• A journey into the history of the pile-dwellings: a scientific and media road trip from the Seeland to Northern Italy.

It is time for Xiphia and the entire team from Biel/Bienne to leave for the Lago di Ledro (World Heritage Site, just like Sutz on Lake Biel) for the inauguration of the new museum ( On this occasion, many festivities and a prehistoric regatta will take place. To allow you to accompany our trip, we have set up a group on facebook that you can follow and like ( To introduce the Swiss World Heritage pile-dwellings, we have set up films with our colleagues from different cantons that we want to distribute more widely. The first one talks about the Sutz-Rütte site in the canton of Berne. We thank Regine Stapfer for her very informative comments and Benoît Dietrich for the shooting. To see under:

  • A new cantonal archaeology museum in Sion?

The General Council of the City of Sion unanimously accepted Mathieu Gachnang’s postulate for the creation of a cantonal museum of archaeology. His presentation was based on the master’s thesis of our collaborator Aurélia Basterrechea. Here is the televised intervention:

  • The netzwerk Bielersee proposes three talks and one excursion on nearby archaeological sites

On Wednesday 13th of March 2019 at 18.00 o’clock at the Neues Museum Biel, Ulrich Winkelmann and Friedericke Moll-Dau of the Archäologischer Dienst des Kantons Bern Service will present in German:
Die Einbaumvitrine von Moosseedorf – Das kleinste Museum der Schweiz für den ältesten Einbaum der Schweiz

On Wednesday 20th of March 2019 at 18.00 o’clock at the Neues Museum Biel, Regine Stapfer of the Archäologischer Dienst des Kantons Bern Service will present in German:
«Campus Biel/Bienne» – die bisher älteste Pfahlbausiedlung am Bielersee

On Wednesday 27th of March 2019 at 18.00 o’clock at the Neues Museum Biel, Gianna Reginelli Servais of the Office du patrimoine et archéologie and Laténium will present in French:
La Tène, actualité des recherches

Finally, on Saturday 22nd June 2019 from 12.30 to 17.30, The Netzwerk Bielersee proposes a:
Walk in the Areuse Gorges and visit of the Cotencher cave in French and German.
The excursion is by train and on foot. Meeting point at Neuchâtel station at 12.30 pm. The excursion will be done in any weather. Good shoes and appropriate clothing are necessary. If you have any, take a bicycle or protective helmet with you! Registration required before June 25th at

The role of ICAHM in supporing ICOMOS and UNESCO in the context of World Heritage Sites

ICAHM Europe has organised a session for the EAA Conference in Bern. Wenn SIf you are interested, you can propose a paper on the EAA website.
This is the summary of the session:
This session aims at discussing the role of archaeologists in general and
heritage managers in particular in the context of World Heritage (WH), as
ICAHM is UNESCO’s advisory body for this topic. Europe is the region with most WH sites in the world. Many of them are archaeological sites. On the one hand, this imbalance is a sign for the ‘hegemonic Western vision of Archaeological (Cultural) Heritage’ (UNESCO’s Global Strategy 1994), on the other hand Europe serves as a great field experiment in heritage management. This session wants to discuss examples of best practice or other experiences highlighting archaeological heritage management issues at European World Heritage Sites. The main objectives are:
To present ICAHM’s Scientific Committee and the opportunities this international non-governmental organisation (NGO) offers to archaeologists.
To discuss new challenges that archaeological heritage management faces (i.e. community involvement, evaluation systems, management plan strategies, conflicts of interpretation and decolonization models, conservation, environmental relationships, and contemporary archaeology).
To establish a closer relationship between European archaeologists in order to grasp specific necessities of the area and discuss possible solutions that the ICAHM committee could implement.

  • Is Archaeology a citizen-science? The Role of Archaeologists and archaeological Institutions within our Society in question

Ellinor Dunning (ArchaeoConcept and University of Neuchâtel), Kai Salas Rossenbach (INRAP) and Amala Marx (INRAP) are organizing a session on the role of archaeology and its institutions in contemporary society at the annual EAA symposium. If you are interested in this theme, do not hesitate to propose an intervention for session #349 at:
This session is about to highlight the different roles archaeologists and archaeological institutions are playing and will play in our societies. Our aim is to encourage reflexive postures on our practices and values. Indeed, if citizen-sciences and participation are becoming very popular, we also need to consider our roles as archaeologists and citizens and what do we want to achieve by producing archaeological knowledge.
We do consider that, as researchers and citizens, we have the responsibility to understand the way we produce “scientific content” and for whom and how do we share this knowledge.
This session offers the opportunity to discuss different topics such as:
1) the way we produce knowledges and discourses upon the past and for whom; what is our social responsibility doing this? how archaeology can help finding solutions and answers in our present society about the current environmental – economical – ethical crisis our global world is facing?
2) What is the role of mediation in archaeology: what do we want to transmit and how?
3) what is our role as experts; what does “expertise” mean? How can we achieve inclusive co-creation of discourses and values about the past? How do we manage participation in content creation, research, transmission, preservation? That is, how far are we ready to go to implement inclusiveness in the production of knowledge? Is that necessary? What roles do “the public” and the broader population play in archaeology and what for?
By asking these questions, our aim is to show diverse ways of connecting the scientific sphere (and the institutions that are supporting it) with different population groups.

  • Salons archéologiques on Canal 3

Following the support of the Salons archéologiques project as part of the “Patrimoine pour tous” competition, Ellinor and Camille presented the project to the local Biel-based radio station Canal 3. Here are the links: and

  • We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year!

  • Salons archéologiques is supported as part of the “Patrimoine pour tous” project competition

How can heritage be explored and discussed by all? A welcoming living room, an intimate atmosphere, tea and steaming coffee, about fifteen people ready to share their memories and questions about archaeology, a good dose of curiosity, two archaeologists, an anthropologist,  these are the ingredients necessary for an archaeological fair. Once a month, we take archaeology out of traditional institutions by inviting ordinary people to talk about it together in the living room of a private individual. We collect these testimonies throughout Switzerland in order to generate an analysis of these citizen reflections, delivered in a book intended for those responsible for heritage management.
As an archaeologist, Ellinor Dunning examines the mechanisms of patrimonialization as well as the relations between audiences and institutions in this context. It defends a democratic production of knowledge, of which the Salons are one of the expressions.
Thanks to the subsidy of 88,600 francs, this project will therefore be able to be implemented for the year 2019. In 2020, we will publish a publication with the results obtained thanks to the exhibitions.

  • Sept siècles avant notre ère: un village prospère entre lac et Jura

The Early Iron Age village of Onnens – Le Motti has delivered a sensational quantity of objects and numerous structures. This has made it possible to reconstruct the daily life of this village located in the foothills of the Jura near Lake Neuchâtel. A first article allowing you to get an idea of it appeared in as. Swiss Archaeology 41.2018.4 ( The publication of the scientific results has just been published in the Cahiers d’Archéologie Romande 169 under the title “Les occupations de l’âge du Fer. Onnens – Le Motti (La Colline d’Onnens 3). You can still order it at the subscription price until 31.12.2018:

  • Annual assembly of the EAA in Bern: Beyond paradigms

The Annual Meeting themes, as defined by the Scientific Committee, incorporate the diversity of EAA and the multidimensionality of archaeological practice, including archaeological interpretation, heritage management and politics of the past and present.
1. Archaeological theory and methods beyond paradigms
2. Interpreting the archaeological record: artefacts, humans, and landscapes
3. Archaeology of mountainous landscapes
4. Digital archaeology, science and multidisciplinarity: new methods, new challenges
5. Archaeological heritage and museum management: future chances, future risks
6. Global change and archaeology
Registration is open! All participants of EAA Annual Meetings have to be current (2019) EAA members and register for the conference. Both fees can be paid in one step or separately.
For further information: EAA2019website

  • Société académique du Valais

We are very proud to announce that the Société académique du Valais awarded Ellinor Dunning its special 2018 “Citizen Science” academic prize for the Salons archéologiques project on November 9. She will present the project at their general meeting next spring. Congratulations to both project managers!

  • Interview in Ancient History Encyclopedia

Cynthia Dunning Thierstein was interviewed by James Blake Wiener for the on-line Ancient History Encyclopedia. Read the conversation here:

  • Heritage for all

On the occasion of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, the Federal Office of Culture (FOC) organised a competition for ideas at the end of 2017. It aimed to gather ideas on communication, public awareness and the creation of new ways of accessing cultural heritage. It was organized through an online platform based on the notion of “collective intelligence”: everyone was able to comment, develop and evaluate the ideas presented. The aim of this phase was to reach and mobilize large segments of the population. The following themes have been chosen:
– Cultural heritage and storytelling
– From words to deeds
– Cultural heritage and socio-spatial development
– Living the cultural heritage
– Playful mediation of cultural heritage
Following the competition for ideas, the OFC set up a competition for projects on these themes. The selected projects will receive financial support from the Federal Office of Culture.
ArchaeoConcept alone or in collaboration with the New Biel Museum has proposed various projects:
– Sites of the month and the Swiss archaeological map
– “Salons archéologiques
– A journey into prehistoric pile-dwelling history: A scientific and media journey between the Seeland and Alpine Italy
– Linking sites – linking associations
The winners will be announced on December 20, 2018 in a press release. The projects will be presented at the same time on the platform and on the OFC website.

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