I completed my short-term mobility at Cambridge University from March 19 to March 24, 2018. My STM is related to WP4 and more specifically to Task 4.4, Boosting MIT disciplinary approach to the Sciences of the Past in Croatia. The general aim is to transfer new skills and boost know-how through formal presentations and informal discussions, as well as strengthen the existing collaboration with scientists from Cambridge University and explore new possibilities of joint research. The purpose of my visit is knowledge transfer in the development and implementation of the MIT disciplinary approach to the sciences of the past.
My hosts at the University of Cambridge were Dr Preston Miracle (Department of Archaeology) and Dr Toomas Kivisild (Department of Archaeology).
Dr Preston Miracle as one of my hosts at the University of Cambridge gave me a tour of the Department and zooarchaeological laboratory, as well as St. Johns College. Also, we discussed the themes related to the MendtheGap project, such as current approaches to past animal-human interaction.
Since Dr Kivisild is a geneticist, we have discussed the issues of DNA extraction from skeletal remains and use of such studies in archaeological research. One of the topics in our conversation was the MendTheGap Workshop on human genetics that will be held this autumn in Zagreb.
Also, I took advantage of this opportunity to contact other scientists from the University: Prof John Robb, Dr Sara Inskip and Dr Emma Lightfoot. Prof Robb and Dr Inskip are bioarchaeologists who currently work on the projectAfter the Plague: Health and History in Medieval Cambridge. Since the aim of the project is to learn more about health, life and death among the medieval urban population, it was interesting to hear about their results and compare them with my own research on medieval Zagreb.
Dr Lightfoot is a bioarchaeologist specialized in isotope studies and we have a long-term collaboration. We have talked about the stable isotope analyses of skeletal material, especially that from Avar period cemetery from Nuštar
During my stay, I was introduced to Prof Valerie Higgins and Prof Graeme Barker. Prof. Higgins research focuses on heritage issues in Rome, especially the influence of a nation’s recent history on archaeological practice and the impact of digital media on the experience of archaeology. It was interesting and useful to hear her experience with this important subject, especially since this kind of research is not very developed in Croatia.
Even though my specialization is not prehistoric archaeology, meeting Prof Graeme Barker was a rare opportunity to learn about his research in the Middle East.
During my stay in Cambridge, I also visited the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
I consider my short-term mobility to Cambridge University very valuable experience for my scientific progress.