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Back to 2014_05_06_FYL_Última clase de la profesora María Amor Beriguiristain

Last class by Professor María Amor Beriguiristain

He has worked for 30 years at the University of Navarra

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Professor Mª Amor Beguiristain after giving her last lecture class. She is accompanied by some of her relatives, teachers and students. PHOTO: Manuel Castells
06/05/14 11:32 Cristina Graell

Last Monday, April 14, María Amor Beguiristain, professor of department of History of the School of Philosophy and Letters, received a farewell from her colleagues of department and students. These are some of her memories of her more than 30 years at the University.

When did you arrive at the University?

I arrived to start the first year of Philosophy and Letters, in October 1967, and my memories of the first two years of "commons" are linked to great teachers, to quite restless classmates, and to classroom 19 of the Central, which occupied the space where the Office of the Registrar is now.

From my first day at class at the University I remember Professor Carmen Castillo giving us homework, a Latin text, and the next day she asked me about its translation, and I had to read it standing up in front of the whole class.

What has it meant for you to succeed Barandiarán as head of Etniker, and your work as director and now as deputy director of the Chair of language and Basque Culture?

I have not been the successor of Don José Miguel, but rather the continuator in Navarra of the project Etniker aimed at the elaboration of a regional Ethnographic Atlas.

In the Chair I have done what I could: support the initiatives of Ana Echaide while she was the director, and this year, celebrating its half century of existence, I am happy to see that the director, María del Mar Larraza, has panache, initiatives and a good team. During all these years I have personally taken care of area of culture.

Do you remember any stage with special affection?

I began to enjoy the degree program from 3rd grade when the specialization program started: Ancient History, Archaeology, Paleography, and, above all, Prehistory, for me it was a finding.

Undoubtedly the best memories are linked to the archaeological excavation campaigns during the summers (Herramélluri and Calahorra in La Rioja; Cueva de Axlor in Vizcaya; Costalena in Aragon; the Cueva del Rascaño in present-day Cantabria, La Merced, in Cordoba...).

I also enjoyed doing ethnographic surveys during Christmas and Easter vacations in the Cameros region (Pedroso, Matute...) and in Obanos (Navarra).

It was an opportunity to meet the professors and their assistants outside classroom : Alejandro Marcos, Amparo Castiella, Rafael García Serrano, Enrique Vallespí. José Miguel de Barandiarán himself, Ignacio Barandiarán and his team from Aragón and the Canary Islands, with whom I maintain a great friendship. The latter lent himself to direct my doctoral thesis always welcoming me as one more disciple.

What contribution do you think so many years of archaeological campaigns have made to society?

I hope that we have contributed to increase the knowledge in some stages of history. I believe that department has trained good professionals who are now working in positions of responsibility in the administration as well as in private companies, I will not mention any of them because the list is long and I am afraid of omitting names.

What immediate plans do you have in mind, as of now?

I am embarked on a project of research with the University of the Basque Country that ends in December this year. It is a study of experimental archaeology, the specialist in this field is Amparo Laborda, we have to analyze the arrowheads of dolmens of the Ebro Valley comparing their traces of use with those of a collection of points manufactured specifically for the study and shot against a poor roe deer. We have involved many people in the experiment. I am very grateful to the Sociedad de Cazadores de Gascue, Guelbenzu y Valle de Atez for putting at our disposal a freshly hunted wild boar and a roe deer for the experiment.

I continue with the Etniker surveys , this year we are compiling field information on popular religiosity. At the same time, the second volume on ways of life, dedicated to agriculture, is being written. I have several pending things to work on from home and on the Library Services. But the most important thing, from now on, is to be able to dedicate more time to my family.