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Archaeological Techniques and Center Research (ArchaeoTek) has been created in 2001 in Canada by two archaeologists of Eastern European background, Andre Gonciar and Stephen Batiuk, as an independent association of researchers in the fields of archaeology, anthropology, physical anthropology and GIS/remote sensing. Our initial goal was to provide a platform where international collaborative research programs could develop, through which we could provide logistical support and up-to-date expertise (methodological and theoretical) to selected projects in Eastern Europe. In that context, A. Gonciar set up the Southern Transylvania Projects, directed towards studying the archaeological development of culture in a geographically distinct territory, from the early Neolithic to the Germanic migrations.
From what initially was intended to be purely a scientific endeavor, Southern Transylvania Projects evolved to be much more. It became a full program of exploration of Romanian archaeology, anthropology and culture, truly a journey into the histories and realities of the Romanian countryside. As a result, during the past 13 years, more than 600 U.S., Canadian, Western European and Australian students have spent their summers on one of our projects, contributing to the exploration and further understanding of the Romanian past. The experience they took back to their home countries portrayed a different Romania from the one commonly displayed in the news. These students experience a country enriched by an extraordinary anthropological heritage that they are now part of in a small but meaningful way, a diverse and vibrant culture, and a welcoming people.
All our projects (see project list) are the result of research initiatives set up as field, laboratory and scientific collaborations with local museums and/or national research units. Working closely with Romanian museums and academic institutions, we have successfully excavated a wide array of sites ranging from the Neolithic to the Medieval period. Over the years, we have excelled in providing valuable fieldwork opportunities in an exciting and affordable learning environment for hundreds staff members, volunteers and students.
At the present time, the Southern Transylvania Projects are currently the longest lasting cultural international endeavors in Transylvania and one of the very few archaeological projects in Romania. The full day session that will be presented at the 2012 Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference in Buffalo, “New Perspectives in Transylvanian Archaeology”, celebrated a decade of field and scientific research by introducing the North American scientific community and public to the extraordinary archaeology of the Romanian distant past. ArchaeoTek students and staf continue to bring Transylvanian archaeology and anthropology to the North American scientific community through numerous conference presentations and sessions at SAA, AAPA, PPA, AIA and TAG-USA.