2006 | 51 | 1-2 | 7-12
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R. Schild's research has contributed to a better understanding of Man and his environment in the earliest prehistory and has changed many existing views.The progress in modern science is based on well organized facilities and a well chosen and efficiently directed research team. It is how he has worked for years cooperating with outstanding colleagues in NE Africa. It was crowned with several excellent publications and neither can one attempt to reconstruct processes leading to the emergence of great civilizations in the Nile Valley without taking into consideration the works on the neolithization of eastern Sahara of this undoubtedly the most frequently cited Polish prehistorian. The validity of these observations are confirmed by the scholarly achievements often based on the application of original research methods, and their assessment in terms of importance for prehistoric archaeology. R. Schild's accomplishments are significant in the prehistory of the European Plain. His classic study which is most often quoted in topical literature world-wide, is not only the best synthesis of the Terminal Paleolithic, but it sets new directions for the development of research, based on explaining cultural-social and economic processes by anthropological methods. This syntheses were possible thanks to undertaking field studies on exceptionally important sites of the Paleolithic, the Mesolithic, and even flint mining in the Bronze Age. His contribution to methodology has also been substantial, especially in the case of the technological analysis of chipped lithic assemblages, which may be considered as having inspired the development of dynamic classifications, which were reconstructed in French prehistory only in the late 1980s. He has headed the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences, the largest institution of the kind in Poland since1990, at a time of huge system transformation in Poland when archaeology faced a difficult challenges. Maintaining a Institute in unchanged form, proved impossible. New initiatives were undertaken to address the economic change. Schild's pragmatic approach made it possible to link the scientific programs with new sources of external financing: applying for grants, as well as of an extensive program of highway construction. Thus, the Institute could retain the most valued scientific staff, continue to publish key publication series, and modernize very dynamically at times, hiring staff of a younger generation, by which it could maintain its high position in world archaeology. It was his wisdom, personal charm and buoyant optimism that have helped to solve many of the problems the Institute faced.
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  • J. K. Kozlowski, Uniwersytet Jagiellonski, Instytut Archeologii, ul. Golebia 11, 33-007 Krak√≥w, Poland
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