Long-term research area of the Institute is the interaction between cultures of the Ancient Mediterranean and the Central Europe. Prof. Jan Bouzek intensively studied the topic, focusing mainly on the Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age. Recently, his successor, Jan Kysela focuses primarily on the Late Iron Age (i.e. 4th-1st c. BCE).
Rather than a constrained research project, the topic constitutes continuous research. The goal is to evaluate the nature of the contacts, interactions and influences between the Mediterranean and the Central European environments. Furthermore, we strive to re-connect the research of the Mediterranean contacts back to the local (Czech) archaeological discourse, without undervaluing its importance or without elevating it to a mystical, all-explaining science for a handful of initiates.
The subject of inquiry are boths material remains of the contacts between both worlds (material and non-material imports) and Ancient literary sources connected with the Central Europe.
A monograph summarising the last ten years of research is currently in preparation. A new interpretation schema is offered based on summary and synthesis of available archaeological and literary sources. At the same time, it was decidedly shown that the offered synthesis is not the last contribution to the research of this topic, but it is rather an end of one phase and beginning of another research, that will focus on answering new questions arising from the previous research.
The future line of research will have to concentrate on wider understanding of the connections in the non-Mediterranean world and on several phenomena in the Mediterranean itself which are, surprisingly, less known than in the Trans Alpine regions. Crossing of chronological barriers into the Early Iron Age and the Roman period will be also indispensable.