The authors make a review of relics of Russian Hunting Stations on the Dunöyane (Down Islands), a group of small islets to the north of the mouth of the Hornsund fiord. They relate to the relics of the station from Store Dunöya and to the well known story about the groups of Russian hunters that were killed in 1819. Remnants of dwelling-houses, baths, monumental votive crosses, graves a.s.o. on Fjörnholmen are relics of a large basic stations situated very close to a convenient anchorage. Undoubtedly, it was working mainly during the second half of the 18th century.
The author makes a review of conceptions explaining the beginnings of human penetration into the region of Spitsbergen and points to attempts of employing archeological data in this task. In his analysis of the development, the tendencies and the state of the excavatory exploration of Spitsbergen the author tries to define the cognitive capabilities of archeology in the investigation of the history of human activity in the area. The appraisal of achievements in the field prompts the author to propose new priorities in the research problems hitherto undertaken by archeologists. Greater emphasis should be put on the examination of the structure and the dynamics of the analysed processes, rather than on the purely historical (event-centered) aspects.
Dr. Artur Obłuski of the University of Warsaw tells us about research into political, social, and religious transformations in Sudan in the Middle Ages, the present-day importance of archaeological discoveries, and the meaning of the word “UMMA.”
The authors draw on their experience and past mountain landscape studies to describe an emerging collaborative research project designed to conduct advanced field studies and generate (and test) archaeological landscape models of past hunter-gatherer populations as well as pastoralist and early farming community seasonal transhumance migrations between lowland river valleys of Poland’s Podhale Basin and high altitude forests and meadows its adjacent High Tatra Mountains.
Scientific research on urban and rural layouts should form an important element of studying the history of cities and villages, something which requires a coordination of multiple disciplines. One must make use of source material, yet be able to tell the difference between the source and its interpretation or critique. The importance of source material varies depending on the period and area in question. When investigating Early Medieval Poland, for instance, one should focus on geological and archeological sources. The later periods show a much larger wealth of written sources and accounts. Beginning from the period of founding cities based on German laws in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, city plans and cartographic sources are of increasing value, as they make it possible to perform modular analyses. The role of iconographic source material increases during from the modern period all the way to our times. The method of research here is the correlation of the information gained from these sources onto modern urban layouts. We can interpret the subsequent phases of development based on this. Using modular analysis we can then identify the historical and agricultural conditions of the time. This research should be conducted by a team of academics from various different fields. An example of such a cooperation is the Atlas Miast Polskich (The Atlas of Polish Cities).
At the turn of the twentieth and twenty-first century, the field of Arabic and Islamic studies became enriched by a number of multi-facetted scholarly theories challenging the traditional account on the early centuries of Islam. An author of one of them was the Israeli scholar Yehuda D. Nevo (1932–1992), working in archaeology, epigraphy and historiography. He devoted much of his career to the studying of Arabic rock inscriptions in the Negev desert, as well as to investigating literary and numismatic evidence of nascent Islam. In his theory, the gradual development of the Islamic faith, inspired by Abrahamism with an admixture of Judeo-Christianity, went through a stage of “indeterminate monotheism”. Not earlier than since the end of the second century A.H. one can speak of the formation of the dogmatic pillars of Islam, similar to those we know today. This paper is an attempt to sum up Nevo’s insightful input into the field of modern Islamic & Quranic studies today. Although controversial and unorthodox, many later researchers repeatedly refered to Nevo’s plenty of inspiring theses in their quest for facts on Islamic genesis lost in the maze of time and shifting memory of generations.