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The Alpine Network

The Trento University and the Museo Tridentino di Scienze Naturali have created a co-operation network “Alpine Network for Archaeological Sciences” that unites the academic institutions of all Alpine countries. This network aims at projecting and carrying out joint activities in order to increase, develop and disseminate the knowledge about the past of the Alps.

The Alpine Network intends to provide an update state of the art of our knowledge of the European prehistory and to increase public awareness to archaeology as a relevant human/social science, useful to a better understanding of our modern cultural diversity as well as of our past cultural identity.

The Alpine Network started its activity in 2001 with the positive experience of the annual project “The Alps Before Frontiers”, funded by the European Community (Culture 2000 EU Programme). Today, the network is using a new three year project (2004-2007) also co-financed by the European Community (Culture 2000 EU Programme) that intensifies the collaboration between Trento University, the Museo Tridentino di Scienze Naturali and the European Universities that have joined AlpiNet: the Grenoble University (France), Chambéry (France), Zürich (Switzerland), Innsbruck (Austria), Wien (Austria), Ljubljana (Slovenia) and the Curt-Engelhorn-Zentrum Archäometrie (Germany). In this present project, the collaboration has been extended to include the University of Tübingen (Germany), the Istituto Trentino di Cultura (Italy), the Istituto Italiano di Paletnologia Umana of Rome (Italy), the University of Ferrara (Italy) and the Anthropology Research Center of Toulouse (France).

Alpinet scheduled objectives

AlpiNet offers an original and innovative geographically-oriented archaeological research paradigm where the past is treated as a whole, as a never ending genealogical tree, and not as artificially segmented chronological worlds such as Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age. The experience gained by the network will be useful for the development of an overall strategy that can be used in the creation of geographically-oriented common European research/dissemination patterns.

By this agreement, AlpiNet founder partners will continue to design, organise, undertake, and manage joint activities in order to increase, develop, promote, and disseminate the knowledge about the past of the Alps. Accordingly, AlpiNet will allow Partners to undertake cooperation directed to scientific research, training, and disseminating activities in the area of shared interest, which is Archaeology and any other related discipline, applied to the alpine environment. AlpiNet scientific activity will be dedicated to investigate and to reconstruct the past environments and human behaviour. The AlpiNet disseminating policy will be dedicated to the study, preservation, and valorisation of Prehistorical, Protohistorical, and historical evidences. AlpiNet training activity will be dedicated to increase and develop high standard common practices.

Beyond attaining the scheduled objectives, the Project - offering a simple and direct communication channel and exchange of knowledge between all these countries – represented the first basic and concrete step for the advancement of international co-operation in the field of alpine prehistory and history.

The concept of the Alpine Region as an area of aggregation and not simply a natural barrier has been recognized by applicant institutions and other partners. Consequently, the Project clearly gave an important contribution to European trans-national common practices and professional qualifications in archaeological sciences as well as to the development of links between scientific institutions and the public in a range of European countries.