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Predrag Novaković


Predrag Novaković is a Professor at the Department of Archaeology, University of Ljubljana, teaching theory and history of archaeology, archaeological methods, spatial and landscape archaeology. Guest professor at the universities in Pisa (1998 – 2000), Graz (2007 – 2008) and Sarajevo (2012 – 2013), honorary member of the European Association of Archaeologists (since 2008), currently President of the Slovene Archaeological Society. Author, co-author and editor of books on history of spatial archaeology, archaeology in Balkans, archaeological 3D recording, STEM teaching in archaeology.


Archaeology is still traditionally considered a national science, similar to history, ethnology, language and literature studies and many other humanistic disciplines. History of archaeology shows clear reasons for such consideration. To put it simply, archaeology participates in understanding the national past or that of the national territory and contributes to national heritage.

The situation becomes more complex in the multi-national countries. There, archaeology had (or still has) dual character – national and that of the state. In Czechoslovakia, there were Czech and Slovak archaeologies; in Spain, Catalan, Basque and Galician archaeologies; in the UK, there exist Scottish, Welsh and English archaeology; in Belgium, Valon and Flemish. The degree of the ‘national’ in these archaeologies varies from country to country, as well as their integration at the state level, but, nevertheless, they still keep their national dimension.

Former Yugoslavia was a particular case where national archaeologies existed or developed for the first time in a multi-national state with several languages and confessions. This cohabitation was a challenging process. Indeed, different (national) views of the past and different scholarly and cultural traditions, on the one hand, and integrating attempts of the Yugoslav stance, on the other hand, had to constantly seek balance in challenging social and political reality of the Yugoslav state during its existence. Today’s question is not how archaeology functioned in former Yugoslavia but what we have inherited and learned from it.