PAN - The steering committee

H.P. Blankholm (chair)

Institute of Archaeology
University of Tromsø
N-9037 Tromsø
Norway
E-mail: Hanspb@sv.uit.no

Maribeth Murray
(deputy chair)
Dept. of Anthropology
University of Alaska-Fairbanks
Alaska 99775-7720
USA
E-mail: Ffmsm@uaf.edu

Bjarne Grønnow
(secretary)
SILA
National Museum of Denmark
Frederiksholms kanal 12
Copenhagen
E-mail: Bjarne.gronnow@natmus.dk

Mikkel Myrup
(indigenous populations and working groups)
National Museum of Greenland
Nuuk
Greenland
E-mail: Mikkel.myrup@natmus.gl

Debora Zurro
(communications and working groups)
Department of Archaeology and Anthropology - IMF
CSIC- Spanish Council for Scientific Research
C/Egipcíaques, 15
08001 Barcelona
Spain
E-mail: debora@bicat.csic.es

PAN - Membership and Organisation

-         PAN is a non-profit, international network, which is based on voluntary  
          efforts of   a steering committee and different working groups.
-        institutions, organisations, individual researchers, and students dealing with 
          Arctic and/or Antarctic archaeology and early history are encouraged to 
          participate.
-        membership is free of charge.
-        during the formation years, the PAN is headed by an interim steering committee
          consisting of five (5) members.
 -       After the first three years, a workshop will be held for all members. It will
          evaluate the network and in plenum discuss PAN?s future organisation and
          activities.
-        the steering committee of the PAN elects a chairperson, a deputy chairperson, a
          secretary, and a webmaster (responsible for mail-lists and the web-page) among
          its members.
-        members of the network are encouraged to form working groups dealing with
          topics of special importance or interest. The working groups must be endorsed
          by the steering committee, which open the PAN home page for the working
          groups'  information and debates.
-        the PAN steering committee and the working groups actively look for 
          opportunities to meet during already established international forums for Arctic
          and Antarctic archaeology or in advance/prolongation thereof.

PAN - The means

The means of the Polar Archaeology Network are:

-      formation of a research network: Polar Archaeology Network (PAN), endorsed by the International Arctic    Science Committee (IASC)

-      establishing and updating a home page of the PAN

-      arranging PAN-meetings in connection with already established international conferences and/or as  independent seminars and workshops

-      arranging recurrent international workshops on:

o       current research topics within Arctic and Antarctic archaeology

o       archaeological education and public outreach strategies

o       strategies to further Arctic archaeology?s position within research politics: governments (Arctic Council), scientific organisations, universities and museums

-      creating awareness of Polar archaeology through scientific and public outreach initiatives in the North as  well as in the South

-      electronic publication of proceedings of workshops and seminars held by PAN

PAN - The goals

The goals of the Polar Archaeology Network are:

-         to strengthen continuity and development of archaeological research,
      education and public outreach in the polar regions of the world.
-         to further and strengthen international contacts and collaboration among and between scientific 
           environments and researchers from the North and the South dealing with polar archaeology.
-               to communicate archaeological research to the wider community of polar  researchers.
-               to promote dialogue and collaboration between researchers and the public.
-          to encourage interdisciplinary approaches to and circumpolar and global perspectives on polar prehistory
           and early history.
-         to facilitate development of new methodological and theoretical 
      directions.
-         to enhance awareness of research on cultural resource management and the protection of sites and
           monuments in the Arctic and Antarctic.
 -             to encourage and promote the involvement of local communities in the development and the conduct of archaeological
           projects

PAN - The background

Arctic, Subarctic, and Subantarctic archaeology (hereafter Polar archaeology) have developed greatly from a few decennia ago when the pioneering efforts of a few individuals generated most research. Today the original constituents of Polar archaeology are established as disciplines at universities and museums in several countries and in both hemispheres. A number of small research environments have emerged and the field is currently characterised by different international perspectives and interdisciplinary approaches, where ethnohistory, history, anthropology and natural sciences often are integrated within projects designed to contribute not only to a better understanding of the human history of the polar regions but also to ongoing studies of arctic change, and human/environment interactions in the context of global change. Increasingly researchers realize that in both the northern and southern ?Tops of the World? (TOW) the scientific questions are parallel and as a result have established fruitful contacts, as most recently evidenced at the TOW meeting in Tromsø, Norway.

However, the dispersed and small Polar archaeology research environments are extremely vulnerable in their home contexts; they are often a marginal component of large institutions, and many scholars and research programs are supported only by ?soft money? from temporary national or international programmes or private funds. Furthermore, these programs are spread over a number of countries: Canada, USA, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Holland, Russia, Spain, Argentina, Chile, and New Zealand, which signals the growth of research, but also exacerbates problems of maintaining contacts and developing long term collaborative international research programmes and education and career opportunities for young researchers. There are organisational, economical and geographical obstacles which could delimit the future dynamic development of polar archaeological research ? a situation which is problematic given archaeology?s potentially central role in understanding long-term trajectories of change in the arctic, subarctic, and subantarctic regions of the world.

In order to maintain the pace and progress that now characterise polar archaeological research, theories, methodology and research politics must be openly discussed and debated among colleagues from all the countries and environments/institutions involved. The future of polar archaeology as a discipline and the further development of new educational, scholarly and public outreach initiatives  requires solid research relations and collaborations between southern and northern researchers and with the local and indigenous societies in which they are working or of which they are integral parts.

In addition it is critically important that the polar archaeology research communities begin seriously to address issues in climate change research, the detrimental effects of climate change on the archaeological record, and the impacts of increased development in the polar regions. Archaeological sites in primary context and with adequate preservation conditions are rapidly disappearing and invaluable and irreplaceable information on the human past and on environmental history may be lost for ever. Thawing permafrost, increased coastal erosion, intensification of resource exploitation, land use and tourism in the Arctic and Antarctic, highlight more than ever the need for protection of sites and monuments. Modern logistics have resulted in opening of areas, which a few years ago were practically inaccessible to the public. Prehistoric and historic sites are being visited and in combination with climate impacts the wear on and the destruction of sites is accelerating. It is urgent, and it is our scientific responsibility, to discuss the effects of this new opening of the polar regions, and to debate initiatives to protect as well as utilize the tangible archaeological heritage.  The community of polar archaeologists recognizes these challenges and now must develop adequate strategies and operational frameworks for coping with and responding to these circumstances. Significantly, all these matters must be addressed at an international level. 

At the recent TOW conference in Tromsø, a number of colleagues discussed the possibility of establishing a network, which could meet the need for addressing scientific issues, research policies, education, public outreach, cultural heritage and other questions relating to archaeology and early history of the Arctic and Antarctic. The present initiative, Polar Archaeology Network (PAN), encompassing Arctic, Subarctic, and Subantarctic archaeology, is an attempt to pave the road to the establishment of such an international forum.             

Polar Archaeology Network (PAN) - a short history

The idea of an Arctic Archaeology Network was first discussed among participants in the Tops of the World meeting at the Institute of Archaeology, University of Tromsø, Norway, in late 2006. This was a meeting specifically designed to bring together scholars working at Arctic, Sub-arctic, and Sub-antarctic archaeology.

Following the meeting, a proposal for a constitutional document to be discussed at the Canadian Archaeological Association's meeting in St.John's, Newfoundland, in May 2007, was drafted by Prof. Hans Peter Blankholm, Institute of Archaeology, University of Tromsø, Norway, Director Bjarne Grønnow, SILA, National Museum of Copenhagen, Denmark, and Prof. Louwrens Hacquebord, Arctic Centre, University of Groningen, Nederland. 

At the constitutional meeting, hosted by Prof. Priscilla Renouf, Memorial University, St.John's, Newfoundland, the Polar Archaeology Network was established and an interim steering committee elected for three years.

Members can obtain the constitutional document, with revisions based on the outcome of the discussions and suggestions for changes and amendments, from the secretary (see PAN - Steering Comittee).

Welcome to the Polar Archaeology Network (PAN) blog

Welcome to the Polar Archaeology Network (PAN) blogg.

This is the official blogg for the Polar Archaeology Network (PAN).

Publication is open only for members of the Polar Archaeology Network.

For membership and password, please contact H.P.Blankholm, chair (hanspb@sv.uit.no)

The Polar Archaeology Network steering committee reserves its rigths to remove any impertinent content.

Tromsø, Norway
27.12.07
H.P.Blankholm, chair

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