Dublin (WAC 6)
By Lolita Nikolova, a member of WAC
The World Archaeological Congress (WAC) was "re-founded" in Dublin, June 29th – July 4th, and today WAC is the
fastest growing archaeological organization in the world with more than 1500 members. All archaeologists – full-and
part-time employed in archaeology, or doing and committed to archaeology without paychecks from the branch,
undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate students in archaeology, academically and non-academically affiliated,
men and women, straight and homosexual, single and married, white and colored, poor and rich – all now know
there is a Meeting ones in 4 years where they can go to be respected and to report their best excavation results or
best scholar achievements, to meet friends and to make new friends, to enjoy nice social environment and of course,
to swim in the archaeological ocean of discoveries and color presentations, running from session to session, from
one to another social event, attending workshops, excursions and parties where usually the archaeologists continue
to talk about archaeology. The President of WAC is Professor Claire Smith from Australia – our Queen of Archaeology
on Move – who is one of the main contributors for the present excellent image of the World Archaeological Congress.
For me the trip to Dublin began with my strong decision in front of my warmer clothes in the Salt Lake City’s wardrobe
(if I was in my other home – in Karlovo, Bulgaria, I would think differently). I rejected to have taken with me any jacket
since I was really tired from the last so long winter-spring season. I did not want to short my summer days. The
strategy won with only a small correction – I had to buy a light jacket in Dublin, but it was green, so a good
contribution to the next St Patrick day when we usually ware green clothes.
The three Bulgarians in Dublin were Dr Lyudmila Doncheva and Dr Diana Gergova from the National Archaeological
Institute and Museum in Sofia and me representing the Institute for Innovations in Science and Education, Sofia, the
International Institute of Anthropology, Salt Lake City, and University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. All of us have
PhD from Bulgaria and Lyudmila had successfully defended even a big doctor thesis. Last year we were together in
Zadar, Croatia, where we attended the 13th Meeting of the European Association of Archaeology. I had expressed my
sadness from the fact that only three participants represented Bulgaria in WAC 6 at the Session on ethics in Dublin. It
is gloomy when in our globalizing world meetings like that in Dublin, reflect social processes that do not help
archaeology to develop as a global science.
Diana Gergova arrived with a broken suitcase during the trip because of the heavy books that she brought including
two copies for me – the results of discoveries and excavations in Bulgaria in 2007 and the Maria Chichikova’s
Anniversary volume. Both publications were edited by her and showed clearly that she had been working very hard in
Bulgaria. Diana came just as an archaeologist from Sofia, but left the Congress as a member of the WAC Council
responsible for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Congratulations!
Lyudmila Doncheva started the presentation of Bulgarians in Dublin. Her topic was on the early medieval culture and
the slides were rich in information about the earliest Bulgarian material culture including her excavations. The public
was very quite – a good sign that it was a successful presentation. There was also a discussion afterwards in which
I pointed to the fact that the presentation of Lyudmila Doncheva was a scholar example of good balance between
empirical material and theoretical conclusions. Because she was a Bulgarian, I could not ask her why she had been
excavating a cemetery which was not rescued excavations. My understanding is we, the archaeologists, have a very
non-respectful relation to our distant ancestors and we should excavate cemeteries only when there is not other
research opportunity and the graves would be deadly damaged if not excavated.
On Tuesday, July 1st, was my presentation together with Claire Smith and Heather Burke about Archaeologists as
people. I was so glad to participate in this approach because in my opinion it was a hot topic in archaeology. The
original idea belongs to Claire Smith for which she was named the Archaeologist of the world for 2008 at the
International Institute of Anthropology. In our profession we depend on our personality and communicate personality.
As I had pointed in Dublin, the archaeologists are multi-talent. We need to be leaders because we direct excavations,
scholars – because we have to report our results that usually have or at least must have scholar contributions and to
interpret the archaeological records, and teachers, because we need assistants and have to educate them. Worthily,
the profession requires strong personalities. But often it is at the expenses of the humanity. Further, I argued that in
the field of archaeology we need to develop such personalities that would contribute to the humanization,
academization and intellectualization of archaeology. I had got compliments for this presentation even on the next
day and hope that meant that the traced road of such topic will continue and will become wider included multi-
direction searches to destructure the past and present and to promote in future the archaeologists as people and not
only as professionals.
Diana Gergova participated in the session Old Wine in New Bottles (Friday, July 4th) which original idea belonged to
Cristian Schuster. We all should have shrunk our presentations because of the limited time. Based on the case
studies from Dubene-Sarovla and Balinov Gorun, I talked in this session as a co-organizer about one unusual new
bottle in archaeology – a corrupted prohibit of continuing excavations and using the media old excavations even to
have been hidden in favor of promoting suspicious from professional point of view new excavations. The discussion
of this session was a pre-party talk in the evening where we also expanded the topic with the problem how the social
filter of selection of the new archaeologists in the branch influences the archaeology and in some cases is a barrier
for a successful development. We discussed widely the problem of the excavation of cemeteries not only as
methodology but also as a humanity or in fact as practicing non-humanity. Lyudmila Doncheva also joined the group
since she attended the session in the morning being extremely warm welcomed by the Romanian colleagues.
Diana Gergova could not come to discuss and party with us because was till very late in the night on a Meeting of the
WAC leaders already as a member of the WAC Council responsible for Eastern Europe and Central Eurasia.
However, she did not forget about us and abt 10:00 PM we received electronic greetings by her.
Beyond the presentations, we, the three Bulgarians, spent a lot of time together – from morning breakfasts to night
talks in the College village. Diana and Lyudmila visited many Dublin sights and always they came back in the
College village very exited. We were all together in Dublin to visit the special tour and were impressed by the Greek
exhibit on the trade of looted ancient treasures. I also did genealogy in the Genealogy Service at the National library
in Dublin that allowed me to have learned a lot about Ireland and especially about how was organized the genealogy
Unfortunately, Friday night, July 4th, I had to tell good buy to Diana and Ljudmila till the next meeting which is in fact
very soon – in September in Malta where we will attend the 14th Meeting of the European Association of
Thank you to all the organizers of the remarkable WAC 6 Meeting! When we have an organization like the World
Archaeological Congress, it is easy to promise to work hard and to report again nice scholar results on the next
Meeting in 2012 in Jordan. Strong organization guarantees a strong science and profession. And now we have it.
|The Sixth World Archaeological
Congress, Dublin, Ireland, 29th June
- 4th July 2008
The flowers are similar all over the world. Especially the roses.
Bulgaria for instance, is world famous with its oil rose which grows in
Karlovo and Kazanluk valleys.
This picture of Professor Gabriel
Cooney from the WAC 6 website
looked at the beginning just a picture
of an ambitious archaeologist. Now it
looks a picture of a social hero who
contributed extraordinary to the
development of WAC as the fasted
growing archaeological organization
in the world.
Dublin, WAC 6.
Thank you Professor Gabriel
Cooney for the remarkable
Lolita Nikolova, PhD (Eurasian Prehistory)
Diana Gergova, PhD who represents Eastern
Europe and Central Asia in the WAC Council
Lyudmila Doncheva, Dr Hab. (Bulgarian Medieval archaeology)
But when it comes to Green, Ireland has no competition. WAC
6. In this Park was one of the official Receptions.
The original idea of the topic Archaeologists as people
belongs to Claire Smith for which she was named
Archaeologist of the World at International Institute of
Diana Gergova in Old Wine in New Bottle
The participants in the session "Old Wine in New
Bottle". Lolita Nikolova was a co-organizer upon the
invitation of Cristian Schuster.
Lyudmila Doncheva at the night Discussion party in the apartment
of the Romanian colleagues-participants in the session "Old Wine
in New Bottles"
|THANK YOU DUBLIN!
Thank you World Archaeological Congress!
Thank to Professor Gabriel Cooney!
Thank you Professor Claire Smith!
Thank you ALL!
|Dublin 2008, one of the most beautiful places in