History of the Company

History of the Company

Archaia Brno, o. p. s. is a non-state and non-profit organisation with the legal statute of a public benefit company, registered in the index of public benefit companies at the Regional Court in Brno on November 21, 2001. On October 27, 2001 the company gained a permission by the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic to perform archaeological excavations. 

The company acquires money for its research activity mainly through self-financing by means of contracts for work signed up with particular building investors on the basis of law Nr. 20/Statute book of 1987 on Preservation of historical monuments, as amended. A small part of finances comes from grants assigned by the Ministry of Culture or the Czech Science Foundation. The company doesn’t receive any system state allocation or sponsor supply.

The company was established in 1997 through a separation from the Institute of Archaeological Research and Preservation of Historical Monuments in Brno as a Brno department of the civil association Archaia with the headquarters in Prague. From the beginning already the department was created by a collective of experts specialized in systematic rescue excavations on the territory of Brno and its historical suburbs. In addition, the workplace focused all along also on rescue research activity in historical cores of another Moravian towns, or at further significant sites (Uherské Hradiště, Olomouc, Znojmo, Jihlava, Oslavany, Ivančice, Podivín, Tišnov, Velká Bíteš, Česká Třebová a. o.). In 2001 the department was transformed into an independent public benefit company. Today Archaia Brno, o. p. s. has two separate workplaces in Brno and Jihlava and a long-time expedition in Prague within the framework of the rescue archaeological research at Náměstí republiky (Republic Square).

Nowadays Archaia Brno, o. p. s. is focused from the professional point of view mainly on rescue and advance archaeological excavations and building-historical research of endangered historical monuments. It is also trying to appeal to the preservation of historical monuments aiming to maintain a maximum of archaeological and architectonic sources, or at least to enforce as best as possible research and documentation before their destruction. Besides these two tasks the company’s professional activity is represented by processing of excavation results into scientifically usable finding reports and their enabling in professional literature. 

The employees of the company participate in scientific grant projects, perform publishing activity and regularly take part in home as well as foreign expert conferences, above all on medievalistic topics (Archaeologia historica, Archaeologia technica, Dějiny staveb /Building History, Záchranné výzkumy na Moravě a ve Slezsku /Rescue Excavations in Moravia and Silesia, Přírodovědné metody v archeologii a antropologii /Scientific methods in Archaeology and Anthropology a. o.). Since 2002 the company has been organizing also its own conference FORUM URBES MEDII AEVI (FUMA) devoted to various topics of urban archaeology. 

Besides research activity the professional workers try to further develop and make more effective the methodics of field research and the processing of its results. For this purpose they create both the standards for particular working and documentation procedures, and a special software for the evaluation of results of field excavations and data archiving. 

Archaia Brno, o. p. s. operates not isolated in the professional field, it is in contact to another archaeological institutions. These contacts can be of various form and intensity depending on the function of partnership organisation, from a relation to departments of monument conservation at particular city municipalities and town halls and the National Institute for the Protection and Conservation of Monuments and Sites, through joint work on grant projects, cooperation in the proper rescue activity and presentation of its results up to an interchange of services and information. Most significant is the cooperation with the Institute of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in Brno, which is the legal guarantee of archaeology in the Czech Republic. The evaluation of archaeological excavations requires also a cooperation with another disciplines, both scholastic (history, historic topography, diplomatic, numismatic a. o.) and scientific (geology, archaeobotany, archaeozoology, palynology, dendrochronology, analyses of material structure of finds a. o.). Last but not least it is inevitable to secure a professional conservation of finds and their subsequent deposition in museums.

Significant is the cooperation with the Institute of Archaeology and Museology at the Faculty of Arts of the Masaryk University in Brno. Archaia Brno performs here a block of lectures for archaeology students focused on the methodics of field research and its legal, organisation and ethic questions. The company offers to the students of the said institute material from its own excavations to be processed in form of seminar and degree thesises, which contributes to an early evaluation thereof. The professional workers act at the same time as consultants of assigned works. At the rescue excavations organized by the company many archaeology students also obtain valuable practical know-how. 

The company employees also try to present the excavation results to professional as well as broad public, namely through communication facilities, lecturing activity, holding of exhibitions in selected objects of investigation, and through cooperation in museum expositions of another organisations. They also organize expert commissions and open houses directly at the sites investigated. In the future also a monograph is to be published, which in a more popular form would inform about the excavation results on the territory of Brno and their significance for the town’s history.