The Fifth Annual Meeting of the European Archaeological Consilium (EAC)
The fifth annual meeting of the European Archaeological Consilium (EAC) was held in 04 and 05 March 2004 in Strasbourg. The European Archaeological Consilium is international non-profitable organisation (in accordance with the Belgium Law) with the headquarters in Brussels. The main topic of the meeting agenda was managing the Europe's archaeological heritage. The meeting was held in the Council of Europe premises in Strasbourg.
Associates of the Commission to Preserve National Monuments, Lidija Fekeža, coordinator for archaeology and movable property, and Orjana Mujkić, associate for architectural heritage ensembles and cultural landscapes, represented Bosnia and Herzegovina at the fifth annual meeting of the European Archaeological Consilium.
The first day, 04.03, was devoted to analysis of the Valetta Convention questionnaire, cooperation with the managers` network of different archaeological heritage such as underwater archaeology, and reports and various issues of the working groups of the EAC, which treat the issues like archaeology and intensive agriculture, remnants of the cold war of the 2nd half of the XX century, air archaeology, i.e. advantages of and widening the network of a site air assessment.
The Commission representatives submitted questionnaire on the Valetta Convention. Mr A. Ollivier stressed that 18 countries have submitted the reports so far, while three have failed to do so. The report results are to be published at the CoE web site in two months time.
The issue of the EAC new members was raised as well. The Commission representatives replied that they would contact the country authorities on this. Though the EAC cooperates closely with the Council of Europe (CoE), it is an independent organisation, and the CoE does not cover the expenses of the EAC members. The EAC itself has no means foreseen for covering the expenses of the participants to the organisation meetings.
The second working day, 05.03, was devoted to the seminar "Archaeology and the Public", and representatives of several working groups presented various detailed experiences of work with different audiences. The experiences referred to different regions (Gallicia in Spain, Flanders and Valons regions in Belgium) or institutions that deal with the archaeological researches and all the aspects of the archaeological work, such as one of the archaeological parks in France and one of the museums in Switzerland. The general topics were the role of archaeology when defining cultural differences, and archaeological heritage and international audience.
The topics were prepared extremely well, with a lot of details and working issues, followed with detailed and thorough presentations. The Commission representatives presented part of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian archaeological heritage, briefly showing few sites ranging from prehistoric times till medieval fortresses, with continuity in the Ottoman period (From Koric inn till Tesanj fortress). The presentation was received very well, and stecci (the old Bosnian tombstones) were a real discovery.
The Commission representatives delivered to the EAC Main Board members set of the Commission materials, which caused very positive reaction and interest, especially when it comes to the catalogue from the exhibition "Cultural Heritage – Vanishing Treasure".
Two-day work as a whole was extremely rich; the archaeological problems were looked at from all the aspects (primarily economical aspect – methods of looking for financiers, private and state ones; social aspect – flow of information; legal aspect – legal framework and regulations of private property; provisions related to use of metal detector for underground sites, preventive archaeology; and a whole range of other issues), but more from the point of view of the Western European countries. Some of the countries in transition have come close (Poland, Hungary), while some others have faced very similar problems to those of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Romania, Belarus).