Jerzy Gawronski's appointment as professor will further strengthen the discipline of historical archaeology within the UvA's Amsterdam Archaeological Centre (AAC). He is committed to taking an integrated approach to material culture through making connections between different fields of research. His scholarly attention is focused on two relevant themes that deserve more attention within current academia: the archaeology of shipping and the Dutch maritime expansion, and the archaeology of cities and urban culture after 1500. Amsterdam is a key theme within these areas of investigation.
Gawronski is also head of the Archaeology department of the municipal Office of Monuments and Archaeology ( Bureau Monumenten en Archeologie , BMA). In his function as municipal archaeologist of Amsterdam , he will conceive and realise a collaboration between the municipality and the UvA in the field of material culturestudies.
During his studies in art history, classicarchaeology and medieval archaeology at the UvA, Gawronski developed an explicitly multidisciplinary attitude, which led him to explore a border-crossing combination of different fields. He was one of the first Dutch underwater archaeologists to specialise in historical ships, and in particular in the ships of the Dutch East India Company (VOC).
He acquired extensive international experience during various ship archaeology projects in the Netherlands , England , France , Italy , Sweden , the former USSR and Brunei . As part of his dissertation, he designed contextual datasets for VOC ships that surpass purely maritime classifications and focus on both the socio-economic and societal contexts of the city and state in which the VOC operated. This research resulted in a dissertation entitled The Hollandia and the Amsterdam , two ships and a company: The organisation and material culture of the Dutch East India Company in Amsterdam , 1740-1750 ( De Hollandia en de Amsterdam . Twee schepen en een bedrijf. Organisatie en materiële cultuur van de VOC in Amsterdam in de jaren 1740-1750 ), with which he graduated from the UvA in 1994.
From 1987 to 1997, Gawronski worked as a researcher in the area of maritime and historical archaeology at the UvA's Institute for Pre- and Protohistoric Archaeology ( Instituut voor Pre- en Protohistorische Archeologie , IPP). From within these fields, his research also engaged with Dutch overseas archaeological heritage. He has been a participant and a leader in various foreign archaeological expeditions, including ones in Spitsbergen in 1979, Nova Zembla in 1995 and Magalhães Straits ( Chile ) in 1998. In addition, he has been involved with overseas heritagemanagement projects, including ones in Sri Lanka and Curaçao.
Due to his broad approach to material culture, Gawronski has also been active in the museum field, resulting in a series of collaborative projects with the Rijksmuseum. Since 1999, he has been an lecturer at the AAC working in the area of post-Medieval archaeology and the Dutch expansion. In that year, he broadened his professional scope to the municipal archaeology of Amsterdam.
He has been head of the Archaeology department of the BMA, responsible for municipal archaeological policy and the city's archaeological research programme, since 2002.