UNESCO has declared 2021 the year of the famous Lithuanian scholar Marija Gimbutienė (Maria Gimbutas), dedicated to the 100th anniversary of her birth. To mark the occasion, the Lithuanian Institute of History and the National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania are hosting a virtual international conference Maria Gimbutas in Lithuania and the World: a Centenary Commemoration on April 29 and 30th.
Maria Gimbutas (1921–1994) is one of the most distinguished Lithuanian professors and archaeologists, whose work is known and appreciated not only in Lithuania, but also all over the world. She was an outstanding personality, whose range of interests reflected her broad horizons, not only in archaeology, but also in the fields of religion, ethnology, linguistics and art history. The name and the ideas of Maria Gimbutas have not lost their relevance in academic communities and public forums. Her insights have established themselves strongly in the current world of learning through the most advanced studies in archaeology, linguistics and even DNA.
The purpose of the conference this is to bring together specialists in different areas to discuss the importance of the research carried out by Maria Gimbutas in the modern world of science. She was a controversial researcher, whose ideas always provoked a range of responses. A total of 22 invited speakers from eight countries across Europe and the world will discuss Gimbutas as a scholar, teacher and researcher. Questions such as the ritualization of anthropomorphic forms, the continuation and collapse of different prehistoric processes, migration, direct historical approaches and the social context of religion, and civilization as a keyword for historical discourse will be analyzed, as well as the archaeomythological reconstructions of Maria Gimbutas. Her works remain relevant today, and dialogues between different disciplines and different generations of scientists allow us not only to understand the past, but also to look to the future.
The conference will be streamed on the Palace of the Grand Dukes Facebook page and on Youtube in English and Lithuanian.