Team building in covid-19 times

With the very nice blog posts by our new team members Rennan and Giulia in the last weeks, focusing on scientific aspects of the ERC DiverseNile project, it’s now my duty as the project leader to communicate ‘other’ aspects of our project – today, I will give you some insights about our team building strategy and the present challenges because of covid-19.

Honestly, I really did not envisage in August when we planned a hiking day for the DiverseNile team how bad the corona situation will become in Bavaria. We were more afraid about the weather when we finally scheduled our trip to Andechs to mid-November, believing that outdoor activities should be ok in these challenging times. Well, with the current regulations, it was of course clear that we need to find an alternative programme. Marion came up with the splendid idea of a virtual museum visit and this was indeed much fun!

We organized the virtual museum trip as a hybrid meeting, using a meeting owl and zoom and of course keeping distance and wearing masks. I was happy to be able to make a small contribution to support the local gastronomy and beer production by ordering food and drinks for the team – the ones joining via zoom of course had their own lunch.

Getting ready for our first social team meeting in times of covid-19! (photo: C. Geiger).

The food was delicious, beer from Munich as well and also our office dogs enjoyed this culinary part of the afternoon.

Really everybody in the room was happy with the food… (photo: C. Geiger).

Afterwards, we visited the Deutsches Museum ( which of course is currently closed, but offers a lot of various videos and 3D tours – really much fun to watch! We found a fitting theme to start with – From cholera until corona and learned also much about the universe, aeronautics and other topics.

without words… (photos: C. Geiger).

Marion used the opportunity to shoot a short video for our new instagram account and Cajetan, as always, was our photographer of the day.

Of course, we are very much looking forward to better times when a real hiking day in the beautiful landscape of Bavaria will be possible – but as an alternative programme, our improvised excursion was much fun. Many thanks to all and we will probably have a follow-up hybrid meeting soon for our Christmas party.

Presenting the MUAFS project by means of an e-lecture

Today was originally planned to be quite busy – after faculty meetings and teaching, I was supposed to be off to London to join the annual one-day international colloquium on recent archaeological fieldwork in Sudan organised by the Sudan Archaeological Research Society in the British Museum. Due to the current situation regarding COVID-19 in the UK, the event scheduled for tomorrow was of course cancelled. All fingers crossed that the situation will soon improve, and all of our colleagues stay safe and healthy!

Given the corona crisis, it is therefore perfect timing that instead of presenting our new finds in the Attab to Ferka region live in the British Museum, I will give one of the OREA e-lectures this Wednesday.

The 17min-presentation will introduce the project and present its main aims as well as our achievements in the first two field seasons! I will show brand-new maps composed by Cajetan – stressing very intriguing distribution patterns of sites in our concession area according to periods. Of course the new ERC project DiverseNile will also be mentioned, especially as our main focus in the next five years!

See also

Premiere of my e-lecture is May 27 at 5.30pm – everybody is free to join via youtube, and I hope our efforts to make results from archaeological fieldwork in Sudan available to all in these difficult times will be appreciated. Many thanks to OREA for this great opportunity – due to COVID-19 I still cannot go to my hometown Vienna, but this e-lecture feels a little bit like homecoming.