Introducing the online journal "Historische Archäologie"


“Historical Archaeology” is a term used differently by the variously different archaeological traditions found worldwide, but all definitions and uses have in common an emphasis on periods with so-called dense tradition. This generally means that the archaeological material sources are accompanied by written records.

Nowadays, the excavation of medieval and post-medieval sites is a major part of the work of archaeological heritage agencies. Medieval contexts and finds have long been analysed critically and comprehensively. In German-speaking Europe, however, there is no real methodological or theoretical forum for post-medieval themes.

In spring 2009 we are introducing the online journal “Historische Archäologie” to offer a new and open access medium. “Historische Archäologie” wishes explicitly to present research and analysis from the late medieval period and the modern period in all its aspects. Its time frame ranges from the 14th/15th century until today. Geographically the journal focuses on papers from German-speaking Europe and adjacent states. Papers shall not only discuss contexts and finds, but should also address methodological or theoretical questions. With this new journal we also wish to build bridges to eastern Central Europe and to Scandinavia.

With our decision to publish online and open access we are not only responding to the prompting of research institutions such as the DFG, but also see the journal very much as part of the opposition to the commercialisation of the scientific journal market.

We wish to offer young scientists and “established” colleagues an opportunity to present their research. By this we don’t primarily mean data structure reports, but are asking instead for well-founded contributions, which are likely to be discussed in professional circles. All different sources groups (archaeology, documents, visual sources and oral history) should be incorporated, analysed and evaluated in a complementary fashion to answer the questions asked. This is the only way comprehensive cultural scientific and historic conclusions can be reached.

We explicitly encourage authors to submit papers in English to allow a broad and international exchange. Articles in German will include an extensive English summary.

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