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Lithuania’s Archaeologist of the Year plans Maternity and continuous projects

“The title of the Archaeologist of the Year is traditionally announced at the general meeting of the Lithuanian Archaeological Society. As double awards for 2019 and 2020 were announced this year, I was excited to hear my name next to Marija Gimbutienė,” says dr. Raimonda Nabažaitė, researcher of the Institute of Baltic Region History and Archaeology at Klaipėda University.

The title of the Archaeologist of the Year and its symbol – a brooch in the Baltic style – were awarded to dr.Nabažaitė for targeted research into stove tiles and church archeology, the initiatives of heritage preservation, the initiation of a cycle of conferences, and dissemination of science: the monograph Queen of the Interior. European Cultural Phenomena in the Tiles of Klaipėda Stoves  in the 14th through the  18th century (Vilnius: Vilnius Academy of Arts, 2019); organisation of a series of national conferences Archaeologia Urbana dedicated to urban cultural research; the initiative for the preservation, conservation, and dissemination of industrial heritage The Road of Herring (the 19th century engineering system for sorting herring); the initiation of the Conservation and Restoration Centre at Klaipėda University; the initiative of factory furnace conservation and a project-expedition Living Furnaces; research in churches; and adaptation and dissemination of sacred heritage.

One of the last achievements of Raimonda Nabažaitė, noticed by, and very popular with, the general public, was the excavation of St. John’s Church territory in Klaipėda: almost half of the foundations of the church, once a symbol of Klaipėda which had been destroyed and was currently planned to be rebuilt, was exposed and investigated in detail.

Dr. Raimonda Nabažaitė met with prof. dr. Artūras Razbadauskas, Rector of Klaipėda University, for a discussion of the award and the current and planned works. After receiving his congratulations, dr. Raimonda Nabažaitė said she found it difficult to engage merely in research; she had always been, and still was, interested in cultural-creative links. She was happy that the atmosphere and space of Klaipėda University made it possible for her to develop and realise ideas. This year, according to Raimonda,  the project Crossroads in History was expected to be launched: it was to present to the public the barracks presently housing KU, and simultaneously the city’s historical transformations and human migration; the idea would be realised through a virtual tour. Raimoinda was bringing together a team to summarise and present to the public the already collected material about the historical churches of Klaipėda: their history, heritage, and the process of rebuilding St. John’s Church. A communication platform for that was already being developed. .

“You are the face of Klaipėda University. We are proud of you and your activities, and the well deserved award testifies to the fact that you have found your niche, that you live by what you do, and that brings joy to you. Finding oneself is very important to everybody, as uncertainty and searches often transform into diseases. When you work with love and creativity, respect and recognition come by themselves. We are glad that you contribute to a good name and reputation of our University through your work,” said prof. Razbadauskas.

Dr. Nabažaitė assured him that her professional plans for the next decade were related to Klaipėda University, while in the coming weeks she was looking forward toward a new experience, that of motherhood.