If you wish to contact me, you can send me an email. For other contact details, please see the staff list (see link on the left).
For electronic copies of most of my publications, please see my accounts on Academia.edu and/or ResearchGate - you are most welcome to follow these accounts if you would like to see notifications about new uploads of publications and research data.
If you are interested in Archaeological Heritage and its management, you may also wish to have a look at my "Blogschrift" (a mix between a Blog and Online Journal) Archäologische Denkmalpflege. While most contributions there are in German, there are also some in English (with more to come ever so often) that may well be worth reading!
You may also want to befriend me on Facebook, where I also frequently post various things related to archaeology, heritage, and jobs in the sector. And incidentally, if you should be interested in looking for jobs in archaeology, why not check out 'my' online archaeology jobs resource at the Austrian ArchäologieForum? On the other hand, if you are interested in public participation in Austrian archaeology, you may wish to get in touch with ArchaeoPublica - I'm also involved with them in a voluntary capacity.
I did my MPhil, PhD and Habilitation at the University of Vienna, Austria, with theses on a Middle La Tène settlement in Göttlesbrunn, Lower Austria; on Traffic in Iron Age Europe; and finally on Ancient Celtic Social Structures. Following some teaching in Vienna and a stint at the University of Wales Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies in Aberystwyth, I joined Bangor in 2003 as lecturer in archaeology and heritage. Since 2008, I’m professor for the same subjects here. I also serve as an advisor to several heritage organisations in Wales, Austria and Germany and do some teaching on the side (when I’ve got time) at the University of Vienna, Austria.
I have several main research areas:
- Late Bronze and Iron Age archaeology of Britain and the near (and not so near) Continent, especially settlement and social archaeology
- Epistemology in Archaeology (especially in German speaking countries)
- (archaeological) Heritage management (mainly in Britain, Austria and Germany)
- Public archaeology
- Virtual archaeology and archaeological reconstructions
Archaeological heritage management and public archaeology in Austria
Following from the Discovering the Archaeologists of Europe 2007-8 study, dubious practices in Austrian archaeological heritage management, including suspicious collusions between archaeologists in the National Heritage Agency BDA and private archaeological contractors were examined in an extended research project. This first stage of this project, which caused massive changes in Austrian heritage management over the years 2009-11, came to an end with the publication of a monograph (Karl 2011) on Archaeological Heritage Management in Austria – Practice, Problems, Suggested Solutions. Changes induced by the research carried out for this project include the prohibition for public servants in the archaeology department of the BDA to also head private archaeological contractor businesses (by ministerial edict), the end of the practice of the BDA to award high-value contracts to these very same contractors without tender or offer the services of these contractors to third parties as if they were part of the BDA (internal order of President of the BDA; freeing the private market for archaeological contractors from unfair competition and releasing several million € per annum into that private market), and the creation of the first minimum standards for archaeological excavations in Austria (issued by the department of archaeology of the BDA).
A second stage of this project is currently examining the possibilities for and problems with a (lack of provision for) public archaeology in Austria. Under the interpretation of Austrian heritage legislation applied by the BDA until September 2017, only persons with a degree in an archaeological subject were allowed to search for archaeological finds in Austria, effectively criminalising large parts of the Austrian population which want to contribute to the archaeological process. The current research aims to examine whether these citizens, in particular the metal detectorists, cause significant damage to Austrian archaeology (as is usually claimed by archaeologists), or whether their contribution outweighs the damage they might cause.
As part of the second stage, the legality of the application by the BDA of the provisions of § 11 (1) Austrian Monument Protection Law (DMSG) regarding fieldwork / research permits was also tested in a number of court cases. In September 2017, one such case, brought before the Austrian Federal Court of Administrative Appeals (BVwG), led to a conclusive judgment that the BDA had consistently and seriously misapplied the law for decades (for more detailed documentation including the text of the Court’s finding, see https://www.academia.edu/34666435/BVwG_11.9.2017_W_183_2168814-1_2E).
The court found that the fieldwork permit requirement did not extend to any research with the purpose of finding archaeology, as the BDA had maintained, but instead only extended to fieldwork with the purpose of finding archaeology on sites where significant archaeology is already known to exist; and could not extend at all to any fieldwork aimed at the discovery of surface finds and features. As a consequence of this judgement, the BDA is required to significantly change its policies and practices regarding the issuing of permits for planned fieldwork, and its practices of prosecuting potential offenders for non-permitted fieldwork. It also highlights particularly the shortcomings of the Austrian DMSG where archaeological heritage and its protection are concerned.
In a third step, suggestions are now being made regarding suitable changes to the Austrian DMSG to provide a better and more sustainable protection of archaeological heritage in Austria. A monograph (working title: Rechtswidrige Denkmalpflege) on the subject, explaining the existing problems and shortcomings of law, policy and practice, and providing draft texts for revised provisions of the ‘archaeological’ sections (§§ 8-11) of the DMSG, has recently been drafted and will hopefully be published in 2018. A suggestion for changes to the archaeological provisions of the DMSG has been submitted to the Austrian Minister for Culture in January 2018, the proposal can be found here. The arguments provided will hopefully allow to convince Austrian politics that the law needs to be urgently revised, to improve archaeological heritage protection in Austria considerably.
For more publications related to this, please see my publication list.
The Meillionydd Project
With Dr Kate Waddington (Bangor University) and Katharina Möller MA (Bangor University)
For more information and to download interim reports, please see: http://meillionydd.bangor.ac.uk
This research concerns the investigation of a hilltop enclosure at Meillionydd in Rhiw, Gwynedd. The site forms one of ten ‘double ringwork’ enclosures on the Llŷn peninsula. Despite representing a distinct regional tradition, the development of these enclosures is not well understood. In the first seven seasons (2010-2016), the site was sectioned from outside the south-easterly entrance to outside the north-western outer bank. Since season 8 (2017), we have started to excavate the north-eastern half of the site, to try to connect the complex stratigraphy that exists particularly on the inner side of the inner bank and gain even better understanding of the internal spatial organisation of the site. It is expected that this phase of the Meillionydd excavations will take some further 4-5 years to complete. The GPR survey and excavation results have revealed a long and complex sequence of occupation, beginning with a timber settlement of roundhouses and a palisade enclosure or ditched enclosure, and culminating with a double ringwork of stone and earth banks with internal stone roundhouses. At the moment, we can distinguish 8 main phases, several of them with further sub-phases; in total, 13 different stages can currently be identified in the sequence of occupation of the site. Current radiocarbon dates span c. 750 – 200 cal. BC, with a systematic dating programme planned for the near future. For publications related to this, please see my key & recent publication list.
The Labour Market and the Socio-Economics of Archaeology in Europe
Following on from the previous Discovering the Archaeologists of Europe projects, research (including grant applications for new iterations of the ‘DISCO’ studies) continues on the Archaeological Labour Market and socio-economic conditions for and of archaeological work in Europe.
Discovering the Archaeologists of Europe 2014 was a major transnational project, examining archaeological employment and barriers to transnational mobility within archaeology across twenty European countries. It is undertaken with the support of the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union.
It is a successor to the previous Discovering the Archaeologists of Europe project which ran from 2006-2008.
For publications related to this and the previous Discovering the Archaeologists of Austria 2007-8 project, please see my key & recent publication list.
For more information, please also see:
For more information on archaeological jobs, also see our joint work with the University of Vienna on the internet (With PD Dr Karl R. Krierer, Department of Ancient History at the University of Vienna, Austria): http://archaeologieforum.at - a German / International archaeology discussion forum with major jobs resource.