International Thematic Network PROSPECT
Archaeological prospection entails detecting, characterizing and evaluating evidence for past human activities and environmental interaction. More than a technical toolset, it encourages holistic understanding of the archaeological record, revealing how soils and vegetation are impacted over time by past communities. By allowing to identify, investigate and understand the diversity of the alterations of the physical environment and material remains of the human past, archaeological prospection encourages us to think broadly about the long-term impacts of our current actions. Advanced visualization techniques enable making this evidence clear and compelling, while facilitating sustainable access to global cultural heritage.
Through its unique and explicit focus on assessing exhaustible, buried cultural resources, archaeological prospection is established internationally as a driving force in sustainable heritage exploration, management and promotion internationally at multiple levels. Consequently, it is aligned with the primary societal and cultural motives (Cluster 2) of the Horizon Europe programme. The relevance of integrated prospection approaches is to surpass short-term mitigation strategies due to increased pressure on the archaeological resource.
Finetuning archaeological prospection by integrating novel sensor technologies, computational methods and traditional archaeological practice enables us to tap into unknown aspects of past human lifeways, while providing a means to conserve and share, otherwise lost, heritage digitally.
PROSPECT intends to assemble diverse international expertise on archaeological prospection and associated disciplines, ranging from earth and data sciences to archaeological theory and heritage studies, to instil a shift towards a more integral investigation of the archaeological record coupled with a richer more sustainable use of the results of archaeological work through new modes of communication and engagement with these data.
As its primary aim, the network strives to foster continuous research development improving the international community’s use of these methods, and change stagnant governance traditions that hinge on archaeological prospecting. Our network aims to realise such shifts by optimising combinations of methods and datatypes to increase the scientific and socio-economic revenue of archaeological practice.
Long term goals
The network aims to create enduring, stimulating environments for research, education and valorization on archaeological prospection:
by building a diverse resource for education and stakeholder training.
by emphasising interdisciplinary design and development of research.
by making concrete societal and economic impacts through close interaction with stakeholder organisations.
Combined, the focus integrating of state-of-the art technology, long-standing traditional methods and fundamental archaeological as well as historical frameworks, PROSPECT aims position itself complementary to existing international networks (e.g. ALI, AARG, ISAP,…), which are included as stakeholders.
Adding to long-term impacts through research, education and outreach, this unique starting point provides an opportunity to merge diverse interests and expertise into a sustainable, independent network (preferably as a non-profit organisation).
Thematic Working Groups
Heritage under threat
Philippe De Smedt Spokesperson Ellen Van De Vijver Core group member Jeroen Verhegge Network coordinator Wim De Clercq Core group member Lieven Verdonck Core group member Thomas Hermans Core group member Ian Moffat Partner Carmen Cuenca-Garcia Partner Nikos Papadopoulos Partner Immo Trinks Partner Wolfgang Rabbel Partner Gertjan Plets Partner Karsten Lambers Partner Frederic Nguyen Partner Rachel Opitz Partner Stefania Merlo Partner Charles French Partner Henry Chapman Partner Mark Gillings Partner Christophe Benech Partner Hector Orengo Partner Timothy De Smet Partner François-Xavier Simon Partner Apostolos Sarris Partner Daan Raemaekers Partner Eelco Rensink Partner Dominique Bosquet Partner Cornelis Stal Partner
University College Dublin-School of Archaeology
Stephen Davis Partner