History and tradition of classical archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology and Museology
The study of classical archaeology was introduced to the Brno Faculty of Arts as a constituent part of classical philology and concurrently with it in 1920. Alongside Latin and Old Greek philology and ancient history some of the teachers specialised in the life and institutions, material culture and the art of the ancient civilisations. These were the specialisations of the literary historian Prof. Ferdinand Stiebitz, ancient historian Prof. Vladimír Groh and aesthetician Prof. Karel Svoboda. In the 1930s, Gabriel Hejzlar, an expert in Greek iconography and civil urban architecture, became the first senior lecturer and later professor with a specialisation in classical archaeology. His contribution included co-operation with a generation-older professor at the German Technical University in Brno, Joseph Dell, a renowned historian of Greek architecture who participated in the Austrian excavations in Carnuntum, Ephesus, Jerusalem and Athens in the early 1920s. Thanks to this co-operation Prof. Dell bequeathed his collection to the department of classical archaeology, and was later followed by Prof. Hejzlar. In this way the department acquired its own collection of artefacts to be used in instruction and research. In the period of communism classical archaeology would be opened to only a limited number of students and with interruptions of several years. Yet, in spite of the circumstances, another teacher, former graduate in philology and classical archaeology, senior lecturer Oldřich Pelikán joined the department and working alongside him was the later-to-become Professor Radislav Hošek, who as an external collaborator helped re-establish classical archaeology as a discipline in 1990.
Outstanding graduates who reached international renown include the now retired Václav Kruta, professor at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes in Paris, a leading expert in Celtic civilisation. Regular study of classical archaeology was re-established in 1990. Soon afterwards the interest on the part of applicants increased and has maintained a steady level to this day. A balanced and scientifically grounded study programme was introduced by PhDr. Marie Pardyová, CSc. who expanded it by including late antiquity, early Christian and early Byzantine art. The teaching in specialised areas was provided through collaboration with invited experts, senior lecturer Marie Dufková from the National Museum, Prof. Jan Bouzek from Charles University and senior lecturer Jaroslav Tejral from the Archaeological Institute. Students can receive practical experience at the excavation of the most important ancient site in South Moravia – the Roman camp in Mušov – under the supervision of Mgr. Balázs Komoróczy, PhD, who also teaches the subject. The arrival of Mgr. Věra Klontza, PhD in 2012 boosted the international contacts of the department – it marked a start of intensive cooperation with foreign institutions and students were given a chance to take part in international research projects in Crete.
In 2005 the department merged with the Institute of Archaeology and Museology, where it is better positioned to coordinate the theoretical instruction in archaeological methodology and the practice and to provide a broader framework of courses within the different specializations. Prof. Jiří Frel, former professor at the University of California and curator at the Getty Museum in the USA gave a number of lectures at the department and the research specialist Dr. Elisabetta Gagetti from Milan worked there between 2010 and 2012.