Preservation, protection and popularization of archaeological heritage in the landscape
This AP focuses on preserving archaeological heritage on the landscape. Many archaeological sites that are mentioned in archives are not protected, for their location is unknown to municipalities and state authorities. These monuments, as settlement sites, need to be found by field inventories in the project area (also by using methods of aerial archaeology). For preparing field inventories, databases of monuments and their digital map (AP 2) will be made. Inventory reports will be composed, the discovered sites will be presented for protection to state and municipality authorities. In some key sites urgent rescue excavations are needed. Much work is needed not only to hinder illegal treasure hunting, but also to develop cooperation with legal hobby-detectorists. An officer for public relations in questions of archaeological heritage protection will be employed in Tartu, also for work with detectorists. For stray finds found by them also a database will be programmed.
Database and maps of archaeological sites will be made for project area and presented to municipalities and heritage protection units. Field inventories to check archive data will take place in at least 15 Estonian parishes, whereby in 6 parishes special attention is paid to sacred natural places (for them a special database model is used). Field work results are reflected in reports (ca. 2200 pages; Est: ca. 900; Lat: 400, Rus: 900), photos etc. (Re-) discovered sites will be recorded in the databases. Field inventories comprise ca 170 000 km in all (Est: ca 80-90 000; Lat: 10-15 000; Rus: 70-80 000). Number of rescue excavations: Est: 3-4, Lat: 3; Rus: 3. At least 6 schoolings for detectorists will be organized in Estonia.
To exchange field work experience, and for finding new archaeological sites, several cross-border field inventories (field work training seminars) are planned with rented micro-bus:
1) Est-Rus: 2 x 3 trips on both sides of Lake Peipsi–Lake Pskov; 1 trip to Southern part of Pskov region,
2) Est-Lat-Rus: 1 trip to Northeastern Latvia and Pechory region;
3) Est-Lat: Southeastern Latvia (1 trip).
Rescue excavations of damaged or threatened archaeological sites are planned for 3–4 sites in Estonia (3 expedition months) and Russia (4–5 expedition months) and for 3 sites in Latvia (3 expedition months). Field work equipment will be complemented and modernized in Pskov (notebook computer, distance radio set) and Riga (metal detector). For detecting archaeological sites P2 will use the method of aerial reconnaissance.
In total ca. 90 people (students + volunteers; Est: 40: Lat 20, Rus 30) get experience, how to find monuments in the landscape. Ca 30 persons (Est: 10, Lat: 7, Rus: 12) get the experience of joint cross-border field work practice. Ca. 800–1000 monuments (Est: 200–300; Lat: 90–100, Rus: 400–600) will probably be found/visited during field inventories and presented to authorities. The finding of monuments saves them for tourism, and as future research objects. The databases of sites will be used in further planning. Rescue excavations will take place on ca. 10 damaged or threatened objects (Est: 3–4; Lat: 3; Rus: 3). In the whole project area the awareness of people of archaeological values, and in the question of illegal detecorism considerably increases. Obtained field work equipment remains in use also after the end of the project period.
Preservation of archaeological heritage in the landscape enables to keep and strengthen local identity, to increase the potential recreation and tourism value of landscapes and the region. It contributes to making new work places in environmental and cultural tourism spheres and decreases the risk of possible future conflicts between developing activities and heritage protection authorities (conflicts emerge when sites are found only in course of construction works).