Mark Spanjer, EAA Executive Board candidate

Mark Spanjer, one of Landward Research Ltd’s Directors, is standing for election to the European Association of Archaeologists‘ Executive Board in 2017.

Landward Research Ltd strongly endorses his candidacy! This is his inspiring election statement.

The year was 2000 and I, Mark Spanjer, was at the European Association of Archaeologists annual meeting for the first time. I can still see Lisbon’s Centro Cultural de Belem in my mind’s eye. All was strange, new and wonderful but at the same time I felt a sort of homecoming. One thing had become clear to me: there is a European Archaeology! For many it is not yet very recognisable and it is an aspect of our profession that is mostly ignored, but it is real and important.

Attending almost all of the conferences since Lisbon I have benefited greatly from the experiences I have been privileged to have at these meetings. They made me a better archaeologist. I have been given new ideas, different problems, perspectives and a broader sense or knowledge of a shared past. Over the years EAA contacts with member colleagues have helped to form my methods, techniques and thinking. It started my journey of discovery into what it is that makes us connect across (modern) borders. You will not understand Europeans or Humans if you stay trapped by the artificial lines of the Nation-State. And understanding what makes us humans is at the core of our endeavours.

Who am I? An archaeologist with an interest in Medieval and Modern Archaeology and a love of cities. More than that, I’m a historian, a diplomat and a storyteller with a deep interest in people gone but also very much in the here and now. A good understanding of institutional relationships and an eye for possible connections are among my talents. Within EAA I have been at the forefront of efforts to improve co-ordination, communication and understanding between archaeologists in all parts of Europe.

European Archaeology is still in its infancy. EAA is the vehicle which will help us to actively nurture and protect it. If elected to the Board I would be very much involved in advancing and moulding this idea, for the good and enjoyment of our shared heritage as Europeans – and also for the betterment of we Archaeologists. In my role as a ‘connector’ I would very much strive to strengthen and broaden the existing network that forms the bones of our European Archaeology, tactically and strategically looking for means to let our Association gain relevancy and strength. If elected, or even if I’m not, I look forward to the coming journey.

 

Mark Spanjer