Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere” – Isabelle Eberhardt

While guiding visitors to early medieval monastic sites of Ireland. I can talk about their legends and history for hours … The Market High Cross, Co. Meath. Copyright©Archaeotravel.

My name is Joanna Pyrgies. I have obtained a M.A. Degree in English Philology from University of Silesia (Poland), and another M.A. in History of Art from Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski in Warsaw (Poland). Having taken my M.A. in Archaeology from University College Dublin, (Ireland), I am now engaged in a PhD project in the field of early Christian and early medieval studies. I am deeply passionate about the idea of possible connections between the Middle Eastern and African Christianity and the Celtic Church in Hiberno-Scotland. An intriguing iconography of illuminated Irish manuscripts, along with a complex language of monumental High Biblical Crosses have taken me on a journey back in time to the Golden Age of Ireland, its Saints and Archangels.

Apart from working on my PhD, I am also an Independent Researcher, conducting research on worldwide archaeology from Prehistory to the Middle Ages. I am driven by countless archaeological mysteries that I explore during my field trips. Additionally, I am an author, guide, and a specialist in tourism, with a particular focus on the British Isles.

My major fields are Archaeology & History of Art

I particularly specialize in:

  • Archaeological tourism, including thematic guiding of legendary sites and along pilgrimage routes, usually off the beaten track;
  • Research on a variety of archaeological aspects, including alternative archaeology and religious studies, with an explanation of numerous definitions in history of art and architecture;
  • Exploration of modern tools used by archaeology;
  • Archaeological photography.

I will guide you through the mysterious world of archaeology by books and articles, where I describe my own experience I have gained during my research and field trips. I invite you to take part in specially tailored tours, where archaeological sites are a leading theme. You will understand the encrypted language carved in stone or painted in diverse colours, and will feel intense emotions of people who once created it. A participation in such an adventure will give you a unique opportunity to discover archaeology and history of art. Those who would prefer a more spiritual journey can also take on a pilgrimage along early Christian and medieval sites. We will discuss particular aspects of visited sites, their monuments and artifacts; I will truly appreciate your own ideas on given matters and your questions regarding archaeology/spirituality of the sites, which you can share during a trip or in your comments/emails to my posts or my offer. By joining myself, you will also join visitors, sharing similar interests and passions.

I will also teach you how to understand important definitions and expressions used in archaeology and art, in order to make you better understand the written content. Equally, I will show you how to use photography to artistically represent and document ancient sites, and finally, I will give you an insight into modern tools of archaeology.

If you are interested in expanding your knowledge on a given subject, please describe your preferences by sending a message through the contact form.

Before I became an archaeologist …

I come from Beskidy Mountains, in the south of Poland. I like coming back there, to the fragrant orchards, gardens full of flowers, and to the oasis of rustling trees above the stream, right at the foot of the green mountains. And I often come back there from distant corners of the world, of a different texture and smell from that I know from my hometown.

Visiting Mont Saint Michel in Normandy, France. Copyright©Archaeotravel.

Ever since I remember, I have always been fascinated with dusty old artifacts and tales of “a long time ago, behind mountains, behind forests”. I dreamed about archaeology, and I became an English philologist, but with my heart wandering along the Seine. Someone in a kind of Joan of Arc. I spent a year in Paris. Alongside English, I have been studying French and the French architectural style vibrating in the soaring spaces of towering cathedrals. In Poland I continued my studies of history of art. 

Later, there was a six-month stay in London, where I studied the culture and literature of my beloved Middle Ages. The course of Medieval Cultures only sharpened my appetite for history. Increasingly, I was asking questions about the cultures and religions of ancient civilizations, and with learning of Spanish, I moved my thoughts to the distant Mesoamerica and the Andes. Travelling from the Gothic Europe to the 12th century India and from the rugged coasts of the Celtic lands to those of the Egyptian Copts’, I find and absorb the spirit of past civilizations. What I enjoy the most is the opportunity to share my passion, especially when I write, translate, guide and give lectures on art and archaeology.

Currently, I am listening to stories about archaeology at the university in Dublin, and I continue my pilgrimage southwards, along Saint Michael & Apollo Axis (see: Sacred Geography Enclosed in the Idea of the Apollo-Saint Michael Axis).

Featured image: At the top of the Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan, Mexico. Copyright©Archaeotravel.

Joanna Pyrgies