Save the Centre of Prehistoric Archaeology of the Near East at Masaryk University, Brno

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It is with utmost concern that we, the signatories, have received the news that the Centre of Prehistoric Archaeology of the Near East (PANE) at Masaryk University in Brno is threatened with dismantlement.

Although small, PANE has made a major mark on the field of Near Eastern archaeology internationally. It has redefined the training of Near Eastern archaeologists by explicitly preparing its students for their integration into the job market after graduation. It has done so by means of a broad training that helps to raise the competitiveness of its graduates. Students from other countries, including Germany, have attended or are planning to attend the program in Brno, demonstrating its international significance. At the same time, students of PANE have successfully attended other universities across Europe and have participated in international projects in places as diverse as Israel, Jordan, Armenia, Turkey and Turkmenistan and even at the famous Neanderthal caves in southern Spain.      

PANE of Masaryk University

-         is outstanding in its commitment to internationalization: all its courses are taught in English, accustoming students to an active engagement with relevant international scientific literature and participation in scientific discussions in English;

-         provides students with experience in various European and U.S.-American curricula through the incorporation of international teaching staff in its courses;

-         furthers both practical-analytical skills and knowledge in innovative laboratory analyses crucial for any career in the field of archaeology;

-         integrates students early in their careers into international field projects where they learn basic fieldwork skills and acquire logistical and analytical knowledge.

In short, PANE’s program includes broad and up-to-date academic knowledge, scientific analytical training and a realistic view of the prospects in the discipline. Graduates have demonstrated their ability to integrate themselves productively into international work teams and have thereby acquired intercultural skills. They have entered successful careers immediately after graduation.

We urge the responsible administration of Masaryk University to keep this internationally respected Centre open. Its excellent reputation is certain to lead to a growth in student numbers, in innovative research project and in scholarly output.