The consortium comprises(*):
- Romanian National History Museum (MNIR) | MNIR;
- Romanian Geology Institute (IGR) - National Geology Museum | IGR - National Geology Museum;
- National Institute of Research for Conservation and Restoration (INCCR) | INCCR;
- University of Bucharest - Faculty of Geology and Geophysics (UBFGG) | University of Bucharest - UBFGG;
- National Institute of Research and Development for Biological Sciences (INCDSB) - Centre of Bioanalysis | INCDSB - Centre of Bioanalysis;
- "Horia Hulubei" National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering (IFIN-HH) - Centre for Technological Irradiations (IRASM) | IFIN-HH - IRASM;
General presentation of the consortium
MNIR is the main preventive archaeology national operator, coordinating the biggest profile projects ever undertaken in Romania, such as "Alburnus Maior" (Rosia Montana) and "Transylvania Motorway", engaging the cooperation with thousands of sub-contractors or regional contractors. MNIR also helds the largest collection of archaeological artefacts, being, in this project, not only coordinator, but as well the main scientific beneficiary (together with other museums and institutions, with an archeological profile). During the last years, MNIR took part in several international cooperation projects, namely a bilateral with France ("Hârsova tell",1993-), a bilateral with Great Britain ("Southern Romania Archaeological Project", 1997-), a trilateral with France and Czechs Republic (2006-), a multinational cultural project (seven national museums of archaeology, MUSEUM-European virtual museum, 2002-2006 ). During the 5 last years, MNIR has been partner in 6 CERES projects, 2 RELANSIN projects, has coordinated 5 AFCN projects, and, as well, has participated at CNCSIS, MEC and Ministry of Transport projects.
As it has been already stated, the consortium is a powerful one, all the partners having experience as regarding international projects. We shall name here, briefly, these projects: EU-Artech - MoLab (Mobile Laboratory-measurements on Putna codices-INCCR); CORINT - 4/ 2000, 42/2002, 8/ 2005 projects (UBFGG); ESF projects (European Science Foundation), namely EDEN ("Vegetation reconstruction in West Eurasia during the interval 12 to 8 m. a. - HRI 2 - based on the plant record and the taxonomic/physiognomic evaluation approach") and NECLIME (Neogene Climate Evolution in Eurasia), both of them at IGR; FP 6 /Nutrasnacks ct 023044 (INSB); Pansart (FP7-217669; project under evaluation); IAEA Regional (European) Technical Co-operation Project RER/1/006 "Nuclear Techniques for the Protection of Cultural Heritage Artefacts in the Mediterranean Region" (2007 - 2008) and COST Action IE0601 "Wood Science for Conservation of Cultural Heritage" (2007 - 2011) (IFIN-HH).
As regarding the activity of the partners in national research projects, they are too many to be nominally mentioned here; due to this situation, we shall present only their global statistic, on the category of programmes (with a strictly mentioning of the collectives from the partnership, and not of the institutions' track record): ANSTI - 1; BIOSTAR - 2; BIOTECH - 5; CALIST - 1; CEEX 3; CERES - 14; CNCSIS - 14; INFRAS - 1; MATNANTECH - 1; MEC - 4; MENER - 4; MIR - 5; NUCLEU - 1; ORIZONT 2000 - 20; RELANSIN - 8. The details may be found in the project participants' CVs.
A special contribution at the participants' experience background is represented by Antonela Neacsu's PhD thesis (2003; see the final bibliographical list), dedicated to the study of the Romanian amber, experience which certifies, even from the beginning, a good scientific and technologic positioning of the entire project.
At the present, there are no considerable European projects engaged in the study of adornment items, in general, or of amber items, in particular. There are several remarkably personal projects, such as the system of minerals (Lukas Czarnecki - http://www.hpwt.de/Mineral2e.htm), or the study of Early Medieval Age adornments (Danica Stukova, Nitra University); there are also several research projects having a national character, with limited objectives (for example, Sweden - Neolithic Amber: Chronological and Symbolic Properties), or partially unsuccessful international projects (Baltic Amber Bibliography - http://www.emporia.edu/earthsci/amber/bab.htm). Nevertheless, there are over 6000 measured Baltic amber samples (FT-IR) at the Vassar College from New York, illustrating the Americans' technological and thematic progress, which could also explain the Europeans' weak reaction. However, we consider that an eventual success of the Romanian project could refresh the European cooperation projects in this field, firstly through the newly provided data, secondly through the diversified technological experience. A European project under evaluation (Pansart, FP7-217669) has expositional objectives similar to the ones mentioned in our project (archaeological materials and objects), the exhibitions' exchanging being thus possible.
The project does not come from professional vanity, but from a necessity, namely the will to clarify the provenance aspects of the objects from MNIR's own patrimony. The project coordinator has managed the Romanian part of the Leonardo da Vinci - MU.S.EU.M (I/03/B/F/PP-154061, 2002-2006) project, is responsible for the entire Informatics segment of an CEEX project (Archaeomet - PCD 10 PT0016); he is also in charge of the Informatics and topographic coordination of the "Transylvania Motorway" national research project (MCC, 2004-2013), and has managed an AFCN project ("Trajan - the climax of Roman power", nr. 5/ 2006). He recently became member of the "Nuclear Techniques for the Protection of Cultural Heritage Artefacts in the Mediterranean Region" (AIARER/2005005), 2007-8, working group of the Atomic Energy Agency from Vienna. The project manager has established the Informatics Department within the MNIR, which he coordinated during the last ten years. We consider that his managerial experience is a guaranty for a good execution of this project.
The ROMANIT consortium, operational starting with April 2007, already has a consecrated way of communication, through an Yahoo Group, which not only facilitates communication (in a transparent way!), but as well stocks important commune data (links, pdf. bibliography, inclusive the preparing materials for this project). Starting with the contracting moment, within the shortest possible time (one to two months) there will be created a dedicated web-site (in the .eu domain), which initially will present the intentions of the projects and the partnership, then a forum, on-line databases and an on-line manual. The Consortium already met in a plenary meeting, in May 2007, in order to establish the objectives of this project; this kind of meetings will be organized at the middle and at the end of each working phase, for the evaluation of the results and establishing the priorities. Due to the fact that it is pretty difficult to get together, at a certain moment, all the researchers participating in this project, firstly from the lack of time (a day and an hour when all the 35 specialists to be available), there will function a director comity comprising the manager of the project, partners' responsible and their adjuncts, which will meet monthly, or every time is necessary. Within MNIR there will also be a permanent secretariat of the project, having the purpose of giving any kind of information regarding the project. The project manager will be as well in charge of all the international relations, as to prospect the enlarging possibilities of the project.