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April Lectures and Fellowship Election

Our Spring Election event welcomes new Fellows to the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. The meeting will also feature two short presentations given by Early Career Researchers.

April Lectures and Fellowship Election

About April Lectures and Fellowship Election

As part of our Spring Fellowship election, join us as we hear from two early career researchers on their work exploring the future of heritage sites in Ukraine and refugee lives in Scotland.

The impact of the war in Ukraine on scientific and rescue excavations by Dr Alla Kurzenkova FSAScot, University of Glasgow:

The Chornobyl settlement has been written into the landscape, intertwined with the human history from the end of the 10th – 11th centuries to man-made crises such as the Chornobyl disaster (1986), the creation of the Chornobyl Exclusion Zone (CEZ), and the full-scale war in Ukraine, which has prevented any further archaeological excavations there. Since the end of the twentieth century the Chornobyl landscape has lost its human touch and turned into a memory of an ‘abandoned landscape’. It embodied the emotions associated with the process of abandonment, where nature took over and began to cover the site, reviving it with new species of flora and fauna. It is crucial to reflect on how the human impact that left a long shadow on the Chornobyl settlement has, at the same time, reinforced the archaeological aspect of the settlement’s research a bit more than 16 years later. The Russian occupation of the area has made access to the sites more difficult, and the monuments themselves can be damaged by shell explosions and trenches. The level of preservation of most archaeological and cultural sites is currently unknown. All this has raised questions that need to be discussed: How should emotions be managed and what steps should be taken to preserve early medieval archaeological sites?

Refugee histories of Scotland by Katherine Mackinnon, University of Glasgow:
From the Berber Roman governor who built the Antonine Wall, to Lithuanians who mined Lanarkshire coal, to the Belgian WW1 refugees who worked as clippies on Glasgow trams, refugees and migrants have been part of the fabric of Scottish society since before Scotland even existed. Despite this, records of refugee experiences have been rare. Oral histories of refugee lives can provide great insight into experiences of Scottish culture, society and history from the perspective of those who have made their home here.

A drinks reception will follow. All welcome.

Image credit: Katherine Mackinnon

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