Department of Archaeology at the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen is one of the two largest university centre for archaeological study in the Czech Republic in terms of the number of students. It offers both undergraduate (BA) and graduate (MA) and postgraduante (PhD) study programmes. Apart from the principal focus of the department on the Czech and European archaeology (prehistoric, medieval and post-medieval) its study plan is orientated towards stressing the importance of non-destructive methods of fieldwork, towards the conception of archaeological sources in their wider context (spatial / landscape archaeology), towards the extensive cooperation with natural sciences and towards the development of theory and methodology. The aim of the department is the archaeology-based education of students who should gain a deep sense of the past artefactual heritage and its significance for humankind. Also, the students are trained to achieve abilities in disciplines which university study programmes of other social sciences do not offer, such as special software and hardware application (databases, GIS, digital image processing, GPS), aerial archaeology, remote sensing, etc. The department also prepares students for both specialised work in archaeology and allied disciplines, and for their follow-up post-gradual education.
The Department is also active in theoretical research and field archaeology. These activities are interrelated with its study plan in that the students participate in research projects through their obligatory field training courses. In January 2005 the department gained a state-funded grant for an extensive six-year project titled "The Neglected Archaeology". For this reason a special unit was established within the Department which coordinates the department's research activities. In 2004 - 2007 the Department also participated at the European Union project "European Landscapes: Past, Present and Future" (the Culture 2000 programme). The activities within this project were focused on the production of a film document and an exhibition (at the National Museum in Prague). Other projects at the Department have been oriented to the study of settlement structures at the turn of the Bronze Age and Iron Age in Central Europe, on medieval monastic archaeology, on the study of deserted villages - medieval, postmedieval, modern (including the post- 1945 period) and on the application of air-borne laser scanning in Bohemia (the first project of its kind in the Czech Republic). During the last few years the Department was also involved into a project of archaeological investigation and heritage management in ArbÃl and around, the Kurdish autonomous territory, Iraq. In 2011 the Department launched two large EU projects allocated through the EU operational programme based in the higher education support.
Head of the Department
Prof. PhDr. Martin Gojda, CSc.