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Introducing: Karolien Pazmany

Karolien Pazmany is a PhD student in the ERC granted research project 'An Empire of 2000 Cities: urban networks and economic integration in the Roman empire', directed by Luuk De Ligt and John Bintliff (Archaeology).

I was born in Lier (Belgium) and grew up in a small village nearby, Kontich. Since I was young, I was very fascinated by history. Therefore, it wasn’t really a surprise when I started studying archaeology at university. I received my bachelor as well as my master degree at the KU Leuven (2008-2012). 


During my bachelor, I chose to investigate the traces of Classical Antiquity. Two highlights in this period were, on the one hand, my participation to the territorial survey of the Sagalassos Project (Turkey - KU Leuven), in which I broadened my understanding of this method of investigation, as well as my understanding of the role of landscape in human societies today and in the past. On the other hand, I really appreciated the freedom I got, to pay attention to different dimensions of theatre during the Late Roman Imperial time, which turned out as the topic of my bachelor thesis. 

For my master thesis, I turned my interest of study into the quest of archaeology and public support. A topic which, at least in Flanders, is part of an important debate conducted during the last decennia and still remains a little controversial. Furthermore, during this research the aspect of the contribution of archaeology  to, and, even more the relevance of archaeology for society, turned up. From this point, I created a very big interest in the possibilities of archaeology to contribute to (the pursuit of a sustainable) society. An aspect which I really want to keep up, no matter what direction my career goes. 


Last year was dedicated to realize a very nice life-experience. I was able to join for a couple of months a volunteering project in Peru which combined archaeological research with community work. I was really surprised by the integrity which characterized this project and apart from developing a lot of social skills, it broadened my view on archaeology. 

Right after I returned from the centre of the old Inca Empire, I was lucky to get the opportunity to start my PhD research within the ERC granted project Empire of 2000 Cities, supervised by prof. dr. L de Ligt en prof. dr. J. Bintliff. Within this research project, I will focus on the regions of the Roman provinces of Germania Superior, Raetia and Noricum, dealing with questions about Roman urbanism and socio-economic development, as well as with questions about the meaning and function of a city within the empire. I am eager to participate this project, to learn more and to develop myself to a integer researcher and colleague. At the same time, I am thankful for the challenges and the opportunities this project creates, embedded in a stimulating environment which the University of Leiden as well as our own research group will guarantee.

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