The PCMA will open two new labs thanks to special funding from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. The Bioarchaeological Lab and Advanced Documentation Methods Lab will enhance the PCMA’s interdisciplinary approach to archaeological research.
The Bioarchaeological Lab will combine archaeozoological and anthropological specializations. It will be headed by Dr. Urszula Iwaszczuk whose main aim is to create a laboratory and a comparative collection for research on bioarchaeological materials from PCMA fieldwork in the Mediterranean and neighboring regions. The lab will be equipped for the preparation of samples and conducting analyses. A collection of mammal and bird skeletal remain will be gathered there, but the emphasis will be on fish bones and mollusk shells, as the lab’s main focus will be archaeoichtiology. The anthropological section’s work will be based on an anthropological collection coming from excavations in Sudan. The establishment of the lab is a first step towards creating a larger bioarchaeological unit at the University of Warsaw, in the cooperation with the Institute of Archaeology.
Advanced Documentation Methods Lab aims at ensuring an innovative approach towards the documentation of archaeological research conducted by the PCMA with the use of digital documentation methods and up-to-date instruments. It will also take care of the increasing amount of data and enhance interpretation capabilities, as well as apply modern methods of data presentation. The lab’s team, headed by Piotr Zakrzewski, will cooperate with archaeological missions working under PCMA auspices on implementing these methods during fieldwork. A special ceramological unit will concentrate on creating tools for the documentation and analysis of ceramic vessels by, among others, forming a reference collection and database of ancient pottery and modern clay samples from the PCMA region of interest.
These new labs are a further step undertaken by the PCMA in view of forming a Scientific Excellence Centre oriented towards interdisciplinary research and cooperation with other Polish institutions planning work in the Middle East and North Africa. In 2018 the PCMA received a grant for its program “ArcheoCDN. Archeologiczne Centrum Doskonałości Naukowej / Archaeological Centre of Scientific Excellence” (DIALOG 0298/2018), it also qualified as a host institution in the Dioscuri Centre of Scientific Excellence program.