DialPast was established in 2004 as a cooperation between archaeology departments from the Nordic countries.
Phd students and lecturers at the archaeological site of Atapuerca in Spain, november 2015.
It has since organized 30 international seminars and workshops with more than 400 participants. The Museum of Cultural History (KHM), University of Oslo (UiO), is the project owner on behalf of the University Museums in Norway. The Institute of Archaeology, Conservation and History (IAKH), UiO, is responsible for administering the Project.
The overall objective of The Nordic Graduate School in Archaeology, Dialogues with the Past, is to address theoretical, methodological and interpretative challenges by providing PhD students with increased access to multi-disciplinary, world-class academic networks, courses and workshops.
This strategy has secured and will continue to secure competent individuals for the broad labour market in museums, management and university departments. Dialpast will continue to generate international networks that serve to develop archaeological research and discourse of a high international standard.
Since 2009 an important aim for DialPast has been to strengthen research capabilities at the Norwegian University Museums, as well as facilitating the cooperation between the University Museums and other academic institutions.
For the university museums this not only serves to convey the relevance and importance of university museums for research in the future, but also integrates the particular contributions these institutions can make to broad, international theoretical and interpretative advances.
Indeed, with the developments of the last decade, the crucial importance of developing theoretically informed empirical research in archaeology and related disciplines, whilst integrating it in interpretative discourses has become all the more important.
The advances born by the “third archaeometric revolution” (DNA and isotope analyses), GIS-analyses, statistical modelling and “big data” emphasize the necessary interdisciplinary perspectives at play between data, method, theory and interpretation – and the need for competence building, integrated training and international networks.
Challenges of the next decade
The trends of the last decade have revitalized collections, archives and fieldwork as crucially important for the wider archaeological community. The significance of museum collections, and thus the practices of museums, is again a concern of the whole archaeological research community.
With their resources and organization the university museums can offer a venue for a genuine interdisciplinary contribution to archaeological research, bringing together anthropology, conservation, laboratory sciences, paleozoology and vegetation history.
Dialogues with the Past thus serves to create a venue where PhD-candidates from all types of research institutions are trained to meet the demands of the future, collaboratively developing the theoretical and methodological skills and tools to meet the challenges of the next decade.