting field research.
The delegation, which took place from 21 to 27 May, visited locations near the Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, including sites featuring well-preserved stone structures and painted walls in recesses in Sand Canyon and Graveyard Canyon as well as numerous cave paintings and petroglyphs, all of which have been found in the recent years by JU archaeologists. The delegation also travelled to a hard-to-reach structure that was probably intended by its builders as a watchtower overlooking farmland, and several sites in the famous Mesa Verde National Park.
During a meeting with the authorities of the park and the Canyons of the Ancients Visitor Center and Museum – Marietta Eaton, the park’s manager, Dr Bridget Ambler, the museum’s chief curator, and Vincent Macmillan, the park’s chief archaeologist – the Jagiellonian University representatives discussed previous cooperation (e.g. JU students and PhD candidates analysing and cataloguing the museum’s exhibits) and the possibilities of its further development.
Kolejne spotkanie polskiej delegacji odbyło się w ośrodku Crow Canyon Archeological Center, drugiego partnera projektu z Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego. W spotkaniu ze strony amerykańskiej uczestniczyli dr Elizabeth Perry (President and Chief Executive Officer), dr Mark Varien (Vice President of the Research Institute at Crow Canyon) i dr Ricky Lightfoot, były dyrektor ośrodka i członek zarządu Society for American Archaeology. W ośrodku Crow Canyon studenci, doktoranci i pracownicy UJ korzystają w niektórych sezonach z zakwaterowania oraz z laboratorium analiz środowiska, ceramiki i zabytków krzemiennych. Polska delegacja poznała zasady funkcjonowania tej instytucji, która jest jedną z kilku najważniejszych i najbardziej wpływowych archeologicznych organizacji non-profit w USA. Rozmawiano także o mozliwościach rozwinięcia dotychczasowej współpracy, m.in. poprzez większe zaangażowanie polskich studentów i doktorantów we wspólne projekty polsko-amerykańskie.
Sand Canyon – Castle Rock Archaeological Project
Mesa Verde, a region located on the border of Colorado and Utah, is known to both archaeologists and tourists due to Pre-Columbian Pueblo culture settlements erected in mountain recesses and canyons as well as numerous cave art.
The Jagiellonian University Institute of Archaeology has been conducting a project in the Mesa Verde region since 2011. It is the first autonomous Polish archaeological project in the USA and one of the very few of its kind in the world. The project is led by Dr Radosław Palonka.
The JU research projects have been focused mainly on documenting and reconstructing the settlement network and the socio-cultural changes in the Pueblo culture from the 13th century. They have also investigated the region’s cave art. The efforts of JU researchers has led to the discovery of previously unknown paintings and engravings from various time periods.