In 1950 Adolfas Tautavičius graduated from Vilnius University and after four years in 1954 defended his thesis, Rytų Lietuva I m.e. tūkstantmetyje (East Lithuania in the 1st Millennium AD). In 1997, he became habilitated doctor with work Vidurinysis geležies amžius Lietuvoje (The Middle Iron Age in Lithuania). From 1962 to 1987, was the head of archaeology department of the Lithuanian Institute of History. Among other excavations Tautavičius researched Vilnius Castle Complex, Klaipėda Castle, Trakai Peninsula Castle sites. Tautavičius wrote more than 600 academic publications and articles.
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